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Thread: Wirral Part of Liverpool's City Map?

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    Creator & Administrator Kev's Avatar
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    Exclamation Wirral Part of Liverpool's City Map?

    AS PART of our Liverpool Map campaign, today we ask one of the most controversial questions of all – is Wirral part of the city’s identity? Should we brick up the Mersey tunnels, or do Wirralian’s deem themselves as Scousers? Read


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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev View Post
    AS PART of our Liverpool Map campaign, today we ask one of the most controversial questions of all – is Wirral part of the city’s identity? Should we brick up the Mersey tunnels, or do Wirralian’s deem themselves as Scousers? Read
    The Wirral would not exist if Liverpool was not there. Wallasey is a sleeper town for Liverpool - a suburb, just as Bootle and Kirkby are.

    Birkenhead was a village until Liverpool Docks came about. Then Wallasey Pool was docked in to create Birkenhead Docks - which were deeper than Liverpool's Docks and very near to Liverpool's centre, as Liverpool's docks were stretching along the river north and south away from the centre.

    The Liverpool accent is spoken in Liverpool, Bootle Knowsley and the north part of the Wirral . That gives an indication of how close the Wirral is to Liverpool.

    What kept the Wirral from being incorporated into Liverpool was:

    1. A river (difficult to cross as it is wide)
    2. Counties (Liverpool in Lancashire and the Wirral Cheshire - city did not cross county boundaries)

    The transport infrastructure is now excellent with an underground rail system incorporating Wirral to Liverpool and two road tunnels. If the Mersey Barrage goes ahead then there is another transport crossing linking the two sides of the river and bringing the two even closer.

    Many families are split between the two sides of the river. Everton FC have 1/3 of their season ticket holders with Wirral post codes.

    It is clear the Wirral should be incorporated within the city. Council offices could be split between the two sides of the river with new offices on Birkenhead docks to ensure the Wirral residents they are not under some sort of domination from the big city opposite. A new town hall maybe on the the Liverpool waterfront.

    The Wirral has a lot to gain by being a part of a world famous city. Then maybe the river front will be developed being a part of Liverpool planning Dept - their riverline is boring. Come to that, how many buildings on the Wirral stand out?

    The Wirral is clearly in the Liverpool socio/economic sphere and always has been. About time they came in from the cold.
    Last edited by Waterways; 11-23-2007 at 09:10 AM.
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    Creator & Administrator Kev's Avatar
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    Love the post WW
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    Hi Waterways

    I agree with Kev that your post is excellent: meaty and informative.

    Chris
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    Creator & Administrator Kev's Avatar
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    In addition, many Wirralites, when asked where they live when overseas, often say 'Liverpool'.
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    This Quote in the Daily Post about the play "Brick up the Mersey Tunnels" made me chuckle
    The play was sparked off by a woman who wrote to the Liverpool Echo from Wirral, complaining about the Scouse accent and how it lets down the city that has been chosen as Capital of Culture.

    “She worked in Liverpool and used the city when it suited her but, like many others, distanced herself from it.
    I bet if she was on holiday and was asked where she was from, she would say she's from Liverpool....

    I was once asked "where does the Mersey Ferry go?"
    My reply was "To where the Posh Scousers live!"

    I know the Wirral is connected to Liverpool by the Ferry, and the rail & road Tunnels, but it is still not Liverpool.
    But just what are the City Limits? St Helens is said to be in Merseyside but is much futher away than Birkenhead, even the home of the Grand national horserace is futher away, and Southport futher still. If it is to be a map of "Greater Merseyside" then yes it should get a mention, but if it is going to be a city centre map then most definetly not!

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    I live in Liverpool but born and bred in Wirral. I am not a scouser i am from Wirral. I have nothing against Liverpool but i wish to keep my roots. My brother lives in Scotland and when i go up there and talk to people asking where im from. Either i say Wirral and get the reply "Oh the posh area of Liverpool" or i will say Liverpool as not many people have heard of the Wirral, especially the younger generation. So i have to explain that its really over the water from Liverpool. This is very so annoying!

