Steve McElroy talks of his attempts to travel to the countryside
Resource Type: Audio | Posted on 27th July 2011 by Liam Physick
Steve McElroy reveals how as a boy he attempted unsuccessfully to travel to the countryside at Widnes - on one occasion he bumped into his formidable-looking schoolteacher! He also relates a disturbing story of how three young children from his street vanished, only to later turn up in Huyton
Interviewee: David and Steve McElroy
Interviewee Gender: Male
Date of Interview: 25th March 2011
Steve: Did you ever go and try and find the country? Try and find where the countryside was?
Steve: You never did?
David: Not, not until I got my bike and, you know, used to go, just ride.
Jenny: (laughs) How far did you get?
Steve: We used to walk, me and my mates, down Wavertree Road, down Picton Road, and I remember one day, we got, we got to Childwall Fiveways, and we would have been about eight of something like that, and, you know, a very busy road, you know, crossing Queen’s Drive and no, there was no zebra crossing in those days, as I remember, and we were trying to get down to Widnes . . .
David: Right, OK, good, generally going in the right direction! (Jenny laughs)
Steve: Because, one of the things, we actually, always had in our house was maps . . .
Jenny: Oh, right!
Steve: . . . and . . .
Steve: . . . I, I, I, I’d worked out if if you walked down if, if you walked down Wavertree Road you could virtually get to Widnes, you see, so we crossed Queen’s Drive, but, then, instead of going down Childwall Valley Road, which would take you down to, you know, London Road towards Widnes, down that way towards Cronton, Tarbuck, we actually went down Childwall Priory Road instead . . .
David: Priory Road, yeah.
Steve: . . . and walked to the top, and - this would have been the corner cos I live up there now - and I would have been on the corner of Childwall Park Avenue and Childwall Abbey Road . . .
Steve: . . . just the entrance to Childwall Woods, we bumped into our teacher, John Orde, remember John Orde?
David: Oh, yeah. (Jenny laughs)
Steve: Yeah, a fearsome figure, wasn’t he? And he said, “What are you doing here?” “Well, we’re trying to go to Widnes”, “You won’t get there!” (all three burst out laughing)
David: I do remember him.
Steve: But there was another, there was another kid in our street as well, like that the family who’d moved in, but there was a little lad called Gary, I can’t remember, I can’t remember the family’s name, but he would have been a little bit older than our Peter, and one day, him, and another boy and a little girl from our street, and these were, you know, I would have been, like, a young teenager in those days, but these were, like, little, they’d only be about six, seven, something like that, and they disappeared off the face of the Earth and their parents were just absolutely . . .
David: Understandably, yeah.
Steve: . . . hairless, absolutely hairless, and eventually, they were picked up by the police in Huyton! (laughs)
David: So they done, they just done . . .
Steve: They just walked up there, yeah, just, like, just wandered up, three, three, three little kids just wandered off . . .
Steve: . . . and I always remember that. Incredible.
David: But the, the kids were . . .
Steve: But the furthest, the furthest we ever got in our quest to get to the country, all the way to Widnes, was actually down where King’s Drive is, you know, before . . . remember, do you remember the flats that were on King’s Drive?
David: King’s Drive, Woolton, are we talking?
Steve: King’s Drive, Woolton, yeah, so, basically, by the, by the Bridge Inn . . .
Steve: . . . we got as far as that one time!
David: Oh, you weren’t far away from, sort of . . .
Steve: Yeah, so we did OK (Jenny laughs)
David: How much of Halewood’ve existed then?
Steve: No, there was no, Netherley and Halewood weren’t there then.
David: No, so, so, you would have been the closer to the, what was then countryside?
Steve: Oh, no, it was countryside, on the, on the other side from the Bridge Inn, it was countryside, there’s the
countryside, now, let’s go home!
Jenny: Let’s go home! (they all laugh)
David: We, we’ve made it!
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