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New Brighton, Wirral, Merseyside

Chapter One

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New Brighton used to be the Blackpool of Liverpool. It's has declined a little over the years but is still a worthy seaside resort. Not least because it situated on the River Mersey with a good dose of sea air, long walks along the promenade, watching the ships go by, and a few things to see. Fort Perch Rock was built in 1830 (last used in 1954 by the Army)  along with the New Brighton Lighthouse to protect and guide ships through Liverpool Bay. The New Brighton Pier went in the 80's. I remember as child the New Brighton Tower, sadly destroyed by fire in 1969. The open air swimming pool was demolished in 1990 which was a great shame as it was the place to be on hot summer days. The funfair is still there and keeping generations of children very happy.

The guys who sail their radio controlled model boats are still there after 40 years, a real institution!. Power skiing is very popular and one can enjoy a happy hour watching them race up and down the Mersey causing no bother to anyone. The beaches all seemed nice and clean with children building their sandcastles. The day I went there where thousands of people enjoying the sunshine.

A very pleasant place to go and hopefully the local council will change their mind (who makes these decisions?) about building a supermarket complex and petrol station right on the sea front that will spoil one of the finest views of the River Mersey there is.

I am sure there are many people who have fond memories of New Brighton !

P.S Its really nice to know that the project to 'improve' the New Brighton seafront has been scraped. Not against improvement or progress. Surely there are architects and planners out there who can improve New Brighton without making it into another gaudy retail development.

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This is the usual ill informed comment about the New Brighton Development. The proposals are actually for a new Marine Lake, an open air swimming pool/ice rink a major upgrading of the promenade, doubling the size of the theatre, a range of quality cafe bars and family restaurants, cinema, bingo, a new model boating lake. A food store and apartments are included to fund the leisure uses. The views will still be there - you will see them from the enhanced prom with its raised viewing areas and its new seating pavilions. Please look at the plans before passing on ill informed myths and rumours. Anon

Sincerely hope it will be an improvement and I would love to be proved wrong in my original comments :-)  Icarus at Y2U

Welcome to New Brighton Statue. It's the new fashion to have a statue to welcome everyone to their town and New Brighton is no exception.

© Copyright Sue Adair - Creative Commons Licence.

 

What a brilliant site well done. I used to visit often in the 60s and remember everything really well. My favourite place was the old fair and steam mini railway. Pity kids have devolved into the over indulged snivelling brats they are today. Can you buy "The Magnet" on DVD? would like to know if its available. I saw the gradual decline of New Brighton in the 70s until That harridan Thatcher completely destroyed the English way of life in 1979. Jim Ross Radio Caroline (still on the air sky 0199)

Important Message to Rescue the Royal Iris

The Royal Iris ferry is a key part of New Brighton's history and is currently sinking in the Thames. Please sign the petition for it's return thepetitionsite.com

Ex Mersey Ferry the MV Royal Iris

Source.

 
My husband was a Jiver in the Tower Ballroom in the early 60s His name Aubrey. He knew a lady by the name of Dot who used to jive with him at the Tower. How nice it would be to be able to contact Dot and see how life has treated her over the years. Anon

Hi I've just moved back to Egremont, after leaving Wallasey in 1955, moved back to get married, and left again for Essex in 1959. Now here I am again back home after 13 years in Australia. I was lucky enough to come back each year, so the changes haven't come as such a shock. I have enjoyed reading your comments and sharing your memories----- a young lady called whom I think was called Vanda Robson also became a wall of death rider.....I think she lived in one of the little shops down by the Egremont Ferry. Can anyone remember a slope which ran back towards the ferry parallel with Tobin street. I used to run up it while playing hide and seek on the way home from the shore. at the end of the slope there were some wide steps, I think there was also some columns by the door. I don't remember much about the building, which I now know was the Egremont Institute I was more interested in hiding from my mum. I went to the Tech from 1950 to 1955, my husband was Ron Higginson of the Atlantic Skiffle Group, who played in the early jazz clubs, and many other venues in Wallasey, Birkenhead and Liverpool Regards Norah Ann Higginson [nee Jones]

