I got an email from John in Thailand on 11 May 2005: I guess I'm a little bit younger than you, but I grew up in Worcester Road - right next to the Hill - in the '50s / '60s, was a choirboy at the church up to '65, then went off to Birkenhead School. So my whole young life was spent on or around the Hill. Because of the various 'extensions' - Noctorum Lane, the Wirral Ladies' golf course etc- you could actually walk from Bidston Village almost all the way to Birkenhead School without ever really leaving the woodlands - a remarkable fact in one of England's more brutal urban environments. Incidentally, part of the church is older than you suggest - there's a carving above the tower door which dates it to the 14th Century, if I remember correctly. It has the 'three legs of man' on it (the Isle of Man crest, I mean) - no idea why! Mind you, it was almost unreadable in the '60s, so I doubt if there's much left. If you get a chance, go up the tower. There's a flat roof, and the view gives you a totally different take on the landscape - you can suddenly see how Bidston was once part of a sandy marshland stretching out to the Moreton shore. It gives added meaning to the tales I heard when I was a kid about the smugglers of Bidston - the old farm on the corner, opposite the church, was supposed to have been a smugglers' inn, if I remember the stories correctly. I too remember the village shop, which seemed totally unreal even at the time. It reminded me of stuff like Enid Blyton, which seemed about as far away from life on a '60s Merseyside council estate as Kathmandu. But there it was. We used to buy sweets there before choir practice. I remember that the shop actually had saddles for sale, above the counter (could I be dreaming this? There certainly were horses in the stables just behind the shop). Incidentally, I also remember watching the farmers harvesting wheat in the fields past the church - next to that very humped-back bridge over the railway line. Do you remember the 'seven stiles' walk? You could go from opposite the church (past the war memorial), all the way to Upton, which was (C. '64) entirely 'modern', but still fairly limited in size. There weren't actually seven stiles, but the walk was astonishingly rural with ponds, fox holes etc. I suppose that's where they put the M62. Incidentally, one of my other significant memories - which you might find a bit strange - is the men's toilet next to the lighthouse. It was still open, but entirely unattended. The slate interior was evidently a perfect medium for name carving, and there were some beautifully carved names dating from the 1870s. Seemed wonderfully remote in time back then. I'm now seriously ex pat - teaching at a University in Thailand. Haven't lived in Birkenhead since the early seventies. John. (I think the "bridal path" sign is still there by the war memorial john!)
The citation you provided from our Pennsylvania Magazine of History and Biography, v.88 p. 137 is contained within an article by W.L.F. Nuttall, entitled Governor John Blackwell: His Life in England and Ireland.” Concerning Bidston Hall, it states the following: Lord Kingston generously lent use of Bidston Hall to John Blackwell to avoid the plague in London. From a question by me to the following regarding the mention of Bidston Hall in a web reference:
Director of Research Services
The Historical Society of Pennsylvania
1300 Locust St.
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Genevieve Wilkinson is one of those Friends of Bidston, a real live person who wants to preserve the best of the past for those in the future. She used to pass information onto me now and then, keeping me up to date with what she and her kind are trying to achieve. Here is an email dated 30th December 2005 from Genevieve:
I've got some good news you might like to here, the Windmill is getting a new roof in a few months and then we'll be fixing the floor boards and putting in a state of the art educational resource (as long as we can work out how to do it without any damage). We're actually doing a lot to the hill at the moment including trying to restore the views and direction finder, we've had a campaign in the local press appealing for information and we did get one of the rejects turning up but we can't find the one taken off the hill sometime in the 60's, do you remember it? If so can you give me any info or even have you got a picture? It doesn't matter if you don't because like I say we do have a half completed reject so we can make one up from that.
January 2005: I received the following email from Ricky Cooper.
I am tracing my Trueman ancestors, and came across a court case between a Poacher and a Bailiff. The Poacher was called Nicholas Miller, henchman to Edward Ravenscroft who came from Prenton. The Bailiff was employed by Lady Margaret, Countess of Derby, to look after her Bidston Estates. Edward Trewman (Trueman, Truman).was called upon to assist in the apprehension of the Poacher, by the Bailiff William Fells.Thomas Newton and the local constable Richard Taylor also assisted. The offence took place in August 1595. Fisticuffs and weapons were used culminating in the arrest of the Poacher. Presumably the taking of deer was the root cause of all this. I found the written complaint to the court by the Poacher through Edward Ravenscroft, and the defendants reply in the flowery language of the time to be very amusing.
