Saving Ron’s Place Mapping Session

We took part in Saving Ron’s Place event at the end of September to speak with the public about their memories of Birkenhead. This was a brilliant event to help support and save Ron’s Place in Oxton. On the day we spoke to local people about what memories they had of Birkenhead with the market playing a key part in peoples recent and family memory.  

Thomas shields 

Universal lighting


First job out of school-worked for a lighting retailer on wirral. Traveled everyday from crosby (1 hour). 



Birkenhead Market 


Used to go to the market and get a toy car with my nan. Then we’d go on the ferry. 


Evelyn liddie

Birkenhead market 


I lived in liverpool from the above dates. I remember coming over to Birkenhead market with my mother to buy ……..,  fabrics dresses etc. Probably came over on the ferry. 



New brighton 

Mid 2000’s 

Eating walm sugar doughnuts by the beach. 

Making sandcastles and going ‘fishing’ in the rock pools 

The first time i paddled barfoot in the sea


Martin Pin

Grange road, Birkenhead

March 1980 

The co-op department store (now tk-max) was one of my regular haunts. There was also (surprise, surprise) a vinyl records section here as well, plus a model railway section where I would ogle at and long to have in my ownership some extra bits for my hornby hst train set. It was expensive even back then about £4-£5 for some accessories. I would often visit the co-op each time I was in Birkenhead to see what new model trains accessories were in stock. The store was always busy then. It seemed like a totally different era then. 



Birkenhead industrial estate: (by adams and russell) 


My grandad had a depot for selling meat here. Apparently the person running it did a bad job and they had to close. 

Martin Pin 

Market street. Birkenhead 


I was 9 years old at the time, Birkenhead market burning down in 1974. Really upset about this cos me and my younger sister + me mum used to always do our shopping there. A record shop called Phoenix Records, used to always get my ex jukebox singles for 30 pence. I remember being distraught that the shop had moved + the only place left was selling singles at 60p (double what i could afford). Market street was also buzzing at the time with another record shop (ROX) catering to my vinyl obsession even at that young age!!!


Kirsty styles 



My great auntie pat lived in bidston and i would ride my bike through the wirral to visit her. She loved family history and called my grandma and “pioneer’ because she was one of the first people to get access to “the pill” meaning they were able to limit the number of children they had, she helped other people get it before she died aged 52. Pat died during the pandemic- she had a stroke at home and i wasn’t able to see her in hospital. She was moved to a nursing home just near her old flat - i want to see her and talked to her about our plans to go back to central library to look for more family secrets. I now have her “ban the bomb” ring on my thumb. 

A rad moman her ashes are scattered with my nans.

Martin Pin 

Birkenhead: st werburgh’s square, grange precinct. 

1980-81 (post xmas) 

Being a teen who was obsessed with music, i got heavily into the Ska `Revival 2-tone ‘scene’ of the 1979-1980. For me it was more important than punk a couple of year earlier. I was a glam rock fan in the early 1970’s, a soul/funk obsessive in the mid 1970s, but then the 2-tone/ska/mod/skindhead fashions of the period 1979-1980 really made me want to be a part of a new youth subculture! I was especially smitten with the style/fashions of this 2 tone era. I wa always envious of the schoolkids at my school who had the “clobber’ which (PTO) i longed to have! Crombies, two tone suits, Sta-prest trousers + above all doc martens boots/shoes. My abiding memory of Birkenhead shopping centre was finally managing to get myself my first pair of doc martens in early 1981- fro the famous army + navy stores in st werbergh;s square (this is now an empty shop unit opposite the Pound bakery!) There were TWO branches of the FA+N stores (the other was on grand road, which is now funnily enough ANOTHER branch of pound bakery today !!) In birkenhead. Needless to say i was really thrilled to get my first pair of Dr Martens shoes from the army store. They only cost £12.99 a pair back then (think of how much they cost now!!!)- and this sent me on my way to looking like a ‘proper’ Ska/2-toen kid. It incredible to think that this was already 42 years ago and how some memories like this never leave you!! They were happy day when i was a teen. 


Bidston Hill 


I was a girl guide and we invited a group of ‘poorer’ children to a picnic to bidston hill. We took enough food for 2 people to share. 


Birkenhead Market 


Sometime in 2019 I decided to turn up at Birkenhead market because i had heard of Convenience Gallery. I fell in love with Andy and Ryan and had a solo show at the market soon after, Ryan moved in with me and my husband for a year and now we are family. Birkenhead gave me friends, love and family. 