    I dont think people are really that bothered what they class it as. I have a lot of scouse mates at work who say wirral people are just scouse wannabe's.
    My view is that is very far away from the truth.

    The golf open last year was plugged by a lot of companies advertising the Open golf at Hoylake, Liverpool. I understand why as its good marketing but its not in Liverpool so Liverpool was taking advantage of the Wirrals status on that occasion
    This will obviously always be the case as the Wirral wants to establish itself and grow and will use the bigger cities name to improve its credibility.

    Now im older and wiser i now realise why my old boss used to get so peeved when i called him a cockney when he was from Tunbidge wells.

    I dont really care what it called, part of, counties etc. I will always be from the Wirral near Liverpool. And i can also see why my Mum wont put Merseyside on her address as she was born and brought up when it was Cheshire.
    But the most important is we all get along as one community without all the silly rivalry.

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    ^^^ Re: Open Golf, Hoylake

    Quote: "I understand why as its good marketing but its not in Liverpool so Liverpool was taking advantage of the Wirrals status on that occasion"

    I thought the advertising situation was the exact opposite...Hoylake kept getting mentioned, with the name Liverpool being ommited, many times, by the media. The golf club is called "Royal Liverpool Golf Club"
    http://www.royal-liverpool-golf.com/
    I personally don't know anyone, on either side of the River Mersey, who regards Wirral as part of Liverpool.

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    I lived in Bromborough in the late 1950s, and Liverpool was somewhere else, over the water, and in a different county.
    In fact, Chester seemed as near as Liverpool.
    Obviously, Birkenhead and Wallasey are nearer Liverpool, but the river is an effective boundary.

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    Take a look at this lengthy discussion.

    http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=536689

    I hope Kev doesn't mind me blaspheming by putting this on and can remove it if he wants but I think it is very relevant and many issues are discussed.

    I sense the Wirralites feel patronised somewhat as they did exist and do have their own identity without Liverpool and as such Birkenhead was not contrived as a newtown overflow like Kirkby or Skem.

    I think it is fantastic that we can compliment each other in our nearness.
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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ged View Post
    I sense the Wirralites feel patronised somewhat as they did exist and do have their own identity without Liverpool and as such Birkenhead was not contrived as a newtown overflow like Kirkby or Skem.
    Ged, You have it wrong. The Wirral is tied to Liverpool whether anyone thinks so or not. Its identity is latched to Liverpool. It does NOT have a clear identity of its own. It is in the same socio-economic sphere of Liverpool. The Wirral IS an overspill of Liverpool and has been since Birkenhead Docks were built. Wallasey is clearly a sleeper town of Liverpool.

    Communications between both sides of the river are excellent and may be improved if the Mersey barrage goes ahead.

    Wirralites pretending the Wirral has a clear entity in its own right are kidding themselves.

    The Wirral should all be incorporated within Liverpool as a city state. Both sides of the river then benefit greatly.
    Last edited by Waterways; 12-12-2007 at 12:29 PM.
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    Steven
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    We built the Mersey tunnel lads,

    way back in 33.

    Dug a hole in the ground,

    until we found a hole called Wallasey.


    I put in for that job but I couldn't get a skip ...

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    It's not me that has it wrong John, don't shoot the messenger, i'm telling you what Wirralites think on that discussion. Try telling the monks of Birkenhead who started the ferry that they didn't exist all those years ago in spite of Liverppool not because of it. However, you are right that both benefit from each other like I said in my earlier post.
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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ged View Post
    It's not me that has it wrong John, don't shoot the messenger, i'm telling you what Wirralites think on that discussion. Try telling the monks of Birkenhead who started the ferry that they didn't exist all those years ago in spite of Liverppool not because of it. However, you are right that both benefit from each other like I said in my earlier post.
    Ged, the Wirral existed and still does. If Liverpool was not there it would resemble the North Wales coast on the other side of the River Dee - empty and full of fields. In its current form it is a defacto suburb of Liverpool, whether they think so or not. They need a dose of reality.
    The new Amsterdam at Liverpool?
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    becomes a Venice without canals, just another city, no
    longer of special interest to anyone, least of all the
    tourist. Would we visit a modernised Venice of filled in
    canals to view its modern museum describing
    how it once was?