I was intrigued by the Isle of Man symbol on Bidston church tower. My Mother was Manx and I have already traced her tree back to the 1600s. Imagine my surprise when I traced my 'Cooper' line back to Burton and came across the same information in 'The Manx Notebooks' The Bishop of Sodor and Man, Nathaniel Wilson, lived in Burton and his house is still there.
Addition to above email: June 2012
I believe that the Truemans were evicted from their farm in Bidston due to the "Triple Death" clause on their Tenancy agreement. This worked as follows :--
1. Three senior members of the Family were put forward to keep the Tenancy agreement.
2. If one member died - then the Family had the option to introduce another member to make up the Trio. This option cost an introductory fine.
3 However - if all three members of the Trio died in a short period of time (say 1 year) then the 3 fines imposed would be impossible to pay.
In the case of the Trueman Family - the Head of the Family died. Then as seemed to happen fairly often in those days - the wife died within one month of her husband's death.
Next - the remaining member of the Trio [their son] died.
From this point - the Trueman family wandered about Wirral - Thingwall, Heswall, West Kirby and eventually Hoylake. 1911 Census - two Trueman lads were listed as Caddies at Royal Liverpool Golf Course. Their Father was a Domestic Gardener and is now buried at Holy Trinity Churchyard, Hoylake.
From Ricky Cooper. June 2012. 1. The Stanley Family.
At some point in History - "The Stanleys" (Derbys) controlled the Isle of Man.
Most of their armed retinue were recruited from West Lancashire (hence the introduction of many Lancashire surnames into the Isle of Man around the castle)
Similarly - the "Stanleys" (Derbys) were the lead Family in Bidston.
In my opinion - the above provides the link for the IOM symbol on Bidston's Church Tower.
2. The Trueman Family.
John Trueman born 12/April/1666 married Mary Cook 09/Nov/1691
John and Mary both died 05/Feb/1728. (both? Must have been an accident or something??)
Their youngest son Daniel died 27/Nov/1728
Their eldest son (also John) was left the Farm "under Mr. Ball during the Term" ???
From 1730 the eldest son John and his Family were living at Woodchurch.
(it looks like the eldest son - John, and his wife lost all 10 of their children in infancy)
March 06: I have just read, with nostalgia, your extremely interesting article on Bidston, for which I thank you. I was brought up in Claughton and most of my leisure time was spent on the hill and with friends who lived in School Lane. It breaks my heart to see the present day changes and wonder where it will all end. Thank goodness we now have the "Friends of Bidston Hill." My husband's paternal family has been traced back to the village in 1695 and I wonder what they would think if they were to return today? Interestingly, Mr. Youd, the last Miller at the Bidston Windmill was also a relative of my husband. If anyone knows his Christian name I would be very interested as my daughter is trying to trace the family tree. Again, thanks for the very interesting read which cheered me up on a wet and miserable day. Jan Mutch. Contact me for Jan's email address if you have info for her.
From Barry Perry - 1 September 2006: What an incredible site. I was born in 1950 in Birkenhead on Hoylake Road at the corner of Hoblyn Rd. My mother was very good friends with the people who owned Bidston Hall, and Povell's Farm. I visited the house and farm many times as a little lad. I always loved Bidston as a child and am familiar with every location and photograph you have on your site. When I was in my early teens I was in the church choir. As a teenager (18) I became friendly with the son of the family that currently owned Bidston Hall and visited the house once again, I specifically remember the very large dark oak table in the hall it was so large that that it could not be removed and was left for the next owners also the black & white chequerboard tiled floor, and especially the worn sandstone steps to the upper floor on the outside on the right side of the hall. In 2003 I returned to England from Canada for a visit with my wife (who is from London) I took her to Bidston to show her the church, Bidston Hall etc. I was really surprised as to how difficult it was to get to Bidston, Hoylake Rd used to run right through it. I used to play in the rhododendrons garden as a child and also took my wife to show them to her, I was very disappointed to see the state they were in.
As a child when I went to Bidston Hill to roam and play I used to speak to the old man who lived in Tom O'Shanter's cottage, he had a little dog which I used to play with. That's all for now, I am very interested to keep in touch as to how Bidston Village is progressing. Thank You Barry Perry.
