Archive for Photographs

Request for Old Photographs – Eg Pk News (Autumn 2011)

We have been considering the possibility of developing a leaflet about the history of Egerton Park.   The leaflet could be offered for sale at a small cost, thus contributing to Egerton Park funds.   Contact has therefore been made with a member of the Birkenhead History Society, www.birkenheadhistorysociety.org.uk,  and with the Wirral Archivist at Wirral Archives Service in Canning Street,  www.wirral.gov.uk/my-services/leisure-and-culture/wirral-archives-service, who has also offered to assist in cataloguing historical information about the park to make it more easily accessible .   In the meantime, if any residents have old photos of the park we would be very interested to see them (just use the ‘Leave a comment’ link below and we will get back to you).   We could also feature them in future newsletters.

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In Times Gone By – Eg Pk News (Spring 2011)

Do you have any anecdotes, memories or photographs of Egerton Park in bygone times?   If so do please let us know and we will post these on our website and/or feature them in future newsletters.   We would also welcome any suggestions or requests for items that you would like included in our newsletters.   We would be pleased to hear from you.

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1904 Photograph of Egerton Park

This photograph is taken looking out towards the Byrne  Avenue entrance.   The man is standing outside number 12 (Rosehaven).   You can see the white railings in the background which are the same ones shown in the Christmas newsletter, behind which was a cow.   The house in the distance was where Devon Gardens is now and behind the exit pillar is open fields, not houses.

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Egerton Park: a very brief history – Eg Pk News (Christmas 2010)

Due to the massive expansion of Liverpool in the 19th Century nearby Birkenhead saw a major growth in shipbuilding and population.   Accommodation was needed for wealthy Liverpool merchants and the development of a ferry terminal at Rock Ferry in 1820 meant that the area was now an easy commute to Liverpool and a very desirable place to live.   Rock Park was designed in 1837 and fully occupied by 1850.   As more quality accommodation was needed the Egerton Park estate was commissioned and designed as a gated community of 48 plots in 1858.   It is most likely that it was named after a prominent family, possibly of Francis Egerton, 1st Earl of Ellesmere who had died in 1857.

A view from Byrne Avenue island towards No.110 Egerton Park

By 1874 only 6 houses had been built including two lodges (or toll houses).    The East Lodge stood at the Old Chester Rd entrance and the West Lodge (still standing and known as “Gothic Cottage”) at the Bebington Rd entrance.   Tolls were collected for any vehicle, carriage or bicycle that wished to use the road and this went towards the upkeep of the road and general maintenance of the estate.   It was specifically forbidden for any vehicle to be left on the carriageway and most houses had their own stables and coach houses.   Between 1874 and 1890 numerous further large houses were built and most of these were occupied by professional and middle class owners who employed maids and servants.   The properties varied in character and design but, unlike Rock Park they were predominantly brick-built rather than made of local sandstone.   One of the residents was George Atkin who was the “George” of the famous “George Henry Lee” department store in Liverpool.   Mr. Atkin was also a founder of the Rock Ferry Congregational Church on Highfield Rd South and was the founder and chairman of Birkenhead Institute.   The current number 8 Egerton Park was the “manse” (vicar’s residence) for the church.   It appears that Atkin was something of a philanthropist and well-known liberal and his son went on to study law at Cambridge and became a well-known barrister and liberal politician of the time.   The Atkin family lived in a large detached house called Egerton House approximately where Delyn Close now stands.

Cow grazing near where Devon Gardens now stands

By 1910 the Victorian “boom” had begun to subside and there were still large parts of the estate, which had not been built on.   For example between the current number 96 and current number 58 there were numerous allotments and there was a tennis court belonging to the Mayor of Birkenhead who lived in a large house where Egerton Park Close now stands.   At the bottom end of the park where Devon Gardens is situated there was a field where cattle grazed.

In November 1941 a bombing raid left further gaps in the park as several houses took direct hits including one half of the building which is currently number 62, previously a much larger building known as Shanklin Villas.   Throughout the 1960s there were some disastrous planning decisions in relation to the park and further, quite grand, properties were allowed to decay, being demolished and replaced by a mixture of semi-detached houses and bungalows.   To some extent this process continues today and the road continues to require regular upkeep and relies on contributions from residents.

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Christmas Stocking Fillers – Eg Pk News (Christmas 2009)

We still have plenty of Egerton Park tea towels and shopping bags for sale. They would make great stocking fillers at just £3 each.   They are of good quality linen and feature some of the interesting Victorian properties in the park.   Details from both items are shown here and they are available from our treasurer.   To buy them please contact us using the ‘Leave a comment’ link and we will get back to you.

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