Roads of Wallasey

Seabank Road

Seabank Road, between King Street and Rowson Street, gets its name from "Seabank" - the house which was later known as Liscard Manor House. At first the road ran as far as Manor Lane.

To be able to reach New Brighton, as part of Seabank Road was private, you had to go through Liscard Village and up Rake Lane and Rowson Street, or by walking along the beach when the tide was out. The other route to take was along Seaview Road, Mount Pleasant Road and Mount Road to Montpellier Crescent. It was not until 1880 that the thoroughfare was extended.

Starting from Trafalgar Road on the left hand side of King Street are 'Baroda Villas' and at No.9 in the 1930s was Charles Stewart, who was a silversmith. Built in the 1800s was 'Newley Cottage' which was on the corner of Trafalgar Road and numbered 2 and was once the home of Henry Porter. At one time James and Mary Elibeck lived at the cottage who once lived in Rudgrave Square. James established a building and contracting business in 1880 and had his yard at No.2 Charles Street, off Church Street. The business was later  to be carried on by his son, George and moved to 43 King Street in March, 1941 in the premises that use to be Hardings Coach Office. The house was demolished so that public toilets could be erected on the site. John Cotlier was a pilot who lived at 'The Noll'.

Dr. William Bruce Briggs, M.A., M.B., B.Ch., lived at No.19 and next door was Robert Evans, who went to sea as a ship's officer. Next door but one was a pilot by the name of Frank Wilkinson. Miss Edith Hellon lived at the fine Victorian house, 'Manor Grange'. Alterations were made and it is now a rest home.

Seabank Road, 1949
Manor Church Centre in the background

Living at No.35 'Seabank House' lived James Joyce, J.P. He was born in Liverpool in 1852, being the son of Michael Joyce of Seacombe. He was the first Councillor for Seacombe on the Wallasey Urban Council and he served on the Local Board for many years and was Chairman for a time. He was a Justice of the Peace for Chester and owned a number of sailing vessels which were built at Whitehaven, Sunderland and Newcastle. One of these was the 'Alice Leigh' which was built in 1888 and was the largest vessel built and owned in England at the time. One of the Wallasey ferryboats was named after him (the 'John Joyce', built in 1910). Another Wallasey Councillor, Alderman John Farley, lived at No.42 and he, too, had a ferryboat named after him in 1922.

Standing on the corner of Manor Road in Seabank Road is Manor Church Centre, formerly the Egremont United Reform Church, which was built as a Presbyterian Church of England between 1907/08. For more information please <click here>

On the opposite corner of Manor Road is a house named 'Oaklands' which was built in 1891 and in the 1930s was resided by Dr. Frederick Lyburn, L.R.C.P.S., L.M. He previously had his home and practice in a house called 'Riverside' in Falkland Road. Charles Warren, the contractor, lived on the corner of Manor Lane at 'Ingleby'. He was responsible for the construction of Seabank Road.

William Clark Curry, J.P. was at No.75 at one time. Wallasey's first Town Clerk, Mr. H. William Cook lived at No.81. There used to be a Swedish gymnasium at No.87 and further along at No.93 was Mrs. Emrys Evans, who worked for the Wallasey Council and who later became a Town Clerk. Dr. Young used to be at No.91, as did Dr. Ernest Bark at one time.

Living at No.101 was the shipowner J.S. Mack, and later Dr. John McMillian, M.B., Ch.B., also lived there, and Charles Morgan, the nurseryman. His land went right back to Penkett Road, being covered mainly with greenhouses. The greenhouse on Seabank Road included the shop. Later the land was sold for building purposes.

Seabank Road, 1929
Repairing Tram cables

On the corner of Marlborough Road was Dr. Irvine Hermon's practice which was later carried on by his son, Robert. There were a fair number of shops there too, as there are at present. Among them was Miss Annie Prince, the drapers, Thompson's the grocers, the Co-operative Society Pegrams, a greengrocer by the name of Theophilus McCallum and Jim Caffrey, the butcher. Dr. Percy Gange was at No.223 and Francis Evans was a professor of music at No.235.

On the right-hand side of the road from the Egremont end was the red brick St. Columba's Church, which stood on the corner of Trafalgar Avenue and was built in 1904. The last service was held in 1971 and the church was demolished in 1973. 

Next along is the 'Andrew Gibson Memorial Home for Seaman's Widows' which was donated by a retired wealthy ship-owner. It was built in the loving memory of a father by his son and cost £125,000 and was opened in 1906. The fine large red brick building is set in its own grounds and some flats faced the river and had splendid views. Miss Kerr was the superintendent of the home in 1925. It was refurbished in 1982 and had twenty four flats on three floors. The building closed in June 2002.

The five acres of land known as the ‘Roger Lyon Jones Park’ was situated on the opposite corner of Maddock Road. The park was laid out by Mr. J.S. Tyreman who also laid out parks in Liverpool. Roger Lyon Jones was a Liverpool merchant and a Liverpool Councillor and on his passing the land was gifted by the trustees for the purpose of building the Home for the Aged Mariners, also known as the Mariner’s Home, which was built on the old grounds of Liscard Manor House.

The foundation stone of the large building was laid by William Cliff on 18th October, 1880. It was built of red brick, supplied by the New Ferry Brick Co., with sandstone dressings in Gothic style. The bell tower rose to one hundred and thirty five feet. It was erected by the generosity of William Cliff in memory of his daughter, Rosa, who had died at the age of twenty-four, on 29th April, 1879. The design of the building was by the architect Colonel David Walker of 11 Dale Street, Liverpool.

