By Les Jones
Reviewed by Colin Serjent
As the introduction to this book states Wirral is full of many contrasts. It has numerous nature-based areas, of which I have visited on various occasions with my camera, significant beaches and urban areas, notably Birkenhead.
Author Les Jones, who was born and bred in Wallasey, which is part of the Wirral, has delved into the many legends and myths of the area that have emerged over many years. He also details interesting stories and tales of the diverse and sometimes peculiar aspects of villages based there.
Towards the end of the book Jones pays particular attention to Birkenhead Park, which he describes as groundbreaking and which has a notable history.
As is always the case with historical books issued by Amberley Publishing Secret Wirral has an extensive range of photographs and illustrations.
Among my favourites are the image of New Brighton Tower from 1904 – Jones chronicles the rise and fall of this cherished monument; the scenic railway of New Brighton; a view of the Tower grounds, which includes a very crowded beach of people.
As a fervent music lover (covering many genres), the poster in the book advertising the appearance of the Beatles and Gerry and the Pacemakers at the Tower Theatre in 1962 particularly appealed to me. Admission was five shillings!
Other images which caught my eye was the Leasowe Lighthouse (1900), Bidston Windmill (1900), Heswall beach at sunset (1935), the auditorium to the Ritz Cinema in Birkenhead, and a team shot in colour of Tranmere Rovers football team, taken in 1935.
This is the last but not the least image in the book.