From Village to Estate

Speke Village

Before building started on the Speke Estate in the 1930's, the village was mainly farmland and scattered cottages.  If you spot any mistakes please let me know. 

This beautiful painting was given to me by Brian Reynolds and is called From Speke to Garston Before a Thunderstorm. It was painted in 1926 by G H Warr who was an Exhibitor at the Walker Art Gallery and the Royal Academy in London. Brian believes the painting shows the view from Speke Boulevard by the Metal Box (before the road or the factory was built obviously!) looking towards Garston. Many thanks to Brian for sharing this lovely, unique painting.

The Magellan barque at the quayside of the shipbreaker's yard at the bottom of Dungeon Lane. Ships were often broken up here and the cabins would be used by local farmers to house seasonal workers.

5 & 6 Speke Town Lane, a much photographed property! Thanks to Bob Hogg for his contribution!

And another. Which was taken first, I don't know.

Is the roof starting to sag a bit more on this one? I really don't know what order these go in so please let me know if you do.

Greyhound Farmhouse half way up Speke Church Road on the same side as the Church Hall, also known at an earlier time as The Greyhound Public House

The sign from the Greyhound Pub on Speke Church Road. Mr Critchley let me take this photo of the sign from the time his family lived there. It says Cartwrights on it because that family also lived on Greyhound Farm at one point

No tractors in those days!

57 & 58 Oglet Lane with original thatched roof. Harold Spann tells me the last residents were Walter Southern in 57 and Alice Hartley in 58.

Poverty Nook, a little group of cottages at the end of Oglet Lane near the shore. Dungeon Lane eventually linked up with it here.

Poverty Nook in the snow

Old Hutte Farmhouse on the edge of Speke and Halewood. It was demolished when the Ford factory was built.

Speke Town cottages with new road approaching

Speke Railway Station with The Slades (vicarage) in the background. the station was on Woodend Avenue on the way to Hunts Cross. The bridge still crosses the railway line today but there's no steam engines left

Planes waiting for the airport to be built

The original airport building was on Chapel House Farm in Banks Road, Garston

The Slades, the first All Saints Vicarage was on Woodend Avenue just before the railway bridge

Speke quarry in Delph/Delf Lane off Speke Hall 

A cottage in Oglet

The village Smithy. The anvil from here is in All Saints Church, a little but very heavy piece of Speke's history

Oglet shore has always been a great place for a day out!

Liverpool Airport being built.  It is now a Hotel. 

Blacklock Hall Farm tractor, 1930's

Blacklock Hall Farm, the home of the Swift family. Front view in the 1930's

Mr Swift of Blacklock Hall Farm with his ferret.  Think we know what he's been hunting

The Swift family on the steps of Blacklock Hall Farm in the 1930's

The Swift family of Blacklock Hall Farm in a tent in the 1930's

Looking from where the crescent is now towards where School Way and Gerneth Roads would be

These three photos have been taken looking from where the crescent would be built on the right towards All Saints

The footings going in for the houses that are now opposite the crescent on the bend

A big thank you to Jennifer Spann for these next 8 photographs, taken around the 1960's. All of these names are frequently mentioned in the history of Speke as it turned from a village into the estate and it's lovely to put faces to names and residents to farms and cottages.

Billy Hulme taking the reaping binder out of the barn at Oglet Farm in preparation to cut the corn into sheaves.  These buildings are still there today but converted into houses

Richard and Dick Leadbetter with Robert Hulme carting in the stooked sheaves to store in the barn on Yew Tree Farm in Oglet Lane

Unloading sheaves onto the elevator, to be stacked in the barn at Yew Tree

Bill Johnson and Jack Rogers leading the team on one of Mr Citchley's farms, near the cottages in Old Hutte Lane

Charlie Cartwright, last farmer at Yew Tree Farm in Oglet Lane and lifelong supporter of All Saints Church

Bert Southern of 51 Oglet Lane tending the crops

Frank Spann, Terence Gaven at back, Dick Leadbetter holding the cat, Harold Spann at back and Richard Leadbetter in one of the farm buildings opposite Oglet Farm. Later converted into beautiful homes, the owners were bought out by the airport who wanted to demolish them.

Joseph Spann and his son Harold in 1956

Joseph Spann who lived in 55 Oglet Lane with one of his pigeons

Maria Southern of 51 Oglet Lane in October 1969 in her cottage

Building begins for the 'new' estate

The North Lodge at Speke Hall, still a happy home today

Yew Tree Farmhouse, thankfully still spared from the airport expansion plans

Ruth's mum and dad lived in School Lane near the wheelwright

The Swift family of Blacklock Hall Farm in 1930's

Aerial view of village, showing All Saints Church, the church hall opposite and further up the road, Greyhound Farmhouse.  The surrounding fields are the different farms formerly belonging to Speke Hall.

Wider shot of the aerial view of village, showing the footings of Speke Hall Avenue and the Rootes (Dunlops) factory approx 1930's.  In some of the fields are holes which some have mistaken for bomb craters but are in fact marl pits which farmers would dig out and use as fertilizer on the land.

