Birkenhead docks. - Ships Nostalgia
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Birkenhead docks.

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  #1  
Old 25th May 2018, 20:26
Harry Nicholson's Avatar
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Birkenhead docks.

I've begun vol 2 of a memoir and hope someone can remind me of the name of the dock Brocks used in Birkenhead prior to leaving for the East. Outside that dock gate was a pub that we would frequent on Sunday mornings; the ladies of the night would hold court there (taking the day off, so to speak) and might even buy sailormen a beer out of their munificence. The name of that pub also escapes me.
On our bus tour during the last reunion, I thought we passed that pub. It was the only building still standing after a total clearance - but it was boarded up.
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Old 25th May 2018, 20:31
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Was it The Bidston Harry?

geoff
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  #3  
Old 25th May 2018, 20:43
tam fairweather tam fairweather is offline  
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I seem to remember a pub called the Duke in Birkenhead
Tam
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  #4  
Old 25th May 2018, 21:39
Barrie Youde Barrie Youde is offline  
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The Royal Duke?

Nearest pub to Duke Street Bridge.

I seem to remember that Brocks berthed in the East Float. Was it Vittoria Wharf? Pat Kennedy, please help!
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  #5  
Old 25th May 2018, 21:42
Cutsplice Cutsplice is online now  
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Pat Kennedy will have the answers as he is very familar with the docks and ale houses in that area.
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Old 26th May 2018, 08:05
tiachapman tiachapman is offline  
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yes the Duke. met my first love in there/ honky tonk angels
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Old 26th May 2018, 09:26
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All that is most interesting, thank you gentlemen.

There's fragments of debate on SN 10 years ago too. Many and varied bits of recall.

Then this superb image of The Royal Duke:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/geoffsimages/8658185891
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  #8  
Old 26th May 2018, 10:09
Barrie Youde Barrie Youde is offline  
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I drove past it on Thursday. It now looks very sorry for itself.
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Old 26th May 2018, 11:09
davidrwarwick davidrwarwick is offline  
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Barry, The Duke was demolished a few years back, are you sure it wasn't The Blazing Stump aka The Royal Swan that you drove past, on the Wallasey side of the docks? That has been boarded up for years now but it had the same reputation as the The Duke.
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Old 26th May 2018, 11:45
gwzm gwzm is offline  
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Interesting juxtaposition in the photo:
The Royal Duke and Rentokil next to each other!
Happy days,
gwzm
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  #11  
Old 26th May 2018, 12:13
Barrie Youde Barrie Youde is offline  
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#9

Hi, David,

No, I mean the Royal Duke on the corner of Corporation Road and Duke Street, which clearly was still standing and boarded up, only the day before yesterday.

It is very much as shown in Harry Nicholson's photograph at #7 - but much worse now!

Am baffled by your confusion.

Best wishes,

Barrie

PS If I am going completely barking mad, please accept my apologies in advance - but I do not think that that is the case.

Last edited by Barrie Youde; 26th May 2018 at 12:18..
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  #12  
Old 26th May 2018, 17:43
Barrie Youde Barrie Youde is offline  
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#9 & #11

My apologies, David!!

For the sake of my own sanity I returned to Birkenhead this afternoon and you are of course right!

My mistake was that on Thursday I approached from along Corporation Road and there, still standing, is a very similar building which bears the number 309. I then turned right to go across Duke Street Bridge, and so had my back to the site. This afternoon I approached from Birkenhead Park and Duke Street and it is obvious that the old pub has gone - and some time ago, as you point out.

The building still standing is perhaps the Rentokil building? It too is boarded up and looks virtually derelict.

Please forgive!
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  #13  
Old 26th May 2018, 21:02
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Harry Nicholson View Post
I've begun vol 2 of a memoir and hope someone can remind me of the name of the dock Brocks used in Birkenhead prior to leaving for the East. Outside that dock gate was a pub that we would frequent on Sunday mornings; the ladies of the night would hold court there (taking the day off, so to speak) and might even buy sailormen a beer out of their munificence. The name of that pub also escapes me.
On our bus tour during the last reunion, I thought we passed that pub. It was the only building still standing after a total clearance - but it was boarded up.
Brocklebank boats usually loaded at No1 or No 3 East float, on the Wallasey side of the docks, just over the road from the Manganese Bronze propellor works. Sometimes they berthed at the Anchor Line Berth, The East Quay. In either case the most likely pub would be the Blazing Stump, a well known docker's pub on the Wallasey Dock Rd just up from the four bridges.
It has been boarded up for years, but in it's day it rivalled Betty's Bar in Glasgow for generous hearted young ladies.