ronnor58 @ sky.com

I have fond memories of New Brighton.I lived in Poulton in my youth and worked for Hornby's boat yard there. Tommy Man employed a few of us in our spare time building small motor boats for the marine lake, he had a workshop in New Brighton that we used. They must have been good because he won orders for other boating lakes around the country. I met my wife to be in the Tower ballroom. She was a scouser who had emigrated to New Brighton when her mother opened a shop on the corner of Ormiston road/Rowson street. This was in the mid fifties. We now live in Plymouth Devon since retiring from the R.A.F. in 1982. We are looking forward to a visit to New Brighton in May 2011. Anon
Living in New Brighton, it was a great life, My Mum and Dad had a B.B. in Orrell Road, Wallasey. I went to Maris Stella Convent in the 50's with my sisters Jane and Vicki, then to Clarendon High and on to Skerry's College Liverpool. I went to the lovely Nesta Bellis Dancing School which I loved, the beach the promenade the fair, tower ballroom Kraal, Tavern, Witches Cauldron, Davey Jones Locker, The Safari Coffee Bar in Seacombe, The Royal picture house, all great times, before venturing over to Liverpool and then all the fab clubs including the Cavern, the Beat and Bath and the New Brighton pier on Monday nights, I went out with lad from a band in the 60's "The Talismen" we had great times and have re met and are about to get married in Las Vegas... susan.rimmer47 b @ hotmail. com
My family acquired a small shop in Mason Street in 1939, a few months before WW2. Known as Rene's, it was closed by the war but she would obtain sugar from various sources and for summer weekends would open and sell toffee apples. During the war a ship in difficulties discharged its cargo of lumber jackets which, destined for Canada, ended up in NB. Despite being highly visible, hundreds wearing them, everybody, a la 'Whisky Galore', denied any knowledge of them and in the end the police gave up trying to recover them. After the war the Tower featured a stall in which Herman Gorings Mercedes was featured. Just before the war they has similarly exhibited Al Capones car. Anon
My mum and her family lived in Edgerton street 1n the late 40s My mum met my Dad on the prom at New Brighton. mums family name was Green, My Aunts surname Lawrence . I am writing my family history, does any one remember them in the war years. Gill Day
I was a lad growing up in Ellesmere Port in the 1960s and New Brighton was such a wonderful place to go. My Grandmother used to take me to the swimming baths which were incredible compared to any other baths in the area such as New Ferry and The Rivicare swimming pools. We always went by train and would have to change at Rock Ferry and Hamilton Square. I remember the Royal Iris as well which if my memory serves me correctly was painted yellow. And you always got good fish and chips in New Brighton. I went there in 2009 (I hadn't been there since the 1970s as I now live in Devon) for a look around and I was aghast at the loss of the great atmosphere that you used to hit you when stepping off the train. Alas it is not what it used to be and will be sadly lamented by many like me who enjoyed the place so much as kids. Nicholas Smith
My grandad had the licence for new brighton pier, Eric Lewis and my grandma had The Little Brighton Inn (The Ginny) her name was Hilda Lewis ( I think Mrs Lewis to most ! ) Just wondered if anyone had any info or memories they could share Thanks Debbie
In answer to the question about the Kraal. I remember it very, very well! I met my husband there and we both live in Canada now. One night John Lennon and Paul McCartney paid an unexpected visit to the Kraal and my sister danced with Paul. The owner was the son of a friend of my mother's and one night my mother decided she wanted to see where I was spending all my time. I was busy dancing in the dark down there and all of a sudden I looked up and there was my mother - coming down the stairs!! I hid in the darkest corner I could find! My sister and I used to go to the all-nighters there. Wonderful times. Anon
I remember days out to New Brighton in the late 1970's >>>
The Kraal Nightclub
I am wondering why there aren't more memories of the Kraal. The old night party etc., I had permission from my parents to go and it was the coolest thing ever. I used to love going there and always wonder what happened to it. I now live in the USA but still miss it. The Tower was great and all the groups were there. But one of my best memories is of the smell of the hotdogs and onions cooking as you entered the indoor fairground. kc
I used to go to the kraal an loved it the pathfinders used to play there, no one used to drink, soft drinks were fine, still had a good time and always wished the night hadn't gone so quick. I lived in Birkenhead an my friend an i never missed it i always used to like otis as he was called real name martin Rydel, he used to come up for weekends, an pete shepherd was another one we met there he married my friend, an i married his friend, sadly we divorced in1975, but the kraal was highlight of my life Anon
In answer to the question about the Kraal. I remember it very, very well! I met my husband there and we both live in Canada now. One night John Lennon and Paul McCartney paid an unexpected visit to the Kraal and my sister danced with Paul. The owner was the son of a friend of my mother's and one night my mother decided she wanted to see where I was spending all my time. I was busy dancing in the dark down there and all of a sudden I looked up and there was my mother - coming down the stairs!! I hid in the darkest corner I could find! My sister and I used to go to the all-nighters there. Wonderful times. Anon
Great page my Grandad was the last Pier Master, he retired in 1966. There was none as Matt in the Hat. Anon
I was born in Upper Brighton in 1937, moved to Harrow for a very short time until my father was called up to fight in WW2 in 1940. We then moved back to New Brighton to live with my grandparents through the war. I can remember American forces stationed in the big hotels on the sea front, and a horrific accident when a jeep lost control going down Rowson Street, hit the Midland Bank and there was blood all over the bank wall. I went to Vaughan Road school, and then Wallasey Technical school, then at Coronation Avenue in Upper Brighton, near the Quarry bowling green. I can remember dances at the Tower Ballroom, and at the Riverside ballroom, part of the New Brighton Pool buildings. I have a very old picture of my great grandfather who had donkeys on the shore. I lived in NB until I married in 1961 Anon

I have enjoyed all the pics and memories of New Brighton, I was born in Warrington and mum took us to New Brighton every Sunday without fail, oh the excitement of it all, I have some wonderful memories of playing in the sand, and paddling. I loved the walk along the pier looking down on to the sands, couldn't wait to get down there and play. I was born in 1935. It was truly a magical place then. also went in the early fifties with my first boy friend, any one remember sleeping beauty inside the indoor fair.? We queued to see her. I loved the place and have many happy memories. Anon

I too lived in New Brighton as a kid in the sixties. Here's some quick memories >>>:

I love all this. I'm stuck in Bedfordshire now and trying to return to Liverpool, and hopefully to live in New Brighton. Best wishes to all Liverpudlians! Hilary Davis

I live in Ellesmere Port not too far away from New Brighton, and took my three boys crabbing in the marina many times, happy days, then a bag of chips, playing footie on the Wallasey fields before driving home, kids knackered and had a great day. We are talking only 12 / 13 years ago Anon
Went to New Brighton fishing about 2 weeks ago. (Dec 2009) sand was very clean; cleaner than when I last went about 15 years ago! I was born in Birkenhead and one of my first memories of the seaside is sitting on the running board of my auntie's car having my photo taken. I also got stuck in a boat in the little boating lake, it seemed to more like the sea and I screamed to be rescued. (Well, I was only about 3!) New Brighton seems to be perking up these days, my friend thought the front looked quite upmarket!  Anon
Sunny New Brighton, what a place, I grew up there and worked on the pier when I was 15 and 16, in the Seaway restaurant and Mexico bar, anyone remember them, Bank holidays during that time were an eye opener the skinhead population used to descend on New Brighton causing mayhem, mmmm the good old days, not so sure. The old Tivoli was an amusement arcade then, with the Golden Goose at the entrance to where the pier was, and of course the magnificent New Brighton Baths think I spent a long time in them during my childhood, the diving boards, only ever managed 3rd to top myself. Good times though. Anon
I was born in egremont,and new brighton and west kirby was my back garden, we would walk along the prom past what I think was mother black caps smugglers house every day in the summer, never tired of the place. revisited last Sunday, amazed at the new pavilion and how everything has been 'poshed up' My mother, and 5 sisters all attended maris stella convent from about 1916 to 1925. does anyone have any old photos (they might be on them?) dadllo82 @ googlemail.com

