A Brief History of Birkenhead 1860 to 1948

From the book Birkenhead Yesterday and Today by W.R.S. McIntyre (published 1948)

Interesting dates and Information

1860 Street Tramway started
1861 Birkenhead, Claughton, Oxton, Tranmere & Rock Ferry became a Parliamentary Borough
1861 Population: Birkenhead 35,929 - Tranmere 9,918 - Oxton 2,670 - Claughton 1,584
1863 General Hospital opened
1864 Public Library in Hamilton Street opened
1866 Birkenhead – Hoylake Railway opened
1866 Alfred Dock opened
1871 Population: Birkenhead 42,997- Tranmere 16,143 - Oxton 2,610 - Claughton 2,437
1877 Charter of Incorporation granted, Birkenhead became a County Borough
1877 Wallasey Dock opened
1878 Railway extended to Woodside
1881 Population: 84,006
1881 Thurstaton Common acquired by the Corporation
1883 Children’s Hospital opened
1885 Mersey park opened
1886 Mersey Railway Tunnel completed (electrified 1903)
1887 Town Hall opened (serious fire occurred 1901, Dome and Tower rebuilt)
1891 Population: 99,857
1893 School Board appointed
1896 Electricity Generating Station opened
1900 Livingstone Street Baths opened
1901 Population: 110,915
1901 Electric Tram Service commenced
1902 Education Committee took the place of the School Board
1903 Hamilton Square Gardens acquired by the Corporation
1907 General Post Office (GPO) Argyle Street opened
1909 Vittoria Dock constructed
1911 Population: 130,794
1913 Tranmere Infirmary opened
1918 Birkenhead Parliamentary constituency divided into two divisions
1919 First Motor Bus service commenced
1921 Population: 147,577
1921 Alwen Water Scheme completed (commenced 1911)
1922 New Ferry cross-river service closed
1925 Works on the Mersey Tunnel commenced
1927 Arrowe Park purchased by the Corporation
1928 Borough boundaries extended to include Thingwall, Landican, Prenton and part of Bidston
1928 Williamson Art Gallery and Museum opened
1931 Population: 147,946
1933 Borough boundaries extended to take in Noctorum, Woodchurch and parts of Arrowe, Bidston and Upton
1933 Byrne Avenue Baths opened
1933 Bidston Docks opened for traffic
1934 Queensway opened
1934 Central Library opened
1937 Last electric tram route closed
1938 S.S. Mauritania launched
1939 Rock Ferry cross-river service closed
1945 Hamilton Square illuminated and immense crowds in the square for Victory celebrations
1947 Number of houses 34,020 (estimated)
1948 Population: 132,000 (approx.)
1948 Area: 8,958 acres


1150 to 1858 | 1860 to 1948 | 1948 onwards