I took the attached pic in 2010, not much has changed since.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg blazing stump.jpg (75.9 KB, 112 views)
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Old 26th May 2018, 21:17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pat Kennedy View Post
Brocklebank boats usually loaded at No1 or No 3 East float, on the Wallasey side of the docks, just over the road from the Manganese Bronze propellor works. Sometimes they berthed at the Anchor Line Berth, The East Quay. In either case the most likely pub would be the Blazing Stump, a well known docker's pub on the Wallasey Dock Rd just up from the four bridges.
It has been boarded up for years, but in it's day it rivalled Betty's Bar in Glasgow for generous hearted young ladies.

I took the attached pic in 2010, not much has changed since.
That's superb, Pat - thank you for all that. Prompted by your note I found this on a history of Wallasey site:

"On Dock Road was the ‘Swan Hotel which also opened in 1878. The nickname of the Swan Hotel was 'The Blazing Stump' and the story goes that an old seadog with a wooden leg used it to poke the fire. In those days pitch was used as a wood preservative, which is probably why his wooden leg caught fire when poking the fire one time too many - hence 'The Blazing Stump.'

Due to its location near the Wallasey Docks majority of the customers who visited the pub came off the grain or ore boats. The pub would be thronged with Norwegians, Greeks, Germans, Swedes and Arabs and local people. When the pub was full the place had an unusual and interesting flavour because of this rare variety of people.

The 'Stump' days were numbered when less and less ships visited the Wallasey docks. The building still stands but is derelict."
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Old 27th May 2018, 13:23
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I joined my first ship "Malakand" in Vittoria Dock, Birkenhead. Just across the dock was "Masirah"looking very pukka (a.k.a. Murphy's Yacht ?)
A touch of chalk and cheese.
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Old 27th May 2018, 16:01
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Blazing Stump

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Originally Posted by Harry Nicholson View Post
That's superb, Pat - thank you for all that. Prompted by your note I found this on a history of Wallasey site:

"On Dock Road was the ‘Swan Hotel which also opened in 1878. The nickname of the Swan Hotel was 'The Blazing Stump' and the story goes that an old seadog with a wooden leg used it to poke the fire. In those days pitch was used as a wood preservative, which is probably why his wooden leg caught fire when poking the fire one time too many - hence 'The Blazing Stump.'

Due to its location near the Wallasey Docks majority of the customers who visited the pub came off the grain or ore boats. The pub would be thronged with Norwegians, Greeks, Germans, Swedes and Arabs and local people. When the pub was full the place had an unusual and interesting flavour because of this rare variety of people.

The 'Stump' days were numbered when less and less ships visited the Wallasey docks. The building still stands but is derelict."
Harry, When I was in the Bibby Line we knew it as the swan with no neck, hence the blazing stump. There was a bit of a Bibby Shanty "Rangoon to the Blazing Stump 84 Days" Salaams, Roger
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Old 27th May 2018, 16:41
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Harry, When I was in the Bibby Line we knew it as the swan with no neck, hence the blazing stump. There was a bit of a Bibby Shanty "Rangoon to the Blazing Stump 84 Days" Salaams, Roger
Thanks, Roger.
Also, a view of West Float:
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Last edited by Harry Nicholson; 27th May 2018 at 16:44..
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Old 27th May 2018, 17:18
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In many ways I am so glad that a Bluey was never "Preserved". If you can remember them, you can remember them, if you can't traipsing round a deteriorating hulk won't get you there.
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Old 27th May 2018, 20:42
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Harry, When I was in the Bibby Line we knew it as the swan with no neck, hence the blazing stump. There was a bit of a Bibby Shanty "Rangoon to the Blazing Stump 84 Days" Salaams, Roger
Or "From the Blazing Stump to the Golden Pagoda." as told to me by an old Bibby purser.
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Old 28th May 2018, 10:21
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Bye Bye Burma

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Or "From the Blazing Stump to the Golden Pagoda." as told to me by an old Bibby purser.
I did four trips on the old Derbyshire to Rangoon, and wanted to go and try for a radar ticket. I had always remembered one of the old salts saying that if you wanted to never come back to Burma, then don't look back at the Shwedagon Pagoda went you went down the river. I complied and never went back. However my attempt at getting funds for the radar ticket failed dismally, and I got a job with Brocklebanks. Cheers, Roger
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Old 29th May 2018, 13:02
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Did you see on the news the Liverpool FC supporters queuing for their plane to the game in Rome?
Their banner read:
"Rome wasn't built in a day. That was Birkenhead"
Wonderful Scouse humour.
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Old 29th May 2018, 13:27
Barrie Youde Barrie Youde is offline  
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Many a true word spoken in jest!