Read some recollections of Maris Stella Convent School >>>

Can anyone remember the swimming race from Seacombe to New Brighton? When did it end? Anon
Swimming Race, This use to be the yearly police swim starting at Seacombe Ferry and then following the current down to New Brighton Pier. The tidal flow of the River is possibly to strong to swim across from point to point. John Gilmore
I was born in Upper Brighton in 1937, moved to Harrow for a very short time until my father was called up to fight in WW2 in 1940. We then moved back to New Brighton to live with my grandparents through the war. I can remember American forces stationed in the big hotels on the sea front, and a horrific accident when a jeep lost control going down Rowson Street, hit the Midland Bank and there was blood all over the bank wall. I went to Vaughan Road school, and then Wallasey Technical school, then at Coronation Avenue in Upper Brighton, near the Quarry bowling green. I can remember dances at the Tower Ballroom, and at the Riverside ballroom, part of the New Brighton Pool buildings. I have a very old picture of my great grandfather who had donkeys on the shore. I lived in NB until I married in 1961

New Brighton Fairground. Tower Ground. 1947-1950.>>>>>

I was brought up in New Brighton and worked for Wilf and Mrs. Griffiths also Mrs. Gates who had two stalls in the palace. She was Mrs. Griffiths mother. One of my jobs when I started was to walk their dog a poodle called Bambi along the prom!! 1962-3 I used to go to Paddy's diner on Victoria Road for two steak and kidney pies with gravy for my dinner. If I was lucky I got a pint in the pub at the front of the palace. (Not the Creep Inn) I have a programme /Brochure of New Brighton with old photos in it from 1913 showing a picture also of Wilkies pleasure wheel and the Winter gardens. I also have the Wallasey News 'Wallasey old and new' from 1949 celebrating the Wallasey News golden jubilee. This makes interesting reading, however they are in a fragile state so if any one is interested I am prepared to come up to Wallasey/New Brighton to show them these and they may use them for research. I will not post them, but will bring them myself. I also have photos of the demolition process of the actual tower itself. My email is david.a.lawton @ btinternet.com Thank you
Well done what a great site very informative i agree about getting shut of the clown and putting a replica of new brighton tower in its place what ever happened to the idea of neptune in the mouth of the river by the fort that would be a great attraction and a great entrance for all ships coming into the mersey fred fairclough new brighton
really cool I've been there and its great!!!!!! u should go !!! Anon
I took my Mum to New Brighton in 1965 - we had to go home on the train because she was sea sick on the Mersey!!!! PB
Great to read about N.B. I have got a 1920's programme for the New Tivoli showing The Squeaker. Are their any records of this? phyllissinger @ btinternet.com
I was born in New Brighton in the 1970s, and compared to my Bristol home, it was a fantastic place to spend a childhood. I went to Vaughan Road school and can still remember the smell of the floor polish and poster paints !! We had a real sense of freedom as children, a rarity nowadays, and were allowed to roam the promenade and Vale Park making our own entertainment. My fondest memories are of New Brighton Baths...again, I can still smell the suntan oil, chlorine and the warm park benches that surrounded the most magnificent pool. We spent every sunny day of the summer holidays there (it always seemed to be sunny) and had sun tans to rival those on the Costas !! I frequently tell my own children of my carefree childhood at New Brighton and only wish that they were able to experience it too. Every time I visit the Wirral, I always have to visit my old haunts and get my seaside fix. Anon
I visited New Brighton Aug 09 with my family, I have not been there since i was child and we were very impressed with how clean the beach was a rare thing these days, plenty of free parking unheard of in many places, the weather was the normal bank holiday grey cloud, not noticed by my kids who loved the many rock pools. It would be great if New Brighton had the help to bring it back to the way it was many years ago, making my mum very happy at least. We will be coming back soon, it makes a change to go to a seaside resort which is not tacky like some we could mention.   Anon
wow, what a trip down memory lane. I went to Maris Stella Convent & remember Tommy Manns railway & the swing boats. Also remember the film being made in New Brighton I think it was the Magnet. Also remember spending hour watching the wall of death. Vale park. I am now in the USA, a long way from New Brighton, but the memories are not so far away. My name was Mary Fairbrother in those days & my best friend was Mary Cottrell.
I used to live in the old New Brighton police station at No 1a Hope street back in the early sixties I was only between 4 and 6 years old . I believe it is a community centre nowadays I went to the old church school attached to St James church and have loads of memories from back then .Does anyone have any information on the old police station ? I would love to hear from you paul kirtlan @ live.co.uk Thanks

Q. Is this in America or is it in Brighton, England ?

A. It is neither, it is New Brighton on the Wirral next to the Port of Liverpool, North West England :-)

Born and raised in Egerton Street .Two addresses-same street! 1945 -1964 miss you all ..Yes I mean all of you - ebj111 @ sbcglobal.net
are there any plans to build a new pier ? walleyman
hi, i used to live in vaughan rd till 1970,just got home after 3 days in nb, promised my wife id show her the old place, what a shock, i know 40yrs is a long time, but what a change, prom is all different, new floral pavilion is a delight, but what about vicky rd? all the character has gone, even my old favourite weavers coffee bar is no more, vale park is even better, but what's all this talk of the marine lake development ?restore it to what it should be, a boating lake. my old place of work, apperleys garage in rowson st is unrecognisable, my aunts hotel the wellington in wellington rd is no more, the grand hotel on the prom is where'? its a disgusting tip now, a lovely prime location gone to a waste of space. its still a nice way to spend an afternoon walking from seacombe to nb, always was a lovely sea front, until you reach the site of the old baths, oh dear, has everyone lost interest? do hope not, patrick weston, pweston077 @ aol.com
 

 

 

I've just had a novel come out, set in New Brighton in 1964. It is called Box of Tricks. For anyone who remembers the old place I hope it brings back happy memories - and it's a good story! It's available from Amazon and from all good book shops. Jeff Phelps

 

