Huyton town centre
|Huyton shown within Merseyside|
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It is part of the Liverpool Urban Area sharing borders with the Liverpool suburbs of Dovecot, Knotty Ash, Belle Vale and has close associations with its neighbour the village of Roby, both were formerly part of the Huyton with Roby Urban District between 1894 and 1974.
Historically in Lancashire, Huyton was an ancient parish which, in the mid-19th century, contained Croxteth Park, Knowsley and Tarbock, in addition to the township of Huyton-with-Roby. It was part of West Derby (hundred), an ancient subdivision of Lancashire, covering the south-west of the county.
Huyton was first settled about 600-650 AD by Angles. The settlement was founded on a low hill surrounded by inaccessible marshy land. The name Huyton gives a clue as to its origins. The first part of the name may suggest a landing-place, probably on the banks of the River Alt. (The area of land now known as Huyton Wetlands . is the source of the River).
Both Huyton and Roby are mentioned in the Domesday Book of 1086, Huyton being spelt Hitune.
Huyton-with-Roby is situated near to the south western extremity of the former Lancashire coalfield. In the 19th century Welsh immigrants settled in the area to work in nearby colleries. A Welsh-speaking Non-conformist chapel (Calvinistic Methodists) was founded in Wood Lane, Huyton Quarry. Nearby Cronton Colliery finally ceased production in March 1984, shortly before the UK miners' strike (1984–1985). Both Huyton and Roby have railway stations on the famous Liverpool and Manchester Railway (The station at Huyton Quarry closed in 1958 and today only the main station building remains). The railway’s construction was supervised by George Stephenson and, when it opened in 1830, it became the world’s first regular passenger train service. On the day of the railway's official opening, Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington alighted the train at Roby railway station.
Second World War
During the Second World War, Huyton suffered bombing from the Luftwaffe. Some Huyton residents were killed or injured but the scale of destruction was nowhere close to that experienced by Liverpool, Bootle and Birkenhead. Unlike Liverpool, schoolchildren were not evacuated from Huyton but schools and homes were provided with air-raid shelters.
The internment camp, one of the biggest in the country, was created to accommodate those 'enemy aliens' deemed a potential threat to national security. Churchill's demand to 'collar the lot' meant that around 27,000 people ended up being interned in the UK. Some internees were actually refugees from the Nazis, including socialists such as Kurt Hager and a large number of artists attacked for their 'degeneracy' in an infamous Nazi art exhibition in 1937 (see Degenerate art). Huyton internees included artists Martin Bloch, Hugo Dachinger, and Walter Nessler, dancer Kurt Jooss, musicians, sociologist Norbert Elias, anthropologist Eric Wolf and composer Hans Gál. More than 40 per cent of Huyton's internees were over 50 years old.
The camp, first occupied in May 1940, was formed around several streets of new, empty council houses and flats and then made secure with high barbed wire fencing. Twelve internees were allocated to each house, but overcrowding resulted in many sleeping in tents. Initially the camp was only meant to hold the internees until they could be shipped to the Isle of Man. However, largely in response to the torpedoing of the transport ship 'The Arandora Star', with the loss of nearly 700 people, the deportations ended. Most of the internees were released long before the camp closed in 1942. The camp was sited in and around what became known as the 'Bluebell Estate' and many of the streets were given names of the great battles of the Second World War.
The prisoner of war camp closed in 1948. Many of its inmates 'went native', stayed in Britain and married local women. Among those in the Huyton camp was Bert Trautmann who later went on to be the 1950s goalkeeper for Manchester City. From 1944, American servicemen were temporarily stationed in Huyton. Older Huyton residents still recall the tensions between black and white G.I.s which resulted in a night known as ‘the shoot out at the Eagle and Child’ (local public house).
Huyton was brought to national attention in 2005 after the racially motivated murder of black teenager Anthony Walker in McGoldrick Park. Two white local youths were later found guilty of his murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. They were 17-year-old Michael Barton (brother of footballer Joey Barton) and 20-year-old Paul Taylor.
In 1894, the township was included in the Huyton with Roby Urban District. "Since the First World War, Huyton-with-Roby has been transformed into a residential suburb of Liverpool, while agriculture, formerly the area's main occupation, has almost disappeared". In 1932 Liverpool City Council purchased a large area of the Earl of Derby's Knowsley estate. Thereafter, throughout the 1930s, the city built four large housing estates in the north-west of Huyton-with-Roby. These Liverpool ‘overspill’ housing estates were Fincham, Huyton Farm, Longview and Woolfall Heath. Other smaller developments were commissioned by the urban district council or privately commissioned. By 1950 the population was over 55,000, the vast majority of whom had moved to the area from the city of Liverpool.
