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New Brighton, Merseyside

New Brighton, Merseyside

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New Brighton is a seaside resort
Seaside resort
A seaside resort is a resort, or resort town, located on the coast. Where a beach is the primary focus for tourists, it may be called a beach resort.- Overview :...

 forming part of the town of Wallasey
Wallasey is a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral, in Merseyside, England, on the mouth of the River Mersey, at the northeastern corner of the Wirral Peninsula...

, in the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral
Metropolitan Borough of Wirral
The Metropolitan Borough of Wirral is a metropolitan borough of Merseyside, in North West England. It has a population of 311,200, and encompasses of the northern part of the Wirral Peninsula. Major settlements include Birkenhead, Wallasey, Bebington, Heswall, Hoylake and West Kirby. The city of...

, in the metropolitan county of Merseyside
Merseyside is a metropolitan county in North West England, with a population of 1,365,900. It encompasses the metropolitan area centred on both banks of the lower reaches of the Mersey Estuary, and comprises five metropolitan boroughs: Knowsley, St Helens, Sefton, Wirral, and the city of Liverpool...

, England. It is located at the northeastern tip of the Wirral Peninsula
Wirral Peninsula
Wirral or the Wirral is a peninsula in North West England. It is bounded by three bodies of water: to the west by the River Dee, forming a boundary with Wales, to the east by the River Mersey and to the north by the Irish Sea. Both terms "Wirral" and "the Wirral" are used locally , although the...

, within the historic county boundaries of Cheshire
Cheshire is a ceremonial county in North West England. Cheshire's county town is the city of Chester, although its largest town is Warrington. Other major towns include Widnes, Congleton, Crewe, Ellesmere Port, Runcorn, Macclesfield, Winsford, Northwich, and Wilmslow...

, and has sandy beaches which line the Irish Sea
Irish Sea
The Irish Sea separates the islands of Ireland and Great Britain. It is connected to the Celtic Sea in the south by St George's Channel, and to the Atlantic Ocean in the north by the North Channel. Anglesey is the largest island within the Irish Sea, followed by the Isle of Man...

. At the 2001 Census
United Kingdom Census 2001
A nationwide census, known as Census 2001, was conducted in the United Kingdom on Sunday, 29 April 2001. This was the 20th UK Census and recorded a resident population of 58,789,194....

 the population of the electoral ward of New Brighton stood at 14,450 (6,869 males, 7,581 females).


Up to the 19th century the area had a reputation for smuggling
Smuggling is the clandestine transportation of goods or persons, such as out of a building, into a prison, or across an international border, in violation of applicable laws or other regulations.There are various motivations to smuggle...

 and wrecking
Wrecking (shipwreck)
Wrecking is the practice of taking valuables from a shipwreck which has foundered near or close to shore. Often an unregulated activity of opportunity in coastal communities, wrecking has been subjected to increasing regulation and evolved into what is now known as marine salvage...

, and secret underground cellars and tunnels are still rumoured to exist. It also had a strategic position at the entrance to the Mersey Estuary
River Mersey
The River Mersey is a river in North West England. It is around long, stretching from Stockport, Greater Manchester, and ending at Liverpool Bay, Merseyside. For centuries, it formed part of the ancient county divide between Lancashire and Cheshire....


The Perch Rock battery
Artillery battery
In military organizations, an artillery battery is a unit of guns, mortars, rockets or missiles so grouped in order to facilitate better battlefield communication and command and control, as well as to provide dispersion for its constituent gunnery crews and their systems...

 was completed in 1829. It mounted 18 guns, mostly 32 pounders, with 3 6" guns installed in 1899. Originally cut off at high tide, coastal reclamation has since made it fully accessible.

In 1830, a Liverpool merchant, James Atherton, purchased much of the land at Rock Point, which enjoyed views out to sea and across the Mersey and had a good beach. His aim was to develop it as a desirable residential and watering place for the gentry, in a similar way to one of the most elegant seaside resorts of that Regency period
Brighton is the major part of the city of Brighton and Hove in East Sussex, England on the south coast of Great Britain...

