Over the water, Woolly-back land, the dark-side. If you have the pleasure of calling Wirral your home then you will be more than accustomed to these nick-names. You will also be well aware of these other things that make us true Wirral citizens, whether we are mocked for them or they stir up those nostalgic child-hood motions. Here’s a list of all the things we love about the Wirral and the things that outsiders say and do that really gets under our skin.
1. Explaining to people that you’re not from Liverpool
It doesn’t matter where you go, if you’re not in Merseyside, no one knows where the F*** you are from. You try to explain;
Person: “So where is ‘The Wirral’ then?
You: “It’s near Liverpool, just over the water”
Person: “Over the water? What water? So your basically from Liverpool?
You: “You know that famous river from all those songs, The River Mersey? Well it’s got TWO sides and Wirral is on the other side!”
Person: “So… it’s just Liverpool then?”
If you get through this conversation without ripping your own hair out or screaming with exasperation, then your stronger than the rest of us!
2. Being a ‘Wool’
Well if everyone else on the planet doesn’t know where the Wirral is, Liverpudlians definitely do! And we definitely hear about it. As soon as you travel to the other side of that river and mention where you are from you are instantly branded as a ‘Wool’ or a ‘Woolly Back’ referencing that we are all a heard of sheep or cowards. It’s a brand all Wirral-ites cannot stand. It angers us to our very core.
See even Wirral-ites we don’t mind, just quit it with the sheep reference guys!
3. The pain of explaining what a peninsula is
There are seventeen peninsulas in the UK, that’s quite a few considering we are on a small island.
So why doesn’t anybody we meet know what the hell one is. People on the Wirral are very proud of being a peninsula and we are taught about it practically from nursery.
It is a piece of land almost entirely surrounded by water or projecting out from land into a body of water, (thank you google dictionary, nicely put).
You will still have to explain it everybody though and watch people’s faces as they try to take in this new information.
4. Remembering the first time you were allowed over to Liverpool
The first time you were allowed to take the bus over to Liverpool with your friends, on your own is almost like a rite of passage over on our side of the river. The moment you are trusted enough to fly the nest and stretch out your wings for the first time.
Even though its not that far in distance, the feeling of emerging out of the Birkenhead tunnel into the centre of Liverpool felt like you had just stepped foot into London!
Oh yeah, and when we were free and let loose, there’s no telling what adventures we were about to have. With no supervision I might add.
5. Taking for granted all our beaches
Being a peninsula Wirral has no shortages of beaches. They are beautiful beaches too. The most popular of which being New Brighton and West Kirby. Our beautiful beaches fill so many of our childhood and adult memories to last us a life time. It’s only when you travel somewhere inland, like Manchester for example, that you realise they don’t have a single beach, no expanse of water to just stare out of on a calm summer evening. That’s when you truly miss Wirral and start to feel homesick.
6. Europa Swimming pool
We have a lot of swimming baths on the Wirral. Some are sporty, some are big, some are small, others are just plain-blank just closed down (Berne Av.), but every kid on the Wirral has been to Europa. Now it may not be as famous and well-known as the outdoor New Brighton swimming pools (which looked amazing). Nevertheless, we all remember how excited you used to get if your parents told you that you were going to the Europa Swimming baths. With its two slides; The Killer and the Dolphin. The pride you felt on the day you graduated from the Dolphin slide and joined the true dare-devils, the big shots and you rode the Killer slide, oh the rush!
Let’s all not forget the masses of bruises and injuries we both acquired and inflicted on others in the summer holidays when the waves machine got turned on. How it used to send you diving into every kid who was even remotely near you.
Now going as an adult with the little ones in your family I think it is safe to say that Europa Pools doesn’t look too appealing now-a-days. But it simply hasn’t changed, and that’s part of the nostalgia, that it might be a little crappy, but we still had some of our best times there.
7. Nicole’s Ice Cream at Parkgate
One of the gems of Wirral. If the suns out and you have a car, you get to queue outside Nicole’s for the best ice cream you will ever eat. It’s almost the law. If you haven’t had Parkgate ice cream, are you really from the Wirral?