After the Second World War, the district successfully fought off absorption into the Liverpool City Council boundaries. However, its own application for borough status failed in 1952. On 1 April 1974, Huyton-with-Roby became part of the new metropolitan borough of Knowsley.
By convention, Huyton-with-Roby contains Huyton Park, Roby, Longview, Huyton Quarry, Page Moss, Woolfall Heath, Bowring Park, Fincham, and Court Hey. Today this area is divided into seven local government wards: Longview, Page Moss, Roby, St. Bartholomew's, St. Gabriel's, St. Michael's, and Swanside.
Huyton was immortalised in the poem by Thomas Arthur Lumley
Huyton, Huyton, Two dogs fightin’ One was a blackin and the other was a whitin
This recognised the long-standing rivalry within the area between religious factions which notably reached a nadir in the seventies with ‘end of term' fighting between opposing Roman Catholic and Church of England Schools notably St. Augustine’s of Canterbury and Seel Rd School respectively.
Huyton is located just west of the M57 motorway which marks its border. Liverpool city centre is 6 miles (9.7 km) to the west via the M62 motorway. Huyton railway station, formerly called Huyton Gate railway station, is served by regular City Line services to and from Liverpool, St Helens, Wigan and further afield.
Huyton Bus Station
Huyton has 1 secondary school Lord Derby Academy on Seel Road and 15 primary schools. It also has a sixth form on Rupert Road, called the Roby Campus (part of Knowsley Community College). Huyton also has a newly built construction training college located on Princess Drive.
The shopping centre of Huyton is still referred to by its people as "the village" or "the villie", which dates back to the days when the centre was a rural village community. The area recently had a new Asda Walmart complex built close to "the village", which is one of the largest in Europe. There are also around 100 other independent shops and an indoor market. The area has two libraries: Huyton Library (Civic Way) and Page Moss Library (Stockbridge Lane). There is also a contemporary art gallery at Huyton Library.
Huyton is home to the National Wildflower Centre, which is set in Court Hey Park. There are also another seven parks: Bowring Park (situated on Roby Road. It is the oldest public park in Knowsley. It opened in 1907), Huyton Lane Wetland, Jubilee Park (Twig Lane/Dinas Lane), McGoldrick Park (Rydal Road), Sawpit Park (Hall Lane/Sawpit Lane), Stadt Moers Park (covers more than 220 acres (0.89 km2) of land between Whiston and Huyton) and St. John's Millennium Green (Manor Farm Road). There are also nine children's playgrounds.
Huyton is also home to the 55th (Merseyside) HQ Squadron of the 33rd (Lancashire and Cheshire) Signal Regiment, British Territorial Army, Royal Corps of Signals, as well as an Air Training Corps, the 1982 (Huyton) Squadron.
Huyton is home to many public houses including The Huyton Park Hotel, The Stanley Arms (named after Frederick Stanley, 16th Earl of Derby), The Crofters, Seel Arms, Queens Arms, Oak Tree, The Old Bank, Longview Social Club and The Swan. The former Wheatsheaf/Rose And Crown reopened as The Barker's Brewery on 23 January 2011, as part of the Wetherspoon chain of pubs. Several former landmark pubs have been demolished for new projects since the late 1990s: The Dovecot, Bluebell Inn, Farmers Arms, Hillside, Eagle and Child, The Quarry Inn and The Quiet Man.
In January 2012, the Longview Social Club was destroyed by a fire on the premises.
In the early hours of 16 April 2015, four supermarkets at Longview Shops were destroyed by fire and later demolished due to extensive damage. The fire started at a One Stop store and spread across another three businesses. Merseyside Police later revealed the blaze was caused by an attempted burglary.
The area is served by Knowsley Leisure and Culture Park (Longview Drive) and King George V Sports Centre (Longview Lane).
Huyton-with-Roby boasts two 18 hole golf courses: Huyton & Prescot Golf Club (Founded in 1905, it can be found at Hurst Park, Huyton Lane) and Bowring Golf Club (According to a sign at the course, it is the oldest municipal golf course in England and can be found at Bowring Park, Roby Road).
