Why we’re all cel­e­brat­ing Boo­tle’s 150th birth­day

Midweek Visiter - - Front Page - BY KATE LALLY kate.lally@trin­i­tymir­ror.com @kate­lal­lyx

BOO­TLE will cel­e­brate its 150th birth­day this week. The town, his­tor­i­cally part of Lan­cashire and now a part of Sefton, was a was a key tar­get in World War II, with up to 90% of its homes dam­aged dur­ing the Liver­pool Blitz.

Since the war, Boo­tle has been hit again and again by ad­ver­sity and aus­ter­ity – but its com­mu­ni­ties al­ways rise to the chal­lenge and choose to look on the bright side.

Here we’ll take a look back at the his­tory of the town, and rea­sons we can be proud of Boo­tle.


The es­cort ships which pro­tected the con­voys cross­ing the ocean dur­ing the Bat­tle of the At­lantic were based at the town’s Glad­stone Dock.

But in the 1960s-70s, the docks de­clined in im­por­tance and Boo­tle be­gan to suf­fer high un­em­ploy­ment and a de­clin­ing pop­u­la­tion.

Later, Boo­tle’s docks closed and this af­fected al­most ev­ery other in­dus­try in the town.

The prob­lems slowly gath­ered pace un­til Mersey­side hit cri­sis point in the early 1980s. Even now, the area is one of the poor­est in the coun­try.

De­spite all of this, Boo­tle has been the birth place of so many suc­cess sto­ries.

Now Peel Ports is lead­ing a sub­stan­tial £400m trans­for­ma­tion of the docks with the im­pres­sive Liver­pool2 con­tainer ter­mi­nal ex­ten­sion open­ing in Novem­ber 2016, al­low­ing the world’s big­gest ships to dock here. The trans­for­ma­tion on the Boo­tle econ­omy prom­ises to be equally im­pres­sive.


The town has pro­duced a num­ber of top-flight foot­ballers – the most fa­mous be­ing Liver­pool FC leg­end Jamie Car­ragher.

Jamie says Boo­tle means a lot to him, and he does a lot of work to help keep the streets of his child­hood safe for the next gen­er­a­tion of young­sters.

He now runs the Jamie Car­ragher Sports & Learn­ing Academy at the Brunswick cen­tre on Marsh Lane, not far from where he grew up.

He said: “We lived on Knowsley Road, which is around the cor­ner from Marsh Lane. At one point my dad ran the Solly pub, which is just op­po­site the [Brunswick Youth Cen­tre]

“We all loved foot­ball. I was a Blue, and played for the Mer­ton Vil­las pub team.

“I had a lot of fam­ily and friends who looked out for me, there has al­ways been a great com­mu­nity here.”


Former Royal Ma­rine Andy Grant broke the 10k world record for be­low-the-knee am­putees in 2016.

Andy, who grew up in Boo­tle, was in­jured in an IED (im­pro­vised ex­plo­sive de­vice) ex­plo­sion in Afghanistan in Feb­ru­ary 2009 and had his right leg am­pu­tated in Novem­ber 2010.

But the 29-year-old has since learned to ski, surf and sky­dive and won two gold medals and a bronze at the In­vic­tus Games for in­jured ser­vice­men and women.

He ran 10k in 37 min­utes and 17 sec­onds – beat­ing the pre­vi­ous record by 36 sec­onds.


House of Scouse is a char­ity that was set up in 2011 to raise funds for Boo­tle schoolboy Antony Fen­lon who suf­fers with autism.

Since then, HOS has gone from strength to strength, rais­ing more than £35,000 which has paid for two autism units, as well as con­tribut­ing to­wards Marsh Lane box­ing club and Mama Mar­garet St James pen­sion­ers club.

The project is heav­ily in­vested in the lo­cal com­mu­nity and holds fundrais­ing events around the city.

HOS is a big sup­porter of lo­cal mu­sic and has worked with and sup­ported X Fac­tor’s An­thony Rus­sell (also from Boo­tle), Rachel Cham­bers (lead singer for LMA Choir) and Astrid (Voice Kids), among other lo­cal tal­ent.

A week-long cel­e­bra­tion will take place in Boo­tle from Mon­day-Fri­day.

It’s part of a num­ber of spe­cial oc­ca­sions across South Sefton as both Boo­tle Strand Shop­ping Cen­tre and the Girobank build­ing mark their 50th birth­days.

Boo­tle’s 150th cel­e­bra­tions will in­clude the un­veil­ing of the re­fur­bished Town Char­ter, signed in 1868, which has not been seen by the pub­lic for decades.

Mayor of Sefton, Cllr Dave Robin­son, said: “I can’t wait for ev­ery­one to see the re­fur­bished Char­ter, which has been lov­ingly re­stored by the fan­tas­tic team at The Atkin­son in South­port.

“I’ve also called on a few fa­mous ‘Bootleians’ to send spe­cial well wishes to their home­town on this land­mark oc­ca­sion so keep your eyes peeled!”

An ex­hi­bi­tion dis­play­ing arte­facts from Boo­tle’s his­tory will be open from this week and there’ll also be scav­enger hunts for chil­dren, and tours of Boo­tle Town Hall.

For more in­for­ma­tion or to book tick­ets please call 0151 934 2062 or email may­or­sof­fice@ sefton.gov.uk.

An­thony Rus­sell In­sta­gram

Jamie Car­ragher and X Fac­tor star An­thony Rus­sell

Record-break­ing ath­lete Andy Grant grew up in Boo­tle

Post-WWII restora­tion works be­gin at Boo­tle Town Hall in this pic­ture, thought to be from 1958

The Leeds-Liver­pool Canal at Boo­tle Strand in glo­ri­ous sun­shine

Work on the £5m New Strand scheme in Boo­tle in 1967

Boo­tle MP Peter Dowd was born and bred in the town

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