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Topic: Bidston Hill

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Bidston Hill


My memories of Bidston Hill date back to about 1955 when I was seven. They include:-

  • The shop attached to the house just down from the observatory where an old man with collarless shirt and braces sold pop, crisps, ice cream etc. you could sit on the rock facing the little shop 'window' and look down towards Liverpool and the Mersey.
  • Sitting in the fork of an oak tree opposite the shop and taking a picture towards Liverpool with my new 5/- camera from Woolies.
  • The Pine Woods where you could head over the bridge from the windmill, through a stone wall and down to the right towards Tam O'Shanters Cottage
  • Racing my Dad when I was about 8 along the fat grassy bit through the Pine Woods near Boundary Road.
  • The smell of the Pine Woods on a hot day!
  • The house at the top of Boundary Road - just a few yards onto the hill - where Nancy Night lived (a friend of mum's who used to bring ginger root to make ginger beer)
  • The cannon in front of the observatory and the water fountain on the hill itself over the wall.
  • The woods leading down to Eleanor Road - great for throwing sticks for the dog to chase downhill through the leaves.
  • The Tweed Shop in Bidston Village - open on a sunday - a kind of grocers with wooden floor, counter and a door on the left as you approached it. A tea room to the right facing the main building.
  • The green painted bridge over Viner Road and steps down to the road.
  • Later, age 16, doing a paper round on bicycle from Jacks Newsagents in Claughton Village that included most of Bidston Hill (especially Eleanor Road with long drives and at least two Sunday papers¬†per house!)
  • Celebrating New Years Eve on Bidston Hill at midnight when aged 20 with mates home from Uni.
  • The Rhododendron Gardens ('Rods') on Hoylake Road.
  • My sister visiting 'Auntie Gladys' in School Lane, Bidston, after winning a Birkenhead News competition¬†
  • Helping my grandad sometimes when he was verger/gardener at St Oswald's Church. Him going to the church on Saturday nights to light the coal boilers for Sunday services (after going to 'The Bidston' for a pint or two and him getting told off for getting coal dust on his clean white collar!)
  • Our dog barking at the vicar when he walked down our path to book my grandad for a hatch, match or despatch.
  • Cross-country runs over the hill from school.
  • Carving my initials (JP - sad?!) about 50 yards from the observatory.
  • Walking through Bidston Village, past Bidston Hall, and over The Seven Fields (where the estate is now). First field on the right was great for horse mushrooms, blackberries and with a pond for the dog to swim before rolling in horse muck!
  • Fond memories. Dedicated to others who may share the joy.

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I have to return to Claughton and area. When my sister and I visited from Toronto, Canada
5 years ago we had no time to go to Bidston Hill. Our grandfather Jack Ledsham and his grandmother Agnes Ledsham once lived in Claughton, on Mona Street. We did go there. They must have known Bidston Hill well. Ancestors go a long way back on the Wirral, in Irby, Woodchurch, Saughall Massie, Oxton, Bidston mainly. The area really intrigues me.

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