The History of the Birkenhead History Society.
The Society was inaugurated as a result of a group brought together in a University extra-mural class "Toward a History of Birkenhead", held during 1973/1974 in Birkenhead Central Library. As the class could not continue without an official tutor, it was decided to start a history society to study the growth and development of Birkenhead and to research and record the changes that had taken place.
The public's response to this was overwhelming when, instead of an expected fifty people at the first open meeting held at the Williamson Art Gallery on 15th May 1974, over three times that number attended.
Over the last thirty years, the Society has successfully raised the awareness of Birkenhead's history through the following activities by individual members and the Society as a whole:
- The publication of 'Sidelights on Tranmere' by JE Allison, MA, an eminent local historian and one of the societies first Vice-Presidents. A second edition is now in print.
- The restoration of Tam O'Shanter's Cottage on Bidston Hill as a Visitors' Centre and Urban Farm.
- Through the help of Mr W Hunt, the saving of the Knox Bell, which was presented to the town. It is now displayed in the restored tower of St.Mary's, by Birkenhead Priory.
- The purchase of the Presentation Deed Box of the Borough Hospital.
- A Library Exhibition of Birkenhead in the Second World War.
- The creation of the central Birkenhead Historical Town Trail.
- Involvement in other local interest groups including 'Friends of the Ferries', 'Friends of Flaybrick Memorial Gardens' , 'Friends of Birkenhead Park' , and Greasby Oral History Project (by Friends of Greasby Library) .
- Publication of a Wilfred Owen information leaflet and trail.
- Saving the Woodside Ferry Terminal building from demolition in partnership with the Merseyside Industrial Heritage Society.
- Active participation in the Bidston Conservation Area Advisory Committee of Wirral Borough Council.
- Listing and retention of the 'Alabama' dock and lock-gates at Cammell Laird.
- Taking a leading role in the revival of 'Old Time Music Hall' performances, assisted by the Hamilton Quarter.
- Assemby and cataloguing of Birkenhead and Mersey Ferry plans and artifacts in conjunction with Wirral Library Services.
The Society continues to go from strength to strength, but always welcomes new members. If you are interested, please look at the membership page.