Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Arrowe Park in the Autumn



Monday, 9 November 2009

Visit Wirral

I’ve lived on The Wirral for 5 years now and only just discovered a brilliant website – Visit Wirral. It has the latest news, places to go and a comprehensive ‘What’s On’ page which if you search (leaving the dates untouched) it brings up a remarkable variety of events taking place in the area. Well done Wirral Council for a super website.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Arrowe Hall - Wirral

In 1807, Liverpool shipowner and slave trader John Shaw bought Arrowe House Farm and the surrounding land. On his death in 1829 it came into the ownership of his nephew, John Ralph Nicholson Shaw, who built Arrowe Hall, a Grade II listed mansion built in the Elizabethan style, in 1835 and had the grounds landscaped to form a country estate, with parkland, a lake and workers' cottages.

The Hall was extended on several occasions in the later 19th century. The property was handed down to Captain Otho Shaw, a world traveller and collector, who housed numerous items there. Arrowe Hall and Park were acquired by Lord Leverhulme in 1908, who subsequently sold the estate to Birkenhead Corporation in 1926. The building was sold by the local council in 1997 and now houses a private care centre.

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Bidston Mill - Wirral

Another photo of Bidston Mill - this time it is from the later 1960s.

Tuesday, 3 November 2009

House Clearances - Oxton, Wirral

This chap is going up in the world...

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Honey Pot Cottage, Heswall - Wirral

This lovely house with its equally delightful name is on Telegraph Road, Heswall. I don't know how old this row of cottages is but the present owners of Honey Pot Cottage obviously look after it.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

Bidston Mill - Wirral

This is a black and white photo I took of the Mill on Bidston Hill in the early 1960s.

This brick built tower mill replaced a wooden 'peg' mill that was destroyed by fire in 1793, and was used to grind corn into flour for 75 years up until 1875. Although access was difficult for a horse and cart laden with sacks of grain or flour the top of the hill was the ideal place to catch the wind. In fact, it is believed that there has been a windmill on this site since 1596.

In this style of windmill the top or 'cap' could be turned so that the sails would face the wind, from whichever direction it was blowing. You can still see the large wooden chain-wheel which was used to slowly turn the roof around by a rack and gear system. The last miller to work in the mill was a Mr. Youds. Fortunately he did not meet the same fate as one of his predecessors. In those days there were two doors on opposite sides of the mill. As the sails could face any direction, and came close to the ground there were times when one door could not be used. The miller must have forgotten the position of the sails and he used the wrong door, was struck by the heavy wooden sail and killed.

With the introduction of steam powered mills, windmills felt into disuse. During the 1890's Bidston Hill was purchased from Lord Vyner for public use and in 1894 a Mr. R.S. Hudson paid for Bidston Windmill to be restored. Further work has been carried out over the years, most recently by the present custodians Wirral Council.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

The Cherry Orchard – Arrowe Park – Wirral

The Cherry Orchard pub and restaurant stands at the entrance to Arrowe Park and is surrounded by beautiful trees of every description, including, of course, some cherry trees.

One October day I took advantage of a few minutes stop there to take in the beauty of the leaves on the cherry trees. Their colours ranged from green through yellow to deep reds.

Sunday, 4 October 2009

Sweet Shop - Heswall - Wirral

Sadly the sweet shop in Heswall is now only a memory...

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Hilbre Island – Wirral

Middle Eye and the town of West Kirby from Hilbre Island.

The Wirral Peninsula has three islands just off-shore - Little Eye, Middle Eye and Hilbre Island. In the late 1970s I walked out to the islands at low tide and watched the wading birds on its shores and the seals swimming in the sea around it.

The above photos show various Plovers, Knot, and Dunlin.

A Dunlin on the red sandstone rocks of Hilbre Island.

The Hilbre (pronounced HILL-bree) Islands Local Nature Reserve is contained within the Dee Estuary on the north west coast of England. The Dee Estuary is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, a Special Protection Area, a Ramsar Site which is a Wetland of International Importance and a candidate EU Special Area of Conservation. The three tidal islands, Little Eye, Middle Eye and Hilbre Island and the surrounding foreshores, are the freehold property of, and managed by, the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral.

Middle Eye and the town of West Kirby from Hilbre Island.

Hilbre Island is approximately 47,000 square metres in area, and lies about 1.6 km from Red Rocks, the nearest part of the mainland of the Wirral Peninsula. The island's name derives from the dedication of the medieval chapel which was built on the island to St. Hildeburgh, an Anglo-Saxon holy woman, after which it became known as Hildeburgheye or Hildeburgh's island . The other two islands are called Middle Eye (or in older sources Middle Island), which is about 12,000 m² in size and Little Eye, which is considerably smaller. All three islands are formed of red Bunter sandstone. The main island and Middle Eye are several hundred yards apart with Little Eye being nearly 1 mile away from the main island.

The islands are tidal and can be reached on foot from the mainland at low tide. This is a popular activity with tourists, especially during the summer months. Until the end of the 1970s, there was a route from Red Rocks in Hoylake, but this has now been closed because of the danger of being caught by the tide and visitors are advised to set out from the town of West Kirby. Little Eye and Middle Eye are both unpopulated, but Hilbre Island has a few houses, some of which are privately owned, and some where the warden of the islands lives. There is a small 10 foot high solar-powered lighthouse on the islands now operated by Trinity House.

Middle Eye and the town of West Kirby from Hilbre Island.