Monthly Archive: December 2013

Black Pearl


I started writing this yesterday – but I was spaced, floored and flattened by all that has happened in these three months past. It has been a wonderful, exciting and challenging time with so many great days, and a few evenings too, taking place on and around the Black Pearl. Just a couple of days ago Boxie dropped a CD off for me. It contains nearly 70 photos he has taken, whilst biking on the prom, showing moments on the beach, moments in the life of the Black Pearl, moments in the making of Hannah the hacked-off dragon, moments that I remember. Thanks Boxie – there are some great shots!
Sometimes life seems like a succession of little moments. Moments we may remember all our lives – sometimes the big frightening stuff that happened seems to fade right away, but the little things – the moments of knowing, of understanding, of sharing – they hang forever like jewels on the thread of memory.
As many people know, for me the beach means NOW! And moments are always NOW! Listening to the children playing, sharing time with friends on the Pearl, dancing and singing under the “Blackpearl Illuminations” at Halloween, having a real family bonfire night with the children playing on the beach as the huge firework displays lit the skies over Liverpool, sharing the silence with strangers on Remembrance Sunday – these were special moments for me, and I know they were special for other people too.
Maybe a pity that NOW! has to end, but there’s always another NOW! just starting! And yes! We do expect there will be a Christmas Nativity around the Black Pearl – provided she weathers the winter storms. Maybe it will even be a shipboard Nativity – maybe not – but I am fairly sure that there will be some illuminations this year.
Certainly there are rumblings about a New Year celebration on the beach – pirates in kilts? Probably not me – not with my knees! Not anybody if we get a North-Easterly! Thoughts on this proposal, in a bottle, please.
A little later in January there is a day coming up that we need to celebrate – always provided, of course, that the tides and the Winter storms have been gentle on the not-so-old girl – The Black Pearl will have her first birthday on 12th January 2014. We may need to make it the 11th for comfort and convenience of all who want to brave the elements so soon after New Year.
There might also be another totally new and certainly unusual event – if there is a market for anything quite so bold and revolutionary. It’s all down to Tommy – another regular on the prom cycle route. Tommy had a fair and valid complaint that he didn’t get a mention on a Radio Merseyside interview about the M.A.P. Black Pearl Exhibition at Marine Point in November. Tommy very generously provided me with a top-notch, state-of-the-art shovel when I needed one, and yet he did not get a mention. Apologies are due there alright. He also told me that, with a bit of hard graft to shine her up a little, I could fry my breakfast eggs on this shovel. It does not work well on a ceramic hob but with a barbecue on the beach we might get somewhere. I think this idea could give New Brighton the edge on the full-English of the future. “Would you like that shovel-fried, Sir?” “Yes please! And sunny-side up!” It could be Noah’s Ark all over again! You don’t know the story of Noah’s Ark? Well get yourself round to Cathy Roberts at “Literally” – the bookshop opposite the train station – and be amazed … when you’ve got a moment.

Holy Apostles and Martyrs

Parish of the Holy Apostles & Martyrs

at English Martyrs’ Church, St George’s Road


  Tuesday 24th (Christmas Eve)

5.30 p.m.     Children’s Mass

7.30 p.m.     Carol Service

8.00 p.m.     Christmas Mass
(with Midnight Mass readings)

Wednesday 25th (Christmas Day)

10.30 a.m.     Christmas Day Mass

Rake Lane Cemetery

Friends of Rake Lane Cemetery

Mariners’ Home Memorial Stone

The Mariners’ Home has been a haven for retired seafarers since 1882. At first, those mariners who died were buried in the public section if they had no family grave in the cemetery. But in 1914 the Mariners’ Home purchased a large plot for burials. The first sixteen men had all their details (name, rank and age) listed on four large gravestones. This was too costly, so after the last mariner was laid to rest in the marked graves, subsequent burials were in unmarked graves, four in each plot. There are 158 men buried in the unmarked section. A flower bed now surrounds the old marker stone with the letters ‘MN’ picked out in cineraria and the garden is maintained by Nautilus gardeners from the Mariners’ Home.