The main entrance to the building faced the river. The Arms of the donor were outside, together with those of the Mercantile Marine Service Association and the Liver Bird above. The inscription read: - “The Home of Aged Mariners was erected by William Cliff, merchant of Liverpool, in the year MDCCCLXXXII to the memory of his beloved daughter, Rosa Webster, who died suddenly on the Twenty-ninth of April MDCCCLXXIX aged twenty four”

The Home, also known as “Cliff House”, was opened on 16th November, 1882 by H.R.H. Duke of Edinburgh, the second son of Queen Victoria. The main building was the home of 65 men. Each having his own cubicle instead of room. The library could hold a large number of men. In addition, there were two-rest rooms, one being in later years as a T.V lounge

The cottages in the grounds were: ‘Reyner’s Cottages’, ‘Forwood Cottages’, the ‘Etruria’, and ‘Aurania Cottages’, the ‘Bacon’. ‘Pickup’, ‘Brocklehurst’, ‘Ashton’, ‘McLnnes’, ‘Potter’, ‘Chaddock’, Harling’, ‘Slaughter’ and ‘Hedley’ cottages for the Aged Mariners who had wives or other relatives to live with them. They had a comfortable house with fire, gas, water and they were tax-free.

Donors could have a ward named after them for £500 and the donors could name a cabin in the main building.

The roads in the park had shipping names such as Ismay Drive, Cliff Drive, Cunard Avenue, Whitley Drive, Webster Avenue, Richard Chubb Drive and King George Drive. The main entrance to the Park was at the top of Maddock Road. The carved posts and iron gates were removed in 1967, having been there since 1882.

On 25th October, 1925, a new extension was opened by Lord Jellicoe as a memorial to 15,168 officers and men who lost their lives in the First World War. On 4th November, 1931, H.R.H., the Prince of Wales paid a visit to the Park whilst in Wallasey where he was taken on a guided tour of the Home.

As years passed the villas were converted into flats whilst others were demolished. The main building was no longer required and closed in 1977. Later it was decided to demolish it which was carried out in 1981. Today the Park is run by Nautilus Wefare Fund, a charity that aims to provide a welfare service to needy seafarers and their dependants. In 2002 the Mariners Park Care Home was opened by the Princess Royal.

Seabank Road, 1948
Warwick Road to the right.

Continuing on, Mr. Best, the chemist, went to live at No, 34 Seabank Road and a little higher up was the dentist by the name of Frederick Aloyisious Parle. Arthur Simpson was a shipowner who lived at No. 58 and Robert Leyland, the pawnbroker lived on the corner of Radnor Drive and Dr. William Milroy was a No. 88.

Seabank High School was at the top of Dalton Road and had opened in 1892 and known as Miss Earp’s Ladies School. It later moved to ‘King’s Court’ in Penkett Road and offered a wide curriculum including gymnastics, art, swimming and commercial subjects. It closed in 1940.

Liscard High School was on the corner of Hale Road and Seabank Road and was originally in Penkett Road. It was a very popular private school and was founded by Albert Wrigley, B.A. in 1896. From one pupil the school soon grew and when they were at their peak they had as many as three hundred. The red brick building was built in 1909 and the scholars wore maroon blazers, caps and ties. Mr Wrigley entered politics and elected to the Town Council and was made an alderman. He was Mayor of Wallasey in 19828/1929. In 1930 he gave up the school when it was bought by Mr. Middleton-Hislop who had it for about ten years, and then Stanley Watson took over.  Albert Wrigley, who hailed from Yorkshire, died in 1933. The building later became for a time a centre for the hard of hearing.

At No. 108 lived the builder Samuel Kendrick. Among the shopkeepers along this part of the road was Mills, the chemist, Ashtons the wholesale tobacconist people. Lacey’s (No. 132) had a bakery and Mr. Leadbetter was a hairdresser. Mr. Boyer continued on the business. Herbert Howard was the fishmonger.

The Emmanuel Church was designed by C. E Dean and was built in red brick at the beginning of the last Century. An iron chapel was on the site before the church was built and came under the parish of St. James’ Church.

Seabank Road, 1936
Hale Road to the right with Steel Road to the upper left.
Seabank Road, 1936
Emmanuel Church to the immediate right

At ‘Ivor Lodge’ (No.176), corner of Magazine Lane, were the surgeons McDonald and Herman. Dr. Bouverie Francis Primrose McDonald was the son of Captain S. McDonald of the Isle of Lewis and was born in Edinburgh on 13th April 1861. He was educated at the Edinburgh Academy and Edinburgh University. McDonald came to Wallasey in 1886, where he built himself a large and successful practice. At an early date he was appointed honorary surgeon to the Wallasey Dispensary, and also to the Seacombe Cottage Hospital, which in 1901 became the Liscard Central Hospital. In these two hospitals he performed many operations, as well as treating many medical cases. During the same year he vaccinated some 4,000 persons in six weeks after an outbreak of small-pox struck the area. In all he would attend the birth of 2,200 infants and vaccinate 22,500 babies whilst in practice.

Seabank Road, 1902
Seabank Road, 1902
At the junction of Cambridge Road

Later on, he threw himself into political work in the Conservative interest, became president of the local Primrose League, and then President of the Conservative Association.  He soon became a member of the Cheshire County Council for Liscard. He was also a Justice of the Peace and was Wallasey’s first Member of Parliament between 1918 and 1922. In July 1926 the long partnership with Herman was dissolved when McDonald retired to Croydon, where, in August 1931, he died.

Thomas Burke was a Justice of the Peace who lived ant No. 184 and the vicarage of Emanuel Church was at No. 190. The vicarage later moved next to the church before moving down to the Brow, Dr. Tom Martlew, M.B., Ch.B., was the sporting enthusiast and Chairman of New Brighton F.C. He had his home and practice on the corner of Dalmorton Road. Another doctor, Basil Murphy was further along. 

Seabank Road Map, 1910
click to enlarge