I’d gone with my Mum and Dad to New Brighton and me Dad puts me on the donkey, well only 4 or 5 steps into the trot round, I don’t know what I did I’ve no idea to this day, but I must’ve worked myself around and ended up hanging onto the dear donkey by its tail! That’s a lasting memory. It’s something that doesn't sound funny but I know but I must have wondered why I could see everybody else I wasn’t supposed to!
So that’s what I remember mostly about New Brighton. I think I was about 6 or 7.
Me Mum had a big gang of children she had 8 girls and one son and we always went to New Brighton. We went nowhere else because we were poor at the time and never had the money but we all enjoyed it.
There was everything there in New Brighton. It was really packed out with people like ourselves. We never went on a train, always on a boat there and back. When you were a kid you all seemed to love it like all the other people there. We would all be sitting on the sand and we’d go in the water but not too far out, just a paddle.
I’m 76 now so I’m going back a long way, but you know what I always think about New Brighton and so does me family, me sisters. My brother has passed on but we’re still here and when we all meet together we talk about where me Mam took us in New Brighton.
Well when I was a young teenager I’d go with friends and we always went to New Brighton as a special treat if you had extra money and I used to get it when my Grandad, he was a seafarer and he’d come home from sea and would always treat you and give you say 10 bob, which was 50p and that would take you on the ferry and on the fair for rides it always very exciting to go as it was something different from just going to the park or playing out with your friends.
We always liked going to New Brighton baths if you didn’t have any money to spend on the fair you’d go in the baths and spend all day there and they used to have beauty competitions on, you know Miss New Brighton, and there used to be a programme on the television on a Saturday night, I can’t remember the name of it and they used to have different seaside resorts with the beauty contests on and we were always really excited when it was New Brighton just in case you saw someone, which you never did…
I used to go to New Brighton to the tower ballroom dancing that was a long while ago in the 50s. We’d all have to go to the hairdressers and get are DA in the back of our hair and the Tony Curtis and our teddy girl skirts on and high heels, couldn’t wear them now though, and we’d leave Liverpool say about half-six and get over to New Brighton on the ferry, for about 7 or half-past and then we’d go into the tower, I think it was half-a-crown to get into the tower ballroom. Didn’t have no alcohol in inside it was all soft drinks like lemonade and orange juice. Then we’d all have to bomb it for the last boat home at half-eleven then we’d have to walk home form the Pier Head because there wouldn’t be any busses running.
I used to go there as a teenager, all the lads used to go there. Sometimes we were skint so we’d go across to Seacombe and walk up to New Brighton, which was a regular thing to do. Coming back we’d used to sneak onto the New Brighton ferry and come back that way.… But the crowds when you where coming back at night they’d all get onto the pier and the pier used to be packed solid waiting for the boat to come back or they’d miss the boat and get down to Seacombe and get the boat there.
We’d go over to the Tower, go over on the boat of course, and have a few drinks and from there we’d go to the ballroom, girls over there fellas over here, and when the music started up we’d go across and ask a girl to dance. If she didn’t like the look of you she’d tell you to get lost like and that was the procedure. I think they did that in all the dance halls. Girls one side room the fellas the other or fidgeting waistcoats on and ties and everything!
They were great days. The holidays would be on and Mum would say not this week but the week after we’ll go to New Brighton for the day. Well that was heaven and we’d behave ourselves, we were be good for a week. Mum would make sandwiches and we’d go down to the Pier Head on the tram onto the landing stage and seeing that boat coming in it was like a liner when you think of it and going onto the top deck and going over to New Brighton. Dad would go to one of the little shops and get a pot of tea and we’d have lunch on the beach. Mum would’ve knitted us bathing costumes and we’d go into the water and the whole thing would drop.
They were great days. In the afternoon we’d have sixpence and we’d go along to the shops and I don't know why but I bought a little pair of binoculars for sixpence and I’ve still got them!We’d walk along the prom later in the afternoon and go back home again. Very quiet going back home, very quite. But no they were great days and that was the holiday for us really.
I was one of 8 you see 1 of 8 children. There was 4 boys and 4 girls and me Dad used to work on the railway so we used to get free passes we never used to go for long holidays just days out you know. He used his pass to take the kids out to New Brighton and Formby, Southport, Freshfield and Moreton like that. So we used to use his passes to go there.
You didn’t have much money for the fair so you just walked round a bit on the beach picking up the shells and turning rocks over and getting crabs.
Used to paddle like that but it was all a bit too mucky to go swimming there. It wasn't a very clean beach, but it is now. Though it used to be a bit dirty at one time. The balls of oil and things, oh it was terrible it used to smell as well!