The new site with ‘MN’ (Merchant Navy) in flowers

The new site with ‘MN’ (Merchant Navy) in flowers

The old site with stone hidden

The old site with stone hidden


John Lamb

Egremont sand replenishment proposals – November 2013 update.

In 1987 Wirral Council backed my idea to use trucks to move 100,000 tonnes of sand on to New Brighton beach. Since then the beach has attracted over three million visitors. The return of golden sand beaches to Egremont however, is a much trickier proposition. Wirral Council have no money and the shore is now a Site of Special Scientific Interest for wading turnstones under the stewardship of Natural England.

Any ‘sand replenishment’ by dredger can therefore only succeed if it contributes to a wider scheme of habitat improvement for all wading birds, any social benefits would be indirect but potentially very significant.

In an important development, Natural England has commissioned a £20,000 study to improve turnstone habitat at Egremont. The turnstones’ favourite two habitats are rocks on the lower shore and higher dry sand beaches on the upper shore. New Brighton’s artificially replenished beach and rocks are locally the most popular site for wading turnstones. One of the options suggested in the Natural England study is to artificially increase the amount of rocks on the lower shore, however it is acknowledged there may be public opposition to this.

Last month I wrote to Natural England suggesting that a more successful approach would take into account the needs of the local community. Any concerns at the aesthetics of placing rock on the distant lower shore could be more than countered by creating beautiful amenity sand beaches on the nearer upper shore.

My detailed proposal is an attempt to ‘start small but aim big’ by moving 50 tonnes of bare rubble (currently blocking Manor Lane / Mother Redcaps slipway) far down the shore to create a small ‘habitat reef’ of rock pools for wading birds. Sandstone blocks already moved down shore this summer showed 50% surface colonisation by barnacles (the main food of turnstones) in just eight weeks.

Two dredger loads of sand would then be placed at Manor Lane slipway to replace the relocated rocks. Mersey Docks and Harbour Company dredgers have a shallow draft and could run near shore, alternately they can shoot sand 100m through the air on to the beach – a process known as ‘rainbowing’.

This would further improve access to the sands, mainly in summer and provide additional high tide feeding and roosting grounds for migrant wading birds, mainly in winter. If this is not successful then there would be no subsequent larger schemes. An alternative potential site would be at Egremont Ferry – the existing groynes keeping the sand in place at both sites.

Mersey Docks and Harbour Company (owned by Peel Ports) currently dump one million tonnes of dredged sand in to the Irish Sea each year. They are actively looking for alternative places to offload sand after advice from Natural England and the Environment Agency. The deepening of the sea channels (off Formby) for the Liverpool 2 river berth will double the amount of annual maintenance sand dredging to two million tonnes while initial excavations will yield 8 million tonnes of sand, silt and sandstone bedrock.

Of course any larger scheme must not cost Wirral Borough Council anything and rely on 100% recycled materials that would otherwise be dumped at sea. Peel Ports have just received a £35 million grant for additional dredging and disposal of both sand and sandstone bedrock associated with Liverpool 2.

Last year Douglas Coleman of Peel Ports stated that sand replenishment at Egremont is ‘an intriguing proposal that deserves our full consideration’ He later stated that after careful consideration there would be a number of environmental and technical obstacles to be overcome.

I believe all these obstacles can be overcome and will be presenting this case at a site meeting with Natural England in the next few weeks. I have also proposed several other ways to improve rocky turnstone habitats in conjunction with proportionately greater levels of sand replenishment. These proposals were well received at a conference organised by the Marine Biological Association in Bristol in July. The full proposals can be found on the internet at ‘techknack egremont’.

At Colwyn Bay a sand replenishment scheme has transformed the look of the town…… at a cost of £5million. At Egremont there is no limit to the amount of free sand and rock that can eventually be used. Remaining mussel beds fronting the seawall are protected however, and cannot be covered with sand. The mussel beds are naturally sanding over in the long term and the potential is there to eventually transform this area as a place to live by reinstating at least some of the beautiful dry sand beaches that existed 100 years ago.

