Another well-known picnic spot was and still is Raby Mere, and it has boats on it even now.
There were always organised picnics during summer, usually transporting people sitting on wooden forms fastened to a coal cart, but NOT for the village children. We usually had a big band to play at outdoor events, and there were some fine ones in the area. Port Sunlight Silver Band, Tranmere's Gleam of Sunshine, Bromborough Pool's Silver Band and Cammell Lairds' Band - alas most of them have now gone into limbo.
Once each summer the whole village went by coaches (charabancs) to Lord Leverhulme's home Thornton Manor, all very posh - but when the dozens of coaches had been filled, the enclosed works lorries were brought into use to help out. Inside those it was dark, noisy and smelly and the trip could not end soon enough. The coach children were very chuffed, but the lorry kids were not so pleased.
On arrival at the Manor the kids all got books of tickets for trips on various rides, including a sail on a motor boat of which there were two in use, the "Mauretania" and the "Lusitania", both flat bottomed, white painted, slow moving barge-like ships. It was all very interesting to us kids. Everyone did as they liked and a good time was had by all. At tea time all the kids trooped into huge marquee tents erected on the lawns and they all got the same meal: bread and margarine and a bag of cheap cakes from a Liverpool caterer's. Last of all we got an enamel mug of hot stewed tea.
|Thornton Manor (Gerald Clarkson collection)|