(The) Wirral

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(The) Wirral

Post by Phil White » Sun Feb 23, 2020 2:16 pm

Wirral, and indeed the Wirral, has been in the news a lot in the UK over the past few weeks, as the coronavirus evacuees have been brought to our local hospital at Arrowe Park for quarantine.

But clearly, the news broadcasters have little respect for the sensitivities of Wirral citizens. Then again, neither did I when I first came here:

Phil (when deciding where to live on returning from Germany): I really want to live in the North West, reasonably near to a city, but I don't know where.
My then girlfriend: Have you thought of the Wirral?
Phil: What's the Wirral?

The fact is that the Wirral is the rectangular peninsula bounded on three sides by the River Mersey, the Irish Sea (or Liverpool Bay, if you will) and the River Dee.

Importantly, Wirral is not the same, either geographically or linguistically, as the Wirral. Wirral is the Metropolitan Borough Council that covers most, but not all, of the Wirral peninsula. About two thirds of the Wirral peninsula fall within Wirral, with the southern third, including Ellesmere Port, falling within Cheshire.

Which means that Arrowe Park Hospital is either "in Wirral" or "on the Wirral", but not, as I have regularly heard over the past weeks "in the Wirral".

Just setting the record straight for the BBC and Sky News...

And in case you are interested in the rich historical and architectural heritage of the Wirral and its spectacular countryside ... don't bother. Like most decaying northern metropolitan areas, it has a few spectacular old Victorian buildings dotted around and there are a few nice places to go for a stroll, but the predominant sense is one of a tired and shabby old town. Personally, I am very fond of it.

Yes, yes, I know. Port Sunlight is fascinating and the Lady Lever gallery is a gem. Hamilton Square in Birkenhead is very impressive, and Birkenhead Park, which apparently formed the blueprint for New York's Central Park, is very pleasant to walk around. Hilbre Island is worth a visit, and Neston and Parkgate are quaint. But if I begin adding things like Hadlow Road railway station, I really would be scraping the barrel. Perfectly nice place to live, but it's not surprising that the cruise ships that dock in Liverpool do not put on excursions to the Wirral while they are in...
Signature: Phil White
Non sum felix lepus

Re: (The) Wirral

Post by gdwdwrkr » Thu Feb 27, 2020 5:04 pm

Idaho pushes the potato-identity.
Yes, it is heaven-on-Earth, but they don't want anyone to know.
At least that is the impression I got from Peter Jenkins' A Walk Across America.

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