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The opening of Birkenhead’s new Asda supermarket appears to have divided local opinion. Some are upset that this giant structure built slap-bang in the middle of Grange Road has taken away something of the town’s charm and spirit. Others including myself have lost patience waiting for that revitalising urban boost that never arrives. It is heart-breaking to say but the town centre died years ago and a walk down Grange Road is now a deeply saddening journey and a reflection on Birkenhead’s current state of misfortune.

It is thankfully true that ‘Wirral Waters’, a multi-billion pound scheme to transform the East Float has been given the go ahead and should, all being well, do wonders for not only Wirral but for whole of the North West; perhaps even the country. I for one cannot wait to see the day.

Of course such a mammoth project takes time and right now we have a lifeless town centre going down hill with each passing week. Will a gigantic Asda really cure our woes? Will it help resurrect the soul of this once much-admired conurbation? Unlikely, but it is something. More, lots more, needs to be done and our sister Liverpool is leading the way. We as a town need to follow strongly and no longer be content to be the hapless minor of Merseyside’s two siblings. Something has to be done. I implore the Council to save us from dereliction and help us become the great town, maybe even city, we were once so destined to become.

Liverpool Mercury

Friday, November 8, 1844

Birkenhead is and must continue to be a rising place. Whether that rising will be to the prejudice of Liverpool is another matter. Few think that it will; but many think that London will suffer by it. I have heard that London merchants have already prepared for making Birkenhead their head-quarters. The Wallasey Pool is a place which nature seems to have formed for docks. It is a long narrow lake of 150 acres of water which besides wharfs and warehouses requires little to render it one of the finest floating docks upon one of the noblest rivers in England, and in the very heart of our manufactures. Birkenhead, therefore, can hardly fail to rise, and rapidly; and it appears to me, that instead of Liverpool being jealous of its prosperity, it should rejoice and foster it, as it will be the means of concentrating on this spot more and more of the export and import trade of England. If any parties should feel alarm it is London, Bristol, Hull &c. These places may suffer, but Liverpool hardly can.

‘Railway Magazine’