History of Wallasey Shopping

Shopping In Wallasey Village

Looking at Wallasey Village during the 1920s we begin at the top of School Lane, with No.1 being at one time a public house called 'Ring of Bells' where John Robinson was the landlord. Joe Coventry also had it at one time. In the early 1900's it was converted into a house and a shop. Mr. Jack Jones ran a small business which was later carried on by his wife. Mr and Mrs. Harold Kemp came to live in the house part. Their son, Herbert, became a member of the Wallasey Silver Band as a boy and was a member for many years.. Harold Kemp was an electrician. The small, slated house had a shop window on one side of the building with the name "J.Jones" written above. Over the door was an advert for "Players Please" (cigarettes) and further adverts were at the side of the shop window for "Wild's Gold Flake" and "Will's Capstan Navy Cut". Another sign for "Craven A" cigarettes appeared under the window.

George Cross lived at No.11 and it was later the home of Mrs. Fowler. Next door was Tom Fowler, the shoe maker. Stanley Strong, the dairyman was along here, where the welders (Fells and Grant) set up business. Mrs. Campbell lived at No.21, where Bob Williams used to live. Fred Voss was a market Gardener at No.25. His family may of owned a farm in Liscard. Bill Clooney was the cobbler at No.29. He was a small gentleman with an artificial leg, having lost it in the First World War. His cosy little shop was heated by an oil lamp and was converted from a "two up and two down" terraced house. On the wall was a glass case in which he proudly displayed his war medals.

Mrs. Francis Billington lived in 'Buxton House'. Tom Broster came to live at No.53 and next door to Jack Lidget was the home of the Halewood family at No.51, David Halewood was a market gardener. His father used to be the Water Inspector. Their cottage was between Live Farm and Buxton House. Not only was he the water inspector, but he was the Sergeant-in-Charge of the local fire volunteer fire brigade. he had six men in his charge who were dressed in blue uniforms and who wore brass helmets. They had to pull a red-painted handcart. Often the gorse would catch alight in the hot weather and they would be called out to deal with it.

Stonehouse Road gets its name from the large old house called "Stonehouse" which stood opposite the Black Horse. It was built in 1693 and was demolished in 1895. John Robinson lived there at one time.

Wallasey Village Parish Hall

In the 1930s we had Doug Tate (greengrocers), Mrs. Holroy's chip shop and Harry Ellison, the wallpaper and paint business, opened a branch at No.73. Ted Williams was the verger at St. Hilary's Church. He lived at No.93 Wallasey Village and Jim Cartan did quite a lot of bricklaying in the village. He lived next door, which later became Walton's chemist, who had crossed from the other side of the road. The Co-operative grocery was on the corner of Lycett Road and Mr. Bee was the fruiterer and florist, Herbert Triplett opened as a fishmonger. Lunts the bakers and the dressmaker, Mrs. Jones, and Mr. Peter Grant was the ironmonger on the corner. Lawton's farm was at the top of Leasowe Road which became the site of Roberts, the butchers. Bill Lawton was a farmer until about 1902. There used to a lamp post in the middle of Leasowe Road, with a horse-trough in the base. At a later date the trough was removed and a public drinking bollard was put their in its place. Mrs. Swindells took over Broome's confectionery shop at No.113 and the popular grocer was Owen McEneany, the property being known as 'Avondale'. The British and Argentine Meat Company was No.117 (later Dewhursts) and Sam Ledsham had the fruit shop next door. Mr. Howard gave up the fish and chip shop and Mr. Fell opened a furniture store in the premises. Coombes had a boot repairers and there was MacFisheries next to the chip shop (Fred Cundle). Bill Spark used to live at No.125, Ted Ledder had a shop and Bill Humphreys was the manager of the fishmongers (Neptune Fish Marts). Mr. Moody used to have this shop. He was a boot and shoe dealer.

The 'Stone Cottages' were built around about 1840/1850, and are near the top of Marlwood Avenue. These are the 'two up and two down' type and are the last of such cottages in the village. There are three in number. In No.2 was Joe Howard and later his daughter, Mary, lived there. Harold Pemberton, the printer, lived next door. In the end house was Ted Ledder, who had his shop in the village at No.133. Joe Hazelhurst came to live No.1. He was a member of the Wallasey Silver Band.

