Egremont

Egremont lies on the River Mersey between Seacombe and New Brighton and alongside Liscard.

Egremont was considered part of the Liscard township until the 1820s, when expansion of Liscard was deemed significant enough that it should be split into two townships. One of the earliest buildings in Egremont was the Liscard Manor House, also known as the 'Seabank'. Dating back to the 1790s, it was home to the influential Penkett and Maddock families. The area which grew up around Seabank was eventually to become the Mariners' home founded in 1892 by William Cliff. The name of the area was decided by one Captain Askew who built a house in the area as early as 1835 and named the village 'Egremont' after his Cumberland birthplace. Egremont Ferry was built in 1827 and was the longest pier on Merseyside until its dismantlement in 1946 due to a coaster having crashed into it, causing irreparable damage.


Caithness Drive (left) this view is now hidden by rooftops!

Between Seacombe and Egremont was a fine stretch of un-occupied land, the east side of Brighton Street being taken up by allotment gardens, four terraces and the rest grassy open ground overlooking the river; while on the other side the country was entirely open fields, without a break from Brougham Road to Church Street, only crossed by a private narrow lane (where Church Lane now is) leading to a single cottage long since demolished. The people in the terraces opened their windows to let in the west wind which blew freshly over the fields, bringing some of the sweetness of the heather and gorse on Bidston. They sat there evening after evening, to watch ‘day’s golden death’, and, ‘when the sun sank and all the land was still’, there was the distant friendly gleam from the light in the old Lighthouse.

In Rice Lane opposite Gresford Place was Garner’s Farm, and a large field occupied the land from Rice Lane to Rudgrave Square. Rudgrave Place lies off King Street and is adjacent to Rudgrave Square. The first house to be built in Rudgrave Place was No. 3, which was erected by Samuel Brabner. The land between the house and King Street was used by him as a garden and orchard. His gardener’s cottage, with the brewhouse and other outbuildings, stood behind a high wall on the east of Rudgrave Square and it was possible, when standing in the fields surrounding the cottage, to gaze across the river and to hear the waves breaking on the sand. Until Seabank Road was cut through the fields, King Street(formerly Barn Lane but now called after Ellen King, who owned the land) ended at Green Lane (now Greenwood Lane) and the first houses in Seabank Road, one of which was pulled down to widen the corner, had only fields in front.

The building which later became the Royal Picture House was the drill shed of the Third Cheshire Rifles and was built about 1864. Sergeant Payne, who was a well-known figure in the parish, was for many years drill instructor. King Street was at first purely residential; with the exception of a few shops in Tobin Street the nearest shops were in Seacombe. Manor Lane was another of the private roads of the parish guarded with large stone pillars, and it is believed at one time also gates, at the junction with Withens Lane. Withens Lane was probably given its name because it led into a field called The Withens. There is now a cul-cle-sac off it called Withensfield, on the site of the old Withensfield House which for many years was a school. Townfield Lane, now Urmson Road, is an interesting name, as it was the way to Liscard Townfield, part of which lay to the north of it between Rake Lane and Withens Lane. Between Manor Road and Green (wood) Lane on a map of 1835 the land is called Beach Hill, and in Manor Road, Beach Bank still remains as the name of a house.

Trafalgar Road was formerly Abbott’s Lane (after Mr Abbott) before it received its more pretentious name. Stringhey Road perpetuates another field name. At the north- west corner where it is joined by Marsden Road, late Wellington Road, was the village well and pump, where seafaring young men of the parish used to gather on their return home to tell stories of their adventures and travels. Seabank Avenue had its own well and chain pump. From the bottom of Trafalgar Road to the shore was for many years just a strip of grassland. About I879 the adjacent fields were purchased by a local solicitor who, desiring to stop the right of way, put a railing across it. Another resident, feeling the injustice of this procedure and not wishing to have recourse to law, took an axe and during the night cut down the railings, which were not put up again.

Zig Zag Road obtained its name from its tortuous course, and Zig Zag Hall was named after the road-not as might be thought, the road after the Hall. Magazine Brow, which runs from Holland Road to Fort Street parallel to the Promenade, is part of old Wallasey. Mr Ashby Pritt says in his young days the inhabitants of the Magazine Brow had a somewhat sinister reputation and these simple (?) fisherfolk rejoiced in their locality being known as ‘Hell’s Brow.’ Holland Road is named after the Holland family who resided in a house situated in what is now Vale Park.

