On the 1st of December Andy and Ryan headed to a Pub of National Historic Significance, The Stork Hotel on Price Street near Hamilton Square to host a history night. It was a brilliant night that saw people from the local community come and speak about their history and memories of Birkenhead.
Our group took turns to speak in an informal social where took a recording of the conversation to refer back to.
Stories from the evening spanned night life, work, Shafts youth club, fish and chip shops, antiques. One of the group also brought along an old police log book and some della robbia.
Here is a snapshot of some of the memories contributed to our ever growing map:
Name: Bev Wilkinson
Location of memory: Grange Road
Date/ Era of memory: 1963
Your story or history: Working in British Home Stores next to Woolworths and Marks and Spencer. At time Grange Road used to be the main road with cars up and down. Very busy with many sailors coming from the docks to buy xmas presents of gloves, socks etc by the hundred for all the relatives back home. Going for lunch in the Garrick Snug at the side of Co-op (now TK MAXX). Three doors down was Burton Shop which had a club upstairs with bands like the Mersey Beat. (Craftsman Club).
“Name: Frank McLaughlin
Location of memory: The Stork
Date/ Era of memory: Tonight (01.12.22)
Your story or history: Fantastic night made a lot of new friends and can’t wait for the next time. Got loads of stories of our little town to tell.”
Name: Emma Harris
Location of memory: Birkenhead Central Roundabout
Date/ Era of memory: 2003-05
Your story or history: Goth Subculture, alternative kids. Teenagers would hang out every Sunday from 10AM to 5PM having fun, eating, drinking, playing music and causing trouble.
Name: Jen Pugh
Location of memory: Birkenhead Docks (Seacombe, water st clinic, field rd clinic and liscard clinic).
Date/ Era of memory: 1989 - early 90s
Your story or history: Health Visitor in this area, many of the single Mums named babies after the name of the “ship” the Dad came off. Often Russian, named children, exotic and unusual names.
Name: Jen Pugh
Location of memory: Tranmere/ Cammell Laird
Date/ Era of memory: 1920’s - 40’s
Your story or history: My Great Great Grandad was a ‘Foreman Ganger’ in Cammell-Lairds. The dock yard fell on hard times unsure of the exact dates, he moved all his family to South Wales Valley’s to help build reservoirs. These were Ponsticill Reservoirs in Wales.
Name: Steve Lane
Location of memory: Wallasey
Date/ Era of memory: 1980’s - 2010’s
Your story or history: School teacher in Wallasey for 30 years originally from Liverpool. Came to teach Maths at local boys school in Wallasey. Know that area very well, Been involved in sport, used to play football at the oldershaw in wallasey - so part of the community for 30 years and now happily retired.
We are still processing 3 hours of dialogue we recorded too, so watch this space in the new year for more stories from our night at the Stork.
The land lady Michelle deserves big thanks too. For not only hosting us but putting on food for everyone. Its a brilliant place with so much to offer. We can’t wait to go back again soon.