Wednesday, 1 January 2014

West Kirby, Wirral, Cheshire, England, UK, The World


Last Sunday was one of those perfect days you sometimes get over the Christmas period when the sun shone, the wind had died down, and although cold it wasn’t bitterly so.  As a result the world and his wife (and their dog) went to West Kirby, our local seaside resort, to walk off the calories they had put on with Christmas dinner, chocolates and all the nuts and snacks consumed in front of the television.

 We went there with a different purpose in mind – to have something to eat and to test out another café for our ‘find the best food and drink on the Wirral’ experiment.  We went to Lattetude for this, a café which deserves a bonus point for its name if nothing else!



After we had eaten we went for a wander and we saw something we hadn’t seen before – a mural of a similar design to one of my favourite digital ‘paintings’ .  It has presumably been there a while but we don’t normally pass that corner, though we go to the shop on whose wall it is painted.  The shop - The Bizz - is my favourite one in West Kirby because it sells stationery and fancy goods (and postcards).  



The mural is a composite of three views of West Kirby.  



At the bottom are the shore and the Marine Lake.  The middle shows the board-walk between the Marine Lake and the River Dee, with Hilbre Island in the background to the left and the Northern end of West Kirby to the right.  And the top of the composite mural shows a view from the promenade.

Partner-who-loves-tea and I then walked down to the shore where dozens of people were taking advantage of the low tide to walk out to Little Eye and then turn right to Middle Eye (Also known as Little Hilbre Island) and Hilbre Island itself.  

 

It can be a dangerous walk across the sands with quicksand and tides that sweep in so swiftly one cannot outrun them.  Misty days are to be avoided but today was an ideal one for going out there so long as you are prepared to move swiftly so you can get back before the tide comes in.  The alternative would be a 24 hour wait on the island since the next low tide would be in the dark.

The hills of North Wales are on the left on the opposite side of the Dee Estuary.

On the left you can see Little Eye and on the right Middle Eye and Hilbre Island. 


Little children play on the shore.

And some big kids do as well!

 

And plenty of dogs enjoy the exercise (and getting dirty!).

While horses also benefit from going on the sand.



 Hilbre Island looks a lot nearer through the telephoto lens.


The Marine Lake is bounded by a boardwalk from which little children fish for crabs and along which the energetic take in the sea air.



 

In Spring and Summer the Marine Lake is filled with boats of all sorts and windsurfers enjoy the breeze which can usually be found there.  (These two photos are from May 2008 when I was there with GB).

Black-headed Gulls in winter plumage sit patiently in the hope that someone with sandwiches or fish and chips will come along.  Meanwhile Pigeons circle above aiming to get there first.

While waders have to work hard for their livings.

This next one is a photo I took of West Kirby from Hilbre Island (looking past Middle Eye / Little Hilbre Island) on a summer day in the 1970s.  It shows what it is like when the tide is in – and it comes in very quickly!  It is not unusual for the Lifeboat to be called out to rescue people who have stayed on the sand too long.  Fortunately we were on the island intentionally - on a birdwatching expedition.  We went out around eight in the morning and went back to West Kirby around seven at night.


In this one you can just see Little Eye over the top of Little Hilbre. 


On that day we saw plenty of birdlife on the island and the occasional seal just off shore.


21 comments:

  1. Memories...memories. We stood on the promenade and looked at the island when my eldest son was two years old. My husband told me the stories of those who got trapped by the tide. It was a bitterly cold and windy day. Sounds like you had a great holiday with your family. It has just turned midnight here and the fireworks are going off and spooking the cat! You had your New Year 8 hours ago. Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
  2. A most enjoyable look round. I suspect it is better here on a crisp winters day.

    ReplyDelete
  3. So wonderful to see the beautiful pics of carefree days. The scenery is fantastic. Sometime 50 years ago ( I was in my teens} I used to remember planeloads of young Malaysians were sent to Kirby to be trained as teachers. We used to go to the airport every so often for send offs or to welcome them back. Wonder if you have an inkling of this. Thanks for sharing John! Happy New Year to you!

    Hank

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Hank,
      It was actually to Kirkby (with a K in it) in Knowsley that the students went. That's on the other side of the River Mersey. It was quite a famous teacher-training college and remains so to this day though nowadays it mostly trains local people. Don't worry about confusing Kirkby and West Kirby - even local people often don't get the spellings right!

      Delete
    2. Thanks for the clarification, John!

      Hank

      Delete
  4. What a beautiful post, everyone looks to so bundled up on the beach, it looks cold!
    I really love that mural, I wonder they don't make it into a post-card.
    Speaking of which, I notice that post-cards here are very hard to come by these days, is it because of our digital age?
    Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There is a postcard of one part of it Kay but without knowing that there is a boardwalk between the marine lake and sea it's hard to understand the picture.

      Delete
  5. What a fun adventure during the Christmas season! It looks like the kind of day we have here only on occasion in winter, sunny and bright and just right to get out and avoid cabin fever.

    ReplyDelete
  6. This makes me suddenly realise that I have never or very rarely been to a beach in the winter. At least not a seaside one. (Not counting the small lakeside one near where my grandparents and then my parents lived.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Often the beach in winter is bitterly bitterly cold but this was quite reasonable. In fact the whole winter has been unseasonably warm so far.

      Delete
  7. How was the restaurant? Any good? Or not so hot? Still, it looks like a lovely day out.

    Peace and blessings to you all, not just at New Year's, but always, xoxo Carol & Rob

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The restaurant was good, thanks Carol.

      Delete
  8. Thanks for making it easy for me to contact you from wordpress! Found out afterwards that I can come on most blogs (except the google + profiles) by selecting a profile.
    What a fun outing! Love the red sails and the horses by the water. I don't see any pic of you, Scriptor! Have a happy New Year, all of you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I much prefer to be behind the camera - there's only usually GB, my brother, or my wife who ever captures me on film. (Ooops, that's an old fashioned expression, isn't it? We don't have film nowadays but you know what I mean.) And it's only GB who always has a camera to hand. Perhaps I'll 'treat' everyone to a New Year photo in a day or two.

      Delete
  9. Interesting post. I've never heard of a tide like that before. Your telling of this place makes me want to experience it.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are a couple of estuaries with tides like that in the North-west of England and the largest, Morecambe Bay saw a tragic occurrence in 2004 when 23 Chinese people lost their lives as they harvested cockles.

      Delete
  10. Despite living in West Kirby for a while and spending a lot of time there even before that I've only been to Hilbre Island once. In a funny sort of way your post made me feel quite nostalgic and gave me goosebumps. I always loved West Kirby.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I am glad you were feeling well and you could enjoy that perfect day to the full, at such a beautiful place.
    Great pictures of wide open spaces, wonderful!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Oh I enjoyed this post....I would so love to visit and walk out to the island at low tide...looks like lots of fun.
    Loved the beautiful wall mural too.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Just the right kind of day - everything cooperating to make it worth remembering.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Love your photos! Tides are so if-ey! I remember being on the northern WA state coast and the tide was WAY out. Of course we walked out there to see what we could see. After all, the Canada Geese were out there as well. And we walked a good distance.
    However, when the tide started coming in, it was a very eerie feeling to realize that the water was not coming in, but coming UP! Scary, in fact! I will not do that again. Love the ocean, but Always respect it!

    ReplyDelete

Hello - thanks for dropping by to leave a comment. Your comments are much appreciated even if I don't always reply. They will appear as soon as they have been moderated.

Blog Archive