Other Wallasey residents commemorated by roads in this district are Mrs Maddock, Lady of the Manor; Mr John Penkett, Lord of the Manor; Mr Richard Steel and Mr Joseph Walmsley, members of the Wallasey Urban District Council; Sir John Tobin, father-in-law of Mr Harold Littledale and Alderman Albert T. Wright of Cheshire County“ Council. The late Alderman F. F. Scott, who was a native of Wallasey, said that in his youth the only way from Seacombe to New Brighton, before Seabank Road was cut through the fields, was by Borough Road, Liscard Road, Rake Lane, to Little Brighton and then to the left along Mount Pleasant Road and Mount Road to Montpellier Crescent, which at that time was the most fashionable locality. There was a shorter way along Seaview Road, provided the gates which stood at Hose Side end were open, this being a private road.

1923:  LIVERPOOL CITY POLICE
Station: Central Fire Station
From: Con. 331. H. Jones
To: Brigade Sergeant ??????? - Watch CFS

Subject : Rescue at Egremont Pier

I beg to report that whilst on rest day on August 7th and spending the day at Egremont., about 5:10 p.m. while standing on the sands I heard the cry of a man drowning. I immediately took off my coat and vest and went into the water and swam towards the drowning person. On arrival I found two and could easy see the one underneath was the worst and in danger of drowning. I got underneath him and brought him to the Pier by the first method of life saving and passed him to the people standing underneath the Pier, I then found he was a boy of about 8 or 9 years of age. As soon as I handed the boy over I heard a woman crying out ( save him ). On looking around I saw a man being carried away by the tide, I then swam towards him and when about 3 yards off him I saw him disappear. I then went underneath to try and find him. Failing to do so I came to the surface again and found he was alongside of me. I then got hold of him by the first method of life saving as he appeared to be unconscious, I also noticed a rowing boat close to, he was then pulled into the boat. On seeing him safe I swam back to the pier. I then saw a woman standing up to her waist in water, shouting and very hysterical, so I carried her underneath the Pier to the sands. On seeing the boat come in I laid her down on the sand and went to assist a constable to apply artificial respiration to the drowning man until the arrival of the ambulance. The constable then told me to accompany him to the hospital. On arrival I took off my clothes, emptied my pockets onto a table, waited for my clothes to be dried, in the meantime having a hot bath and the constable took my particulars. When my clothes were dried about 9:20 I was eager to meet my wife who was waiting and hurrying off I forgot my keys and whistle, which was attached. I did not discover my loss till I arrived home.

Richard Jones. Con 331. H.


I never gave any thought that there was once a Town Hall other than the one we all know now. This stood on the corner of Church Street Egremont.
Both actually are/were in Egremont, but Wallasians refer to the 'town hall' as being in Seacombe. Image below 23 May 2015

Promenade - Egremont


Early 1950's


Liscard Town Boundary stone in Church Street


Trafalgar Road

Egremont Ferry

 