From Jean Robinson - Sept 4th 2006: Browsing the internet for information to help my family history research I came across your very interesting website. I am not familiar with Bidston at all but my Great grandmother was a Taylor and her father George and brothers all worked at Bidston Hall Farm after 1880. Family rumour tells me that they worked the farm for an uncle Taylor who was a Birkenhead Councillor in the belief that they would one day inherit it. Councillor Taylor (no first name as yet) married late in life to a Rimmer and when widowed she evicted the brothers. To extract some sort of revenge they in turn stole the milk round from her by getting ahead of her deliveries and stealing all the customers. Could you tell me if any of this rings true. The brothers were Joseph, Thomas, Richard, George, Robert and William Taylor and lived in Upton from 1856 onwards. Do you have any ideas out there?
From Adele - December 28th 2006: My name is Adele and I used to live in Eleanor Rd Bidston from 1976 - 1982. I lived in Holly Grove an old coach house and I was looking up on the net any info. on it when I came across your website. I must say it brought back loads of very, very fond memories for me as no other place has felt as magical as when I grew up there. Not only did I walk the hill many times with my Dad on our way to Claughton Village, I also remember Tam O'Shanters cottage and the stables at the end of the road also the witches circle in the woods and the fairy circle with all the stones sitting in a circle under the holly trees. When I lived there, the house at the top of our lane was a children's home, and the nursing home belonged to friends of ours who my parents still keep in contact with. I remember playing there it was a huge house and we used to find old remnants of pottery in there garden. I also remember the lovely wildlife, how the foxes would run across our garden in the snow. How sometimes you'd be leaving for school and a beautiful big owl would be on the fence or there'd be a hedgehog in the garden. Such a wonderful time in my life that I will never forget.
Unfortunately while we lived there the Ford estate behind our home became a very undesirable place and we were burgled over 9 times, the other houses in the road where also being burgled and starting to get home invasions. It was a sad way to leave the area as I feel not only myself but the rest of my family adored living there and have never forgotten it, we talk of the old times there often. We all now live in Australia and have done so for over 20 years, a couple of years back I visited my old home and was dismayed to see how much the area had changed and how the housing estate which originally was a wimpy estate had spread right up to our old fence. It just felt like no-one cared how lovely the place was and just built houses anywhere they could. I think the vicarage is still there but it is not the same place and part of me wished I hadn't seen it again, but I'm really glad they are restoring the windmill and I do hope that Bidston Hall and the Observatory stay the same. Thank You for all your research it is such a joy to be able to access all the information you have put together and I will talk to my parents and see if they have anything to contribute to your good work.
January 1st 2007: A request for information from Texas: Thank you for the nice Bidston web site. I have an interest in the family of Colonel George Frederick Allender who at least until his death in 1916 lived for many years in what was called in Directories etc. simply "The Cottage", Vyner Road, Bidston. I imagine this would have been one of the notable families of the area. He was an architect and surveyor and had a son who died in the explosion of the Vanguard. In fact when he died he apparently left only two daughters, Ruth and Kathleen. He is buried in St. Oswalds and his son is memorialized on the cenotaph there as well. As there were many cottages in the area I don't know if his residence still exists or if it was one of the more notable ones like Tam O' Shanters. I am very keen to know more about his daughter Ruth who died in Warminster 14 July 1982, the widow of Leland Mordaunt Dundas but I don't suppose anybody is still around who has any recollection of these people. I am hoping though. GBAlum - at - aol.com is the address to contact him, replacing -at - with @.
