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The History of the New Brighton Palace and its Top Secret WW2 Tunnels

At the Outbreak of the Second World War, The Ministry of Defence took command of the Underground Tunnels Beneath the New Brighton Palace. Here they put over 200 Women to work on the Home Front making munitions for the War effort. This continued until the End of the War


The Machinery from the Munitions Factory is Still inside the Tunnels for you to view on our Exclusive Historic Tours.




Wallasey History (11) Click Here to Purchase Tickets ww2 women 3

During World War II the US Army was stationed at New Brighton and a large motor pool known as Depot 0616 was kept at the Tower Athletic Grounds.


The 347th Ordnance Depot Company was stationed at New Brighton from December 1943 until March 1944. After World War II


Check out the Liverpool Echo Interview with Tony Frank-Buckley inside the tunnels




The New Palace, was built in the late thirties. The pit itself was filled in with rubble from the remains of the Old Palace. During World War Two, between 1942 and 1944, the arcade was Depot 0616 of the U. S. Army: the cellars became an ammunition factory employing two hundred women, a base for fire watchers, and a communal air raid shelter, one entrance to which, a large iron grille, is still to be seen in Virginia Road at the back of the Palace. The Venue is now Run by Hidden Wirral Myths & Legends which you can come and view via Historic Tours. Next Door, the old Toilet Blocks and Canteen areas have now become a Rifle Range for Airsoft Shooting.

Women working on 20mm cannon shells in an underground munitions factory beneath the New Brighton Palace, which also produced .303 rifle bullets for the Ministry of Supply


Liverpool Echo - Monday 01 May 1916


NEW BRIGHTON PALACE. An interesting fact in regard to the destruction of the Palace building* and shops at New Brighton is that, though the property was let the Corporation rentals totalling over £1,000, the insurance was for £1,000 only, while the rents were not insured, and according to the terms of the leases liability for rent tho part of the tenants ceased tit once. The chief value was, of course, the site, which will probably put to very good use, though to this nothing has yet been decided. The Council will doubtless make the best of tho opportunity for very desirable public improvement which tbe fire has provided.—-From "Wallasey Miscellany" in the Daily Post."


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Cheshire Observer - Saturday 24 June 1876


LOCAL INTELLIGENCE. New Brighton Palace, Limited.— A company with the above comprehensive title we observe has been registered, with a capital of £100,000 in 50,000 shares of £2 each. Prospectuses will be shortly issued to the public. In the meantime, we understand, an influential Board of Directors, of Liverpool, New Brighton, Birmingham, and London gentlemen, is being formed, and that to the untiring exertions of Mr. Sebright Green, of Liverpool, will the good people of Lancashire, Cheshire, and the Midland counties, be mainly indebted for this additional source of attraction, amusement, and instruction-. The opening paragraph of the prospectus states that " what the Crystal and Alexandra Palaces are to London, it is intended to make the New Brighton Palace, on a somewhat smaller and more economical scale, to the densely peopled and eminently prosperous districts, of which Liverpool, Manchester, Birkenhead, Chester, Macclesfield, and Crewe are the centres." Then, after stating that, " It may appear marvellous, but it is a fact that, upwards of five millions of pleasure-seekers annually visit New Brighton, at present almost destitute of any attractions beyond what nature has provided," the prospectus concludes, "Indeed there can be no doubt as to the soundness of the principle put forward by Mr. Gladstone, that the most remunerative policy is that which seeks for its support among the great masses of the people, and it is confidently believed that the monetary success of the New Brighton Palace will be at least equal to that of either the Brighton Aquarium, the Southport Pavilion, or the Spa and Gardens at Scarborough, because the sources of attraction and of revenue will be more varied and various, while the immediately surrounding population is even greater, and quite as wealthy, intelligent, and appreciative." Working Men's Club and Institute Union. — His Grace the Duke of Westminster has consented to the annual meeting of the above society being held at Grosvenor House on the 14th proximo.


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Liverpool Echo - Tuesday 02 May 1916


"AN INCENDIARY FIRE." SEQUEL TO THE BURNING OF NEW BRIGHTON PALACE The Liverpool dock labourer, Richard Kennedy (42), of Bridport street, who had elected go for trial the'charge of steal quantity of chocolates and cheap from a stall New Brighton Palace during the night of the tire, was brought up again Wallasey to-day, before Messrs M'Gilchrist and Chester. Accused had been temporarily employed Good Friday Mr. Wilkie, the propriety the Palace, and he admitted that at 1.15 next morning was "he Promenade an-i saw a light the building, and that of climbing over the railings he saw wood under the roundabouts, which were thee fire. He then stole the articles in respect to which be was charged. the conclusion of the taking evidence, prisoner was asked if he had anything to say to which he replied All 1 wish to say that it was incendiary fire, and 1 took those articles to prove that I bad seen the fire. He was formally committed for trial at the next Quarter Sessions, in July. In reply to the chairman, prisoner said he did not suppose he could find anyone tot go bail for him.


