Get Healthy With Wirral Walks & Coffee Mornings

Monday, 13 October 2014

Mindless Vandals Hit Flaybrick Cemetery again

Today whilst out on a walk with Wirral Walk & Coffee Morning Group we entered Flaybrick Cemetery to promote what a lovely and peaceful place it is. Having already been targeted by vandalism earlier this year it was sickening to see what has happened again. More needs to be done to prevent this from happening. I have contacted Wirral Street Scene regarding the matter and I hope at least the Graffiti is cleaned off before the family of the grave owners have seen it. I will pursue this matter until something has been done to prevent this from happening again.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

Wirral Walk around Bidston 13th October 2014

Coming up tomorrow Bidston Walk and Coffee Morning. Meeting at Tam O'Shanters Farm leaving for 9.30pm the walk with be roughly 2-3 miles, nothing strenuous and it wont be fast paced. This walk is suitable for all and then we will finish with a stop at Tam O'Shanters Cafe for refreshments. 

Membership available online via link

Friday, 10 October 2014

The Lighthouse at Bidston

One of the great features of Bidston is the lighthouse, The Wirral Peninsula holds several lighthouses that still remain, but non other sit on top of a hill like the one at Bidston. Here is some History detailing the Bidston Lighthouse. 

The Original Bidston Lighthouse. 

There has been a lighthouse on Bidston Hill since about 1771, when the first Bidston Lighthouse was built, further from the shore than any other lighthouse in Britain. The tower was octagonal, and the lamp room featured a massive parabolic reflector, 13’6″ in diameter, developed at the Bidston Signals Station by William Hutchinson, Liverpool Harbour Master and one-time privateer.

The present Bidston Lighthouse and Cottages were built by Mersey Docks and Harbour Board in 1873, after the original lighthouse was damaged by fire and demolished. The building is Grade-II listed and is privately owned by a great man and friend of mine who respects the building and its history.

The Lighthouse is open on special occasions and you can follow Stephen Pickles on Twitter to keep updated on the lighthouse and its open days @StephenPickles1

Flaybrick Grave Monument in Bidston

Have you ever noticed this amazing Gravestone in Flaybrick? Thankfully this was one of a few not damaged by vandals a few months back.

About Visit Bidston

Visit Bidston is a voluntary organisation promoting all things to do with the area of Bidston, local News, Events and History. Bidston is a Beautiful area and has many hidden secrets, but what we want to do is show Bidston for the greatness that it is and invite people to come and visit. We believe in promotion of local businesses whilst also voicing the concerns of local residents and their needs, If you have any issues or concerns please contact us at and we will do our best to help.

Bidston History Book

Bidston Windmill Roofless

Here is an unusual photograph of Bidston Hill Windmill without a roof, thank you to Mike Kemble for sharing this fabulous photograph with Visit Bidston

Visiting Bidston via Rail Services

Bidston Railway Station

You can visit Bidston via using the rail service. Trains run weekly from North Wales, Liverpool and West Kirby. 

Bidston railway station is a railway station in Bidston, Birkenhead, on the Wirral, England. The station is situated at the junction of the West Kirby branch of the Wirral Line, which is part of the Merseyrail network, and with the Borderlands Line from Wrexham Central, operated by Arriva Trains Wales.

Click Link to View Train Time Tables 

The station was originally built by the Hoylake Railway in 1866 as an intermediate station on their line from Birkenhead to Hoylake. After the extension of this line to West Kirby in 1878 to the west and into a new station to the east at Birkenhead Docks (the current Birkenhead North station), through trains to Liverpool commenced in 1938 when the London Midland and Scottish Railway electrified the line to West Kirby. In 1896 the North Wales and Liverpool Railway opened their line to Hawarden Bridge, which joined the Wrexham, Mold and Connah's Quay Railway line to Wrexham.

The station in 1961, facing towards Leasowe. The lines to the sidings and engine shed are in front of the signals to the left. Bidston Dee Junction signal box is behind the platform.

During the earlier half of the twentieth century, Bidston station was known as Bidston Dee Junction and was a busy interchange between the Wirral line electric services and the Seacombe to Wrexham & Chester steam trains. In 1960 the Wrexham service (by now operated by diesel trains) was diverted east of Bidston to terminate at New Brighton and later to Birkenhead North. However it was subsequently cut back to start and terminate at Bidston in October 1978 and this remains the situation today.

The station has always been primarily a transfer point between trains, relatively isolated from everywhere, by foot, except Bidston Village, which remains the position today. Until 1970, the approach road was just a track and not properly surfaced.