 – hence "New Brighton". Substantial development began soon afterwards, and housing began to spread up the hillside overlooking the estuary - a former gunpowder magazine being closed down in 1851.
During the latter half of the 19th century, New Brighton developed as a very popular seaside resort serving Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...

 and the Lancashire
Lancashire is a non-metropolitan county of historic origin in the North West of England. It takes its name from the city of Lancaster, and is sometimes known as the County of Lancaster. Although Lancaster is still considered to be the county town, Lancashire County Council is based in Preston...

 industrial towns, and many of the large houses were converted to inexpensive hotels. A pier was opened in the 1860s, and the promenade from Seacombe
Seacombe is a district of the town of Wallasey, on the Wirral Peninsula, England. Administratively, Seacombe is a ward of the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral. Before local government reorganisation in 1 April 1974, it was part of the County Borough of Wallasey, within the geographical county of...

 to New Brighton was built in the 1890s. This served both as a recreational amenity in its own right, and to link up the developments along the estuary, and was later extended westwards towards Leasowe
Leasowe is an area on the north coast of the Wirral Peninsula, in the north west of England, near Moreton and between Wallasey and Meols. Leasowe was part of the old County Borough of Wallasey, and is now within the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral, the Wallasey parliamentary constituency and the New...

. The New Brighton Tower
New Brighton Tower
New Brighton Tower was a lattice-steel observation tower at New Brighton on the Wirral Peninsula in England. The 1,000 tonne tower, which stood at high, became the tallest building in Great Britain when it opened in 1900...

, the tallest in the country, was opened in 1900 but closed in 1919, largely due to lack of maintenance during the First World War. Dismantling of the tower was complete by 1921.

After the Second World War, the popularity of New Brighton as a seaside resort declined dramatically. However, the Tower Ballroom continued as a major venue, hosting numerous concerts in the 1950s and 1960s by local Liverpool groups such as the Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles were an English rock band, active throughout the 1960s and one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed acts in the history of popular music. Formed in Liverpool, by 1962 the group consisted of John Lennon , Paul McCartney , George Harrison and Ringo Starr...

 as well as other international stars. The Tower Ballroom continued in use until it was destroyed by a fire in 1969.

Ferries across the Mersey
Mersey Ferry
The Mersey Ferry is a ferry service operating on the River Mersey in north west England, between Liverpool and the Wirral Peninsula. Ferries have been used on this route since at least the 12th century, and continue to be popular for both local people and visitors.The current fleet consists of...

 to New Brighton ceased in 1971, after which the ferry pier
A pier is a raised structure, including bridge and building supports and walkways, over water, typically supported by widely spread piles or pillars...

 and landing stage were dismantled. By 1977, the promenade pier had suffered the same fate.

The area became the subject of Martin Parr
Martin Parr
Martin Parr is a British documentary photographer, photojournalist and photobook collector. He is known for his photographic projects that take a critical look at aspects of modern life, in particular provincial and suburban life in England...

's photographic book The Last Resort, which provoked local outrage.


New Brighton is part of the Wallasey parliamentary consituency
Wallasey (UK Parliament constituency)
Wallasey is a borough constituency represented in the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom. It elects one Member of Parliament by the first past the post system of election.-Boundaries:...

 and represented by Angela Eagle
Angela Eagle
Angela Eagle is a British Labour Party politician, who has been the Member of Parliament for Wallasey since 1992. She served as the Minister of State for Pensions and Ageing Society from June 2009 until May 2010. Eagle was elected to the Shadow Cabinet in October 2010 and was appointed by Ed...

 MP, of the Labour Party who retained her seat in the 2010 general election.

New Brighton is an electoral ward of the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral
Metropolitan Borough of Wirral
The Metropolitan Borough of Wirral is a metropolitan borough of Merseyside, in North West England. It has a population of 311,200, and encompasses of the northern part of the Wirral Peninsula. Major settlements include Birkenhead, Wallasey, Bebington, Heswall, Hoylake and West Kirby. The city of...

, which is itself a district of the metropolitan county
Metropolitan county
The metropolitan counties are a type of county-level administrative division of England. There are six metropolitan counties, which each cover large urban areas, typically with populations of 1.2 to 2.8 million...

 of Merseyside
Merseyside is a metropolitan county in North West England, with a population of 1,365,900. It encompasses the metropolitan area centred on both banks of the lower reaches of the Mersey Estuary, and comprises five metropolitan boroughs: Knowsley, St Helens, Sefton, Wirral, and the city of Liverpool...

. Elections for Wirral Council took place on 6 May 2010: Patricia GLASMAN (Labour) 3072 votes. Bill DUFFEY (Conservative) 2173. Julia CODLING (LD) 1166. Cynthia STONALL (Green Party) 342. Timothy PASS (UKIP) 222. (Electorate: 11,025 Turnout: 63.6% - Majority: 899)


Perch Rock

Fort Perch Rock is a historically important site in the defence of the Port of Liverpool
Port of Liverpool
The Port of Liverpool is the name for the enclosed 7.5 mile dock system that runs from Brunswick Dock in Liverpool to Seaforth Dock, Seaforth, on the east side of the River Mersey and the Birkenhead Docks between Birkenhead and Wallasey on the west side of the river...

 from the Napoleonic Wars
Napoleonic Wars
The Napoleonic Wars were a series of wars declared against Napoleon's French Empire by opposing coalitions that ran from 1803 to 1815. As a continuation of the wars sparked by the French Revolution of 1789, they revolutionised European armies and played out on an unprecedented scale, mainly due to...

 to World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

. Apart from its defensive importance, it has also been a museum and venue for musical performances.