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    I too believe this, but for the natural seperation by the river (take that out of the equation), then Birkenhead could be seen as adjoining Toxteth/Dingle and Seacombe could be adjoining Vauxhall. Those districts for instance are nearer the Liver Buildings than say Kirkdale or Kensington. They do however, as you know have their own dock system utilising/operating many services like Stanlow, Irish crossings and ship building. There is a huge argument on that thread about Liverpool council and where money is/isn't or would be/wouldn't be directed and about Wirralite using the tunnel for jobs over here but then disowning the place when questioned about it. Liverpool is a world brand name that they should want to be associated with but a lot of them don't like that one bit.
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    Senior Member Paul D's Avatar
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    Liverpool is a world brand name that they should want to be associated with but a lot of them don't like that one bit.
    Unless they're on holiday abroad.

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    Yes, i've found that too, someone whose company I was once in.

    ....'and where are you from?'

    Knowing full well that saying Moreton or the wirral will draw a blank expression or an unconvicing smile and nod - she said Liverpool - and too right anyway.
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    Last time I was in Birkenhead, I could have sworn they spoke with a scouse accent !!!

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    Taffy: The Birkonians have a scouse twang; it is broad but a little bit different if you know what I mean. Walking around both places, you can tell after a while!!!

    Waterways: I hope you dont mind me adding a little bit more to your 'article' above??

    Birkenhead developed as a result of Cammel Lairds; not directly because of Liverpool. Laird wanted a base where he could expand his business with ease. Birkenhead made this possible; especially as it was undeveloped. Don't forget, it was Laird who actually built the town as we know it today, albeit planners since then have wrecked the town for good. If only Laird could see it now! Bootle is doing well, but why isn't Birkenhead I wonder?? That, however is for another thread!

    Liverpool did at one time cause Birkenhead to suffer greatly. I read in a Wallasey Corporation book (in Earlston Library) that during the 1800's (I forget the exact date) the Liverpool Dock Board company were getting worried that the Wirral docks would take competition away from the city. So they did something about it; causing 1000 people to leave to town and the docks to downsize. This maybe one one of the reasons why there has always been a love hate relationship between the two! I must try and find the article if and when I get some spare time!

    Tranmere developed differently. Pockets of it were built for commuting into Birkenhead and Liverpool during the 1860's. Its elevated position ontop of a ridge (much like Everton in many respects) gave it that X-factor that the marshes of Birkenhead couldn't compete with. It is somewhat upsetting now, seeing some of the original villa housing of Tranmere being demolished as part of New Heartlands.

    Wallasey, my home! Does sometimes feel as if it is a part of Liverpool in my view. The housing is much like what you would find in the city, and different to those in Birkenhead/Tranmere...


    Alverstone Road, Wallasey


    Westbourne Road, Birkenhead

    Can you see the difference??? Wirralites always think of Wallasey like they do of Liverpool in my view. Its either "over there" or referred to as a distant place. Its never really been accepted as a Wirral town, even though Wirral BC is administered in Wallasey Town Hall, and the old school Wallasean still regards the town as being in "Cheshire". The reason, may just be that it is almost and island, by itself. Or that it was Liverpool that caused the town to grow, with the villages merging into eachother.

    All in all; its a mixed bag. Maybe us Wirral people like to complicate things Or that the West Wirral folk make a fuss whenever the "L" word is mentioned.

    We may have more trouble if and when the Liverpool City Region is created! The likes of Halton, Ormskirk, Ellesmere Port and Chester may all be incorporated into Liverpool's realm. Merseytravel is reveling at the prospect and to be honest, the likes of Ellesmere Port and Halton need some expert supervision, their bus stop's are pitiful! Anyone been to EP Bus Station? Its a nightmare!

