Tunnel Road Memories

A Memory of Birkenhead

I lived in number 9 Tunnel Road which is still there today. It's the road running from the side of the flyover at the bottom of Chester Street to access the tunnel. Me and my brother and sisters played every day on the top (as we called it), this is where the gardens were situated right at the mouth of the tunnel. We would use white pavement chalk to draw a house on the ground and pick sods from the grass and sell them as cabbage to play shop. We would play whip and top and the lads would play kick the can (football only with an old can they had found) to amuse themselves, as they couldn't afford footballs in them days. We would play allio and we would play on the old coaches that used to get dumped on the bottom field at the bottom of Tunnel Road. The kids from Tunnel Road, Egerton Street and Getley Street would have stone (Jokker ) fights in November so we could fight for bonny wood. These days were great. Me and my sister Pauline would collect daisies and buttercup flowers from the gardens at the entrance to the tunnel and make arm bracelets with them. We would be sent by the neighbours to the market which was across the road from the tunnel to buy 2 pennyworth of broken biscuts and we would get a jam jar each to take to the shop for a penny and we would buy 4 Walker toffees each. Haha. Even though it was tough, and my mam and dad didn't have much money, we always had a way of earning sweet money. We went to Pilgrim Street school (Pilly, as it was called by the kids around there). We would go to Thompsons Mission every Thursday and Sunday to get an iced bun and a bundle of toys wrapped in newspaper. I can't ever remember praying to God though. I Those days were nothing like today but my best memories are from my childhood. I remember my dad Cliffy Starkey dressing up as Father Christmas and visiting all the houses around the tunnel on a Christmas Eve to let the kids see him, they were delighted. You don't get that these days. Computers, X Boxes and the likes have killed off all that kind of fun, like dressing up dolls and the lads playing kiss chase and nick nock on the doors. All the old games we would make up to play disappeared along with old terraced houses and the Bag Wash (the baggy as we all called it). The Mersey Tunnel was the centre piece I think, all the kids from Abbey Buildings, Priory Buildings and Tunnel Road made their fun around it in some way in those good old days. Oh my God I'm getting old, ha ha. I've  still got my memory of those good old days though, even if I can't remember what happened yesterday.

A memory shared by Anita Starkey , on Nov 25th, 2011.

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