P.L. Edwards was the draper on the corner of Beechwood Avenue. They sold boots and shoes in the early days. Then they sold school uniforms. Harry Hocking had the stationers who had opened in Mr. Atkinson's old shop on the opposite side of the road. Mr. Rogers had the chemists shop until Walter Quayle bought the business. They were qualified in optics and also sold wine and spirits. He was also a photographic chemist and Mr. Quayle Jr. was a keen amateur photographer. Anthony Quayle, the famous actor, was a relative of Mr. Quayle.

Next door was the butchers. The Robinsons were the decorators and plumbers in the village. George Webster was the market gardener and Fred Webster before him. Bill Rogers had also been a market gardener, as had Ted Webster in the 1890's. George York was the grocer. He had been the manager of Tranton's grocery business. The tobacconists was run by Mrs. Povall. Then there was the market gardener which was run by another well-known village family, the Sparks. Tom Sparks and his sons were very hard workers. By the garage was the builders, Tate, Pumford and Doughty, who built many houses in Wallasey. Mrs. String was landlord at 'The Farmers Arms'. There were three little cottages known as 'Mersey Cottages' In the 1930's, Arthur Watson lived at No.1, Arthur Broster in the next cottage and Frank Little at No.3. Henry Webster lived at 'Mersey House'. He was the market gardener. Miss Bamber ran a small cafe by the cinema and Mrs. Walsin had the confectioners. William Fowler was later at N0.227. The old "Cosy Cosmo" (the Coliseum picture-house) opened on Whit Monday, 1913. In those days it was a pretty little picture-house, being decorated in blue, white and gold with matching carpets. Harry Manchester was manager in 1935. In 1941 the building received a direct hit and had to be demolished. It was rebuilt in 1951 and appropriately renamed as "Phoenix". After a considerable life it closed on 6th July, 1983 and was demolished. It is now the site of sheltered housing.

Joe Wragg, the police officer, lived in Wirral villas in the 1890's. The old Presbyterian Hall became the Central Hall for the Plymouth Brethren. The 'Mission Hall Cottages' were close by and Jim Courtney lived in one of them. He worked for the railway as a signalman. Martha Joynson used to live in one of the cottages in the 1800's.

Phil Maddocks was the barber and Mrs. Morris was the confectioner on the corner of Green Lane. Bob Kelly was the grocer on the other side. He had been taken over from John Jones. His cafe was at 259, 261 and 275 and was known as 'Village Cafe'. They had a large room for whist drives and parties. Bill Holmes was the butcher and Jim Walton was the fruiterer at No.267, who had Dan Darragh's old shop. Bert Leigh had the outfitters, and Mary Spencer was the fruiterers. Boult Brothers were the ironmongers and Bob Kelly had his shop, along with Mr. Rogers. who had a grocers shop next door to Irwin's grocers on the corner of Bidston Avenue. Storey's drapery was in the old outfitters and Mr. Samuel Morgan was the jeweller. The post office was on this side of the road and Mrs. Roberts was in charge. Mr. Walter Spriging was the pharmacist. Barber and Company were next to the Bank of Liverpool and Martins. The bank opened on 15th November, 1909, and Mr. Roberts was the manager in the 1920s. The Station-master's house stood on the corner of the approach to the station and Bob Jones was the station-master. He lived in 'Station House'. It used to have a small garden in front but, due to road widening, was removed. Frank Bennion was the Station-master in the 1920's, also Albert Mack was Station-master in 1936.