    Oh, before I go, Never realised until recently that St Helens folk look towards Manchester rather than Liverpool. How daft is that! It's only more traveling for them!
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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wallasey View Post
    Taffy: The Birkonians have a scouse twang; it is broad but a little bit different if you know what I mean. Walking around both places, you can tell after a while!!!
    There is a difference between the north and south end accents too.

    Waterways: I hope you dont mind me adding a little bit more to your 'article' above??

    Birkenhead developed as a result of Cammel Lairds; not directly because of Liverpool. Laird wanted a base where he could expand his business with ease. Birkenhead made this possible; especially as it was undeveloped. Don't forget, it was Laird who actually built the town as we know it today, albeit planners since then have wrecked the town for good. If only Laird could see it now! Bootle is doing well, but why isn't Birkenhead I wonder?? That, however is for another thread!
    Lairds started on the Liverpool bank. The docks were expanding along the river and the ship builders had to move. Laird went across the river. Wood and whatever could be taken over by barge if need be. Birkenhead Docks were constructed because they were only 1/2 mile, and few minutes by ferry, from Liverpool centre where all the admin and trade houses were, and still very close to the core of Liverpool Docks - using barges to take goods between. Initially Birkenhead Docks were a total flop until taken under the umbrella of Liverpool Docks (MDHB)

    Birkenhead was being a me-too coining it on the trade Liverpool created. Birkenhead and Wallasey would not exist only for Liverpool.

    Liverpool did at one time cause Birkenhead to suffer greatly. I read in a Wallasey Corporation book (in Earlston Library) that during the 1800's (I forget the exact date) the Liverpool Dock Board company were getting worried that the Wirral docks would take competition away from the city. So they did something about it; causing 1000 people to leave to town and the docks to downsize. This maybe one one of the reasons why there has always been a love hate relationship between the two! I must try and find the article if and when I get some spare time!
    When there was talk of Birkenhead converting Wallasey Pool into docks, the city of Liverpool bought land on the Wirral banks and delayed the idea for obvious reasons. Eventually the docks were built, they flopped and Liverpool rescued them.

    Wallasey, my home! Does sometimes feel as if it is a part of Liverpool in my view. The housing is much like what you would find in the city, and different to those in Birkenhead/Tranmere...
    In all effects it is a part of Liverpool, as Wembley is a part of London and Salford a part of Manchester.

    Wirralites always think of Wallasey like they do of Liverpool in my view. Its either "over there" or referred to as a distant place. Its never really been accepted as a Wirral town, even though Wirral BC is administered in Wallasey Town Hall, and the old school Wallasean still regards the town as being in "Cheshire". The reason, may just be that it is almost and island, by itself. Or that it was Liverpool that caused the town to grow, with the villages merging into each other.

    All in all; its a mixed bag. Maybe us Wirral people like to complicate things Or that the West Wirral folk make a fuss whenever the "L" word is mentioned.
    I have relatives on the Wirral - a lot. I find that they don't want to associate with Liverpool because they falsely perceive the city as having a poor, working class rough image. They rate themselves as middle class and better. In short narrow minded petty snobbery. Strange, that world-wide Liverpool has a positive image.

    The point which the narrow-minded petty snobs of the Wirral don't like to face up to, is that they effectively are a part of the city and clearly in the same socio-economic sphere. ...and the accents of Wallasey and Birkenhead and some of the surrounding towns and villages are ......Liverpool accents. Amazing eh!!!

    Oh, before I go, Never realised until recently that St Helens folk look towards Manchester rather than Liverpool. How daft is that! It's only more traveling for them!
    The sooner St. Helens, Southport and Newton-Le-Willows are out of Merseyside and back into Lancashire the better. They are of a different culture.

    Liverpool is the city and the immediate towns that directly border it and the Wirral. The rest don't matter.

    The sooner it is all incorporated into one city the better for all. A city state as Hamburg is.

