We’ve had an incredible start to this project and want to thank the 100s of you who have contributed so far. We have too many highlights to list here, but it’s been such a positive experience for us to work with you all to help uncover the working class history here in Birkenhead.
Whats next in the new year?
Archive visits - we will be connecting with Wirral library and other local archives to dig deeper into your stories and continue to uncover the working class history of our town. Creative workshops - we will be bringing in artists to work with you to think about how we can communicate our uncovered history. Sessions will be advertised and promoted. Our Event in the Spring which will be asking the question of whats next for the project and how we all collectively continue to tell our story because Birkenhead has a huge one to tell.
We’ve also met with a number of other organisations about more groups - if you run a group or are in one get in touch as we’d love to meet with you. Along with that we have also met with our local MP’s Mick Whitley and Alison McGovern, and local culture and heritage councilors about further supporting this project. As we have updates on this we will let you all know!
Thanks, have a great Festive period and new year!
P.s. if stories come up over the festive period we’d love it if you could jot them down and send them in.
Below are some prompts to get you talking!
On the 12th December we head to Spider Projects, Campeneros to host a group with members there. Campeneros is a crisis café and safe space in the heart of Birkenhead for people who are struggling with emotional and psychological distress.
We sat down and had a conversation with a small group, the conversation spanned, local travel, subculture, alternative venues, workplaces and demolished and relocated communities and how to get free entry to the hotel california.
Here are some of the memories and stories that came up across the sessions, some are taken from not format so they are a little short.
Your name: Nicholas Evans (Volunteer)
Location of memory: Birkenhead Town Hall
Date/ Era of memory: 2018
Your story or History: Tranmere Rovers winning the play-off finals at wembley. The players went to the beach/ cool rooms after they got off the coach with all the supporters. The next day there was a massive celebration in Hamilton Square at Birkenhead Town Hall.
Your name: Adele
Location of memory: Cali / Hotel California
Date/ Era of memory: 2009 - 2012
Your story or History: Just loads of memories of my older mates used to sneak me in to the ‘club’ area. Was such a good laugh and was so busy - felt like a Liverpool bar. Can not imagine anywhere being so busy now.
Your name: not given
Location of memory: Harveys
Date/ Era of memory: 2000s - 2004
Your story or History: Harvey’s was night club for teens/ underaged. It was always packed and loud. There was another called Hex which was aimed at alternative teens
Location: North End
Your story or history:
There has been loads of regeneration across the history of the area and i dont always trust it. There used to be a community in the flats up near the park, the flats were wonderful but cheaply built and most got knocked down.
But there is still a row of shops that resemble a small high street that used to serve the community in this area.
But there is still the post box there that seems to have survived and seen all of these changes.
We would love to say a massive thanks to Adele from Spider project for facilitating and getting involved with the group, and thanks to the participants for chatting with us and sharing their stories. This session seems to have the most modern history focusing on late teens across the early and mid 2000s. If anyone has any memories of early and mid 2000s youth, nightlife and community please get in contact and share this with us.
On the 10th December Andy, Ryan and Les, braved the cold at Birkenhead Market to hear your memories of Birkenhead. We had a really warm response from the market on the day. Thanks to Memory Lane Fairs for bringing us into this event!
Please get in contact if you have any memories to share about the market and its history. We really would love to hear them!
Here are some of the stories shared with us across the day:
Your name: Gaynor
Location of memory: Birkenhead Market
Date/ Era of memory: 1975
Your story or History: I started a Saturday job at 13yrs old in the ice cream van in the old market. Selling hotdogs, burgers and ice cream. Moved to the new market to a stall outside Tony’s. The market was buzzing. All my friends met in the market. Most of us had Saturday jobs.
In the evenings we’d go to the Prenton Youth club disco. This no longer in existence. It was the heart of Prenton. Pre 1976 disco and rock ruled till punk and new wave exploded. Great times.
Your name: Chris
Location of memory: Birkenhead School
Date/ Era of memory: Mid-2000’s
Your story or History: In 2000’s our nice but rundown Primary School went to Birkenhead School for a Science fair to attract young people to the sciences. We jumped on the coach for the short journey, all a bit giddy and regularly being told to be quiet.
We arrived at the school and lined up against the wall to be counted. As we walked in it struck me that there facilities vastly outclassed us; cricket field, pavilion, a whole science block, the works. Us and them.
We then saw the Birkenhead students and started hysterically laughing - we saw there straw hats, shorts and long socks. We got back on the coach thankful we didn’t look like them.
Your name: Terry (Teresa)
Location of memory: Priory building Flats
Date/ Era of memory: 1960’s
Your story or History: Fighting and rivalry with Abbey building and Priory buildings. The flats were knocked down and the community all had to move on, i moved to Rock Ferry. I hated it here as it broke up our community.
They had to dynamite the flats to demolish them and they took some knocking down. I’ve now lost touch with the people i knew then.
I also used to go to the ABC cinema on saturday mornings. 6p (tanner) - pictures, chips and sweets and youd still have change!
Your name: Brian
Location of memory: Derby Road, Birkenhead,
Date/ Era of memory: 1940’s - 1960’s
Your story or History: I remember young teenage years, drinking in the local pups. Gigs used to happen at the Alexender pub on Derby road. I was a band called Zingaro. Which was Neo Soul Acid jazz.
Birkenhead was a pretty dark place in the 80’s with massive culture of drugs and violence.
If any of these stories have brought up any memories please get in contact and share your histories with us.
We would also like to say a massive thanks to volunteer Les who braved the cold across the day and had some really great chats with the people in the market.