I lived in New Brighton When i was a kid in the 60's,there was always something to do. Then money took over, if it didn't make money it went on fire, the clubs, the fairground, the tower. All the people that set New Brighton on fire in the 60's should be made to pay for it's rebuild, and not a bloody supermarket. Dave H
i was wondering if anyone remembered my grandad, william leyland also known as daredevil curly, he used to be a high diver that dived through rings of fire, just wondering if anyone knows anything about him since he died just as my dad was born. Anon
can you still crab on the marine lake in new brighton?. Anon
With CCTV and men in hi-vis jackets floating about your chances might be slim. Anon
crab fishing is a menace Anon
Too many people watching what everyone's doing :-) Anon
i used to love going to derby pool, bunking in through the sand dunes! it was pigging freezing no matter what time of year you went. new brighton pool - god, who didn't want to lie in the fountain under the clock? going in the water, bit by bit, was painful. i even remember the high boards. i remember standing on the top board and sheepishly crawling down when i couldn't jump! love to hear from anyone who went to egremont junior school circa 1966 -8  Anon
New Brighton, My Home Away From Home, Derek {Dublin}

The Wall of Death

Recent Video of Wall of Death Riders performing in Cornwall

 

My dad was a rider on the wall of death in the 50s and also played trumpet in the Tower. His name was Ken Maxfield and was also a class dart player, anybody remember him. Most of our family have moved away now, I live in Holland now but can never forget Vale Park the Guinness clock and fantastic summers on the beach with my uncle Gordie Ruscoe my mates Jonny and Ronny Parker Anon
Hi there My dad, Johnny Bates was a Wall of Death rider at New Brighton and if ever I smell castrol oil, I am taken right back there! Does anyone know what happened to Bill & Edna Miller or Jack Roche? I was very lucky to be part of that time. Sue
Hello Sue, Saw your article about the wall of death in New Brighton, My dad was Jack Roche, mostly, I remember Bill Miller. I spent a lot of time watching the riders, even though my mum banned me from doing so. I have some photos of dad, sadly he passed away in August 2004, he was 86 years young - my email if you want to make contact is - patritia @ ntlworld.com
Wall of Death Hi I read the comments about Johnny Bates , Jack Roche and Edna Miller and I am researching Wall riders, current and retired and have a wall tribute bike I am asking riders to sign. If you have any stories or pictures from New Brighton I would love to hear from you mrgiant @ talk21 .com, thanks Alan
Hi there, I wonder if you can help me? My father, Johnny Bates, was a wall of death rider on NB fairground in the 50's. He will be 85 this year, a most amazing person, and I would like to try and find anyone else (or a relative of) who was doing this at the same time. Dad often talks about those days and I myself remember watching him as a small child. I am sure he would love to hear from anyone with their own recollections, especially if they knew him. Look forward to hearing from you! Sue
Sue mentions the Wall of Death and her father Johnny Bates. My maternal grandad was Bill Miller, owner/rider of the Wall. I would love to get the chance to talk with her and her father about old NB. Please email sallyfunston @ msn.com I agree with everyone that NB needs development, but also that it shouldn't come in the form of a supermarket/petrol station on the front. It doesn't make any difference though...the planners will do what they like, and the people who live there....well, they can go whistle for all anyone will listen. I live in hope that I will see NB become what it used to be
Hello,my name is Paul Miller. With reference to The Wall of Death, Bill Miller was my paternal great uncle, and according to my mother, family legend has it that when the Americans first brought the wall to England, Billy and has lads were so enthralled that they broke in at dead of night, measured up every detail , and then built a replica on a farm, where Billy tauight himself to ride. Apparently he at some point took the wall to Russia and for reasons never discussed, was given 24 hours to get out of the country and not return! According to my mother, Billy taught a very young girl called "Dixie" to ride with him, although other details are lost in the mists of time. As a child in the 1960s, I remember Bill visiting our home in Queens Road, Whitley Bay on several occasions, and I well remember his wonderfully roguish air My Grandmother, Dorette Miller, apparently strongly disapproved Billy, which is why he always gravitated to our house when visiting. Apart from this, Billy Miller was part of my family about which I know little. Would anyone like to supplement my meagre knowledge.. if so, please e-mail me on fiddlypaul @ talktalk.net
Hi I was born in Seacombe in 1941.and remember New Brighton, well, we used to roller-skate along the Prom to New Brighton, then pay to roller skate on the rink in the fairgrounds, I also remember the fresh American doughnuts being made as you went into the indoor fair, you could watch them being made through the big glass window. My dad was also a life guard at Egremont beach, and at the New Brighton outdoor pool I have a photo of him and three other people there with there New Brighton pullovers on, I would like to put this photo on this site, and hope some one will recognise the other 3 people, how do you get photos on this site. AL Etherington----------Canada

Please send your photo attached to this email Cheers :-)

 
Hi See photo attached of 4 people, who worked a New Brighton Pool, My Dad is on the right (George Etherington), does any one know who the other 3 are. I would say that is was taken in the late 40's to early 50's thank you. Albert Etherington-----Canada
Staff at New Brighton Pool - late 40's, early 50's

 

This photograph is titled ' SEASIDE BELLES AT NEW-BRIGHTON-M99' I think it may be a proof of one used in the press at the time. The lady on the extreme right was my Grandmother on my father's side, her name was Kathleen Hunt nee Blake. Does anybody know who the others were or anything about it ? Denny Hunt
SEASIDE BELLES AT NEW-BRIGHTON

 

If you have a great photo from New Brighton past or present, send it in attached to this email Cheers :-)

 

