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Feb 28 11 9:32 PM

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The Concrete Pipe

Recently when passing a new housing estate with its buildings, some of which were complete, some half built and some a quarter done. I saw along the roadside some large concrete storm water pipes waiting to be put under ground.

 The scene took me back through the years to my childhood. It was a time when many families and mine moved into a new housing estate at Speke on the outskirts of . How exciting it was so many things to explore; heaps of sand piled high, gravel scattered everywhere so you wouldn’t sink into the mud that was thick upon the ground and bricks and more bricks to play with until the workmen chased you away.

 At the end of our row of houses in was a vacant block of ground.  The news was out that it was to be a playground for us kids.   There were to be swings, a slide and a merry-go-round what fun this was going to be.

We waited for a long time. All the houses were finally built but no

playground appeared. One day a truck came along carrying a large concrete storm water pipe and parked along side the vacant block. A crane arrived a few minutes later. We children gathered round and watched as the pipe was taken from the truck and placed upon the ground. The truck driver called out to us ‘This is for you kids to play on.’ We were amazed and puzzled what could kids do with a concrete pipe?  Is this what we were getting instead of swings, merry-go-rounds and a slide?   The answer was yes.   The playground was years off there was no money left in the councils bank account.

It didn’t take us long to play on and inside the pipe and a world emerged no one could have perceived. It was the world of kids make believe.

 The pipe became a stagecoach driven by John Wayne, Alan Ladd, Gary Cooper or some other cowboy movie star. Geronimo, Sitting Bull and hordes of wild Indians pursued it. Then it was a sailing ship with Errol Flynn at the helm as Captain Blood with us buccaneers sinking Spanish Galleons for their chests of gold.

I recall it was once the Nautilus and Captain Kirk Douglas took us 20,000 Leagues under the sea. Then it became a rocket ship taking us into space with Dan Dare. We went from earth to Moon and on to Mars and Venus fighting gruesome space beings all the way.

As years past we grew up, all to fast it seems. That concrete pipe became a hiding place were we would sneak a cigarette and discover the thrill of kissing and petting as the difference between girls and boys was realized.

The pipe was forgotten when we all grew up and became young men and women and went to work.  Not only that, many of us scattered all over the world; , , and are just a few of the countries we now live in. The concrete storm water pipe was left behind with its own stories to tell. And it had some to tell I can tell you.

Twenty-eight years later I stood on that vacant block of ground.  The Pipe was long gone and the playground with its slide, merry-go-round and swings never did get built. The council had saved its money well.

I smiled to my self, laughed as I recalled those childhood days of innocence and how far I had come since then.  As an adult I could understand by giving us kids that storm water concrete pipe to play on the powers that be had given us a far greater playground than Merry-go-rounds, slides and swings could ever had done.  We had been given the gift to use our imagination, to simply accept things for what they are and have lots of fun.

Thanks to the Liverpool City Council for the Concrete Storm water Pipe. We loved it then - we miss it now - it was a childhood delight.  

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#1 [url]

Apr 28 11 12:55 AM

Could this story be in 1948/9? This is when I left Speke to live in Scotland and thought the houses all built by 1950/60. I am sure my brother Ian would be among the children playing in that pipe.

Do children have such vivid imaginatios now? Is it encouraged these days? We did not have much at that time and using imagination in play was the only way.

A lovely story.

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#2 [url]

Apr 28 11 10:40 PM

Hello Valmo, the pipe was placed on the field about 1953. I don't kone how long it stayed there but it still had pride of place in October 1962 when I left..It wasn't there however when I visited in 1990.

During my childhood in Speke I had little yet I had so much...

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#4 [url]

Jul 7 11 4:09 AM



A photo of my brother Ian and I, with that bl..dy ribbon. I would think I was of an age to be attending Stocktonwood. Taken about 1947 I think. I must be about 6/7

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#5 [url]

Aug 20 11 1:57 AM

I like the photo Valmo, the ribbon looks very becoming....thanks for commenting on my story.


During my childhood in Speke I had little yet I had so much...

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#6 [url]

Dec 1 11 9:42 AM

Hi I  lived in Speke from 1950 till 1964 live in Eastern Avenue great people great place plenty of adventure for young kids,we had everything we wanted country side river .I still remember a lot of the names of people from my childhood All these people lived in Eastern Avenue Irvines103,Lanes 107 Moorheads 109 Halls 111 Stoddarts 113 Wrights 115 Sartorius 117 Loyds 101 Graves 99 Haddocks 97 Ormishers Potsiges,on the opposite side of the road Conleys Richardson Moss,Quinns.Kinrades,Gores,Morgans .I will leave the names for now maybe some of you know some of these people.I attended St Christophers St Ambrose and All Hallows schools I will try and remember any interesting things that happened when i lived there I now live in australia I get home every year now and visit Speke each time I am going to get down to the oglet shore if I can find a way down to the sand since they blocked it off. well I will sign off now great site      jonwat

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#7 [url]

Dec 8 11 4:47 AM

Why have they blocked it off? I dont remember Oglet, but my younger brother does. I expect i wasnt allowed to go on my own or with friends. Apparently we had some great picnics there as a family. It was a beauty spot in those days, 1940s.

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#8 [url]

Dec 8 11 10:11 AM

I too grew up in Speke and remember my Grandad taking me for walks to Oglet shore when I was about 3 years old.  We would walk down Western Avenue and onto Oglet Lane and then grandad would stop in the bluebell woods for a smoke of his pipe and I would play in the woods.  We'd continue onto the shore wer we would eat sandwiches and I'd play in the sand before returning back home.  Simple pleasures .....

I also remember being sent to Sally's fish and veg cart at the top of Tarbock Road to get potatoes etc for my mum and when I was older and had a bike i would go to the fish and chip shop at the bottom of Western for fish and chips on a Friday evening.

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#9 [url]

Dec 24 11 4:15 AM

jonwat and marismyth28,  great bits about the Oglet Shore...the Oglet Shore certainly burned itself into thememories of almost every kid who lived in Speke.


During my childhood in Speke I had little yet I had so much...

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#10 [url]

Dec 29 11 4:33 AM

I can remember running to Western Ave, with a sixpence, and my younger brother Ian. I dropped the sixpence just by the icecream van, some older 'kind' boy offered to help look for it. He found it and ran off with it.

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#11 [url]

Feb 9 12 6:03 AM

Speke was a great place to grow up in, the Dam woods, bluebell woods Speke Hall, Ogy Shore, and the Cast iron shore were the ship wrecks were,
lived in middle Linner , Stockton wood rd, and bray rd, from 1947 until 1964,
Saint Christophers School  , Stockton wood School, Banks rd School, and last was BJA Garston , left School 1957,
What a great place I loved it ,

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#12 [url]

Feb 22 12 1:30 PM

r no            i  lived in speke in the 50s 60s

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