New Brighton Lighthouse was originally known as Perch Rock Lighthouse and construction began in 1827. Since 1 October 1973 it has not been in use as a lighthouse, having been superseded by modern navigational technology. These days the lighthouse is maintained by the Kingham family.

Bathing Pool

The open air Bathing Pool opened in 1934 and was built to competition standards. South-facing, its walls were designed to act as a sun-trap and avoid seaborne winds. From 1949 to 1989 it was also home of the "Miss New Brighton" contest. It closed in 1990 following storm damage and demolished a short time later.


New Brighton has two recognisable churches dominating the skyline and viewable from the River Mersey. The Anglican church, St James Church, has a spire and is located on Victoria Road. St Peter and Paul's Catholic
The word catholic comes from the Greek phrase , meaning "on the whole," "according to the whole" or "in general", and is a combination of the Greek words meaning "about" and meaning "whole"...

 Church is at the top of Atherton Street.


New Brighton has a wide range of visitor attractions and facilities. These include the Riverside Bowl bowling alley, the Lazer (sic) Quest
Laser Quest
Laser Quest is the name of a Canadian-based indoor lasertag game based around infrared hand held units and vests, as well as the name of the company which operates each game center. There are over 140 Laser Quest centers worldwide, including ones in Canada, the United States, the UK, France,...

 centre, the Art Deco
Art Deco
Art deco , or deco, is an eclectic artistic and design style that began in Paris in the 1920s and flourished internationally throughout the 1930s, into the World War II era. The style influenced all areas of design, including architecture and interior design, industrial design, fashion and...

 New Palace Amusement Arcade (which includes a small fairground) and the Floral Pavilion Theatre
Floral Pavilion Theatre
The Floral Pavilion is a theatre in the seaside town of New Brighton, on the Wirral Peninsula in England. Situated on the promenade overlooking the River Mersey, it presents a mix of comedy, music and children's shows including a Christmas pantomime....

 which was rebuilt in 2008.

The four mile (6 km) long North Wirral Coastal Park
North Wirral Coastal Park
The North Wirral Coastal Park, on the Wirral Peninsula, England is a coastal park including public open space, common land, natural foreshore and sand-dunes...

 is situated between New Brighton and Meols
Meols is a village on the northern coast of the Wirral Peninsula, England. It is contiguous with the larger town of Hoylake, situated immediately to the west. Formerly, Meols was in the county of Cheshire, although since 1 April 1974 it has been a part of the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral in the...


The Wirral Show, a free to enter annual event, was held on open ground off the King's Parade at New Brighton. In 2009 it was announced that after 33 years, The Wirral Show was to be axed.

There is a minor club scene in the town, with RJ's and the Playas' Lounge (a dual club) on the seafront, and the Tavern further inland.

A £70 million redevelopment plan for the regeneration of New Brighton was unveiled in 2004, with the aim of bringing jobs and tourism into the area. Known as the Neptune Project, it involved filling in the Marine Lake to build a supermarket, and constructing a lido resort combining a pool and a new marine lake. However the plans were rejected on account of financial feasibility, and scepticism over the actual worth to the community on the whole.

In October 2007, the Government rejected a public enquiry into the plan, and an amended plan was approved, which will include a Morrisons
Wm Morrison Supermarkets plc is the fourth largest chain of supermarkets in the United Kingdom, headquartered in Bradford, West Yorkshire, England. The company is usually referred to and is branded as Morrisons formerly Morrison's, and it is part of the FTSE 100 Index of companies...

 supermarket on the seafront, budget hotel and cinema.


The pop concert New Brighton Rock was held over two days: Monday 21 May, and Tuesday 22 May 1984 at the town's open air swimming pool and transmitted by Granada Television
Granada Television
Granada Television is the ITV contractor for North West England. Based in Manchester since its inception, it is the only surviving original ITA franchisee from 1954 and is ITV's most successful....

 on Saturday 23 June 1984 on ITV
ITV is the major commercial public service TV network in the United Kingdom. Launched in 1955 under the auspices of the Independent Television Authority to provide competition to the BBC, it is also the oldest commercial network in the UK...

