I had a walk along the promenade at Hoylake on one our recent October sunny days and took a few photos of what caught my eye in the early evening autumn sunlight. There were a few people out on the beach, horse riders riding into the sun and dog walkers kicking across the sand.
As well as the views looking out across Liverpool Bay and across to Hilbre Island there are some fine examples of Wirral’s heritage to appreciate on the promenade.
Outside the recently built RNLI lifeboat station is a memorial statue which was unveiled in December 2010 in memory of eight Hoylake lifeboat men who lost their lives in a heroic rescue bid 200 years earlier in December1810. The bronze statue was created by local sculptor Paul Bearman and represents Joseph Bennett, who was lifeboat coxswain at the time of the tragedy and who survived. It depicts him standing at the helm of the boat as it sinks. The crew, who were local fishermen, was responding to a ship called the Traveller which had been driven on shore in the Mersey, the boat going to their rescue was overwhelmed by the sea and 8 out of the 10 of the lifeboat crew were drowned. Two families were badly affected by the tragedy. John Bird aged 40, his sons Henry, 18, and John, 16, and nephew Henry Bird, 18 lost their lives and in addition were Joseph Hughes, aged 28, his brother Richard, 36, and Richard’s son Thomas Hughes who was 16.
Close to the memorial statue is the Victorian drinking fountain which dates back to 1897 which was installed to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. The cast iron drinking fountain on was restored in 2008. It was originally manufactured in Glasgow and installed on Hoylake and Meols promenade in 1897. But years of weather corrosion meant the structure fell into disrepair. A grant of £25,000 from the local council was provided so that the fountain could be repaired.
Fellowship House is painted a bright terracotta red which caught the late afternoon sun with a warm glow. The building used to be the home for the blind at some point and more recently it has been converted as a home for adults with learning difficulties by a local housing association. Nearby on the corner of Trinity Road is another house which takes a warm pink glow from the sun late in the day. The roof of the Sanderlings day nursery building has had another use in its past and the bright blue ‘spire’ caught my eye.
But as the day was drawing in the view across to Hilbre with the sun’s rays peeping through the clouds was a fitting end to my walk.