Wirral Memories of the 40s & 50s


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Our story begins with a brief look at Wirral before the war with haymaking using old farming methods in Thurstaston on the Dee coast. Nearby is the Hooton – West Kirby railway. In Ellesmere Port people relax by swimming in the Manchester Ship Canal or at Rivacre Pool. In 1940 Chester Motor Club with many Wirral members holds its first wartime motorcycle scramble on Helsby Hill. Times change. Gas masks are issued in Wallasey and the Home Guard prepares for invasion. After the war things gradually get back to normal. New Brighton and the Tower grounds give relaxation and entertainment to many. There is the Heswall horse show and Upton Carnival. In the late ’40s we take a look at Raby Mere and quiet Wirral villages including Burton and Pot Sunlight, some of the windmills of Wirral and sails on West Kirby lake. 1951 is Festival of Britain Year with a horse bus from the Ritz towards Bidston Dock. In 1953, Coronation Year, Birkenhead is decorated and later the Queen visits Wallasey and Birkenhead. Birkenhead Can Make It is an exhibition in 1955 and at the same time we look at school days in Mersey Park school. Cammell Laird launches its last passenger liner, the ‘Windsor Castle’. Later there is winter time in Mersey Park and people still use the open air swimming pools in New Ferry and Port Sunlight. New Brighton is not forgotten in the late ’50s with bathing beauty contests and the Melody Inn. As we leave the ’50s business men still make their anticlockwise walk on the top deck of the Birkenhead Ferry to Liverpool and the steam railway is still with us. These are just some of the contents of this video presentation.

Narrator: Monty Lister of Radio Merseyside