In March 2013 an EU Directive laid down that marine conservation must not be looked at in isolation but include the needs of adjacent communities and local initiatives to make more efficient use of marine resources.

It will ultimately be up to Natural England to decide the optimum balance (if any) between wildlife and people, and I hope to relay their response in the next edition of the Walrus.

John Lamb



Charlottes Brightside

Charlottes Brightside is a  youth club based in NewBrighton. Charlottes Brightside was set up in April 2011 after Charlotte was tragically killed in a car accident.

We opened our doors to the public in February 2013, Since then the youth centre has been a great succesa taking over 70 children and young people every week.

We are open Monday  and Tuesday nights for our “hang out” nights for children aged 8-16. Between the times of 6-8pm we offer lots of fun programmes that run throughout the year.Please see website for details.
We are holding two Santa’s grottos dates .These will be the 8th and  the 14th December. Admission for this will be £3 where there will be a craft fair and a Christmassy cafe just to ensure that everybody gets in the Christmas mood! We are holding a Christmas disco on 19th December. This is open to everybody and admission for this will be £1.50.
Please come along and join us at Morrisons, New Brighton on Thursday 5th December for our bag pack and Christmas carols from 4-8pm
We wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy new year xx
Twitter: brightsideclc
Mobile: 07818005010

Marine Point


Christmas Is Coming!

Have you seen our Christmas tree!? This is the first year we have had external Christmas decorations at Marine point and we hope to continue it on an annual basis.

The new Marine Point website is receiving a large number of hits since its launch, with plenty of people having a look to see what offers are available at our restaurants.

We are also running an online Christmas competition with the chance to win:

4 Tickets at The Light Cinema and a £25 voucher for The Sea Horse


A Full House Package at the G Casino Marine Point which includes a 3 course Meal and much more.

Check out the website for more details

Now Open

Our latest addition to the offer at Marin Point is Subway, which has now opened near to Starbucks. Its high specification fit out and mezzanine floor make it a really great place to grab something to eat or drink in a nice environment.

Opening Soon

We have also completed an agreement with Pizza Express, and Iceland which will see them open in the new year.

We are delighted to have attracted such well-known brands to the area, which will add to the offer on both the retail front and the restaurant circuit.

For Job enquiries please check their respective websites for more details in the coming months. and

Vale House

Christmas on Wirral just got a whole lot better.

Christmas is more than just about sharing great food & wine with friends & family, but it is a big part of Christmas to get together, slow down a little and catch up with those you haven’t seen for a while.

Vale House is the perfect place to meet family and friends through the festive season.

For those that love a traditional Christmas dinner we’ve sourced delicious turkey served with savoury stuffing and all the trimmings & finished with a cranberry sauce.

To finish, try our mince pies with cream or indulgent Christmas pudding with brandy sauce. We also offer a great range of handmade cakes and treats.

We are not licensed so if you’d prefer to celebrate with a little Christmas spirit, feel free to bring your own, with a small corkage donation.

Every style of celebration can be catered for from dinner with close friends & drinks parties for the office, to private hire of the whole venue.

To book your Christmas party at Vale House within Vale Park contact us or ring 0151 638 2666


The Light Cinema

Christmas is coming to the Light Cinema

The Christmas lights are up at Marine Point, and we’re all starting to get in the mood for the festive season.

Schools are busy booking their Christmas trips… Customers are stocking up on The Light Cinema Gift Tins… and the goose is getting fat…

During November, we were really pleased to work with the International Guitar Festival, and showed “Hendrix 70” and “The Last Waltz” as well as hosting live music from the very talented Jo Richards and her wonderful band “Calico”. It was good to see the Light Café/Bar full of life, laughter and fantastic music on a Sunday afternoon. We’re hoping to make this a regular event and are always eager to hear your ideas.

Disney’s “Frozen” and “Saving Mr Banks” look like the winning festive films this year, as well as the second “Hobbit” movie – “The Desolation of Smaug”, with “Philomena” still doing really well.
We are broadcasting a wide range of event cinema screenings, including ballet, opera and theatre – as well as rock and pop gigs and special events (including 50th Anniversary of Doctor Who – “Day of the Doctor”).

