A Wavertree Memory:
LANCE LANE (continued)


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Mabel remembered the lake, where the swing park is now (Lake Road). In the winter it was often covered in ice. Mabel's great-uncle (Edward Wilson) won a medal from the Liverpool Shipwreck and Humane Society "for endeavouring to save 3 boys from Drowning that fell thro' the Ice into Wavertree Lake, 1841"


At the end of Dunbabin Road was Dunbabin Farm, owned by the Atkinsons. Mabel used to go there for milk and eggs. The milk was in a large bowl and people scooped it out. On one visit to the farm her sister fell in the pigsty! Mabel rememberd the polo field, which was in Woolton Road by the waterworks - just where the flats end before the Halfway House. The waterworks went during the 1950s. Whilst going up Woolton Road towards Holy Trinity to a music lesson in the early 1900s, Mabel's mother and her Auntie Cissie were asked by a sad young man if they would talk to him. They later learned that a young man's body had been found: a man had jumped into the delph - the quarry behind the even numbered houses at the top of Charles Berrington Road. They wondered if this was the same man. Mabel's paternal aunt lived in one of the Mill Cottages. Using the footpath alongside was referred to locally as "cutting through the old mill". When Mabel was at school the mill was still there, but later there was a cobbler's workshop on the site. This went about 30 years ago.


When Mabel was a child, the area behind Elm House in Lance Lane was all fields, with moss and various pits, hence the name Mosspits Lane when it was built. There were streams and, at the Childwall Road end of Woodsorrel Road, a natural lake. In 1927 the first houses in Mosspits Lane and Woodsorrel Road were built, together with St Stephen's Presbyterian Church on Lance Lane and the shops on Woolton Road. Where the hairdresser's shop is now was a fish and chip shop, and there was a greengrocers called Hargreaves - but not the Hargreaves that later had a greengrocers/general store in the row. There was also a Mackenzie's fresh fish shop. What is now the dentist's was previously a chandler's. The Post Office was always a Post Office, but it originally also sold home baked bread and cakes. The Co-op, which was on the corner until the 1980s, had a dairy round the corner in Mosspits Lane.


About the time of World War 1 Mabel, and other children from the Hunters Lane Congregational Church Sunday School, would take a handcart loaded with parcels to the poor of Hills Place (where the Job Centre is now). The children who lived there had very few clothes, and would huddle over a fire. On the corner of Waterloo Street barefoot boys used to congregate. The Police in those days collected clothes, especially boots and shoes, for the poor, which were marked to make sure they did not sell them. Boys used to steal apples for breakfast from the boxes outside the greengrocers. The police used to go to Holy Trinity School regularly looking for culprits. Mabel's future brother-in-law felt very sorry for them, and always hoped they had already eaten the apples so they would not be hungry.

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Page created by MRC 19 October 2003