From Malcolm Owens July 2007: I was born 1937 at 60a Hoylake Road. How it brought back old memories at seeing your photos of old Bidston and the surrounding area. Church Farm was occupied by my mothers Aunt Sarah Gardner and her husband Len Gardener. In the early 1940's I used to play on the Farm and ride the big Shire Horses. Also Tam 'o' Shanter cottage was a favourite play area. The occupant of the cottage was a Mr. Inglis, whose Grandson was a playmate of mine. I am currently researching my' Family History ' who came from Bidston and Claughton Village. Do you have any info on the Owens Family? or do you know of anybody who has? You can contact him at malsylpe -at - btinternet.com. Replace -at- with @
July 31st 2007: From Leslie Anderson. Hi Mike, I stumbled upon your website by chance as I love reading up on local history, and all the memories came flooding back! My family moved to the Ford Estate in 1972 (I was about six) and although I lived there most of my childhood experiences revolved around the village. I went to Bidston CE Primary and was in the Church Choir from 1978 to1983. Almost as soon as we moved to the Ford, my sister & I were enrolled into the Sunday School which was the black and white timber church hall on the lane opposite the church which leads on to the Ford. Unfortunately this was burned down by vandals and the Sunday School was relocated to the Old School Hall which as you know is just further down and adjacent to Church Farm. I also went to school in this building as it was used as an extension to accommodate the oldest year of the modern Bidston CE during the seventies and our remember our class number swelling to 44 which was a lot, and due to the influx of children from the new Ballantyne Estate. I do remember the village shop still being open in the early 70's though not for long as I recall. I remember clearing the old churchyard with our Girl Guide troupe and couldn’t believe how far it went back, and we uncovered many really overgrown and ancient graves. I remember Banky Pemberton and my now husband and sister did bell ringing with him (I was hopeless at it). We went up Bidston Hill many times and my mum used to say how the Ford was all woodland and they used to come up from Birkenhead. The church featured largely in our lives and we witnessed quite a few changes as the interior was adapted to fit in with the more family orientated and practical side as many churches have had to do. Our organist and choirmaster was Roger O'Brien and he and his family later moved to Church Farm. I now live in Birkenhead, but that little village was a big part of my childhood. During these times when we see so much about conservation/restoration, surely Bidston has its own unique identity which must be retained for future generations to explore.
September 2007. I received an email from Julie in Australia. I was born in Birkenhead in1967 but came to Australia with my parents in 1969. On your site I saw an email from John Parkinson 2007. He says his grandparents owned Yew Tree Farm. Are you able to put me in touch with him at all as we are currently doing geneology research and Yew Tree farm was and still is owned by our relatives. Would love to be able to make some sort of connection....with thanks julie.
From Jill Wilson. July 1st 2008: I really enjoyed reading all that you have posted on the web page , I was married at St. Oswalds Church , 30 years ago and reside in South Africa now.
August 16th 2008 -
an email from Jenny Minshull: I was born and brought up in Claughton
Village but left at the age of 18 (am now a ripe old 61). I was very very
interested to see Margaret Parkinson of Bidston Village mentioned. I went to
school with Beryl Parkinson. I haven't been in touch with her since I was 18.
Could you give me any info as to who Margaret is and to whether I could get in
touch with Beryl?
If Margaret (or Beryl) want to contact Jenny, her email address is minshull-at-orn.mpg.de; change the -at- for @.
August 20th 2008: An email from Beryl Hull, nee Davies: I have to admit I was almost in tears viewing the site, but it also made my heart sing. As Bidston Farm and the Village always had a special place in my heart, as it still does today. My Uncle Tom and Auntie Dot had a special part in my life at that time. I just loved the huge kitchen that we played cards on cold winter days etc, and the warmth emanating from the fire. I had spent many a joyous weekend with my cousins at the farm. It always felt as if I was being drawn there and that I needed to be there. No bathroom or toilet in those days, and we would wash every morning in the cold rain water barrel outside the scullery. Often I would ride my bike across from Wallasey [I am afraid I have forgotten what the area was called] and lift my bike over the railway station bridge, and then up School Lane. Sometimes I would catch two buses or catch the train to get there. We often played past the Parish Hall and walked miles across the fields and stiles, or play cricket. I believe those areas are now built on. I dutifully would go to church Sundays with my cousins. Played on Bidston Hill, and the pathway through the beautiful rhododendrons seem to be a place of magic to me. I have still retained a special fondness for rhododendrons after all of these years. Unfortunately, living in Queensland, Australia, the humid climate is not very good to grow them here. I do believe in the southern part of Australia it is possible to grow them beautifully.
Seeing Banky Pemberton's name on your site also brought back memories too. We all played together as youngsters and spent many a happy times. Banky also tried to teach my cousins and I how to bell ring on one occasion. I wonder if he still remembers me, Beryl? I am so proud of the way that Stan has redecorated the farm, it looks magnificent. Stan has done a wonderful job. How I would love to visit the old farm again. By the way my nieces still live in Moreton and Wallasey. Thank you again for all of the hard work Friends of Bidston are doing, in order to keep Bidston Village etc as it was. I would like to wish you all to have more support and encouragement from the local authorities in your endeavours.