Special December screenings include:

  • RSC’s “Richard II” starring David Tennant on Monday 2 & Tuesday 10 December;
  • Frankenstein” from the National Theatre, directed by Danny Boyle with Benedict Cumberbatch as Creature. Thursday 5 December;
  • The Nutcracker” ballet – live from the Royal Opera House on Thursday 12 December;
  • Wagner’s “Parsifal” – live from the Royal Opera House on Wednesday 18 December;
  • Sleeping Beauty” ballet performed by the Bolshoi Ballet – Sunday 22 December.

We continue to offer great deals to our valued seniors, with a complimentary tea or coffee every Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday before 4pm.

We regularly show subtitled and autism-friendly screenings.
Our Family AM screenings on Saturday & Sunday mornings, as well as during schools hols offer great value for money as well as a wide choice of family films for all ages.

Every Friday at 10.15am we screen films exclusively for parents with babies under one year old. This is an opportunity to enjoy the very latest releases accompanied by your baby in a safe and comfortable environment. It’s also a great way to meet other new parents.

We ensure sound is lowered and low lights are on – with nappy changing facilities available.
We are keen to find out what you want to see at The Light Cinema – so please let us know by emailing Jane Woodason – Education & Events Manager on
We hope to see you at the Light Cinema soon, where comfort, state-of-the-art digital technology, excellent customer service plus the warmest of welcomes guarantees the best quality cinema experience!

The Light Cinema, Marine Point, New Brighton, CH45 2HZ

0151 214 1370

RNLI New Brighton


We are coming to the end of what has been an eventful 150th Anniversary year. After a slow start to the year, the very welcome good summer weather brought out the crowds. Last year we had 46 shouts and so far this year we are up to 62 with a few weeks to go!. This along with our regular training activities this has involved considerable commitment from our volunteers and their families.


rnli1On the 9th October our lifeboat crew faced Force 7 severe weather and sea conditions when standing by in case the crew of a barge crane that had been working on Liverpool’s sea wall needed rescue. In the storm the barge crane had lost some of its gear and was dragging its anchor. Hoylake lifeboat was called out as well and both crews endured the conditions for quite a time while two tugs managed to tow the barge crane into the safety of Gladstone Dock. A potentially hazardous rescue was fortunately avoided.


rnli2It wasn’t all serious during the last few months – Jack & Jill Day Nursery raised £500 for us with their pirate days – A news release on this went out without on what turned out to be ‘speak like a pirate day’ – yes there is such a thing and we got very wide facebook coverage with this. Full story and lots more on our website and Facebook .


We have had an influx of new volunteers who will need equipping and training, Frank Brereton has retired as chairman and Tony Jones is now settled into his new role. All in all a memorable year for all of us at the station and we wish all our many supporters and followers a happy Xmas and a prosperous New Year.

Scout Post



 Why not use our


For just 25p you can buy our new self-adhesive stamps at many local shops – half the cost of the GPO stamp. Look for the yellow poster in the shop window, or ask.

This year we will also be selling stamps at Morrisons, New Brighton on the launch day, 23rd November and also the weekends 30th Nov/1st Dec and 7th /8th December.

 You must post your cards in the red or green post boxes in the shops, and remember that we only deliver to the Wirral, including Wallasey, Birkenhead, Bebington, Hoylake, West Kirby, Heswall to Neston, Puddington, Willaston, Hooton and Eastham in the south, and everywhere in between, but not to Little Sutton, Ellesmere Port, Chester or Liverpool.

Cards will be delivered during the weekends 14th /15th and 21st /22nd December, but please post your cards early as it takes up to a week for the volunteers to get the cards to the people delivering that road .




Charities this year include Carer’s Soup ‘n’ Support, Clatterbridge League of Friends, North West Ambulance, Stick ‘N’ Step, Riding for the Disabled and others.