Group and School Visits to Tam O'Shanter's Farm



Visiting groups can organize their own activities or utilize the farm's activity and information sheets. Guided walks may be available to small groups subject to staff availability.
As the farm is small we try and restrict its use to one group at a time.
Please read the following information then contact Tam O’Shanter Urban Farm to check the date you require is available to make a provisional booking.
Fill in the booking form and return it to:
Tam O’Shanter Urban Farm,
Boundary Road,
Wirral, CH43 7PD.

The farm is open daily 9.30am – 4.30pm and is FREE. (donations are welcome )

Access is on surfaced paths suitable for wheelchair access.

There is also a café offering snacks and refreshments (open 9.30am – 4.30pm)

Free parking is available on the adjoining Bidston Hill car park.

There is an outdoor picnic area but we have indoor space for up to 30 if the weather is poor (please check availability when booking). Not available on Thursday mornings

There are toilets in the café and the eco-building, both with wheelchair provision.


It is recommended that children arrive suitable dressed for the weather and ground conditions. Although the paths around the farm are surfaced it can be muddy in places. Activities will continue in all but the worst weather conditions but if you decide not to come please contact us as soon as possible.
Remember in hot, sunny weather children will need sun protection.


Teachers/group organizers are expected to accompany all groups of children and are responsible for maintaining discipline. Please keep close supervision of children so they do not disturb other users, wildlife or farm animals. Visitors are requested not to feed the farm animals unless permission is given by farm staff as it can disrupt their diet and may cause illness.

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Bidston History as seen in 1848

Bidston in Lewis's Topographical Dictionary of England (1848)

 On an elevated site is a lighthouse, which was purchased by the corporation of Liverpool, under an act obtained in 1762, and is supported by a duty levied on all vessels sailing to and from that port. Bidston Hall, an ancient mansion, was a seat of the earls of Derby, and is said to have been a favourite residence of the Earl William, chamberlain of Chester in the reign of James I. There are extensive views embracing the Welsh mountains and river Dee, westward; southward, the county of Chester; eastward, the Mersey, Liverpool, and Everton; and northward, the Channel, bounding the horizon.
1864 Due to the expansion of Waterloo Dock, the decision was taken to close the Liverpool Observatory and build a new one on top of Bidston Hill, where there was also the advantage of clearer skies for astronomical observations.
1866 Land was purchased from a local landowner, Mr Vyner, who owned Bidston Hall, and Bidston Observatory was built, faced with sandstone excavated from the site. There was an equatorial telescope in the west dome, which was used mainly for the observation of comets, and a transit telescope in the east dome, which was regularly used for the determination of time from the stars. These telescopes are now in Liverpool Museum. There was a large instrument room - the through room on the ground floor - which contained two warm air chambers. Each of these could hold up to one hundred chronometers. These chronometers were tested over several months at varying temperatures and had to be very accurate before they were considered safe to take to sea. Sextants, barometers and thermometers were tested in the basement.
One o'clock was still indicated to the citizens of Liverpool, but now by the One O'clock Gun. This was situated at Morpeth Dock, Birkenhead and was connected by telegraphic line to Bidston Observatory. It was fired from here by the staff each working day, except for a six-year break during the Second World War. It was also fired at midnight to mark the beginning of the 20th century. The original cannon was a relic of the Crimean wars, and after it was replaced by a naval Hotchkiss gun, was on display in the Observatory grounds for many years.
1867 Meteorological observations began.
1872 The original lighthouse was replaced by the present one.
1875 The windmill ceased working.
1897 Several seismographs were set up in the deep cellars for experiments in the then new science of seismology.
1913 The lighthouse ceased operations, having acted as a guide to mariners for 142 years.
1918 The Mill again loses its roof in a gale
1924 The Liverpool Tidal Institute, under the directorship of Professor Proudman at Liverpool University, relocated to Bidston Observatory. Tidal predictions, which were calculated by hand, were produced on a commercial basis.
1929 The Liverpool Observatory of the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board and the Tidal Institute of the University of Liverpool amalgamated to become the Liverpool Observatory and Tidal Institute. Two tide predicting machines were now in use, and the tidal expertise of the institute received worldwide acclaim. Weather forecasting at Bidston ceased, although observations continue to be made to the present day.
1939-1945 Much valuable work was done during the Second World War. The staff worked seven days a week, from early morning to late at night, analysing and predicting tides towards the war effort. Tidal predictions were swiftly predicted for the seas around Burma, France and Holland. During these years one of the tide predicting machines was placed in an underground room in the Observatory grounds for security reasons. Photographic facilities were obtained, so that further copies of the predictions could be quickly provided in the event of their loss at sea.
1961 On the retirement of the Director, Dr Doodson, The Liverpool Observatory and Tidal Institute was renamed The University of Liverpool Tidal Institute and Observatory.
1969 The Institute became a component body of the Natural Environment Research Council and was renamed the Institute of Coastal Oceanography and Tides. An expanded marine research programme was embarked upon, with a corresponding increase in staff. The One O'clock Gun was fired for the last time on July 18th.
1970 The Institute's first mainframe computer was installed.
1973 Three previously separate NERC Institutes were amalgamated, becoming the Institute of Oceanographic Sciences, including the Bidston Observatory.
1975 The Joseph Proudman building in the Observatory grounds was completed, to accommodate the increase in staff and also the latest computer.
1987 The Institute at Bidston was renamed the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory.
1992 An automatic weather station was installed, replacing the manual station which had been operating since 1867.
1994 The Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory, together with the Dunstaffnage Marine Laboratory near Oban, and Plymouth Marine Laboratory became the Centre for Coastal and Marine Sciences.
2000 The Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory once again became an independent institute under the Natural Environment Research Council.

