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The Trail

 

The Town Trail was written by the Ainsdale Civic Society and Sefton Library Services.  The Map was produced by Sefton MBC. Copies of the Trail Pack with easy to view cards may be purchased at the Library.

 

The map is shown below; for a larger view on-screen, hover your cursor over the map thumbnail at the left. You can also download the map as a .pdf document: click on the map thumbnail to start the download. Once you have the file, it can be printed out on A4 paper. (File Size 9MB)

(You will need Adobe Reader, or some other .pdf reader, installed on your PC to do this.)

The walk takes in the early developments of Ainsdale – what once stood, what was planned for the village and what still remains.  The walk is a journey of discovery and there is much to discover.  It covers about 3.5 miles and will take about 2 hours.

 

We start and end on Liverpool Road by the roundabout near the Library, which was built in 1929.  Cross the road at the lights and turn left at the roundabout.

Map L2.pdf

To see a larger version of any image, just hover your cursor over the thumbnail

The rooms above the Royal Bank of Scotland were known as the Assembly Rooms and were used for worship by the Congregationalists and Anglicans prior to the erection of their churches in 1878 and 1886.

 

The Railway Hotel was built in 1891 and originally sported a Rose Garden and a Bowling Green which were later sold off to make way for a supermarket  (now the Co-op)

 

Hosker Villas, now numbers 21 and 23 Station Road were built in 1877.

 

Telephone Exchange.  Prior to this building being opened in 1927, the telephone exchange was situated in the front room of a local builder, William Todd, with two of his daughters in charge.  Next door is the Dolce Vita Restaurant.  This was originally an Irwin’s grocery shop and you can still see the Art Deco design above, which identified all their stores.

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Ainsdale Library

The Railway Hotel

The Telephone Exchange

Ainsdale Village Church, formally the United Reformed Church, was built as the Ainsdale Congregational Church in 1878 at a cost of £800. Local people have raised money to build a village garden in front of this church.

 

The prominent building on the corner of Station Road and Burnley Road was Shaw’s grocery shop which moved across the road, this shop then became Rushton’s chemist and later Timothy Whites & Taylor’s.

 

Across the railway line we come to Barclays Bank. This was originally Martins Bank (Liverpool) Ltd: the iron gates still show the monogram of this company. Prior to any building here, this land (The Field) was used to stage the Horticultural Show in 1913.

 

Continue along Sandringham Road, turn left into Hatfield Road. This area was part of an Exhibition site. In 1908 the Ince Blundell estate set aside land here for a house building competition. Competitors would construct houses at a cost of £300 with prizes for various types of house. The competition was successful and helped ‘kick-start’ the development of this area.

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Ainsdale Village Church

Cnr Station & Burnley Rds

On the corner of Tudor Road is No. 24 Shore Road, the Red House, this used to be the maternity hospital for the area.

 

Ainsdale Beach Station (previously named Ainsdale Seaside and Ainsdale-on-Sea) used to stand just north of the roundabout. It was part of the Cheshire Lines Committee railway which ran from Liverpool to Southport with a station on Lord Street where Morrisons supermarket now stands. Steam trains ran on this line until it closed in 1952. The only surviving evidence is the old railway workers’ cottages.

 

The Sands, originally known as the Lakeside Hotel, was built in 1902 as a temperance hotel run by the Buckley family. During the WW2 it was home to WRENs who served at the nearby HMS Queen Charlotte AA Gunnery School, opened in 1941.

 

Just past the hotel you can see the original boating lake. It was known as Bulrush Slack before it was greatly extended in 1911. It is now a natural haven for birds and wildlife and is surrounded by the Ainsdale Civic Society’s boardwalk for people to stroll around. The first Ainsdale Horticultural Show was held here.

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Ainsdale Railway Station

The CLC Railway Cottages

The Sands Hotel

The Boating Lake

At the end of Shore Road you reach the beach turn left and walk along the sands. Early aviators practised along this stretch of the beach from 1910 onwards. Its long flat surface featured in early land speed record attempts, most notably Sir Henry Segrave’s record-breaking 1926 feat. In modern times the famous racehorse Red Rum trained on this beach.

 

This was the site of the Lido. Built as a leisure facility in 1933, it became a naval gunnery school during the Second World War and was known as HMS Queen Charlotte. It reverted to a leisure facility after the war, but decline set in during the 1980s and it closed in 1996. After much discussion as to what was to become of the building it was demolished virtually overnight, without any consultation with the people of Ainsdale. It was a sad and unnecessary end to something which had played such an important part in the life of Ainsdale and its people.

On this site now is the Ainsdale Discovery Centre run by Sefton Coast and Countryside. Here you may obtain information about the local fauna and flora. You may also obtain bikes under the Council resident loan scheme.

 

Turn left at the Discovery Centre and left again to the end of the Promenade.  The building on your right is Toad Hall, possibly a reference to the rare natterjack toad which breeds in this area. This was once a thriving night club but has been closed for many years.

 

16). Pontins Holiday Camp was built in1969 and radically altered the Ainsdale Beach area, opening the whole site up to a new generation of tourists.

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HMS Queen Charlotte

Ainsdale Lido - 1930s

Cross over the Coastal Road, which was originally the Cheshire Lines Committee railway track until it was converted into a road in 1966. Walk along Shore Road and turn right down the path before the first house. This area is a good example of the dune eco system.

 

Walk along this path, known locally as the Yellow Brick Road, left into Lighthorne Drive and right into Westminster Drive. This estate was built between 1971 and 1973 on land bought from the Weld-Blundell Estate. Notice as you walk that there are no semi-detached houses on this estate.

 

At the end of Westminster Drive you come to one of the sand dunes that still exist in the area and remind us that Ainsdale was literally carved out of the sand.  

 

Turn right along Kenilworth Road, cross over at the bus stop and go down the pathway into the dunes to Mossgiel Avenue.

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This road was originally called Shore Side before taking its unusual name from James Gibson who lived at number 3. He was originally from Mossgiel in Scotland and set up a plant nursery business call Mossgiel Nursery. The name stuck and the road became Mossgiel Avenue. Modern houses have been built on the nursery site.

 

Walk along Mossgiel Avenue to Ainsdale Station which was opened on 21st July 1848 when the line was only a single track. The original station buildings were moved from the village side in 1909 to accommodate the footbridge.

 

Cross the line and turn right into Chesterfield Road, passing what were probably old railway workers’ cottages. Left into Salford Road where two Second World War bombs fell in April 1941. One in the rear gardens of numbers 5 and 7 and one in the rear of numbers 56 – 62 Salford Road.

 

Turn right into Leamington Road, walk to the end. Opposite is St. John’s Church. This church was built in 1886 at a cost of £500. The church includes the famous Queen Charlotte window, presented by the service men and women stationed at HMS Queen Charlotte during the Second World War.

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Salford Road Bomb Crater

Turn left along Liverpool Road until you reach the village green. On the left is the Methodist Church. Built in 1866 it was the first church in Ainsdale. In 1890 a schoolroom was added for the use of children of all denominations.

 

The Village Green is the site of the War Memorial, paid for by public subscription and unveiled in 1920. It is also the venue for the annual Ainsdale Horticultural Show. The houses on Liverpool Avenue and Green Walk were built after the First World War for returning servicemen and were known as ‘Homes for Heroes.’ You are now back where you started, outside Ainsdale Library. If you have the opportunity, look at the Nature Garden, and the historic Millstone within the Library grounds.

 

We hope you have enjoyed the Ainsdale Walk!

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Ainsdale Village Green

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