I previously send a comment though it did not appear. This was regarding Tommy Mann, and the train which ran through the gorge behind the tower ground. Tommy Mann enterprises had a number of projects, and I lived in Dalmorton Road a few doors away from him, Tommy Snr was a mayor of New Brighton at one time I think , and I used to play on the train with his son young Tommy. This was around 1950, at that time I went to the old St Peter & Pauls School near Edgerton Street. The convent was Marie Stella, and I started at the junior school in early 40's. Brian Fielding
In reply to Brian Fielding who has posted on this site with reference to Tommy Mann at New Brighton in the 40s and 50s. He was my father who had the miniature railway and the children's amusement park on the Tower Promenade. He sold his business to his brother Charlie in around 1952 then took over the Marine Lake and had an interest in the Fort Perch Rock which he and his partner purchased at auction from the Crown circa. 1956. In 1960 the family moved to Southport and took over the Marine Lake there. In answer to Brian who I remember back in the 1950s my father was a member of the Wallasey Council, but was not the Mayor. He did however hold the office of Chairman of the council in Shaw were we once lived. My father passed away in Southport 1971 This site is very interesting and brings back many memories of happy days. tommy.mann @ tesco.net
does anyone know if there was ever a boating lake in edgerton street new brighton ? Anon
hi someone asked if there was a boating lake in Egerton Street New Brighton. Close, there was one on the beach at the bottom of Egerton Street just in front of the pier. I remember Donkey rides at the same spot and on Sundays a church group used to congregate and sing there, they would hand out song sheets with biblical quotes and had their own mobile organ. You can still see the remains of the boating/paddling pool now although it has silted up and holds little water as the back wall has deteriorated, full of crabs for crabbing fans. Anon
In response to was there ever a boating lake in Egerton Street, while Anon got it right about the boat pool on the beach there was a boating lake much nearer in the tower grounds by the Donkey track and the Lakeside Pub John Gilmore
I previously send a comment though it did not appear. This was regarding Tommy Mann, and the train which ran through the gorge behind the tower ground. Tommy Mann enterprises had a number of projects, and I lived in Dalmorton Road a few doors away from him, Tommy Snr was a mayor of New Brighton at one time I think , and I used to play on the train with his son young Tommy. This was around 1950, at that time I went to the old St Peter & Pauls School near edgerton Street. The convent was Marie Stella, and I started at the junior school in early 40's. Brian Fielding
I was in new brighton with my gran and grandad in 1969 we stayed b&b in a cafe across the road from the swimming pool also went to the swimming pool on my own everyday sometimes being the only swimmer there. I did love it there I was only 14 at the time but it stayed in my mind all these yrs. The night before our holiday ended frankie Vaughen was singing in an open air concert at what I took to be a bowling green not sure if that was right but it was definatly frankie vaughen. The lady who owned the cafe n b&b had to be a witness in court to a shooting or such other during our stay and I as a young girl thought that was romantic (too many films I watched) does anyone know of that at all xxx Anon

 

its well cwl im rose by the way Rose
hiya does anybody no when the grand in new brighton was built Anon
Does anyone know if we are definitely getting a new pier? I have heard nothing about it since the feasibility study was announced lat year. Is this another plan for New Brighton that has come to nothing? Thanks  Anon
How do I send you a photo ? Regards, Denny Hunt.

I have painted a picture of New Brighton promenade in the 1950s & 60s featuring Wilkie's Circus, the Palace Indoor Fairground, the Floral Pavilion Theatre & Gardens, New Brighton Pier and the Royal Iris ferry boat. Would you be interested in adding it to your New Brighton web site in which you have featured my story about the New Brighton Tower.

You can see Denny Hunts Picture here

Hi can anyone help I'm trying to find out if anyone remembers the midget village in New Brighton in the 1940's-1950's? as I'm trying to find out information on it with very little luck for an elderly relative as she remembers it as a child thanks ANON
I can answer the query about the "midget village", it was on the pavement outside Wilkies Circus where they had a few small houses with equally small furniture inside and children were aloud to enter and meet the midgets from the circus. I have a vivid recollection of walking in and being quite taken with a small attractive lady the same height as me who said hello and was very pleasant and quietly spoken. They were there to encourage people to come to the circus, particularly children. I did get to see the show incidentally, which was stopped part way through because a lion tamer was bitten during the act. Everybody was ushered out gasping and muttering in the excitement. Denny Hunt

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I was born 1949, loved New Brighton as a kid played in the golden sand by the fort ( no longer there )saw the groups in the tower, remember the boardwalk in vale park & the train that ran along side the prom, later went in the clubs (late Extra, Tudor, Penny farthing & did disco in Billy Blues "The Blue Anchor". Bring back the Pier & a Proper Fairground like the old tower, make New Brighton New Again somewhere to have a day out to remember. Dave H
Hi does anyone remember an Arthur Warton who ran the Hotel Victoria around 1900 - 1940 ish. He was a relative of ours. Mum can remember visiting from Crewe in about 1940. He had triplets - 2 boys and a girl. ANON
does anyone remember the convent girls school? or maybe a private convent school for boys and girls. my nan Margaret Stewart and her brother went there. Would be great to hear of anyone who also attended Anon

Absolutely fantastic to read memories of NB, grew up in Greasby and a trip to NB and the fair was a real highlight! Anon

Nice memories Anon
Nice to see Miss New Brighton making a come back at the very nice Tallulas Bar on Victoria Road Anon
I am from Liverpool and can still remember the floral clock, it fascinated me as it actually worked, I was about ten. I have recently started going back, my wife had a stroke/heart attack, she loves the place as there are no drunkards swearing ,kids fishing for crabs with mom. I think your lucky its not like Blackpool, hen nights, stack nights and foulmouthed yobs. New Brighton recommended to any one not relying on booze to enjoy a holiday, or take the kids for a cheap day out lolly Anon
I remember the tree at the bottom of Manor Lane on the prom. I was asked to go out with a guy who is now my husband of 36 years. It was a foggy night 14th February 197, how could I forget? We still live in Wallasey and miss that old tree!! B&D

My dad was a lifeguard for the outside pool in New Brighton, he first met my mum when she worked in the rock shop my dad is Alan Thorn my mum was named then Carolyn Bennett anyone have any photos or information please rewrite to me so grateful their daughter Michelle

Re Michelle's quote you said your dad worked in the out door New Brighton pool, if you look on the site again you will see that i have had a photo posted there with my dad George Etherington and three other people who I can not Identify, do you know any of them? regards Alert Etherington-------Canada

My Grandparents used to perform on New Brighton Pier ( so I am told) probably 1930's/1940's. My father said they were a song and dance act. Thomas Owen and Ruby. They may have had stage names, I really don't know but would be interested to hear from anyone who may remember. When I retire I shall do some serious research into my family History. JAD.

i love New Brighton jack xxxx

I remember being taken to the Zoo as a child in the early 1960's. I was fascinated by the Giant Sewer Rats, does anyone remember them? And what happened to the Zoo? Mark.