Also little tip for you guys, its perfect for couple’s as date night! Sitting with an ice cream with the one you love looking out over the water. Perfect.
8. Your annual trip to Chester Zoo
We have the best zoo, period, fact!
Chester Zoo is phenomenal. It has every animal you could possibly think of, and you go every year. If your school don’t drag you out to Chester every year at the end of the school year, then your parents certainly will.
It’s one of the few things we can’t believe outsiders haven’t seen. Everyone should go to Chester Zoo, whether you’re a Wirral-ite or not.
The down-side is after you have grown up with Chester Zoo on your door-step and you can run around its massive grounds with no map. You are going to be disappointed with every other zoo, its just inevitable. Nowhere seems to have the same awe and grand expances as Chester. Their zoo’s seem tiny and don’t even have a third of the animals.
9.Going to Spaceport more than you should
Spaceport, whether you went to see the Doctor Who Exhibition or the new Star Wars Exhibition, Spaceport is like our little geek-haven that no one knows about but is awesome. It has little trinkets or movie costumes and pieces that you would never in a million years imagine being on the Wirral.
It may not be as flashy as the Liverpool museums but it’s our little museum, and were proud of it. Even if we have all been a thousand more than is healthy for any human being.
10. The first time you drove around the Clatterbridge roundabout
How to explain the Clatterbridge roundabout? I don’t think you can, it is a mystery unto itself. If you’ve never had to co-ordinate yourself round the bleeding thing, you can’t imagine the horror.
Mayhem, confusion, and so… many… lanes…
You take your life in your hands when you drive around Clatterbridge roundabout.
11. Going to Liverpool for ‘Museum Days’
It’s exactly what it says on the tin. Your Mum would pack everybody a pack lunch and take you for a trip to Liverpool to look around all the Museums, and although we make fun of them, they are huge and fascinating when you’re a kid. Looking up at the actual skeleton of a dinosaur. Mind = Blown.
Cheap and cheerful days out to Liverpool.
12. Actually knowing the difference between the Mersey Tunnels
Yes, there is a difference. Yes, we do know what it is. The Birkenhead Tunnel and the Wallasey tunnel. The amount of times that scousers are amazed that there are two tunnels, astounds us. How could they not know? Do they never cross the river to the Wirral? Well no, they don’t to be fair to them. But still there are two tunnels on your end as well.
And if you’re really wanting to have a giggle. If you ever meet a person that is not from Merseyside just drop the bombshell that you drove under water. It’s phenomenal. Everyone just assumes we either sail or swim over that massive expanse of water.
13. The horror of the taxi fare
We’ve all been there guys. Trying to flag a taxi home on a Saturday night after going hard on the town. If your drunkardness doesn’t scare the taxi driver away, telling them you’re going to Wirral definitely will. No taxi driver wants to go through the tunnel at night, as if there is some horrific beast waiting for them on the other side. It’s rare you get someone who is fine to take you over. Even if they do, how do we repay that kindness, by having to pay the tunnel toll, BOTH WAYS, on top of the £20 journey. Cheers for that one guys!
14. Getting lost at Thurstaston Park
Thurstaston common is a beautiful park. It’s so pretty, especially when you sit upon the red rocks. How romantic does that sound. However, when you first visit, you definitely get lost. It’s inevitable. That’s how you know if you walk past a middle-aged couple or family looking lost you know they are not Wirral-ites. Simply because you stopped getting lost when you were 15. So if you are still getting lost past 20-years-old, you are either a hermit crab and don’t get out much or you’re not from the peninsula.
15.Elesmere Port is not part of Wirral
It’s in between the boarders between Cheshire and Merseyside. Just on the outskirts of Wirral. Sorry guys you are not part of the Wirral. Geography says so. Maybe ask Cheshire they might be more accommodation than our exclusive Wirral club? Or just roll with it and be your own little rebel cell in between two big counties’. We believe in you; you can do it.
Anyways, a part from our very few short comings and goings, we love our little peninsula, and we are proud of our knowledge and strength of our home. If our childhood memories and nostalgia mean that we are called ‘Wools’ till the end of our days. Then that’s fine by me. It’s a small price to pay for being able to call Wirral our home.