Whitby Hall is now a multi-purpose centre mainly used for arts development for young people but, when the first picture here was taken in the 1920s, it was still in private hands. It belonged to the Grace family, and the pub on the other side of Stanney Lane still bears their name.
The Urban District Council bought the hall from John Grace in 1931 and it was the administrative centre for Ellesmere Port, until the early 1990s, with the gardens being turned into a public park.
Whitby High School, or the Grammar School as it was when I went there, had a tuck shop that sold crisps and sweets, but I preferred to go to the confectioner’s here, a short way down the road. I’d often just have plain bread rolls, warm from the oven.
The stretch of Chester Road in this animation is between Whitby High School and, a little way ahead, the Cottage Hospital.
Just to the left here are the shops either side of Mansfield Road. On the other side, where once you could buy fuel for your car, now you can buy the car itself.
I worked at this pub in late 1977/early 1978, when it was a Bass house. A new manager had taken over and, with his wife, was tasked with redecorating. The long mirrors behind the bars were replaced by red felt and, despite the derision and objections, the manager’s wife insisted on putting a lamp in every window, each one fitted with a red bulb. The connotations of red lights in the windows seemed to pass her by, even when explained at length!
I don’t know exactly when the first photo here was taken, but it was presented to the Matron of the hospital, Miss L M Jeans, in 1937.
The hospital was, originally, called Heathfield House and was owned by the Mansfield family, whose name is preserved in Mansfield Road, which joins Chester Road a couple of hundred yards or so to the left of where these pictures were taken from.
In 1914 the house was bought from the family and used to treat wounded soldiers then, after briefly closing after the first world war, reopened in December of 1919 as the Ellesmere Port Cottage Hospital.
The shop on the corner of Whitby Road and Vale Road was a baker’s shop in the first picture, and is now a locksmiths.
The pub on the left was the Sportsman’s Arms. In the 1920s, the publican was Joseph Bond, and the stretch of Whitby Road it stood on is still known by many locals as “Bondy’s Hill”. The pub has been demolished, an there are now residential buildings in its place. A little bit of history lives on in these buildings; one of them is called “Bondies House”.
It’s difficult to be sure, but the building furthest from the photographer on Whitby Road is, I think, the old Primitive Methodist Chapel. Not long after the photo was taken, the chapel was decommissioned, and later demolished.