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New Brighton Palace Inside the New Brighton Palace

Liverpool Mercury - Monday, 15th April, 1895


The Palace, New Brighton

This popular place of amusement was opened for the season on Saturday, and throughout the day it was crowded with pleasure seekers, a fact which augurs well for a successful season. Many improvements have been carried out in the extensive buildings with a view of enhancing the pleasure and comfort of visitors. The commodious ballroom, where a full band plays for dancing, is charmingly decorated throughout, as also is the large and cosy theatre. The grotto, which will have a special attention paid to it during the season, together with the open-air terraces, will certainly prove most attractive to those who wish to take a stroll after leaving the ballroom. There are also well stocked aviaries, a shooting gallery, and several other attractions in the place, which will enable visitors to spend a most enjoyable time. Mr. C. Gray Smith, the secretary and manager who catered so well at the Palace last year, is again at the head of affairs, and on Saturday provided a treat for his patrons in the shape of an excellent concert in the theatre.


The artistes were Miss Marie Burnett (soprano), Madame Emile Young (contralto), Mr. George Barton (tenor). Mr. Eaton Batty (baritone), and Mr. William Pagan (humorist). There was a large audience present at both the afternoon and evening concerts, and each item of the programme was much enjoyed, whilst in several instances encores were demanded. The theatre orchestra accompanied the various items in a satisfactory manner, under the leadership of Mr. J. Clayton. For today (Monday) further attractions are provided. Entertainments will be given in the grotto by Deskaro, the juggler, and in the rink by Sizi and Casea, acrobats. In the theatre, both afternoon and evening, will appear the Four Aubreys, sketch artists and horizontal bar performers; Patty Yole, song and dance artist and banjo soloist; the Ediinsm sketch artists; Rose Harvey, contralto vocalist; and Winifred Yates and and Robert Emslie, who will contribute vocal tableaux vivant's. As regards the future engagements at the Palace, Mr. Smith has made arrangements with some of the best known music hall artists to appear during the season, so that this place of amusement should prove attractive to all visitors to New Brighton.


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Sheffield Daily Telegraph - Saturday 18 May 1907


COUNCIL PURCHASE THE PALACE. Last evening, at a special meeting the Wallasey District Council, recommendation was passed pay Mr. Connolly £41,500 for the New Brighton Palace property. It is stated that the Council had received a mandate from the ratepayers pay £50,000, so that the ham and egg parade, with its surroundings, might be improved, and New Brighton be rendered one of the first watering places in the North of England. Had the question of purchase gone to arbitration it might, with costs, have cost fully the amount of purchase money for the vendor’s expenditure on the property, which amounted to £8O,OOO, would have to be considered.


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Gloucester Citizen - Monday 24 September 1888


ESCAPE OF A LION. exciting scene was witnessed on Saturday evening New Brighton Palace, Cheshire. Madame Telzerohad arranged to go through her daring performance in a lion's den. In connection with this lions' den is a small empty cage, by which the lion's " den is approached by Madame Telzero. This cage was not in its place on Saturday, and the lion queen necessarily had to enter by the main door of the " den." No sooner was this opened than out dashed a lion, to the dismay of the audience, who were scattered all directions. The lion in the meantime rushed into a corner, doubtless as much astonished at his freedom from bolts and bars as the audience at his intrusion in their midst. Meanwhile the keepers secured empty cage, and the king of the forest was again placed in captivity.


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South Wales Echo - Saturday 24 September 1887


MYSTERIOUS AFFAIR ON A WELSH RAILWAY. Yesterday Mr William Davies, coroner for Flintshire, held an inquest at Mostyn on the body ot a gentleman unknown, which was found on the Chester and Holyhead Railway, near Mostyn Station. Edward Parry, foreman platelayer, said that as he was going to work early on Thurs- day morning, he was informed by the signalman at Mostyn that a man had been killed on the line, and the station-master jumped on an engine and rode to the spot, and found the body, which was dreadfully mutilated, one arm having been taken off and both feet fearfully smashed, while a portion of the head was found at Prestatyn Station, the next station down the line, leaving the face quite beyond recognition. There were no letters or marks on the linen to afford any clue to identification. The body was that of a man apparently about 26 years of age, and well-attired. On the body were found a book of six tickets for the New Brighton Palace and Winter Gardens, and a "Sun Fire Office drary, with the words entered under September in bold letters "Stage early." The jury returned a verdict of Found killed on the railway."


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Liverpool Echo - Monday 01 May 1916


HE SAW THE FIRE. STATEMENT TO WALLASEY MAGISTRATES. The man who said he saw the beginning the fire .at the New Brighton Palace was brought up remand at W allasey, to-day, before Messrs. C. R. B. M'Gilchrist and J. Chester, charged with having stolen a quantity of metal rings, some chocolates, and brooch from one of the stalls. Prisoner was a dock labourer named Richard Kennedy (42), of Bridport-street, Liverpool, who, when arrested, admitted stealing the rings after the fire broke out. When asked to-day if desired the case be dealt with summarily, or if he preferred to jury, prisoner replied:— I desire to be tried by jury, as this fire was no accidental fire. was a deliberate incendiary fire. The magistrates' clerk (Mr. Hargraves) said that Prisoner was not charged with setting fire to the building, but simply with theft. Prisoner replied that he charged on his own confession with that. He wished to be tried a jury, so that the case could be thrashed out thoroughly. . The Chief Constable (Mr. P L- Barry) said that under the circumstances ho must ask for further remand until next day, as it would be necessary to call several witnesses who were not now present. The magistrates remanded prisons accordingly.. .


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The Original New Brighton Palace Arcades