2012. The Observatory currently sits empty and is apparently up for sale. The nearby Lighthouse is in private hands.
2014. The Observatory is no longer in use and is up for let as living accomodation

The Bidston Village Church

St Oswald's Church

St Oswald's Church, Bidston is in Bidston, an area of Birkenhead, Wirral, Merseyside, England. It is designated by English Heritage as a Grade II listed building. It is an active Anglican parish church in the diocese of Chester, the archdeaconry of Chester and the deanery of Birkenhead.

BIRKENHEAD Bidston Village Road (East side) Bidston Church of St Oswald

(Formerly listed under HOYLAKE ROAD) 29/07/50 

GV II Parish Church. Largely 1856 by W. and J.Hay but incorporating late medieval tower and with chancel and possibly north aisle added or remodelled in 1882 by W.E.Grayson. Coursed and squared rubble in large blocks, but randomly coursed in north aisle and chancel. Westmorland slate roof with ridge cresting. Nave with west tower, two aisles and chancel. Early C16 three-stage west tower with angle buttresses. Perpendicular stilted moulded arch to west door with drop ended hood-mould over. Frieze of quatrefoil panels and coats of arms over doorway. 3-light window above with ogival hoodmould continuingas string course. 3-light bell-chamber window in third stage. Embattled parapet with corbel table. 

North aisle has 2-light Decorated window in west wall, and 2 in north wall. Gabled vestry wing dated 1903 projects, possibly incorporating earlier fabric in its west wall. Paired lancet lights in north wall of short chancel, and 3-light Decorated window with hood mould carried on corbel heads to the east. Small foiled lancet in south wall, and parapet with frieze dated 1882. Gabled porch in south aisle, with chamfered archway. 

Dated 1593 with date of rebuilding, 1856. Stilted arches to 2-light Decorated windows and small side door with hoodmould over. Interior space has been divided by a new screen leaving exposed a nave of 3 bays. Cylindrical shafts to steeply arched arcade. Nave roof with shallow curved principal trusses with collar. Chancel arch carried on corbels. Sedilia in chancel dated 1882: foiled arches on foiliate corbels. Reredos by Salviati, mosaic Last Supper with wood canopy frieze over. Painted roof with angel corbels over choir, the rest boarded. North aisle has 2-light Decorated window in west wall, and 2 in north wall. (The Buildings of England: Pevsner N and Hubbard E: Cheshire: Harmondsworth:1971).

 The original church dates back to the 13th century. The tower was built in 1520. The rest of the church was rebuilt in 1855–56 by W. and J. Hay in Gothic Revivalstyle. An extension was made to the chancel in 1882 by G. E. Grayson

The church is built from coursed and squared rubble in large blocks with a roof of Westmorland slate with ridge cresting. Its plan consists of a west tower, a nave, north and south aisles with gable roofs, a south porch, and a chancel. Heraldic shields over the west door date it between 1504 and 1521. The tower is in three stages with angle buttresses and an embattled parapet

In the chancel is a sedilia dated 1882. The reredos is a mosaic depicting The Last Supper by Salviati over which is a wooden canopy frieze. The stained glass includes windows by Morris & Co., Robert Anning Bell, H. Gustave Hiller, H. Hughes, Powell and Frank O. Salisbury. The two-manual organ dating from 1929 is byHenry Willis & Sons.There is a ring of six bells by Robert Stainbank of the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, five of which are dated 1868 and the other 1882. The parish registers begin in 1679 and the churchwardens' accounts in 1767

The churchyard contains four war graves, each of which represents a different service; a British Army Colonel of World War I, and a Royal Air Force officer, a Royal Navy and a Merchant Navy sailor of World War II