The Battle of the Brickworks

The Egremont Brickworks which were near the river on a site between what is now Tobin Street and Maddock Road, exported their bricks all over the world. In most cases, the bricks were loaded from the sea wall onto lighters. This wall ran along the front that had been constructed by the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board and was completed in 1863. The top of the wall was about a yard in width and people would walk along it. There were no railings and one had to be careful when the tide was rough. The path eventually became a right of way. The brickwork people used to load up the flats at high water as they moored against the wall. Passers-by would stand and watch the procedure. The management thought that one day someone could have an accident so they constructed a wooden fence in the December of 1877 to stop people walking along the top of the wall. The Local Board did not approve so the Chairman of the Works Committee, Mr Henry Skinner, decided to take action.
The Fire Brigade, under the supervision of Captain Leather, was asked to remove it. The barrier was knocked down and thrown into the river but the Brickwork management got their men to replace it. The Brigade were told to go down again and remove it. This was done and the timber thrown into the river once more. Another was built but this time it was much stouter and the beams had a railing on top with iron spikes. A small crowd had gathered on the Saturday at Egremont Ferry to see what would happen. The Fire Brigade arrived to a cheer and the Police were present together with a gang of men from the brickworks, who were not happy with the brick-making machines that had been introduced. By now it was high tide and the Firemen attacked the heavy barrier with axes from the other side of the barrier. The brickworkers tried to push two brothers, Bill and Jim Carney, into the water with long poles as they attempted to help the Firemen in their task.
They were knocked off and one fell into the water and had to be hauled out. The Firemen then produced some heavy saws and started to saw through the beams. The brickwork men had laid a hose pipe from the boiler house down to the sea wall and drilled holes in the end section so the hot water would spray those attempting to dismantle the barrier. They also dug a three foot pit and filled it with puddled clay, covering it with loose earth. As the hot water sprayed on the Firemen, they retreated and some of them fell in the pit as bricks were hurled at them from the other side of the fence. It was now that the Police decided to act. Enough was enough. Under the command of Inspector Hindley, they raided the works and arrested two of the directors and a few workmen for hurling bricks at the Firemen and soon the battle was over. They appeared in court and the matter was settled. The public would have the right of way. One of the directors that had been arrested, was Thomas Valentine Burrows who was later elected to the Urban District Council in 1891, became a Justice of the Peace in 1 904 and Chairman of the Council. In 1910, he was made an Alderman of the Wallasey Council and was elected Mayor of Wallasey for 1913 The Egremont Brickworks had a life of some 15 years before the company went into the building trade operating from their office and yard in King Street, building many houses in the town just before the turn of the century. The sea wall was a dangerous place to walk along with one person losing his life. This led to railings being erected and eventually the promenade was constructed behind it in 1891.
1966 Tragedy in Grestford Place

Wallasey's worst peacetime tragedy was when a grandmother and her five grandchildren were lost in a fire in Egremont. In the early hours of Sunday morning 8 October 1966 the Brigade was called to a house fire in Grestford Place. A neighbour Mr Bill Wilson, had spotted the fire and ran to the Sub-Police Station in King Street where 22 year-old Police Constable John Owen was on duty. Together they ran to the small house but could not get in at the rear. They rushed to the front and Constable Owen used his truncheon to gain entry. They were joined by another neighbor 39 year-old Mr J Fredrick Walker, in the rescue attempt. They crawled into the hallway on their hands and knees but were driven back by the heat of the flames. The Brigade received the Call- ut at 5am from a neighbour and when they arrived it was too late. They entered the house wearing breathing apparatus. The back living room was burning furiously with flames leaping through the ceiling into the bedroom above. The fire, which was confined to the rear of the house, was brought under control within l5 minutes. However, 52 year-old Mrs Kathleen Joyce Sanders was in one of the bedrooms and had been asleep with two of the children and with the other three grandchildren had died of suffocation. The five children were Paul Alexander Horsley, aged eleven., Dorothy Karen Horsley, aged nine., Julie Amanda Child, aged six., Lisa Maria Child, aged four and Nadine Louise Child, twelve months. The children's mother 33 year old Mrs Angela Child, a chocolate worker, had been staying with another child in Falkland Road. She was taken to the Victoria Central Hospital in Liscard suffering from shock. Seven Firemen suffered burns: Leading Fireman C Roberts, Firemen R Milne, R Beck, C Best, K Harrson, B Kingey and H Ledder. Constable Owens, who with the neighbour, had made brave attempts but was affected with smoke and refused treatment staying on duty to control the crowds who had gathered at the scene.


Mother Redcaps and below


The Nursing Home on the site designed with Mother Redcaps in mind


Taken in the winter of early 1921

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Wallasey Videos:

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Sources:

Some of these images are my own property but some came from these and some are just links:

www.vwlowen.co.uk

www.20thcenturyimages.co.uk

http://www.liverpoolwebcam.com/

http://www.liverpoolpictorial.co.uk/

http://www.aoxx90.dsl.pipex.com/

Wallasey Residential Webcam

http://www.new-brighton.com

http://www.hsp.org/

http://www.jones-sands-publishing.com/marine/marine_home.htm

http://www.wirralswallowsandamazons.bravehost.com/

http://www.hypnosis-therapies.co.uk/

http://www.freewaycer.com/

http://www.wirral360.com/ Virtual Wirral

http://www.proviser.com/regional/towns/wallasey/street_maps/

http://www.floralpavilion.com/

http://www.theoldtown.net/

http://www.disused-stations.org.uk/s/seacombe/index.shtml