. It featured many famous musical artists of the day, such as Frankie Goes to Hollywood
Frankie Goes to Hollywood
Frankie Goes to Hollywood were a British dance-pop band popular in the mid-1980s. The group was fronted by Holly Johnson , with Paul Rutherford , Peter Gill , Mark O'Toole , and Brian Nash .The group's debut single "Relax" was banned by the BBC in 1984 while at number six in the charts and...

, Gloria Gaynor
Gloria Gaynor
Gloria Gaynor is an American singer, best known for the disco era hits; "I Will Survive" , "Never Can Say Goodbye" , "Let Me Know " and "I Am What I Am" .-Early career:Gaynor was a singer with the Soul...

, Madness
Madness (band)
In 1979, the band recorded the Lee Thompson composition "The Prince". The song, like the band's name, paid homage to their idol, Prince Buster. The song was released through 2 Tone Records, the label of The Specials founder Jerry Dammers. The song was a surprise hit, peaking in the UK music charts...

, Nik Kershaw
Nik Kershaw
Nik Kershaw is an English singer-songwriter. The one time jazz-funk guitarist was a mid-1980s teen idol. His 50 weeks on the UK Singles Chart in 1984 beat all other soloists...

 and Spandau Ballet
Spandau Ballet
Spandau Ballet are a British band formed in London in the late 1970s. Initially inspired by, and an integral part of, the New Romantic fashion, their music has featured a mixture of funk, jazz, soul and synthpop. They were one of the most successful bands of the 1980s, achieving ten Top Ten singles...

. A strain was placed on local police resources due to an on-going commitment to the 1984-85 miners' strike
UK miners' strike (1984–1985)
The UK miners' strike was a major industrial action affecting the British coal industry. It was a defining moment in British industrial relations, and its defeat significantly weakened the British trades union movement...

. Nevertheless, the event was covered by Merseyside Police
Merseyside Police
Merseyside Police is the territorial police force responsible for policing Merseyside in North West England. The force area is 647 square kilometres with a population of around 1.5 million...

's Wirral Division.

A song about New Brighton called "New Brighton" was included on the 1992 album Song by Liverpool-based group It's Immaterial
It's Immaterial
It's Immaterial were a band from Liverpool, England, formed in 1980. They were best known for their 1986 single "Driving Away From Home ", which reached number 18 in the UK Singles Chart.-Career:...

. In 1996, Wallasey Brit-pop band The Boo Radleys
The Boo Radleys
-Studio albums:-Compilation albums:-Extended plays:-Singles:-External links:* * * * * * by Laurent Orseau * *...

 released the C'mon Kids
C'mon Kids
C'mon Kids is the fifth album by The Boo Radleys, it was released in September 1996. The album is considered to be purposely difficult and uncommercial. The band were said to have wanted to distance themselves from the commercial image they had cultivated because of the unexpected successes of the...

album. Track 9 on the album was an atmospheric and nostalgic song called "New Brighton Promenade". New Brighton is briefly mentioned in the song "Radio America" by The Libertines
The Libertines
The Libertines were an English rock band, formed in London in 1997 by frontmen Carl Barât and Pete Doherty . The band, centred on the song-writing partnership of Barat and Doherty, also included John Hassall and Gary Powell for most of its recording career...

 and there is also a song entitled 'New Brighton' by Pete Doherty
Pete Doherty
Peter Doherty is an English musician, writer, actor, poet and artist. He is best known musically for being co-frontman of The Libertines, which he reformed with Carl Barât in 2010. His other musical project is indie band Babyshambles...


The Bandstand situated in Vale Park is a popular outdoor music venue, hosting a variety of acts, typically an Orchestra
An orchestra is a sizable instrumental ensemble that contains sections of string, brass, woodwind, and percussion instruments. The term orchestra derives from the Greek ορχήστρα, the name for the area in front of an ancient Greek stage reserved for the Greek chorus...

 or Choir every Sunday. In more recent times the bandstand has hosted music to a much younger generation and popular throughout the summer. It has been an ideal platform for local bands wanting to gain recognition.


New Brighton Tower F.C.
New Brighton Tower F.C.
New Brighton Tower F.C. was a short-lived English football club based in New Brighton, Merseyside. Established in 1896, the club spent three seasons in the Football League before folding in 1901. They played at the 80,000-capacity Tower Athletic Grounds....

 were an association football League club based in New Brighton that folded in 1901.
Like Liverpool
Liverpool F.C.
Liverpool Football Club is an English Premier League football club based in Liverpool, Merseyside. Liverpool has won eighteen League titles, second most in English football, seven FA Cups and a record seven League Cups...

