Having a girlfriend who lived in Walsingham Road, the Green Hill has been a feature of my life in Childwall since the early 1970’s and it still is to this day, providing a convenient pedestrian path between Chelwood and Bentham Drive. Walking across it last weekend on the way home from the shops, I stopped for a few minutes to take the few photos shown above. It was still and quiet on that occasion, with only one other person seen traversing the hill – a young mum pushing her baby in a buggy. The blossoms added a welcome splash of colour, and the smell of the flowers was everywhere.
The 1906 map below however shows the Green Hill as it was in its previous form.
In 1879 the Cheshire Lines Railway (CLC) opened its North Liverpool Extension Line which connected Halewood to Aintree. The railway cut through the districts of Gateacre and Childwall as it passed northward, and was inevitably built across many areas of private land along the way. On such occasions, where the fields of a farm became separated by the railway, it became necessary to provide a pathway for the farmer to safely cross the tracks from one side to the other. And so it was that the Green Hill was built. Two simple earth ramps, joined together at the top of a bridge, which allowed the farmer to safely move his farm equipment and livestock from one side of the railway to the other.
Without a doubt it would appear that in the past 130 years or so since it was built, the Green Hill has now had a change of use. No longer do the farmers move their farm equipment from one side to the other. No more movements of sheep, cows and the smell of cow-dung. Instead we have kids (older and younger) riding their bikes, mums pushing prams and pedestrians taking photographs on their way home from the Co-Op.
Perhaps there has not been that much change after all, but I don’t know about you – I’ll take the smell of blossoms over cow-dung any day.