Pam (McNoon) emailed me in Feb 09: I was born in Birkenhead and as a child often visited my mum's cousin, Tom Davies , at Yew Tree. We had a great time playing in the stables and always enjoyed our visits there. My husband and I were over in England (she now lives in Oz) visiting our families in 2007, and visited Stan Davies who is still living there. He was very kind and showed us around. It is a lovely farm and brought back some lovely childhood memories. We have found during our genealogy research that another branch of our family is from Bidston too. They are the Percys' of Percy Cottage. They lived there for well over a hundred years. Would you have any photos or history on the cottage or the Percy family, please? I believe it was pulled down in the 1930s. A lot of my ancestors were baptized in St Oswald's and are now buried in St. Oswald's cemetery. We'll have to come back and look for the graves. It would be a great achievement if Bidston Village can be kept safe from the housing estates that are threatening to swallow it up. There is so much history, so many pleasant memories and it is such a pretty, picturesque little village. Good luck to the Friends of Bidston and your helpers, you are doing a fantastic job. Kindest Regards, Mrs. Pam Corbett. Nee McNoon. If you can assist Pam with her query, you can email her at pamandgeoffr - at - bigpond.com replacing the -at- with @ to complete the address.
Keith Mercer emailed in Feb 09: Like you I was brought up in Moreton and had family living in Bebington, Oxton, Birkenhead and Wallasey. We used to visit some family members (I don't know their name, but would very much like to) who were living in and, I think, caretaking Bidston Hall in the late 40s early 50s. I have relatives buried in the Church graveyard (St Oswalds), but again don't know their name. Good to read your article. Bidston has always been under threat!
March 2009: I was very interested to see your website on Bidston as many of my ancestors lived in Bidston and are buried in Bidston churchyard. My father took us there many times when I was a child to show us the farm, and the family graves. My great grandfather Joseph Lamb was a tenant at Church Farm, and other members of my family were tenants at Yew Tree farm. The Lamb family, the Povall family and the Parkinson family are all mentioned in the book Auld - Lang’s - Eyne in a chapter about Bidston farmers. I am wondering if you know who the people in the photograph at Yew tree farm are? They may well be relations! If you are able to give me any help I would very much appreciate it. Best wishes Karen Marsh ( nee Lamb, formerly of Greasby, the Wirral).
May 2009: Andrea Rose Draney emailed me from the USA. I was very pleased to discover your website on Bidston Village. I phoned my mother, Doris (Lockwood) Flickinger, to read some of the e-mails you have posted on the site as she is from Birkenhead. Actually she was confirmed at St. Oswald’s in 1941, attended the village school with Trevor and Stanley Sutton (she wondered if these are relatives of Mavis Sutton?) and also attended the church school when Ms. Downs was the headmistress. She remembers relatives of the Gardener’s from Gardener’s farm (sp) Ruth and her brother. She tells me of a legend of an unusual room at the farm. It seems that it had no doors and could only be seen by climbing a ladder on the outside of the building where the curious could peer in. I asked her if she knew of anyone who actually climbed up to have a look, but she did not.
The Tweed Shop noted on Mavis’s map was leased by my great uncle, Frank Lockwood, who lived on Lenox Lane. The Bibby’s owned Hill Cottage whose land abutted the school playground. My mother also has a photo of the interior lounge of Hill Cottage. She mentioned the Bluebell woods, and a cave off of Lenox Lane. The Standrings (sp) lived on School Lane. Mrs. Standring had lost her sight. Her husband was the Vicar of St. Oswald’s and their daughter was the Brownie leader. The Brownie meetings were held in the Parrish Hall when my mother was a brownie. She recalls the charm and patience Mrs. Standring exhibited toward children.
Mr. Shaw, the director of the Mersey Railroad, lived at 45 School Lane. His daughter Ida Shaw and my grandmother Rose Lockwood were friends for many years, corresponding after Ida moved to the Cotswolds and Rose to the USA, until both were in their 90’s. My mother said she was surprised to see the Ford Estate where the 7 fields used to be when she returned for a visit in the 1960’s and 70’s. She remembered the beauty of the Rhododendron Gardens but also recalled a time when children were not allowed to play in the area. She also mentioned the silver birch and the golden gorse bushes on the hill and times when she cut through the woods which brought her out to Eleanor Road. Some other names associated with this area that she recalls are Redfern, and Povell. She was just thinking about the school when May 1st. came around as they used to celebrate May Day at school, dancing around the May pole with colored ribbons. She has great childhood memories of the area and sends a thank you to everyone trying to preserve Bidston Hill history as it was a place she enjoyed so much.
