A walk along Hoylake Promenade

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.

Hoylake R.N.L.I. Open Day

Hoylake Lifeboat

Hoylake Lifeboat

RNLI flags in the wind

Hoylake Lifeboat Station’s annual Open Day took place on Bank Holiday Monday 27th August at the Lifeboat Station on the promenade. The event is to raise funds for the RNLI which is funded by charitable donations.  Lifeboat crews and lifeguards of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution have saved around 139,900 lives at sea since 1824.  This year’s event raised around £20,000 for the RNLI.

Crowd enjoy the Open Day

Ice Cream van

Hoylake Lifeboat Museum

The event usually attracts a large crowd and despite the wind and rain it was estimated that almost 20,000 Wirral residents turned out for the event this year.

Mad Max fun fair ride

There are a range of attractions including air displays, a funfair rides, charity stalls, street theatre, an historic transport display, raffles, and tours of the town’s lifeboat and the Lifeboat Museum.

Wallasey Corporation bus

Birkenhead Corporation bus

Birkenhead Corpration bus

Wallasey Corporation bus

Birkenhead Corporation bus

The highlight is usually a display by the world famous Red Arrows display team.    They returned this year after having to pull out last year following a tragic accident where two pilots were killed in a display in Bournemouth just before being scheduled to appear at Hoylake.

Red Arrows red white and blue

Red Arrows low level

Prior to the event, there were concerns that the dispaly team would be unable to put on their show due to low lying clouds and bad weather conditions.

Red Arrows arrow formation

Red Arrows close formation

However the event received the all clear and the organisers cleared the beach area and the crowd were entertained by a low level flying display in front of the promenade and across the Dee Estuary.

Red Arrows smoke trails

Red Arrows low level 2

Given the poor light, a slow telephoto lens and jets flying at great speed I had to boost the film speed on my camera to the max to be able to get my shots of the aerobatic display.  This has meant that they are a little grainy but it all adds to the atmosphere of the display.

Red Arrows vapour trails

Red Arrows full formation

As the light faded the Red Arrows completed their display and flew out to sea and back to their visiting base at Hawarden Airfield where they stay overnight before flying to Bournemouth on 29th August to take part in an air display at Torbay.

Red Arrows cross over

Red Arrows out to sea