Hi this is an answer for Mark who was enquiring about the "Giant Sewer Rats" I do remember them well and like Mark I was also fascinated by them. They were in fact

Coypu which is a large rodent from South America. They are now being farmed in Europe and North America for their fur. If you look them up on the internet there are some very good pictures of them on the Wikipedia site and this should rekindle your memories of them. However they were not Giant Sewer Rats. I do not know what happened to the zoo, i remember that it was very smelly and the animals were poorly housed. I always felt particularly sorry for the lions. Wilkies Circus, which used to be on the site of the bowling alley had a menagerie, where the animals were much better cared for. I remember trying to stroke a lion cub through the bars and I was quite startled when it tried to go for me, it had looked so gentle and playful until I put my fingers in, however I managed to get them out before it could bite or scratch me. Hope this info on the "Rats" is helpful and the pictures on Wikipedia bring back memories of them for you. Kind regards. RH

I remember the coypu at the ''zoo'' and I remember the day it escaped. The poor creature ended up in the river near the pier being chased by all the ride attendants who had been roped in to try and capture it. Somebody in a rowing boat managed to bring it to the shore but I think the poor thing died shortly after.

I was a ride attendant in 1963 and worked on the chairlift that took people up to the roof of the Tower Ballroom, never knew why there was nothing up there except a cafe where you had a cup of tea when you presented your ride ticket. I can remember most of the rides other people mentioned, we sometimes got free goes on them, and I think we had cheap meals in the restaurant which was near the donkey run and , I think, the ''Rotor '' On this ride you stood in a circular cage which span round so quickly the centrifugal force flattened you against the wall of the ride. The bottom of the chairlift was near the entrance to the fair off the prom , near the Tivoli and the wooden roller coaster which was on the front overlooking the river.

I didn't see the wrestling at the Tower Ballroom but the ride attendants had to assemble the rink on the day before the matches; I can remember dragging the sections into the ballroom and putting them together. I can also remember cleaning the ballroom floor with large mops pushing sawdust soaked in paraffin across the wooden floors. I only did one season at the fair as a young lad of sixteen but by that time it was obvious the fair was in decline - nothing seemed to work very well and nobody seemed interested in improving anything but happy days for me. David W

I grew up in new brighton. Back then it was a great place to live loads to do for the kids. I lived right across the road from the crazy golf course and everyday would spend time in the Arcades and fun fair...Always seem to remember the smell of pop corn and candy floss...I went back after 10years and the place has change so much...I live In Morecambe Bay were it was once a great place to grow up also. Only now its full of crime and drugs...Its a shame. Anon
Bring back New Brighton. We are right near Liverpool a HUGE Tourist area. With Liverpool winning City of Culture we should be putting money into this area too. Tourists want to come across on the River Mersey its all part of the experience of visiting the Wirral. New Brighton isn't down in the dumps but a little money will bring people back over here and put the Wirral back on the map. Anon
i think New Brighton is a good day out for children but the fair is a bit awful so i think they should get a new fair there but the rest is great .x.x. beckiee .c. and jade .l. xxx
I thought the Magnet film was great. I have been wanting to see it for years now. I grew up in the early sixties when New Brighton was like that. I went to Vaughan Rd school and lived over the Co-op on Seabank Rd. I know live in Perth, Western Australia. I always go to New Brighton to have a look around on my trips back home to the Wirral. Its very sad what has happened to the place Anon

Do you know about the buried elephant in New Brighton ? Charlie

Re the elephant, when I was a kid in the fifties it was rumoured that an elephant was buried in the tower grounds. Went by the original name of Jumbo if I am not mistaken. New Brighton tower was bigger than Blackpool's but was neglected during the first world war and would have cost too much to put right so it was dismantled in the early twenties. It is a myth that it was pulled down during the war for the scrap metal as some people say. Anyone remember the slogan "New Brighton a wonderful place to alight on"? Bit naff in my humble but it was a long time ago. Alan New Brighton born and bred.

Does anybody have any info on New Brighton Tower I have been told it was bigger than Blackpool tower can you help with this question ? thanks Anon

This page is really good its brought back many memories !!!! thank you. Anon
For anyone looking for a bit of nostalgia try getting your hands on two films. "The Magnet" Made in 1950 in Wallasey and Liverpool. Lots of footage of New Brighton. "I Thank a Fool" filmed in 1962 with about three minutes of footage of the Tower fairground. I was there when they filmed the second one and the leading lady Susan Hayward (I think) gave me a hot dog because she overdid the red sauce. I have some lovely colour photo's of the tower fairground that I got from the guy who took them. I also have some cine film of the shore and area around the pier taken in the sixties that I had put on video. There are hundreds of things I could tell you about New Brighton. Working on the rides, local characters, shops, the baths. It was a great place to be a kid in the fifties and sixties. Anon

Thanks for mentioning "The Magnet", we found it. If you can get your video onto YouTube we would be willing to show it here. :-)