, Chelsea
Chelsea F.C.
Chelsea Football Club are an English football club based in West London. Founded in 1905, they play in the Premier League and have spent most of their history in the top tier of English football. Chelsea have been English champions four times, FA Cup winners six times and League Cup winners four...

 and Thames
Thames A.F.C.
Thames Association Football Club were an English football club from Custom House, east London , who briefly played in the Football League between 1930 and 1932.-Name:...

, New Brighton Tower were formed to play at an already-built stadium, the Tower Athletic Grounds
Tower Athletic Grounds
The Tower Athletic Grounds was a stadium in New Brighton, England. Capacity varied, but at one point was as high as 100,000 . It twice played host to league football, first with New Brighton Tower F.C. between 1898 and 1901 and then New Brighton A.F.C...

, with a massive capacity of 80,000. The owners of the New Brighton Tower
New Brighton Tower
New Brighton Tower was a lattice-steel observation tower at New Brighton on the Wirral Peninsula in England. The 1,000 tonne tower, which stood at high, became the tallest building in Great Britain when it opened in 1900...

, a seaside attraction built to rival the Blackpool Tower
Blackpool Tower
Blackpool Tower Eye is a tourist attraction in Blackpool, Lancashire in England which was opened to the public on 14 May 1894. . Inspired by the Eiffel Tower in Paris, it rises to 518 feet & 9 inches . The tower is a member of the World Federation of Great Towers...

, decided there was a need to provide winter entertainment, and had built a stadium adjacent to the tower. The football club was formed in 1896 to provide the entertainment, and joined the Lancashire League
Lancashire League (football)
The Lancashire League has been the name of two separate football competitions for clubs based in northern England.-Lancashire League :...

 at the start of the 1897-98
1897-98 in English football
The 1897–98 season was the 27th season of competitive football in England.-Honours:Notes = Number in parentheses is the times that club has won that honour...

 season. After finishing as champions in their first season, the club were elected to the Second Division
Football League Second Division
From 1892 until 1992, the Football League Second Division was the second highest division overall in English football.This ended with the creation of the FA Premier League, prior to the start of the 1992–93 season, which caused an administrative split between The Football League and the teams...

 of the Football League
The Football League
The Football League, also known as the npower Football League for sponsorship reasons, is a league competition featuring professional association football clubs from England and Wales. Founded in 1888, it is the oldest such competition in world football...

 when the League was expanded by four clubs. The team were very poorly supported, often averaging gates of 1,000.

The club signed a number of new players, including some who had played international football, and was reasonably successful, finishing 5th (out of 18) in its first season, and 4th in their third season. However, the cost of maintaining a professional football club became too high for the Tower's owners, and the club was disbanded in the summer of 1901, and replaced in the League by Doncaster Rovers
Doncaster Rovers F.C.
Doncaster Rovers Football Club is an English football club, based at the Keepmoat Stadium in Doncaster, South Yorkshire. The team currently competes in the Football League Championship, after being promoted via the League One play-offs in 2008, and have remained there since.The club was founded in...


In 1921, a new club was formed, New Brighton A.F.C.
New Brighton A.F.C.
-Revived club:New Brighton A.F.C. were reborn in 1993, and joined the Birkenhead and Wirral League, which they won in their first season. In 1995 the club switched to the South Wirral League. After upgrading their new ground, the club were admitted to the Second Division of the West Cheshire League...

, who would also play in the Football League from 1923 until 1951.

New Brighton is one of the smallest settlements ever to have a Football League club, although it was in close proximity to the much larger Liverpool
Liverpool is a city and metropolitan borough of Merseyside, England, along the eastern side of the Mersey Estuary. It was founded as a borough in 1207 and was granted city status in 1880...



New Brighton railway station
New Brighton railway station
New Brighton railway station is situated in New Brighton, Wirral, England. It is situated at the end of the New Brighton branch of the Wirral Line 13 km west of Liverpool Lime Street on the Merseyrail network.-History:...

 is located on the Wirral Line
Wirral Line
The Wirral Line is one of the two commuter railway lines operated by Merseyrail that are centred around Merseyside, England, the other being the Northern Line...

 of the Merseyrail
Merseyrail is a train operating company and commuter rail network in the United Kingdom, centred on Liverpool, Merseyside. The network is predominantly electric with diesel trains running on the City Line. Two City Line branches are currently being electrified on the overhead wire AC system with...

 network. Support is growing for Merseytravel
Merseytravel Merseytravel Merseytravel (MPTE, or Merseyside Passenger Transport Executive, is the Passenger Transport Executive responsible for the coordination of public transport in the metropolitan county of Merseyside, England...

, the regional transport authority to re-instate the ferry to Liverpool.

External links