This aerial photo show the village turning into the estate. This is a copy of a copy of a copy so the quality isn't brilliant but it's worth a look. At the top is the River Mersey and a barge towing containers behind it can just be seen in the top right hand corner. The block of trees near the top are the woods at the back of Speke Hall, and Stockton's Wood along the drive in, which leads to Speke Hall Avenue and a big roundabout.  

To the left as you look at it, the road leads to the Rootes (later Dunlops) factory. Opposite the smaller unit is All Saints Church and from there you can see the beginnings of Speke Church Road, Blacklock Hall and Greyhound Farm Roads. You will also notice that Rycot Road, Bray Road, Gerneth Road, School Way and Gerneth Close are already built.  

Right in the middle of the photo is the Metal Box factory starting to be constructed on the new Speke Boulevard which is still being marked out. 

Another aerial view of the emerging estate with the Metal Box Factory now built on the right hand side of the picture. If you carry on up to the roundabout (now traffic lights at the top of Western Avenue), turn left and follow the road to a small wooded area and there is The Slades - the vicarage of All Saints Church

Speke Boulevard is not built on this photo taken in 1938 but Bray Road, School Way, Gerneth Road, Gerneth Close, some of Speke Church Road, and the beginnings of Blacklock Hall can be seen. Stocktonwood School's site is still a field as are most of the roads we know today. 

Rootes (later known as Dunlops) near completion. I think the farm in the bottom right hand corner was called Millbrook.

If you look at the roundabout in the middle of the bottom of this photo, the road leading to the left is Speke Boulevard, and to the right is Speke Hall Avenue.

This open space became Stocktonwood School and the bendy lane was Smithy Lane, later divided up into Blackrod Avenue and Stocktonwood Road. At the bottom of the picture is the edge of Sutton Wood Road and at the top is the Metal Box circa 1940.

Evans Medical being built. You can see the prefabs in Rycot Road on this picture and if you look close, you can see me playing in my back garden..... 

Rycot Road Prefabs opposite Evans Medical

Speke Hall Avenue is completed and if you look closely you can still see Greyhound Farmhouse on Speke Church Road but no new houses yet

Bray Road and Gerneth Road - With thanks to Mavis Smith who sent these 3 photos in, taken by her father in approximately 1937

Bray Road

Bray Road and Gerneth Road

This little cottage can be seen on one of the aerial shots of the estate being built, a tiny spec of white in amongst all the new houses

Speke Town Lane by Doug Keeley

Speke Library with thanks to Shirley Jones. This building was the Smithy or Blacksmith originally and was on the corner of Blackrod Avenue and Speke Church Road.  It is just a square of grass now 

Gerneth Road in 1939

Temporary fire station in All Saints Road where Yeadon Walk is now

Hale Road in 1942

School Way in 1942

Central Avenue in the 50's

Alderfield Drive 1950

I've included this photo from Tony Sweeney not only to show his brother Ron's car, (the only one in the road by the look of it!) but also to show the immaculate houses at the bottom end of Bray Road in 1961. Notice how pristine the privet hedges are too.

The grass does look like it needs a trim though!

Speke Hall Avenue with Dunlops on the left in 1951

Ganworth Road in 1953

Liverpool Airport, now a hotel

Is this bus going to Speke? Well, it's never said anything before...


My Dad, Matt Moneypenny outside our prefab on Rycot Road with Speke Boulevard in the background

Speke Prefabs on the Dymchurch estate

The Parade shops before Damwood Hall was built across the far end

The Parade shops and flats

Thanks to Speke Hall for these two photos of the cottages on their estate

These cottages have been restored and you can see them when you pass from Reception to the Hall

Cottages in Oglet Lane, very similar to the ones opposite All Saints Church now

Speke Baths

Farmer Charlie Cartwright lent the Townswomen's Guild one of his lorries for a float in the Speke Parade

Speke Boulevard when it was a single carriageway. Metal Box is on the left

Remember when the bus had a driver at the front in his own little cab, and a conductor at the back selling tickets?

The old Speke Airport.  People would have an afternoon out sitting on the balcony, watching the planes coming in and out

The original Crescent shops and flats built for the new housing estate

The Metal Box built where the Home & Bargain shop is today

A fire in the Plastics section of the Metal Box meant many people were put out of work. Thanks to Joan Southern for these photos

Anyone guess a year for this one from the cars?

Bet some of you recognise these old cars!

Metal Box Tug of War team

Speke Station. The bridge is still there on the way to Hunts Cross, but nothing is left of the station

Speke Town Lane in 1944 thanks to Shirley Jones. On of the last remaining cottages as the estate of new houses was built around them

If you stand opposite the Crescent shops and look towards All Saints Church, you'll be in the spot this photo was taken in the 40's

Thomas Wyke the Wheelwright of Speke Hall at his home

Dungeon House at the bottom of Dungeon Lane survived the building of the new estate until the airport bought and demolished it a few years ago. Most of the old cottages around Oglet met the same fate despite still being habitable 

Last known photo of Dungeon House

Moses White of Speke in front of Speke Hall with some of the staff. Moses is buried in All Saints but so is his dad with the same name so until someone can give me a date for this photo, I don't know which is his

Gravestone in All Saints of Moses White and his wife Ann

Gravestone of the children of Moses and Ann White which mentions his parents, Moses Henry and Mary White

More to follow

More to follow