September 2009: From Jeff Barkley; I am researching my BARKLEY family tree. In 2000 when my father died I found a sheet of paper from a calendar dated 1923-4 on which my father's father, William Barkley had recorded a partial family history. Below the name of Bidston Hill Farm he had written the following names
Thomas Barkley - Farm Bailiff
William - Seafarer
John - Valet
Ellis - Clerk
Frank - Veterinary
Isaac - Gardner
Tom - Gardner
George - Ostler Liverpool C C
My grandfather William Barkley (who was born 1879 in Liverpool) had a brother called Thomas who was born in approx. 1881 so Thomas Barkley could well have been his brother and my great uncle. Sarah Ellis being Thomas's wife and the others their children. Though my father never spoke of them. Alternatively William's father - my great grandfather - was also a William Barkley - born 1838 in Ruabon. But I don't know the names of any of his siblings. Thomas could well have been his brother. There is also a possibility that "William - Seafarer" was actually my great grandfather because he was a seafarer. I have his first mate's certificate dated 1867. I have another document dated 1947 on which there is a note saying that the Barkley family bible was "last in possession of Ellis Barkley residing in Birkenhead. If anyone has any information to pass on to Jeff, please contact him directly on the following email address:
jeffersgb - at - tiscali.co.uk = replace the -at- with @ for a useable email address.
November 2009: I live on Eleanor Road, a house which is called "Overleasowe ". I have done some research and found that it was built in 1890 and was one of only two houses built on Bidston Hill. In 1903 onwards it was owned by someone called Hinds and it was also seconded in the war for the North West Port headquarters. Years ago, I met a couple who had come back to visit the area and the lady said she could remember standing in my bedroom ,leaning on the fireplace ,drinking with the soldiers ! She lived in Bidston Village and the girls used to go up to Overleasowe to entertain the soldiers. I have also been to the main library in Liverpool and found the original plans drawn by Kirbys for work done on the house. I would love to find out more information if possible. The house still remains the same even though it is now flats, I have some photos taken when Mr Eric and Elaine Newell lived here until they sadly passed away. It was passed on to them by Elaine's mother. Kind Regards, Lesley Smirke. Unfortunately Leslie does not want her email address online, so if you contact me, I might be able to pass it on.
December 2009: My direct family (Wharton family) connection to the village. Research has determined that they have lived in the village since at least 1670 ( and probably before that as they have married into the Parbo/Parbut family going back to 1600). They married into the Stanley (Lord Derby) when they married Ellen Stanley in 1757. I believe they had significant connections to ST Oswalds and the local villages seem to pop up regularly for other relatives - Saughall Massie, Moreton, Claughton etc. I also believe they may have been farmers Carr Farm(?) but the family seems to have lost its way a few generations ago!! I am keen to pursue the family history and would like to make contact with a local family history or pay a local historian to help me further my research - do you know anyone who could assist and would be kind enough to recommend? If any of the information I have is of any use to you or anyone else I would be more than happy to share/forward, so please let me know. Many thanks for the information you obviously took a great deal of time to compile an post on your website. I has certainly whet my appetite to visit sometime later this year and see Bidston. Best regards Geoff Wharton. You can contact Geoff directly at wharton.geoff -at - googlemail.com. Replace the -at- with @ for a completed email address.
August 2010: Got this recently: You may or may not be aware that the Friends of Bidston Hill, in conjunction with myself and Wirral & North Wales Field Archaeology (Felicity Davies) are undertaking some archaeological exploration of the Hill in an area close to Taylor's Wood, to the left of the main top car park. The 'friends' and dog walkers alike have been interested in this area for some time and wanted some investigation as to what the feature is. We now feel really our site can be dated to around the early 1900's. We have investigated sources within Wirral Archives, particularly the Bidston Hill Management Committee minutes and are exploring the possibility of some sort of feature (possibly lake) to commemorate the visit of King George and Queen Mary in the early 1900's. I wonder whether you would like to cast your eye on the site and perhaps share some of your knowledge of the area. Work continues next weekend and the weekend after or I could meet you during this week if you wish to come and have a look. Look forward to hearing from you. Heather Butler. Local History Tutor.
