New Brighton – Liverpool and Wirral’s Playground

If you went on one of those wonderful sunny days out by ferry to New Brighton in the 1950s when thousands flocked to the resort this video will bring back those memories for you. The younger ones amongst us will be intrigued by this record of how we enjoyed ourselves in days gone by.

New Brighton was founded in 1832 by James Atherton who had a vision of a Brighton in the North West. He developed it as a fashionable watering Spa, on the banks of the Mersey and Irish Sea for the gentry. Later in Victorian times, it became a seaside pleasure resort, not only for people in nearby Liverpool & Wirral, but from all over the North West & Midlands.

A tower, higher than Blackpool's, was opened in 1898. It was demolished after the first world war but the building carried on as a Ballroom & Theatre until it was destroyed by fire in 1969.

This video highlights the year 1959 when the resort was still at the height of popularity. After the trauma of war it boomed again in the 50s and early 60s. Decline set in with the destruction of the tower, the closure of the ferry service from Liverpool and problems of the infrastructure. It was many years before a new beginning became possible, when special events were held on the promenade area such as the Wirral Show. The crowds still come as they did in the old days. This proves it could still have a great future. At the end of the 20th Century plans are now underway for another new New Brighton. Some of these plans are featured in this video.

Narrator: Monty Lister of Radio Merseyside