    A digression: The recent near flooding of London was a wake up call. The government has to get out of that city ASAP as the matter is only going to get worse. Liverpool is the obvious choice for the capital being central in the UK and many knowledgeable commentators point to the city too. Liverpool is not prone to flooding.
    Last edited by Waterways; 01-06-2008 at 05:21 PM.
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    how it once was?


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    Thanks for that posting Waterways, I have now officially been enlightened!

    Never knew that Lairds started on the Liverpool side!

    To be honest, I dont think the Wallasey and Birkenhead (inc Rock Ferry and Tranmere) have a problem. Its the East Wirral set along with Beb and Oxton imv.
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    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wallasey View Post
    Thanks for that posting Waterways, I have now officially been enlightened!

    Never knew that Lairds started on the Liverpool side!
    William Laird was a Scotsman. He had grand ideas of expanding Birkenhead docks to Hoylake and have locked entrances there. One idea was to take the docks to the Dee as well. What that would achieve I don't know when ships can enter via the Mersey.

    "In the 1820's Thomas Telford and his associates produced a scheme to construct a "Floating Harbour" along the entire length of the North Wirral coast with two sea ports, one in the mouth of the Dee and one in the mouth of the Mersey. Hilbre Island would have become the pierhead of the Dee port, linked via. Middle Eye and Little Eye to the mainland by an embankment and road. A further embankment from Red Rocks to the northern tip of Hilbre Island with an opening 300 feet wide would have turned the sands between the islands and the mainland into a 50-acre tidal harbour. Needless to say this scheme and a contemporary scheme to build a ship canal from Hoylake to Wallasey Pool were never implemented."

    Thomas Telford also planned a Manchester ship canal starting at West Kirkby with extensive docks at West Kirkby. It would go along the Wirral to Frodsham and follow the line of the current canal.
    http://www.jim-shead.com/waterways/History17.html#MDSC

    The Manchester Ship Canal was a very expensive white elephant - it only lasted in any large scale for 75 years or so. Manchester city could have created three or four large docks at Eastham and used cheap rail lines to depots in Manchester and beyond. Why take large ships inland in the days of rail is beyond me.

    To be honest, I dont think the Wallasey and Birkenhead (inc Rock Ferry and Tranmere) have a problem. Its the East Wirral set along with Beb and Oxton imv.
    The narrow-minded petty snobs - how English!!!
    The new Amsterdam at Liverpool?
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    Deprived of its unique dockland waters Liverpool
    becomes a Venice without canals, just another city, no
    longer of special interest to anyone, least of all the
    tourist. Would we visit a modernised Venice of filled in
    canals to view its modern museum describing
    how it once was?


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    Roving Arriva Bus User! wallasey's Avatar
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    Goodness Me! West Kirby? A dock? Unimaginable! I never knew that!

    Well Margot Leadbetter has to live somewhere I suppose!
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    Exclamation What IS a Wirralite, exactly?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ged View Post
    I too believe this, but for the natural seperation by the river (take that out of the equation), then Birkenhead could be seen as adjoining Toxteth/Dingle and Seacombe could be adjoining Vauxhall. Those districts for instance are nearer the Liver Buildings than say Kirkdale or Kensington. They do however, as you know have their own dock system utilising/operating many services like Stanlow, Irish crossings and ship building. There is a huge argument on that thread about Liverpool council and where money is/isn't or would be/wouldn't be directed and about Wirralite using the tunnel for jobs over here but then disowning the place when questioned about it. Liverpool is a world brand name that they should want to be associated with but a lot of them don't like that one bit.

    I live in Birkenhead, and am descended from a family displaced from Liverpool to Kirkby in the '60's. I would just like to ask - what is a Wirralite? Is it derogatory, or just a result of general (Snobbish) ignorance? 'Wirralite' rhymes with sh**e - the correct term is Wirralean. I'm not a prude (unlike most woolies!), but Wirralite rhymes with sh**e, and I'm not an Ev*rt*n fan!!

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