What I did note about this was the reference to Taylor's Wood. This is the second time in as many weeks I have seen this reference, but never before in my life!! I actually thought Taylor's Wood was a mistake on google because I had never heard it called this before.
November 2010: Beryl Hull: please resend me your email address. I have a contact for you. Guy called MacGeorge.
December 2010: Laurie Marsden would like to contact Malcolm Owen but his apparent email address does not work. Laurie can be found at larnor -at - talktalk.net; replace -at- with @
January 2011: I was asked to check out a house name in School Lane next time I was up there. I did, none of those houses remaining have 'names'. some are a bit dilapidated and others rebuilt with electric gates and such like. It certainly is not how I recall the lane.
November 2011: Sandra Lewis would like to speak to Jan Mutch regarding The Mutch family history of which she may be a part. Jan, you can contact her here:
sandmlew - at - sympatico.ca. Replacing the -at- with @ for a correct email address.
Reference the above email from Pam McNoon Feb 09: I’ve been browsing your very informative Wirral sites and came across a mention of the Percy Family in Bidston from Mrs Pam Corbett (nee McNoon) in 2009. I clicked on the “email me” button on the relevant page but couldn’t get it to work, so am trying this one. I’m contacting you because my mother’s family were Percys, and lived in Percy Cottage at the end of the 19th and early 20th Centuries, and I would love to be in touch with possible relatives. I’m trying to put together my family tree, and am having to rely on the memories of my aunt (95 this year!) and mother (nearly 86!). My great-grandmother was Johanna Percy (1857-1920), and my aunt certainly remembers a little about the Cottage and Bidston. If it’s at all possible, could you post a message asking for further information for me? I will try Mrs Corbett’s email address, but would be pleased if anyone else out there knows something about the Percys. Or if you could let me know how to post a query myself, that would be very helpful. Many thanks! Jayne Singleton.
June 2012: From Linda Thompson. My family has some history in the village. My granddad, Thomas Weston Thompson, was the village bobby from 1921 until his death in 1930 at the age of 43. He and Nan (Catherine) lived at the Toll House, which was also known as the `Police House’ for obvious reasons. After his death, Nan earned some income by setting up her own confectionery and tobacco business working from the house. Later on, she was offered the opportunity to rent a new property being built by the Squire, Commander Clare George Vyner and to earn some income from his latest venture, which was to sell the Swarland tweed being produced from his Yorkshire mill. The Tweed House with adjoining shop was built in 1937, but looks much older. The main reason for this is that it was built to the same specifications as a property he already owned on his Fountains Abbey/Studley Estate. Tweed House is, in fact, a mirror image of this property which still stands and is now a National Trust holiday cottage. You can find an account of this on pages 158/159 of `Curiosities of Merseyside’ by Robert Nicholls (Sutton Publishing) and a photo of the Studley property. The shop probably did a better trade in groceries, sweets and tobacco than it did in tweed! In subsequent years, the shop (not the house) was leased out to others. (I remember Mr Lockwood and a Scottish couple, Mr and Mrs Buchan.) Nan also ran a café (now demolished) next to the house, offering afternoon teas.
The Tweed House was my childhood home. There was Nan, my mum and dad (Alf and Dot), my baby brother (Keith) and auntie Alma. My best friend was Gill Davies who lived next door at Yew Tree Farm. We had some great times, which I’ll always think back on with affection. We also knew the Gardners, the Povalls, the Parkinsons and Mrs Pemberton, who lived at the Toll House at that time. Marjorie Parkinson was great friends with my auntie Gert, who lived in School Lane with uncle Jack and their sons were both called Roy. Although we weren’t really regular churchgoers, I remember the Rev Thomas and Mrs Thomas as great characters. They had two daughters, Anthea and Sheila. Sheila had a couple of horses which she would let the village children ride at vicarage garden parties. Oh, joy!
Dec 2012: From Charles Seddon: I was born in the village 1956 and grew up there, left in 1980s. We lived at what was 26 School lane, (now 36 ) once owned by Harry B Neilson, author of Old Lang Syne...mostly about the village.
Sources and reference links
My special thanks to Kenneth Burnley for his permission:
Portrait of Wirral by Kenneth
Burnley Hale Publications