Convenience Summer Fair Mapping

On the 20th August 2022, we began our mapping work with the local community at our 3rd Birthday. This was a brilliant first point to engage with local people to hear their stories of the area from Birkenhead and Beyond! Here are the first parts of that history told by you and your memories of place: 

1.New brighton: Wirral show 

2. New brighton: New Brighton baths, outdoor pool- visiting from liverpool, day out at the lido. 

3. Vale park: Going to vale park in the school holidays and performing on the joytime stage trying to be the best act of the week to get a spot at the grand finale at the floral. 

4. New Brighton: we miss the tower, but at least there is a skate park there now. 

5. New brighton: early 1960s (agdes) arriving on the ferry’s from liverpool - for day at the the sea side (new brighton) Thousands of people on the boats. 

6. Birkenhead: Ferry from pier head to woodside with my grandmother, loved the experience + the noise of the gang planks 

7. Wallasey / Bidston moss: Played my first football game here when i was 10, i got lost before finding the pitch behind tesco. 

8. Bidston: I used to get a train from wales into bidston and then Liverpool for uni. I miss sitting at the train station and reading my book. Something very beautiful and a peaceful memory for me. 

9. Remembering there was NO motorway. Oxton rural area. 

10. Birkenhead/Market: from vauxhall Liverpool, visiting birkenhead market. Before Pizza’s were fashionable getting pizza bases from the market to make our own pizza’s! 

11. River Mersey: Merchant seamen coming home from tours of america’s. Always stood on the deck as the ship entered the river to view birkenhead//liverpool “we are Home” 

12. Tranmere: First moved here in 1985 and worked @ the glenda jackson theater” on borough road for over 10 years. So many happy memories of the wirral youth  and the production and projects we did. All the young people and their families getting to know them mead me feel instantly welcome and now nearly 40 years later this is my home. 

13. Hamilton square: My Grandad John atherton Born 1934 took shelter from the world war 2 bombs over Mersesyide in hamilton square train station _ claire henderson. 

14. Claughton road/Birkenhead park: had many lovely pasty in herst, 10 on 10. 

15. Lower Tranmere - Alan Houghton: Queens mother Launching the “windsor castle” Alan was in the Guard of Honour “1958” 

16. Rock ferry: Born 1940- mother said the war started because i was born. Brought up for the first 5 years of life in a bomb shelter. 

17. Woodchurch: The asda used to be a massive co-op 

18. Egerton Park:  I moved house and i have a lovely big garden and a big tree house. 

19. Noctrum: Rauk Hovis, spavtc centre - (bullied) townfield lane won a goldfish and it died a day later. ????

20. Birkenhead Market:The birth of convenience gallery and where i met the sound lads that made it happen. BIG UP BIRKO. 

21, Oxton: Rons place a little bit of ancient rome, egypt + Greece (etc) in oxton. Saveronsplace 

22. Holm lane: moving to a little flat on holm lane with my mum + brother. Spending most friday nights around Waterpark poad or the ARNO. “the Quickie”- quicksave slushies + pick n mix riding bakes around the dirt track.

Introduction to the Project

Convenience Gallery is delighted to be working with Historic England to uncover the working class histories of Birkenhead. This is part of Historic England’s Everyday Heritage Grants: Celebrating Working Class Histories. A new grant scheme was launched by Historic England earlier this year to support community-led projects and further the nation’s collective understanding of the past.

Working with the local community, this project will undertake research, workshops, share stories and hold a community event to recognise Birkenhead’s working class history. The town’s rich heritage includes Lairds Shipyards, Birkenhead Market, Birkenhead Park, The Laird School of Art, Mersey Ferries, Birkenhead Priory and Tranmere Rovers FC. The project will ensure that everyone involved has shaped the work to demonstrate a place where ordinary people work and live.

Andrew Shaw, Convenience Gallery Director, said: “Receiving the award for this project is a massive honour. We’re excited and proud to work with local people to explore and tell the working class histories of the town. Birkenhead is home to the first municipal park in the world, pubs of historic significance, the first art school outside London, the shipyards and so much more. Our whole ethos as a community interest company is about making accessible ways for people to come together through arts and culture. We can’t wait to get started.”

If you are interested in contributing to this project please fill in the form on the site. The first stage of this project will be focussed on research. We want people to share their personal stories with us to help build up a big picture. This first stage will inform community events and workshops further in the project. 

The first public facing point to get involved will be on the 20th August at our Summer Arts Festival Event. You can register free tickets for that event here:

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