New Brighten was a great attraction in the 1920's and '30s. It was the heyday of it's time. But remember, people didn't have the money to travel far and wide as today, plus the fact that most young people have become sun worshipers--and how do you boast to your friends about were you went for your holidays "New Brighten", yeh, I'm sure!!! I agree however that it's a shame that what was once a chic place like New Brighten (and believe me it was) has now become a shadow of it's former self. The tower ballroom was great I had the pleasure in 1944 of being ask to play piano with the resident orchestra at that time. One of the memories that I hated was that around 1935 my mother loved to attend the afternoon tea dances at the Tivoli Gardens and she insisted I come with her--this way I was forced into dancing with her, due to a lack of partners----at nine years of age, man, did I hate that!!! Anon
Hi, I've just found this site,memories, memories! I lived in Vaughan Rd from 1959_1970, went to the old Vaughan Rd School. I remember the pier ferry landing stage where I used to take the ferry to Liverpool Stadium Friday nights to watch the wrestling. There used to be wrestling in the old tower ballroom on Saturday evenings. Does anyone remember the Mann brothers? Tommy used to run the boating lake in late 50s. Charlie had the steam railway on the prom, where at age 12, I was chief engine cleaner for my weekly pocket money, which I soon got rid of in the Palace fun fair. I'm 62 now, living in Falmouth Cornwall, but my memories of NB are still close to my heart, what is it about the place? Weavers coffee bar, where on Sunday evening in the 60s, we packed the place to the rafters, why? The Beatles were on the London Palladium live, the old Embassy night club in Vicky Rd! Musical Marie played piano non stop for seven days and nights. I've promised my wife Chris I shall bring her to visit the Gem of the North this summer, and I will. Patrick W
The Inviting Shore: Social History of New Brighton: 1830-1939
What's happened to Part 2 of The Inviting Shore. acostain @ btinternet.com
Good question - we did a search on part two but with no result. It must be in the pipe line at a wild guess y2u
I can remember the Empress Club on Vicky Road and spent many a happy Friday night in their. Being into rock music I can also remember not favouring the Chelsea Reach! Anon
Terrific site. Lovely memories. Keep it up Peter
I have lived in Wallasey for almost 20 years now (came over from Liverpool) though now living on my own. I now live in New Brighton on the front, I have the most beautiful view out to the Irish sea and across to Crosby etc, it doesn't matter if it rains, snows, we have gale force winds or beautiful sunshine I for one love it here! but just one point I have to make for those on the other side of the Mersey...it's New Brighton, Wallasey...NOT Birkenhead! there is a difference. Danny S
Love New Brighton! I live near Vale Park; but I can not believe they spent so much money of that hideous clown statue. It cost 35k, which could have been spent doing something more beneficial like renovating the old Chelsea, or Coasters! I totally agree! A supermarket and petrol station is not what we need on the sea front. I hope they don't try and change in to another Blackpool with it's noisy and annoying clubbing atmosphere Anon

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The Blackpool of Liverpool? Do me a lemon, mate. This place is the anti-Liverpool. Get yer facts straight. Anon
Anti-Liverpool get over yerself Anon
New Brighton anti Liverpool, I don't think so. A lot of people are talking nonsense Anon
OK its not exactly like Blackpool, but it has a funfair, the beach, a lighthouse and fort, its by the seaside and lots of people visit it for a day out AND lots of Scousers go there. Why you call New Brighton anti-Liverpool, beats me ?  Icarus at Y2U
I was really amused to read all the comments about New Brighten. I was born in Seacombe and my memories of NB start around 1930---the great outing for all the locals was to get there early so that they could collar a seat on the promenade preferably a bench with it's back to the Tivali Gardens then wait for all those Liverpool day trippers to come along--just like a parade. I can still hear the adults sitting with us talking about those people passing----"Liverpool people, they make such a mess of the place"!!. You know folks listening to some of you now doesn't sound that much different. NB was a great place---but remember it to fit the times and the conditions. People during the '30s and '40s had no money---but it's amazing how they enjoyed themselves. Nothing beats tearing others to pieces--so long as they don't hear you!!!. Cy M
New Brighton pre-dates Blackpool whose tower is a much smaller replica of the original New Brighton Tower which in it's day housed a magnificent ballroom, and a large circus built theatre style. The animals were housed outside the tower. The tower was dismantled and the metal used in the war effort and fell into disuse, it was however revived in the early sixties when the ballroom was the venue for many gigs by the new generation groups such as, The Beatles, Gerry and Pacemakers, Cilla, Jerry Lea Lewis -the list is endless, basically, think of a sixties group - they played the Tower. New Brighton also boasted TWO fairgrounds, a large outdoor fair in the grounds of the tower which had the country's first aerial cable car running from the promenade right up onto the roof of the tower. The second fairground was a smaller indoor fair further along the prom'. It also had miniature railway in the grounds that ran for part of its track alongside the promenade, and a Zoo. The zoo was the pilot for the present day Colwyn Bay Mountain Zoo - opened circa 1962 and still going strong. I have strong childhood memories of a mechanical elephant ( referred to as the 'clockwork elephant' because it was wound-up using something resembling a car starter handle. Does anyone else remember this ? It operated at Harrison Drive giving rides for children. FW at ic24

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very good, nice to see old memories coming back of such a lovely place Anon

I love England  Anon

The Tower Ballroom was sooo great we had such good times there 'Operation Big Beat' featured so many great groups and somehow everyone seemed happier in those days, we loved The Beatles and Gerry etc, but when they made it big and left it was very sad we knew they had left us FANS but hey ho life went on. New Brighton was a great place to live such an underestimated place. I, like many, have travelled far and wide but New Brighton is Brill. No matter where you go to live and work you can never forget this place. Good Luck but don't spoil this lovely place. Anon
New Brighton was and always will be the place of best memories, so many of us in the sixties will remember those magical times at the Tower Ball room, Beatles, Gerry, Rory Storm with Ringo! Great days everyone seemed happier. I moved from NB in the seventies but would move back tomorrow if I get the chance. I wonder where all of the Tower jivers are today and what we are all doing .Hope NB never loses its spirit, don't think it will, that glint is still there with Peter and Paul on the hill watching over it! ANON

I remember the Beatles playing at the Tower Ballroom (just after their return from Hamburg) ...they were really good but we didn't like to admit because they were from 'over the water'. Does anyone remember Lil's cafe? It was a coffee bar in Victoria Road - next to Woolworths? It used to be THE place in the early '60's!  I am thinking of coming back for a visit and wonder whether anyone can tell me whether the indoor fairground is still there? Or any fairground??