On the right-hand side of Wallasey Village, we have the 'Cheshire Cheese' public house which, although rebuilt, dates back to the 1600's. The present building was erected in 1885 and, not long after this date, Ted Bryant was the landlord. During the First World War, Robert Davies was the licensee and Bill Bryan was there in the 1920's. Years ago they served home-brewed ale and one could get bread, dairy and milk cheese there. Just past the public house there was a field which was known as the "Old Field" where the lads built their bonfire to celebrate Guy Fawkes Night. Opposite the field was a tin shed where the fire engine was kept. On the corner of Folly Lane was a house and shop which was run by Mrs Campbell. She sold sweets and tobacco. Later there was a laundry along here and Bill Hall had a confectioners in what was Mrs. Ledsham's old shop. There was a smithy on the corner of Folly Lane. On the corner of Perrin Road there was Welton's chemists and Arthur Kersley was the upholster at No.52. Tramton's the grocers were there, as was Mrs. Davies the tailor. Mrs. Luxton had the chandlers next to the Black Horse, James Westcott had the inn during the 1850's and when he died his wife, Hannah, continued on and then David Burrowman took charge. Jim Lawton was landlord in the 1890's and a few years later Alf Peers was the popular host. The old inn had been built in 1722 and was demolished in 1931. Lucy Gilbert kept the little 'Cabin'sweet shop in the village. Alf Hughes lived in the 'Black Horse Cottages'. Mrs. Ada Williams lived in 'The Cottage' and Frank Rowe was the fruiterer at No. 88. Marshall Ramsbottom used to have the 'Dairy Farm there at one time.


Miss. Norman was the draper, and Jane Hamilton had the post office and grocers, which was eventually taken over by Mr. Howard and, in turn, his two daughters took over the post office. It had ceased to be a grocers, it have been changed to a stationers. Mr. Arthur Capper was the dentist, who was in practice on Tuesdays and Thursday between 3.00pm and 7.00pm. There was another dentist who also practised with Mr. Capper whose name was Mr. Middleton. Mr. William Hayes was the optologist in the same building. Mrs. Maude Peachey had a confectioners at No. 94 and George Strong had his dairy lower down the road.Next door was the home of the local midwife, Mrs. McFall. The Williams brothers were grocers and next door was a wine shop. Above was the local Conservative Club. Mr. Tom Linton was the manager of the London Joint City and Midland Bank for some years, and on the other corner of St. John's Road was Hamilton's Bakery. Miss. Tessa Brew as the manageress. Mr. Hamilton's son, Herbert 'Duke', was a footballer and he played for Tranmere Rovers, Everton (1926) and Preston North End. The family lived in St. John's Road. Harold Nichols was the barber and Mr. Moody did the boot repairing. William Sparks and Sons were the dairymen at No.144 and Mrs. Hardwich was a draper. Fred Clough worked on the market gardens and the district nurse lived next door. Everybody knew Nurse Mary Bishop. Tom Cooil, the saddle maker was by the grocers and Charlie Garner was a fruiterer. Bryon and Francis were the poultry dealers. Jim Webster had 'Pear Tree Farm'. It got its name from a large pear tree that grew in the garden. At one time the cottage was called 'The Poplars'.

Alice Webster looked after the farm at one time. They had a field by Sandy Lane which was for grazing. The farm was by 'Big Yard' which ran between the village and St. George's Road. There were a number of small houses in the 'yard' and among the people that lived there was Ernie Hazelhurst, the market gardener, Arthur Rome, the painter and Harold Rogers, who worked at the reservoir. There were also piggeries and greenhouses which were later owned by George Jackson. The authorities decided to widen the road and the farmhouse had to be knocked down in 1961. Next to the farm was a boot repairer. 'Willow Cottage' stood at right angles to the main road. The whitewashed cottage was demolished for road widening in March 1946. It had been built in 1737 and only the house-plate remains. It is kept at Earlston Library and has the initials 'R.I.O.M.' In the 1930s it was known as 'Willow Nurseries', where the Jones family lived in the cottage from 1903. They brought up seven children there. Herbert Jones was a gardener and jobber. He was also a florist and sold bedding plants.

