Saughall Massie Road originally ran from the what are now the crossroads in the village to Saughall Massie Village, Greasby Road was not built until the 1860s.
Saughall Massie road was a Turnpike, a privately owned road on which a toll is charged, the toll house was located on the land opposite Greenbank. The road was re-aligned in the 1960s, it originally followed the convent wall round the corner into the village.
There was a terrace of four labourers cottages, at the Upton end (on the part that became Greasby Road), these were part of the Greenbank estate and were sold with the rest of the estate in 1918.
Jane Holme, who occupied the first cottage, was the local midwife and nurse. The last cottage (furthest from the village) was larger than the others and was called 'Laburnum Cottage'.
The first two cottages were converted into shops in the 1930s, one was occupied by Jeanne (Millinery and Ladies' Wear) and the other by a confectioner.
The shops and cottages were demolished in the 1960s when the new Horse and Jockey was built, and the road junction was modified.
There are also shops at the other end of Saughall Massie road.
Following heavy rain on 24 August 1956, a 40 foot section of the wall alongside Saughall Massie Road ouside the Convent became cracked and unsafe. For safety reasons, the council immediately closed Saughall Massie road and shored up the wall with timber to prevent it falling.
Having inspected the wall it was obvious that repairs would be very expensive, but it was not clear who was responsible for paying for the repairs. The managers of St Joseph’s School said that as it was the wall to the playground, the Council’s Education Department was responsible, further more they said that a contributory factor was the state of the surface of the playground which had allowed water to perculate through and which the education authority had been made aware of in early August. The education authority maintained that as the wall was owned by the convent, it was their responsibility.
Various suggestions were made for repairing the wall, the borough engineer favoured demolishing the existing wall and replacing it with a reinforced concrete retaining wall, faced with the stone from the existing wall. The cost of this was estimated to be around £5,000.
Saughall Massie road remained closed during these discussions, this led to several complaints from local residents, and the “Upton and District Residents Association” wrote to the local authority on 30th October 1956, complaining about the use of Welton Avenue, Larcombe Avenue and Warwick road by heavy vehicles and buses as a result of the closure.
To try and determine the cause of the failure, and to decide on how to proceed a site meeting was arranged for 8 November 1956. Present were Reynolds and Scott, architects representing the Convent and St Joseph’s, and the Borough Engineer. It was found that the drains from the playground were blocked with tree roots, the Borough Engineer, therefore, concluded that the cause of the failure was lack of maintenance over a long period.
On the 12 December 1956 the St Joseph’s Managers agreed to meet the cost of rebuilding the wall up to playground level, above that should be the responsibility of the local authority. On 24 January 1957 an estimate was obtained from T.A.Smith and son, stonemason, for rebuilding the wall, this came to £1,450 of which £250 would be the responsibility of the local authority. The local authority agreed to this and the plans were passed to the Borough Engineer.
On 4 February 1957 the Borough Engineer rejected the plans, giving as his reason that there was an error in the calculations and the rebuilt wall would not be strong enough. Following discussions between Reynolds and Scott and the Borough Engineer, an agreement was reached on 1st March 1957. T.A.Smith and son quoted a cost of £2,050 for the revised plan, the work taking about 16 weeks to complete.
The revised cost to the local authority was £350 and this was put to the sub-committee on 30 March 1957, they did not agree with the changes.
In April 1957, the local authority realised that the cost of the night watchman, who had been on site since August 1956, had not be taken into account. To date this amounted to £652.
The Finance Committee agreed to pay the £350 on 30 April 1957, they also agreed to pay the same proportion of the night watchman costs.
The application for approval to carry out the repair was sent to the Ministry of Education on 2nd July 1957 and approval was received on 12th August 1957, although the ministry asked for clarification of the costs for watching.
The continued closure of Saughall Massie Road caused inconvenience to local residents and letters of complaint continued to be received. A petition signed by most of the people living in Warwick Road was presented to the Local Authority.
Instructions to start the repair work were given to Reynolds and Scott on 24th September 1957, but due to bad weather and other commitments of the Mason, work did not start until 10th October 1957. Work was completed and Saughall Massie Road was reopened on 17th February 1958, almost 18 months after the road was closed. The total cost of watching was £1,358-13-6, including oil and coke.
This, however was not the end of the story. On 22nd November 1957, the Ministry of Education questioned how the costs had been proportion between the authority and the school, and on 31st January 1958 they informed the authority that they felt that the authority was responsible for all of the costs, except for the part of the wall by the lavatories.
The discussions continued for another 5 years until 23rd November 1962 when the council agreed to pay 50% of the costs which amounted to £3,760 including £350 for work carried out on the drains and the playground.
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