 

PS Have just returned from a brief visit to New Brighton this very morning (so my previous question re. the fairground has been answered). I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw Victoria Road!!!! - Diane

Hi In answer to Diane, I went to Vaughan Rd Junior School from 1947-1952. In my teens I regularly went to Lil's coffee bar, it was always the one with the most atmosphere and Lil was quite a character. I moved to Nottingham 9 years ago when I married my present wife and I am always so sad when I visit New Brighton, the place is dead and all I have left of it's vibrancy are my memories and numerous photographs of how it used to be. My dad used to sail on the river in yacht races and I used to go with him. We used to get on the river via the old landing stage and then row out from there to the yacht. Does anyone remember the floral clock in the Tower grounds, it was just along from the wall of death, also does anyone remember the illuminated animals that used to be in Vale park which would start off on the grass and then run up a tree as they lit up in sequence, there was a boardwalk through the trees to enable you to see them. There were three boating lakes, the one in the Tower grounds, the small one by the pier, which i once fell into in my Sunday best and of course the Marine Lake. I had my first drink in the Lakeside pub very naughty I was only 16. I also remember the big guns at the Red Noses, the charabanc that went from Victoria Rd to Harrison Drive and the American DUKS (landing craft) that you could go for a ride from the dips out into the river. If anyone remembers these things please let me know. RH

---New Brighton was ace in its day. shame what the bureaucrats done to it...hence Chelsea R

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I enjoyed your page a great deal & it brought a lot of lovely memories back to life for me & it was nice to talk through the photos with my granddaughters who have only seen the modern day NEW Brighton. Please lets see more photos of the late 50s & early 60s Anon

'Don't forget THE DIVER'! Does anyone remember about him? And the 'Late Extra' club where I used to play Jazz during the late 60's. I also played at the 'KRAAL'. GREAT DAYS. Peter T.

"Don't forget the diver"---the question, doesn't anyone remember about him?--deserves a comment. It is my understanding that after the first world war (WW1) an ex-serviceman with one leg was always seen on the pier at New Brighten diving off into deep water and then going around the sightseers collecting for this feat by saying "don't forget the diver sir, don't forget the diver". During the second world war the comedian Arthur Askey used that same character in his radio show. Let's also not forget the Pieros, for those of you that were not around, they were song and dance groups who would perform on a small stage on New Brighten Pier and other Piers around the country. Cy.M
Thanks for the info on The Diver. My dad has been talking about him for years but I thought he was making it up - a one legged diver - now I know he was right and he's thrilled to bits to know his memory hasn't failed him! Anon
"Donít Forget the Diver"  Memories of New Brighton from Norman

Cool Anon

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Isle of Man ferry from New Brighton Pier 1962

FW at ic24 needs to know that New Brighton did not predate Blackpool. Its tower was only started two years after Blackpool had opened, and was finished four years later. Both of them were modelled on the Eiffel Tower. New Brighton was about 50ft taller than Blackpool. Anon
New Brighton needs more sand. A new sand bay should replace the car park at Fort Perch Rock and the marine lake should be extended westwards. Funding would use the same £15 million grant applied for by the supermarket developers. Money would still be left over for the Floral Pavilion refurbishment. A supermarket will be a disaster. Anon
Build anything on the Marine lake site, and you are asking for trouble. If the water can flood the row of clubs on the promenade, and fill the dips. Planning knows best. Anon
I also live in New Brighton and agree that we have lost our pride. Either people want to relive the past which was great in its time but unfortunately that time has passed. New Brighton could once again be put on the map if the majority of people who lived there were actually interested. I would love to see a new improved marine lake, and better facilities but what i think would improve the place the most is if the locals respected their home and did not litter and would clean up after their dogs. Anon

howdy!!!! luving the pics just brill i am soo impressed  Anon

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I love New Brighton. Its a lively place on a hot august afternoon but also a lovely escape from the city on a blustery March day too, I love to get fish and chips and wander along the front (note i am actually only 21 not 71) I was wondering if anyone could tell me what the weird rows of cement block things are that you can see in the mouth of the river when the tide is out. Anon

in answer to your question about the weird concrete things you can see when the tide is out they are breakers put there to change the current so the sand comes back and stays back Griff

I think its important to remember that New Brighton has always moved with the times and maybe the slump in care over the last 'few' years will give rise to the new up to date New Brighton.

Living there, listening to the 'discussion' if there should be development when there are no jobs, no future for the young, and no prospect of returning New Brighton to the 'glory' of it's heyday it is at the moment unloved unkempt and forgotten. I think that anything is better than what isn't there at the moment.

Blackpool has rock, Formby has squirrels, we have views of an urban and industrial landscape, not that there is anything wrong in that. New Brighton has lost her pride and lastly the marine lake is MANMADE!!! and full of litter, its filling up with sand nicely and the longer this 'discussion' goes on the less likely the developers will have to 'fill' the marine lake up. Anon

Well New Brighton is nice at the moment but right now in mid Feb. it very very cold. Anon

New Brighton Kite Festival 2005

Look out for the flying lobster

Movie Video Film Clip

 

Videos of the Kite Festival at New Brighton are on Google Video for 2004, 2005 and 2006.  Here are the URL's if you are interested: 2004 - 2006 - Regards - Mike Lewis

New Brighton needs some serious rejuvenation. It used to be a attraction, a place to have a day out. Currently it has declined to a "pleasureland" cheap arcade type place, where (no offence) people from rough council estates visit to gamble in 2p machines, and scowl at everyone who looks at them. No joke their are 2p machines) Absolutely ANY rejuvenation would benefit New Brighton, I am astounded if anyone objects. Other than sentimental value, who travels to New Brighton from far and wide? No one. Sadly, New Brighton is no longer a genuine tourist attraction. Anon

Don't think New Brighton will ever be a top national or for that matter international tourist destination, having tourists up from London with Yankee and Japanese accents would spoil the uniqueness of New Brighton. It is more a destination for local people from whatever social position, who come from the Wirral and Merseyside. I could be accused of living in the past and being sentimental, but New Brighton really is special. What I fear is an invasion of 'ASDA/TESCO' architecture with the bland commercialising that comes with it. If there have to be major changes they should done sensitively. Icarus at Y2U

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New Brighton Lighthouse looking over the Mersey to Liverpool Docks

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