Huyton also had a professional rugby league club from 1968 to 1985. It was formed from Liverpool Stanley (1934–1951) and Liverpool City (1951–1968). Huyton RLFC struggled in the second division of the Rugby Football League until 1985, when they were replaced by Runcorn Highfield. This club, later renamed Highfield, struggled on near the bottom of the pro game - in 1995–1996 they gained just 1 point all season and changed their name to Prescot Panthers, Prescot Panthers finally disappeared at the end of the 1997 season (see List of defunct rugby league clubs). (Huytonians still interested in supporting pro rugby league have the choice of either St. Helens and Widnes Vikings, both of whom are 6 miles (9.7 km) away from Huyton).
Huyton has been much more successful in producing professional footballers. In recent years the town has produced two outstanding, combative and skilful, midfield England internationals: Peter Reid (Everton) and Steven Gerrard (Liverpool). Other footballers include: Joey Barton, Craig Hignett, Tony Hibbert, David Nugent, Lee Molyneux, Leon Osman, John Relish, Greg Tansey, Lee Trundle and Callum McManaman. Notably on 28 March 2007, two of Huyton's most prominent footballers starred for England in a 3-nil away win in Andorra. Goals came from Steven Gerrard (2) and David Nugent in a proud night for Huyton. Both players were educated at Cardinal Heenan High School, who have a track record as one of the country's top schools for sport.
Huyton contains many amateur football teams at both junior and senior level, but only one FA Charter Standard Club, which is Paramount Community Football Club.
Despite producing so many pro footballers, Huyton has never been able to sustain a semi-pro club for long. Nearby Kirkby Town changed their name to Knowsley United in 1988 and moved to Alt Park, the former home of Huyton Rugby League Club. In United's first five seasons they were hugely successful. In 1988-89 they finished runners-up in the North West Counties Football League. The following season they were champions and won promotion to the Northern Premier League Division One. They were accordingly promoted to the Premier Division. The following season they fought their way to the first round proper of the FA Cup, only to be beaten by Carlisle United at home. Unfortunately the momentum did not last and Knowsley United ceased to be a senior semi-pro side in 1998.
Huyton-with-Roby has several Beatles connections. As The Quarrymen, the Fab Four played the MPTE Social Club in Finch Lane. The Beatles also played 15 times in a hall in Page Moss (Hambleton Hall, St David Road - later became a Probation Office) between January 1961 and January 1962. On 21 March 1961, The Swinging Blue Jeans, fronted by Huyton-born Ray Ennis (born Raymond Vincent Ennis on 26 May 1942), introduced the Beatles to their first ever Cavern Club evening slot. Paul McCartney’s auntie Jin lived in Dinas Lane. In 1963, this was the site of Paul’s eventful 21st birthday party, at which John Lennon got drunk and beat up a local DJ for intimating he was a homosexual. Huyton Parish Church churchyard is the final resting place of the Beatles’ original bass guitarist, Huytonian Stuart Sutcliffe. In late-1999, George Harrison survived a knife attack by an intruder in his home, which mirrored John Lennon's murder. On the evening of the 30 December 1999 Michael Abram, a Huyton resident, broke into the Harrisons' Friar Park home in Henley-on-Thames, and stabbed George multiple times, ultimately puncturing his lung. Harrison and his wife, Olivia, fought the intruder and detained him for the police. 35-year-old Abram, who believed he was possessed by Harrison and was on a "mission from God" to kill him, was later acquitted on grounds of insanity.
- Black - 7 UK Top 70 singles between 1986 and 1991 including 'Wonderful Life' (No.8).
- The Crescent - 3 UK Top 70 singles between May 2002 and Sept. 2002 including 'On The Run' (No.49).
- The La's - 4 UK Top 70 singles between 1990 and 1997 including 'There She Goes' (No.13).
- Space - 8 UK Top 30 hit singles between 1996 and 1998 including 'Avenging Angels' (No.6).
Huyton does not have its own hospital, therefore most of its famous sons and daughters will have been born elsewhere, usually in Liverpool or Whiston. As well as the aforementioned footballers, the following people have or have had links with Huyton:
List of notable people
- Lee Mavers, Frontman of the famous Brit-pop group The La's
- Matthew Murphy, Guitarist/Lead Vocals of The Wombats
- Although born in St Helens, Thomas Beecham (1879–1961), the famous classical music conductor, was brought up in the Blacklow Brow area of Huyton. In 1947 he founded the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra.
- Alan Bleasdale, playwright famous for 'Boys from the Blackstuff', attended St. Aloysius RC Infant and Junior Schools, Huyton, 1951-1957.
- Stan Boardman, comedian.
- Henry Brunner, chemist. Resident in Huyton until his death.
- Carol Decker, rock singer.