Reliable records show that in 1810 the the population of Birkenhead was 109, by 1820 it was 200, by 1830 it was 2,569 and by 1841 was more than 8,000. (Norman Ellison - The Wirral Peninsula -1955)
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Old 29th May 2018, 21:54
tom roberts tom roberts is offline  
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Don't knock Birkenhead it's a town that has many firsts in history but has been sidelined by historians,and the famous Mersey ferries should be properly named the Birkenhead ferries started by the monks of the Birkenhead priory,my missus goes ballistic when she hears them reffered to mersey or Liverpool ferries and it's famous ship building yards made some of the finest M.M.and R.N. ships even New York copied its Central Park on Birkenhead Park.and famous shipping companies sailed out of its docks,its going through hard times but the future looks good ahead and looking back the judies were as friendly as any I have know ,well hell im married to one.
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Old 30th May 2018, 07:37
Barrie Youde Barrie Youde is offline  
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The wonder of Birkenhead is, as Tom points out, the number of innovative things which happened there during a relatively short period of 150 years from 1820 to 1970. That is the twinkling of an eye in the great scheme of things.

Tom merely scratches the surface in his account at #22 and I would add to his list, in particular, the exceptionally fine architecture of Hamilton Square. Claims have been made that it is as grand as anything in Europe. It is named after the Hamilton family, famously cuckolded by Horatio Nelson. Even the femme fatale, Emy Lyon (the blacksmith's daughter who became Lady Hamilton) was born a mere ten miles or so away at Ness, near Neston. Even Hamilton Square has quite clearly seen better days and now looks a bit threadbare, save only for the original Georgian architecture. I weep for the prosperity which I knew in Birkenhead before 1970 and have witnessed its rapid decline since then.

A pleasant experience very recently, though, was to drive through Birkenhead Park, en route to clarify my earlier mistaken observations (above) about the Royal Duke pub. The Park is bigger than I remember. It was a perfect summer afternoon and at least two proper cricket matches were taking place, perhaps a quarter of a mile apart. By "proper" I mean that all the players were wearing whites - and the scene was most uplifting in all of the circumstances. The Park itself is well-kept.

The reality, though, in the town centre and at the docks, is grim. I pray for the future. It is good to see that at least some activity still takes place at Cammell Laird's yard.

Last edited by Barrie Youde; 30th May 2018 at 07:49..
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Old 30th May 2018, 07:43
Barrie Youde Barrie Youde is offline  
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THE BUS CONDUCTOR

I am the proud Conductor of a Corporation bus.
My function is to soothe the nerves of passengers who fuss.
SPITTING IS FORBIDDEN! Pass right down inside!
Room for one more, standing! We are going for a ride!
The finest general overview of this once-prosperous town
Is via the Routes of Two and Six – thus, known as half-a- crown.
Clockwise, anti-clockwise, passing many a fine abode,
This is the Oxton Circular, though not via Oxton Road.
The Number Ten New Brighton, with perhaps Eleven too,
Is sometimes seen in yellow (only Birkenhead is blue).
These jointly run with Wallasey, our Northern-neighbour folk,
Across the Penny-Bridge (although they cannot take the joke!)
The Forty-Three to Bromborough, the Forty-Four runs near,
The Forty-Six to Spital Cross, Four-Eight to Raby Mere,
The Fifty-Five New Ferry, Fifty-Eight to Clatterbridge,
The Sixties run to Bebington, but not on Storeton Ridge.
The Sixty-Four, Town Lane alone, is all which comes to mind.
One moment! Any more fares, please? I must adjust the blind.
And now we come to Woodchurch Road, the Seventy, Prenton Dell,
The Seventy-One to Heswall and the Seventy-Two as well.
The Seventy-Three to Irby, Seven-Four to Thurstaston Shore,
The Seventy-Seven Moreton, Greasby, Seventy-Eight, what more?
The Seventy-Nine to Storeton Road. It turns outside the Queens.
(A sometime single-decker as I knew it, in my teens.)
The Eighty runs to Prenton. To the end of Prenton Lane.
The Eighty-Two and Eighty-Six are circular again.
Clockwise, anti-Clockwise all the way to Dacre Hill.
The fare, perhaps, was sixpence on the Corporation bill.
And now we’re in the Nineties serving Birkenhead North-End
(Route-numbering has little pattern, logic, step or trend.)
The Ninety and the Ninety-Four, the highest, Ninety-Seven,
These numbers served my people once; and still they serve in Heaven.
Where Heaven once was clearly marked “Beyond Landican Lane”,
Before Cremation calls, please may I see a bus again!

BY
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