Hello again people and pooches. Joe the Cocker here. A few days ago, me and my human went for one of our regular walks around Runcorn. While we were walking around our local streets, my dad kept stopping to take photographs. I stop quite frequently but, that is usually for a pee. He was having a look at some of the buildings that we normally just walk straight past. He said that it is amazing what you take for granted when it is on your doorstep. I, personally, couldn’t see anything on our doorstep except for a few weeds, that I think he should concentrate on removing. I think that me and the big feller see different things when we are out walking. On this occasion my dad said that he wanted to look at stuff that we hadn’t mentioned before in our blogs so, with my lead on, off we went in search of stuff!
We walked past the Town Hall Park, which I imagined that we would be going to visit, as we were headed in that direction. Instead, we crossed over the road, while he looked over the fence, into Pool Hollow. Pool Hollow is a small valley, visible over a fence, opposite the Town Hall Park. It is overgrown with trees and densely packed bushes. A stream runs along the length of it from Coronation Road Flats to the corner of Ivy Street. There was once a farmhouse in the hollow with a duck pond. A couple of houses have been built in the valley with a small private road leading to them from Heath Road.
Adjacent to the hollow is a small development of bungalows and flats. This was the site of the post-war prefabs in Heath Road Crescent. There is very little evidence that the prefabs ever existed. All that remains is a short section of rough road, a lamppost and a concrete fencepost, hidden in the bushes. If anyone had been watching us rooting around in the bushes, they would have thought that my dad was either crazy or up to no good. I actually think that he is crazy, but that is just my opinion. I think that my dad imagines himself as some kind of Indiana Jones type character, searching for the Holy Grail and not some local nutter looking for where the prefabs once were!
After our mooch around the site of Heath Road Crescent, we turned into Langdale Road. We passed the row of shops and walked alongside of St. Edward’s Church in Ivy Street. Built in 1956, this Catholic Church is the third to be dedicated to St. Edward in Runcorn. The first being in Windmill Street and the second in Irwell Lane. There has been a Catholic place of worship in Runcorn for over a thousand years.
Across Langdale Road is the town’s cemetery which contains the Commonwealth war graves of 46 people from WWI and 26 from WWII. There are three entrances to the cemetery with a lodge at two of them. The Langdale Road lodge is the newer of the two. We plodded on to the junction with Victoria Road where we turned right and then left into York Place then left again into York Street. On the corner of York Street, we came to the Masonic Hall. Sadly, the windows are filled in and the true grandeur of the building has been lost.
We headed up York Street before turning into Walton Street and joining Victoria Road. On the corner is St. John’s Presbyterian Church which has been tastefully converted to flats. Built in 1904, from red sandstone, the church dominated the local skyline and the conversion has maintained the buildings character. Across the road we passed the Owen Findlow’s Stonemasons yard and then passed along the sandstone wall of the cemetery.
On our right was ‘Viccy Road’ primary school. It was built in 1886 as the Greenway Road Board School and has remained as a school building until this day, despite several attempts to close it. The building is not a Listed building but, it would be a shame to lose it as it has been the learning establishment of countless thousands of Runcorn’s children.
At the crossroads with Greenway Road we walked by St. Michael and All Angels Church. My dad decided to take a photograph even though he has mentioned the building in a previous blog. He says that it looks better nowadays than he ever remembers.
Opposite the church we walked past the Old Lodge, at the entrance to the cemetery. It is another of Runcorn’s iconic unlisted buildings. We continued on our little jaunt past the cemetery, until we turned right along Balfour Street, just after crossing the railway bridge. After passing the Conservative Club we turned along a cobbled lane on our left next to a Nursing Home. This led us to Holloway which is a road with ‘bags of character’ according to my dad.
A lovely while house caught my dad’s eye on our right, standing above the road, with steep steps at either side and a sandstone wall. We headed uphill toward the site of the Cottage Hospital. On the right, stood above the road are a few impressive bungalows and opposite a long row of large town houses.
We have mentioned and photographed the buildings at the top of Holloway in a previous blog so my dad said that we shouldn’t repeat ourselves. We turned left onto Weston Road and then right into Highlands Road. The first building that we came to was the Bake House, a small cafe. On the hill up a wide set of steps, was the site of the ‘Tup’ or Traveller’s Rest pub that is sadly closed nowadays.
We walked along Highlands Road with cottages, with tiny front doors, on our left and the tennis courts, putting green and bandstand on our right. The bandstand is a 2004 replacement for an older one that was on this site. Runcorn Hill Park and Nature Reserve is a combination of a reclaimed quarry and formal gardens. It is a relaxing and tranquil area of woodland overlooking the Mersey Estuary.
Further along the road is Esposito’s Café opposite the children’s playground in Park Road. It was time for me to have a run, off-lead after we passed the boating lake. The large playing fields of the ‘Big Park’ were a great excuse for some zoomies. I made the best of my relative freedom because it wasn’t long before I was back on-lead for our walk downhill on Heath Road. We were soon back home and time for a snooze for Joe the Cocker. Till next time!