- Alicya Eyo, actress.
- Sir Rex Harrison, actor who starred in films such as My Fair Lady and Cleopatra, was born and brought up on Tarbock Road in Huyton, and attended St Gabriel's School.
- Paul Lewis, pianist
- John McCabe, composer.
- Sally Morgan, Baroness Morgan of Huyton, politician.
- Reginald Moss, cricketer.
- Although originally from Manchester, Peter Noone (born 1947), of 1960s group Herman’s Hermits, settled in Chestnut Avenue, Huyton, before wealth and fame came knocking.
- Wes Paul, guitarist and singer. Although originally from Toxteth, lived in Huyton for 35 years.
- Barbara Pym, novelist who was privately educated at Huyton College.
- Phil Redmond, the creator of Hollyoaks, Grange Hill and Brookside.
- Peter Reid, former England national football team midfielder who played for clubs including Everton and has since worked in management for clubs including Manchester City and Sunderland.
- Tony Schumacher, author and broadcaster.
- Freddie Starr, comedian.
- Stuart Sutcliffe, the fifth Beatle.
- Harold Wilson, former Labour Prime Minister (1964-70 & 1974-76) was Member of Parliament for the former Huyton constituency 1950-83. A statue of Wilson was erected in Huyton town centre in 2006, 11 years after his death.
- Lee Trundle, footballer
- Clint Hill footballer for Queens Park Rangers
- Joey Barton, footballer for Queens Park Rangers
- Tony Hibbert, footballer, Right-back for Everton
- Steven Gerrard, Liverpool and England Midfielder
- Callum McManaman, footballer for Wigan Athletic
- David Nugent, footballer for Middlesbrough F.C.
TV and radio
- Boys from the Blackstuff episode "Jobs for the Boys" was part filmed in Woodlands Road, Roby
- King, Alan (1984). 'Huyton & Roby: A History of Two Townships'. Metro Borough of Knowsley. p. 66. ISBN 0-947739-01-7.
- King, Alan (1984). 'Huyton & Roby: A History of Two Townships'. Knowsley: Metro. Borough of Knowsley. p. 3. ISBN 0-947739-01-7.
- King, Alan (1984). 'Huyton & Roby: A History of Two Townships'. Knowsley: Metro. Borough of Knowsley. p. 5. ISBN 0-947739-01-7.
- King, Alan (1984). 'Huyton & Roby: A History of Two Townships'. Knowsley: Metro. Borough of Knowsley. p. 45. ISBN 0-947739-01-7.
- "Hans Gál's Internment in Huyton". Anthony Fox & Eva Fox-Gál. Retrieved 1 February 2008.
- "Wartime camps in Huyton". BBC Liverpool. Retrieved 1 February 2008.
- "Man held over student axe murder". BBC News. 31 July 2005. Retrieved 1 February 2008.
- "Cousins jailed for racist murder". BBC News. 1 December 2005. Retrieved 27 August 2010.
- "Teenager 'killed for being gay'". BBC News. 3 February 2009. Retrieved 4 May 2010.
- King, Alan (1984). 'Huyton & Roby: A History of Two Townships'. Knowsley: Metro. Borough of Knowsley. p. 55. ISBN 0-947739-01-7.
-  Archived 3 March 2012 at the Wayback Machine.
- "Firefighters tackle social club blaze". BBC News. 10 January 2012.
- Siddle, John (2015-04-21). "Blaze which devastated Huyton shops sparked during convenience store burglary". Liverpool Echo. Retrieved 2015-11-09.
- Harry, Bill (2000) The Beatles Encyclodedia, Virgin Publishing, London, p.782;
- Harry, Bill (2000) The Beatles Encyclodedia, Virgin Publishing, London, p.474;
- Harry, Bill (2000) The Beatles Encyclodedia, Virgin Publishing, London, p.1055;
- Harry, Bill (2000) The Beatles Encyclodedia, Virgin Publishing, London, p.340;
- Harry, Bill (2000) The Beatles Encyclodedia, Virgin Publishing, London, p.536;
- Strong, M.C. (2003) The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, Edinburgh, p. 229;
- Strong, M.C. (2003) The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, Edinburgh, p.692;
- Strong, M.C. (2003) The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, Edinburgh, p.393;
- Strong, M.C. (2003) The Great Indie Discography, Canongate, Edinburgh, p.989;
- Mark Clapson (2009-06-23). "The Routledge Companion to Britain in the Twentieth Century". Books.google.co.uk. p. 283. Retrieved 2015-11-09.
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