The Wallaseyans


140 / 142 Grove Road

Wallasey. CH45 0JF Tel: 0151-639 2832

Whatever the occasion, wedding breakfasts, birthday parties, funeral refreshments or private dinners, the Wallaseyans’ Club welcomes enquiries for functions, large or small. Menus can be created to match your own requirements, including vegetarian options.

With a fully stocked bar, including a choice of four real ales, comfortable lounges and four, full size, snooker tables, the Wallaseyans’ Club welcomes new Members from the community.

You can contact the Club direct from their website at or, you can follow us on Facebook.

Please mention The Walrus.

CAP money:course

capThe CAP Money course is a simple money management and financial education course running over three weeks and proven to have dramatic effects on the way people think about money, organise their finances, live within their means and get money under control.

It is simple and revolutionises people’s finances, it’s not for people massively in debt, nor designed to help the very poor. It’s for anyone and everyone.

New Brighton Baptist Church is one of the CAP Money partner churches and I want to urge you to get involved and give this course a chance. You actually work through you own budgets and set the system up through the three weeks. Also if you should find you have unmanageable debts there is CAP Money Plus which allows you access (through completing the course), to a debt management system run by the debt counselling team in Headquarters at Bradford.

Poor money management is clearly a major issue in today’s society and CAP Money is a simple and effective way to meet this need.

We have now run twelve courses and feedback is really good:

  • I can save from my benefits for my child’s birthday.
  • My husband and I now discuss our finances and budget together and have money left at the end of the month.
  • I think to bank cash to ensure the mortgage is paid rather than treating the children

Please call me, Shirley Bowen on 07816563688 to arrange a course.


Operation Christmas Child (OCC)

By the time you read this our Wirral shoeboxes will probably already be on their way to Liberia or the Ukraine. As I write this we are just starting to get the Warehouse set up and have no idea how many shoeboxes we will receive this year, however I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to everyone who has been involved in the campaign up to this point.

Thank you if you have been knitting; sewing; covering shoeboxes; making cards, games, jewellery, book marks; shopping; packing; or fund-raising. Thank you if you have rushed around the shops with a child telling you “That lady said we must have …..” (Apologies if it was me!). Thank you to the teachers who have arranged for us to come into your schools and speak to the children. Thank you to the children for listening and for their enthusiasm. Thank you to the teachers who have organised collection of shoeboxes in their schools. Thank you to the people in churches and businesses who have mobilised congregations and colleagues to fill boxes. Thank you if you have been involved in any way this year – your giving will make a difference to a child this year. Your giving will bring the joy of Christmas and the gift of love to children who might not otherwise receive a present. I hope that as you prepare for your own Christmas celebrations, you will think of and pray for the children who receive the boxes this year and that you will feel their joy.

If you have not been able to get involved this year and would like to – it’s not too late. You can donate online to help with transportation or you can even make up a Shoebox online. Just go to

If you would like to know more about OCC, you can contact me on 07955383692 (leave a message and I’ll get back to you). You can also look at the OCC web-site, the main Facebook page, and our own Wirral OCC FB page. We are always happy to answer questions and we have speakers who are more than happy to speak to groups, small or large, about OCC. We never stop thinking about Christmas!

Patricia Hardman

Christmas Schedule at Ss Peter, Paul & Philomena’s

Christmas at the Dome

All welcome

Open daily 8am-8pm

Tours of the Dome every Wed 10am and Sunday 3pm

Sunday 1st December 7pm

  • To Mary a Son (The Christmas Story)
  • Recital by the Renaissance Music Group supported by the Chester Consort of Viols

Monday 16th December 2013 Christmas Lunch at Hollins Hey Hotel

Christmas Services

  • Immaculate Conception Sun 8th Dec 11.30am Sung Mass
  • 5.30pm Vespers
  • 6pm Adoration

Christmas Eve Tues 24th Dec 9am Low Mass

  • 11.30pm Carols
  • Midnight Mass

Christmas Day Wed 25th Dec 11.30am Sung Mass

Boxing Day Thurs 26th Dec 10am Low Mass

New Year’s Eve Tues 31st Dec 8pm Low Mass

  • 9pm-Midnight Adoration
  • Midnight Benediction

New Year’s Day Wed 1st Jan 11.30am Mass

Purification Sun 2nd Feb 11.30am Sung Mass & Candlemas procession


Charity shop, Seaview Road, Liscard, in January to raise money for the Restoration Appeal