We used to go to the bus to the Pier Head and then we’d get on the ferry and go over on the ferry and feed the birds as well, the birds were hanging around as you know. Mum used to take bread and we’d throw them up at the seagulls me and me sister.
We used to have a ball.
And then we used to go on the beach with me Mother and Grandmother and we used to go on the donkey rides. Oh donkey rides! I used to love these. I used to think I was too big for the donkey you know because I was tall you see when I was little and the poor little donkey they’d be dead tired you know walking along the beach. Look at the faces you could tell by looking at them that they were sad. Poor little things.
Then we’d go on the fair. My favourite was the indoor slot machines I just loved the indoor slot machines. Me Grandmother used to give me a big hand full of pennies and we’d go in and spend nearly all day there in the penny slot machines, never won anything like, but we had a ball. Brilliant!
I just used to go to the fair with me Mam worked on it. She was mostly on the ducks. You’d put the balls down the ducks mouth and they fell in the numbers and you would win prizes. We used to go over, me and me brothers and me sister, and we’d go on and we would be winning all the prizes you know and me Mam would be giving us the prizes and we’d go away when they got they got what they call the pitch on then. People would get on because they’d see you wining and we’d have to go and when they’d all gone we’d go back and give back the prizes
We just went over and went around and we’d get on the other rides. We never had to pay because she knew everyone and she’d just wave and say 4 of us like and we’d go and get on the rides.
We didn't pay nothing!
When I was little it was great going over there you’d take your sandwiches sit on the beach and go paddling and swimming if you could. You could swim in the water, it might not have been clean but you did go in anyway so it didn't matter and then you’d probably go to the fair ground as well where you used to fish say a duck out and if you get so many you’d get a prize, not very often but you did get a prize.
Ice Cream! I’ve always loved ice cream, I still do. That was the first things I think I ever got there I always got an ice cream. I don't know whether I liked the beach because when you used to take your sandwiches we ended up calling them sand sandwiches because the sand would blow into the sandwiches as you were eating them, but it all added to the fun of the day out. And then you’d go to a little shop and get your bucket and spade and windmills and sweets. They had rock. They had everything in that shop they sold everything you could think of or wanted if you were a little girl or little boy... I loved that shop.
It used to be a big treat for us when we were little. My mother had 3 grown up children she’d adopted then there was us 3 later on so quite a big family and we used to go to New Brighton quite a lot, especially in the summer holidays. With 5 weeks off school she used to demented by the end of the 5 week,s but we used to quite a lot.
I lived on the Dock Road so we’d get a big gang of kids where we lived and we’d all get our jam butties and a bottle of water with lemonade powder in and we’d all trip off to New Brighton but we had no money in those days so we used to walk along the Dock Road right along to the Pier Head and then we’d get the ferry boat to Seacombe and then walk from Seacombe to New Brighton and then spend a day on the sands. But then as we'd get to the weekend we'd go with our parents. Theyed take us to the fair or to the baths. But If you went to the baths you’d spend the whole day there and you wouldn't go on the fair. It was great!
I especially remember the sand. We didn’t have that much money to go to the fair. There was such a big crowed and they were like families with picnics. But you were always able to buy a pot of tea. Me Mam always found a pot of tea somewhere. Bit like I’m like now I like me pot of tea! We had to watch we didn't get sunburnt cause there was no cream then so you had to keep covered up. I remember them with there handkerchiefs on their head sitting there.
We had our buckets and spades and our ice cream and that we toughly enjoyed it. Oh we used to go to the swimming baths the outside baths that was brilliant that! You could spend hours in there. but they made you get out of there after an hour. But we looked forward to that day every year.
I took me grandson 2 or 3 years back and he was looking for the swimming pool but it had gone!
When I was a little girl I used to live in Liverpool 1 and the Pier Head was my playground so we used to go quite often on the ferry. I was a bit naughty couldn't afford the ferry money so we used to hide in the toilets because they used to come round to check. We got a boat ride for nothing! Couldn’t get off at the other side but we could play on the ship. We thought it was a big ship, although it was only a ferry.
We didn't have holidays as a child not even to a caravan or anything, so day trips were really important. When I was married we used to get the Seacombe boat and we’d walk the children along the prom. There was a little park with swings, roundabouts and seesaws and we’d stop there and let the children play then we’d walk the rest of the way. We couldn't afford to let them have an afternoon on the fair, we’d say you can have 3 goes each and once you’d had your 3 goes that’s it!
As time went on you went to Southport as well because money was better. Then my husband started working in Fords and he used to get a ticket to go to Chester Zoo.