At No. 146 was the furniture maker, Charles Dalrymple. He had knocked a number of small building into one. The tunnel had to walk through a sort of tunnel-like passage to see the products on show. Tables, chairs, sideboards, etc., were all made of oak and other timbers which were all nicely stained and polished. The site is now part of St. Mary's College grounds. John Baker (confectioner) and Arthur Cornwell (hardware) were in this part of the village. Robert Webster lived at No.160 and he was a market gardener. George Shaw kept the 'Traveller's Rest' public house. Dick Goodwin and Ted Farnworth were previous landlords. It closed in 1939. The College grounds now occupy the site. Thomas Sparks lived 'Laburnum Cottage', which had been built in 1816. This fine sandstone cottage had to be demolished for road widening. Mr. Sparks died on 10th April, 1932. His son married Miss. Povall from the Village. The cottage carried the initials TSA which stood for Thomas Senior and Maybe Anne. There were two other sons, who lived in Marlwood Road. The cottage stood where St. Mary's College grounds are. Eric Barker, a policeman, lived at No.90 and George Nelson lived in the next house. George Strong was next door-but-one to the policeman. It was then called 'Holly Cottage'.

'Mason's Cottages' were at the bottom of Sandy Lane. One or two had been made into small shops. They were demolished to make way for the tramlines in 1910/1911. Mrs. Cunningham lived by the Presbyterian Church and her husband used to be a market gardener. Next to the church was 'Dean's Cottages'. At No.222 was Mr Cuthbert, the seed merchant. George Dean, the market gardener, lived in the row, as well as a couple of other gardeners. Another row of cottages were called 'Kendrick's Cottages' and the Lighthouse Inn was in the care of Mrs Jones. Sarah Kendrick was the landlady at one time. It was once two cottages and said to have been established in about 1718. The local fishermen used to gather here for a chat and a drink of ale. The old building was knocked down in 1966 on completion of the new public house.

'Billy's Gowns' the fashion shop was run by Miss Windsor and Miss. Jenson. Horn's, the outfitters, were next to Harry Smith's hardware shop and Mr. Jones was the butcher. Mr. Mumford, the photographer, used to have his shop and studio in this part of the village in about 1915. After the war he thought he might do better in New Brighton so he moved to Victoria Road. Jack Skirrow was the fruiterer at No. 264 and the ladies fashion shop was owned by Sergeant and Newell. Farther along the main road was the stationers and newsagents who have been known for years as the 'Criterion Bazaar Company'. These shops were in the Grove Arcade. At the end of the row of shops was Reece's Cafe. They had several branches throughout Merseyside. Mrs. Reece once lived at 'Highfield' in Mill Lane. Reece's had another cafe in Harrison Drive, which was a wooden building on supports, which catered for the number of crowds going to the beach. Above the shops was the 'Grove Hotel', which opened in 1909 as a temperance hotel. In 1920 it cost 5s. 0d. for entrance to the ballroom to enjoy dancing to the music of Arthur Gregson. In the 1950's it became the Melody Inn Club. This block of shops had been extended in the early 1900's. The Grove Cafe used to be at the end of the row at about that time and they put on some very nice luncheons, dinners and afternoon teas. In the 1950's the upstairs was transformed into the Melody Inn Club until it was badly damaged by fire in the 1960's.

Wallasey Village, 1923
Wallasey Village, 1959

Thomas Suckley was the steward of the Grove Golf Club and he lived in 'Summer Cottage'. The Post Office was, at one time, at No.171 and Miss. Kemp lived next door. Madge Kemp was a market gardener and had her land in Grove Road, running to St. George's Road. The work was too heavy for one, so she asked Sammy Lovell for help. Madge later went to live in Green Lane.

Wallasey Vilalge, 1934

'The Springs' is at the very end of the village and was the home of the solicitor, Albert Wright. It was built in 1840. It is thought that one of the fireplaces in the house came from the old 'Great Eastern' iron ship and the wooden paneling in the lounge was once a racing box which was connected with the old Wallasey Races. The porch of this sandstone house seems to have been added at a later date as the name 'Springs' above is somewhat hidden. It is thought that the house may have once been a school house.



Wallasey Village

Looking At The Village

Looking At The Village

Looking At The Village

Wallasey Village


Looking At The Village

Looking At The Village

Further reading :- Wallasey Districts : Wallasey Village