Sun 16th March St Patrick’s Day Fund raising Lunch at Wallasey Golf Club


Contact Canon Montjean on 0797 212 8097


chrysan1The Pantomime

Event of the Year

from the Chrysanthemums Pantomime Society

The Chrysanthemums Pantomime Society was established in 1918 by a group of amateur enthusiasts who provided the people of Wallasey, Wirral with an out of season pantomime in an effort to provide a little happiness in the post war gloom. Today the society is still putting on pantomimes and benefiting not only the local charities that it supports but also the children involved with the show.

Such is the quality of the shows produced by the group, they have been nominated no less than 5 times for the Best Pantomime Award by the National Operatic and Dramatic Association! The last nomination was for 2012’s production of Dick Whittington and the group is hopeful that their latest show, Little Red Riding Hood, is equally successful.

chrysan2Tickets for Little Red Riding Hood are available from the Box Office at the Floral Pavilion, online from or by phone on 0151 666 0000.

Tickets are competitively priced at £9.50 for adults and £8 for children and senior citizens. Contact the society via their website for block bookings of 50 or more.

Shows run nightly at 7.15pm from Thursday 9 to Saturday 11 January 2014 with matinees from 2pm on Saturday 11 and Sunday 12 January 2014

Christmas at New Brighton Baptist Church

The story’s told of a little girl who was passing out the presents to her family on Christmas morning. After finding gifts for each member of her family, she was puzzled that there wasn’t a gift for the One whose birth was being celebrated. “I guess everyone forgot about Jesus,” she said.

If you want a truly meaningful Christmas season, it stands to reason you need to grasp the true meaning of Christmas. Forget about Jesus and you’ve missed the entire, glorious point of the celebration.
Come and hear the true meaning of Christmas at New Brighton Baptist Church Seabank Road
as we celebrate God’s greatest gift to mankind….
“Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased.”
Luke 2:14

Vintage Radio

vintageMatured by age and experience and a community based broadcast station. Its primary aim is to bring to the people enjoyment. Like its name; this radio station has a very fine vintage, wide range of music of your choice, laughter, drama, poetry, and pearls of wisdom derived from people such as yourselves. Our presenters are from all backgrounds, some are past and present entertainers in their own right and others have found some new talents since joining us.

All our volunteers devote their time and energy, some to the technical side or administrative duties that make our broadcasts actually possible.

Some: The presenters, story tellers, interviewers, sit behind the play desk and bring to the listeners a wide range of musical taste, perhaps also reading stories, or poetry maybe even acting in small drama productions and occasionally interviewing interesting and prominent members of our communities.

If you or one of your colleagues involved in some community organisation would like to visit our studio and maybe take part in a simple interview where you can talk about your activities, promote some function and get some publicity for your cause, you are more than welcome, just contact the studio or one of the committee members we will and take it from there.

Log on to our web page and listen to the programmes. Take a look at the schedule and pick out what would interest you, click on the “listen live” button and enjoy.

Send a message or make a small dedication to this will arrive on a computer screen alongside the play desk for the presenters to act upon.

Visit the studio see what we do and maybe join us in presenting radio programmes to others who perhaps are not able to get out and about quite as much they would wish, but still have a strong interest in local events and issues. We are always looking for new members and full details are on the many pages of the website. Including details of our volunteers and further information about Vintage Radio.

Our studio is on the first floor of the YMCA Building at the bottom end of Whetstone Lane Birkenhead right in the heart of Birkenhead and via the internet the broadcasts are available over a very wide area, in fact worldwide due to the magic of the internet.

Our address for correspondence is Vintage Radio, c/o YMCA Wirral, 56 Whetstone Lane, Birkenhead, CH41 2TJ, Our telephone number is 0151 601 7636.