Little courts and alleys, crowded and gas-lit. Stiff Victorian terraces. Cottages hidden round leafy corners. Big houses importantly guarded by ivy-covered walls and thick hedges, and with their tradesmen entrances plainly marked. Almost all of them gone now, swept away on the great tide of growth and change and progress. Gone with the old cobbles, the horses and carts, the rattling trams and the quaint old names.
Diesel buses purr along the broad roads where fields used to be. Asphalt and concrete where once were winding lanes, cart tracks and farm gates.
Although it had assumed the dignity of a county borough in 1913, the Wallasey of just over a century ago was still a scattered community, a collection of villages.
The place was in its municipal infancy. It was full of farmsteads, fields, quiet spots, and charm.
Lace-curtained little dwelling-places that were pretty and highly individual. Mansions that were solid and four-square.
It was just before the outbreak of World War One which was to see the start of clearance orders and road-widening schemes that were completely alter the face of Seacombe, Liscard, Wallasey Village and Poulton.
Pavements in the old days were narrow. There was a partiality for lots of steps to the houses that stood off them, houses with fussy ornaments in their fanlights and plants in their front windows.
Occupiers of little houses competed with one another to make their front steps the brightest. Yellow stone and elbow grease were in evidence every morning,
The smallest and meanest places had their bright brass knockers and carefully laundered curtains.
In Seacombe there was the Mersey Street area. Not far away, close to Demesne Street, was a court known locally as Little Hell.
Along the Dock Road were cottages with flower filled gardens, poultry runs and carved wooden gates.
Whealand Cottage was in Kelvin Road, which was then a cul-de-sac. The cottage overlooked fields towards the flour mills in Dock Road.
Wheatland Cottage (also known as Wheatland House)
At the junction of Gorsedale Road (once known as Cinder Lane) and Gorsey Lane stood Old Manor Farm. Fields sloped down to Wallasey Pool.
A brisk walk away at Poulton was The Eyrie, the big house up on the Breck.
Its neighbour was Darley Dene, demolished in the air raids of 1941.
Up in Liscard was Urmson’s House. It gave its name to Urmson Road. Built in 1729, it was demolished in 1928.
Not far away was Clifton Hall. It stood next to Wallasey Grammar School, in Withens Lane, became a sea training home, and later was taken over by the Corporation to form the start of the Technical College.