Friday, 17 August 2012


Bidston is a suburb of Birkenhead, on the Wirral Peninsula. In the 1920's, the area was vastly different to today's landscape of modern housing, retail and industrial parks and new road layouts. In the 1920's, the area had 3 distinct areas: Bidston, Bidston Hill, and Bidston Moss.

Bidston Village has appeared in records since Doomsday, but evidence for occupation goes back to the Stone Age. The Village still maintains its medieval shape of church, farms, village green and manor house.

Bidston Hill comprises 100 acres (0.40 km2) of heathland and woodland maintained by Wirral Metropolitan Borough Council as a nature reserve and public park. The land was purchased in stages from 1894 to 1908 by Birkenhead Corporation from local landowner Lord Vyner. It is the site of Bidston Windmill, built around 1800 and Bidston Observatory, owned by the Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory. The hill also contains a number of ancient rock carvings, including that of a Sun Goddess thought to have been carved by the Norse-Irish around 1000 AD. Read more

Bidston Moss was originally low-lying wetland marsh at the head of Wallasey Pool. Early reclamation by railway companies led to the use of a triangular piece of land between railway tracks being used for the West Cheshire Golf Course. In 1936 most of the land was given over to residential, commercial and industrial landfill which ceased in 1995 before conversion to a nature reserve.

Lowry refers to Bidston in his novel Ultramarine when Dana recalls crossing the Great Float via the former swing bridge at Duke Street Birkenhead: "We stood there often on our way to Bidston" (Pg. 62). In the 1920's, Bidston Hill was a popular attraction for people to visit to picnic and take in the panoramic views of the Wirral, Liverpool and the Mersey Estuary. We must assume Lowry visited the hill with Tess Evans during 1927.

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