Aigburth Road to the Dingle

Down to the river, part one

A two part Friday Walk this one, first part about getting to the river, second part about the South Docks.

DSC00045

Last Sunday, when we walked upstream in all the ragged glory of what 200 years of the chemical industry has done to the Mersey and its banks around Widnes, had given me a real hunger for more river walking. So today I set off for the river again. The Liverpool part of the Mersey this time. I’ll spend all of this Part One post getting there.

Slate grey today, but doesn’t feel like it’s going to rain.

Entering Sefton Park,Mere Bank tower block, which overlooks Greenbank Lane Allotments, is being fenced off. For improvement or for sale?

Entering Sefton Park,Mere Bank tower block, which overlooks Greenbank Lane Allotments, is being fenced off. For improvement or for sale?

Then across Sefton Park and into Lark Lane. (Yes, this is a bit like ‘In the neighbourhood’ from the other day. I’m ignoring the parks you’ll know perfectly well.)

The newly opened Milo Lounge.

The newly opened Milo Lounge.

Not been there yet but am encouraged when it’s Twitter feed explains it’s ‘community led.’ However it’s website takes you to a list of 30-odd other ‘Lounges’ – so not sure we’re in ‘Liverpool Independent’ land here. Unlike…

Yes, Keith's. Feels like it's been open all my adult life. Defined the phrase 'Wine Bar' for a Liverpool that had never heard of them.

Yes, Keith’s. Feels like it’s been open all my adult life. Defined the phrase ‘Wine Bar’ for a Liverpool that had never heard of them.

And bad as the paint job is Keith’s survives while others come and go.

'The Laundry?'

‘The Laundry?’

Along the road I buy my lunch for later, falafel wraps – best in Liverpool.

'What are you doing here?' snaps the genial owner.

‘What are you doing here?’ snaps the genial owner.

Here I am, going round thinking I’m a free-spirit led purely by my instincts each day. But no. To him I’m one of his ‘Sunday people.’ ‘That’s when you always come in here!’ That’s me told.

Aigburth Road.

Aigburth Road.

A curious kind of one-sided high street and not alone of its type in Liverpool. I’m thinking particularly of West Derby Road in Tuebrook. Both have big parks on one side, with big houses and no shops. While the other side, with terraced streets leading off it, is packed with shops. Of much variety here too.

This is where the Windmill is currently living. Vegan and vegetarian needs.

This is where the Windmill is currently living. Vegan and vegetarian needs.

And along with offies, flower shops and newsagents there are real curiosities.

An eloquently simple name.

An eloquently simple name.

And as I walk past my fingers form into the five or six chord shapes I ever knew.

And I gaze in never to be fulfilled longing.

And I gaze in not even wanting to be revived nostalgia. My guitar days definitely over.

But it’s a lovely shop and I’m very glad it’s there.

This would be an obvious place for lunch, as it so often is. But lunch is in my bag today.

This would be an obvious place for lunch, as it so often is. But lunch is in my bag today.

All’s not perfect on Aigburth Road though.

Too many empties.

Too many empties.

Or are these empties simply opportunities for people with good ideas? Like…DSC00034

And here he is, Mr Revolution!

And here he is, Mr Revolution!

Well done for this too.

Well done for this too.

Soon turning down to the Dingle.

Past this closed for years cinema, that's mainly a great big phone mast these days.

Past this closed for years cinema, that’s mainly a great big phone mast these days.

It was called The Gaumont and could seat 1,500 people in cinema's golden days.

It was called The Gaumont and could seat 1,500 people in cinema’s golden days.

It even survived Cliff and the Shadows playing there in 1961. Much more on it here.

Into Dingle Lane, beginning my descent to the river.

Into Dingle Lane, beginning my descent to the river.

Here's how it looked here late into the 19th Century.

Here’s how it looked here late into the 19th Century.

As thorough a history of the Dingle’s early development as I’ve seen is here on ‘That’s How The Light Gets In.’

And soon I come to a choice.

Shall I walk down to the river along this road-blocked suburban avenue?

Shall I walk down to the river along this road-blocked suburban avenue?

Or shall I walk through the Dingle?

Or shall I walk through the Dingle?

The fact that the title of this post is ‘Aigburth Road to the Dingle’ will give you a clue about my all too easy decision.

I wonder what this was? A doorway or maybe a Melly Fountain?

I wonder what this was? A doorway or maybe a fountain? (See comments below for the answer.)

This I know is a ventilation shaft to a railway tunnel.

This I know is a ventilation shaft to a railway tunnel.

Nearly at the river now.

Nearly at the river now.

Homes with a view?

Homes with a view?

This is it. It’s a grey day, but visibility is good.

New Ferry on the Wirral shore if the Mersey, from the Dingle.

New Ferry on the Wirral shore of the Mersey, from the Dingle.

And that’s the end of part one of the walk.

Down the Dockers' Steps is the River Mersey.

Down the Dockers’ Steps is the River Mersey.

So, come back soon for Down to the river 2: The South Docks. Packed with history.

9 thoughts on “Aigburth Road to the Dingle

  1. stan cotter

    Hi Ronnie, the doorway/fountain in Dingle Road was a gateway. When you turned into Dingle Road from Dingle Lane did you notice the posts of an old gateway on someones back yard wall?

    Looks like an old fireplace, in fact it was a gateway into Dingle Vale, a house of many years ago with gardens half way up to to Dingle Mount.

    Reply
  2. stephenjroberts

    This is the first time I have seen a picture of the Dingle before it was developed. Isn’t it lovely? Did you see my picture of the Dingle in Winsford? It is quite similar. Interesting to me that my Yoxall ancestors lived near that one and then went to live in the Dingle in Liverpool. This is exploration at its best. Thanks so much again.

    Reply
  3. Pingback: Liverpool from above and around

  4. Christine

    We lived in one of the now demolished roads opposite that red brick wall on Dingle Lane. Funny to see it now as it always looked the size of a cliff when I was a kid!
    lovely descriptive walks, thanks!

    Reply

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