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whetstone lane boxing club

Posted By: oldbirkonian1

whetstone lane boxing club - 19th Apr 2017 5:34pm

Does anyone know if there was an amateur boxing club in Birkenhead possibly in whetstone lane? I am tracing my family tree and may have a cousin called Oliver Locke who I think was an amateur boxer.Thanks
Posted By: bert1

Re: whetstone lane boxing club - 19th Apr 2017 6:24pm

Willaston boxing club, Oliver Street, Halkin Street?
Posted By: bert1

Re: whetstone lane boxing club - 19th Apr 2017 6:33pm

Whetstone lane had/has the YMCA, may have had a boxing club.
Posted By: locomotive

Re: whetstone lane boxing club - 19th Apr 2017 7:22pm

THere was a Boxing Gym just past the old YMCA on the right hand side of the road, a big old house, I think it was something to do with Wally Thom or his family,(well known boxers) 50s /60s, i used to walk past it every day going to school in the late 50s,
Change of subject, the Oliver Locke you mention, did he work for the Dock Board ? if so, he was quite a well known Racing (road) Motorcyclist in his day, it's not a commom name so it's probably him, he was a friend of a friend, who used to speak very highly of him. This friend of mine was also a friend of Wally Thom, so it could all tie in together.
Posted By: derekdwc

Re: whetstone lane boxing club - 19th Apr 2017 7:53pm

Went to Willaston Boxing Club age 10 or 11 but left after being put in the ring against Les McAteer and another boxer Peter McCann.
I think we used to call it Campbell's Gym and think it may have eventually moved to Whetstone Lane



Attached picture WBC.jpg
Posted By: diggingdeeper

Re: whetstone lane boxing club - 19th Apr 2017 8:10pm

Whetstone Lane Gymnasium started by Johnny Campbell and assisted by Gerry Burns. Prior to that Johnny Campbell ran Provincial ABC. Whetstone Lane Gymnasium might have been in the Birkenhead Institute land?
Posted By: derekdwc

Re: whetstone lane boxing club - 19th Apr 2017 8:20pm

Vaguely recall there being a boxing place where locomotive says, same side as the YMCA
Posted By: locomotive

Re: whetstone lane boxing club - 19th Apr 2017 8:29pm

Definitely wasn't on BI land ( Mine and Derek's old school) it was lower down on the opposite side of the road.
Posted By: diggingdeeper

Re: whetstone lane boxing club - 19th Apr 2017 10:21pm

This photo is titled "Whetstone Lane Gymnasium" from around 1959 but I guess this is the BI gym not the boxing gym?

[Linked Image]
Posted By: bert1

Re: whetstone lane boxing club - 20th Apr 2017 10:59am

I've seen the 1955 directory for Whetstone Lane and there is no mention of a boxing club/gym, perhaps too early.
Posted By: locomotive

Re: whetstone lane boxing club - 20th Apr 2017 5:25pm

Bert, I left the BI in 1959, so it would probably have been late 50s/early 60s, but I lived on the corner of Clifton Rd for 6 months when I got married in 64, so it could have been later. now the memory cells have been jogged, I think it was Campbell's Gym, there was a sign on the side of the house, the picture off DD is the BI gym, I used to go up those ropes like a rat up a drainpipe.
Posted By: bert1

Re: whetstone lane boxing club - 21st Apr 2017 7:10am

Mentioned here Loco,

http://boxingbiographies.co.uk/html/gerry_burns-bb.HTM
Posted By: locomotive

Re: whetstone lane boxing club - 21st Apr 2017 5:48pm

Brilliant write-up, thanks
Posted By: bert1

Re: whetstone lane boxing club - 26th Apr 2017 8:43am

I've checked the phone books for, Campbell's Gym and Whetstone Lane Gymnasium, 1960/65/73 and under those names, not mentioned in any of them. A friend checked the 60s directories at the Liverpool records office and again no mention of a boxing gym/club in Whetstone Lane.

Loco's memory of it is good enough evidence of its existence, how did anyone find it or get in touch with it?
Posted By: yoller

Re: whetstone lane boxing club - 26th Apr 2017 8:51am

The boxing gym was definitely in Whetstone Lane, just up from the YMCA, where Locomotive says. I remember it in the late 1950s / early 1960s.
Posted By: tigertiger1953

Re: whetstone lane boxing club - 26th Apr 2017 2:59pm

Yes a firm of solicitors is in the building now. My Dad's mate Tommy Molloy, got his son, a promising amateur in there and Johnny Campbell polished him into one of the best fighters ever to come out of Birkenhead, Leo Molloy, who could well have taken a title had Bessie Braddock MP not objected to him contesting it as he was born in the Republic of Ireland. Leo refused to accept naturalisation stating when he had served in the British Army for two years National Service his Irish birth was not an issue.
Posted By: marty99fred

Re: whetstone lane boxing club - 2nd May 2017 12:59pm

According to planning records Johnny Campbell got planning permission in June 1954 to convert the empty residential property at 68 Whetstone Lane into "a boxing club for boys and youths". It appears to have remained open until about 1970, when in December of that year Brian and Les McAteer and Alan J Quinney applied - unsuccessfully - for permission to turn the building into a licensed members-only private club. The building is described as having a gym on the ground floor, with changing room and showers in the basement and a caretaker's flat upstairs.
Posted By: oldbirkonian1

Re: whetstone lane boxing club - 22nd May 2017 7:14pm

Thank you for this I have now found out that Johnny Campbell is also part of my family tree he was a boxing manager and I think Oliver Locke (my cousin) his nephew trained with him as an amateur boxer, any pics would be very gratefully recieved
Posted By: oldbirkonian1

Re: whetstone lane boxing club - 22nd May 2017 7:14pm

Thank you all good info for my family tree
Posted By: Tommyboyefc

Re: whetstone lane boxing club - 29th Apr 2018 5:11pm

Thanks for posting that. Only just came across it. Tom Molloy was my Granddad, Leo my Dad. I have written an account of this but wouldn't know how to put it on here but you are spot on. I am also in the middle of writing something else concerned with the fact that his principles won out over his ambition. What was your Dad's name if you don't mind me asking...?
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