Birkenhead Park Festival of Transport  24/25th Sept 2016

A BIRKENHEAD LIONS RUN EVENT      NOW IN ITS 9th YEAR OF RUNNING.                                                       

Chairmans Message for 2017

I Ken Fretwell as Chairman of The Birkenhead Park Festival of Transport Committee sadly have to inform its supporters that there will NOT be a show for this year 2017. We as a committee successfully ran this event for 9 years for the benefit of the Community and further afield. But comments made about the cost for spectators to attend the event have forced us to reconsider our position and sadly we have decided the event has run it's course.
We would like to thank all the traders, exhibitors, Volunteers, Committee members and members of the public  who have supported us over the 9 years but sadly the event is no more. 
Ken Fretwell
Chairman Birkenhead Park Festival of Transport

Birkenhead Park Festival of Transport Steams into Town again this year!

oung or Old we have something for Everyone, A truly Great Day out Starts Here

Chinese State Circus comes to Town!

For this years Show we are extremely pleased to announce the September Super Weekender!

This year the Festival of Transport will be in our new venue of the upper park and on the same week end the Chinese State Circus will be in the lower park. So you can come and enjoy the Festival of Transport during the day and then take in a Circus performance during the afternoon or evening, please note the Chinese State Circus charge a seperate entrance fee to see their show performances. For this years Festival we are providing a land train to pick up our visitors from parking their cars in the lower park and bringing them past the circus site and to our shows entrance booths, and taking you back to your cars later or to the circus big top if you want to take in a performance.


The Show Committee are proud to announce that the Town Crier of Chester will be visiting Birkenhead shopping centre in a classic Vehicle on the morning of Saturday 24th September to Announce the opening of our 2016 Festival of Transport Show.

Now that's something you don't see every day !!

News Flash, Event Owl Traders online booking service goes live. Click here to check it out and Book in.

Would You like to see this years show flyer?  Click Here.

The Event Committee would like to Scotch the rumours circulating that alcohol will be available at this event.
I can assure you that as in previous years alcohol is banned because this event has always been a family orientated event.
Ken Fretwell
Event Chairman


On behalf of the Birkenhead Park Festival of Transport committee and Birkenhead Lions, welcome to this our 9th Annual event.  As Chairman, I would like to explain why we have found it necessary to increase the entry fee to £5 this year. 

We have listened to comments from visitors about how, in previous years, the event was spread out across a large area of the park, making it difficult for some people - particularly those with mobility problems, to get around the whole event.  After discussions with Birkenhead Park management we are holding this year's event in the upper park, which has the advantage of forming a natural arena, so everything is now within easy reach. In addition, we have arranged for a road-train to transport visitors from the lower park (Visitor Centre and Cole Street entrance) to our entrance in Ashville Road.  There will be a nominal charge for this service.

We have also faced a continued reduction in financial support from local companies and council cutbacks, together with increased running costs for the event. As always, our committee has chosen good quality stage and arena entertainment, along with a multitude of steam and historic vehicle exhibits.  I do believe that our entry fee is still cheaper than other similar events in the North-West.

Since its inception in 2008, the event has raised over £22,000 for local charities and good causes, distributed through the Birkenhead Lions Club.  The 2015 beneficiaries included:

Wirral Food Hubs (we supplied 2 fridges and food pallets), RNIB Ashville Lodge, Friends of Birkenhead Park, the Army, Air and Sea Cadets, Wirral Autistic Centre, Parkinson's UK, Guide Dogs for the Blind, Chic’s Charity, Arrowe Park Premature Baby Unit, Rock Ferry Operatic Society, Radio Broadgreen, Wirral Radio and various Community Police projects.

 A total of £4,500 raised in 2015 by your support of our event - thank you.

The £5 entrance charge should help us to cover our costs this year, and hopefully secure the event for September 2017.

This year we commemorate the 76th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain and are proud to have on display a full-size replica Spitfire. Go along and have your photograph taken in front of the most iconic aircraft of all time.  Nearby is the infamous Nazi vengeance weapon known as the V1 "Doodle-Bug" together with the Spitfire's main adversary, the Messerschmitt Me109 - subject to the build being completed on-time!  You will also see re-enactment parades by members of the Home Guard, affectionately known as "Dad's Army".

Transport is well represented; the impressive "Foremost" and "Renown" will be amongst the display of large and small traction engines along with a variety of historic vehicles.  The Ellesmere Port Speedway Motor-Cycle Museum will be displaying a selection of vintage bikes.  The Howard Brothers steam gallopers make a welcome return, with lots of other family favourites including, pony and donkey rides, a climbing wall, laser shooting and tiny-tots mini trikes.  The Arena entertainment comprises two days of fun dog shows and various displays of working dogs.  The Anglesey Hussars and Royal Caernarfonshire Rifles (militia) will also be performing re-enactments and weather permitting there will be a parade of miniature steam traction engines.

I would like to acknowledge your support as a visitor to our event and to the following local companies:  Paul Davies and Chris Osborne (Birkenhead Park Management), Printability, Birkenhead Van Hire, Merseyrail, Wirral Satellite Cars, Honda Cars (Ellesmere Port), East Park Communications, Army Cadets, Air Cadets, Sea Cadets and the Friends of Birkenhead Park.

Not forgetting the festival committee:   Ian Lea, Neil Hilton, Martin Connolly, Dave Sutton, Peter Standish, Tony Bowyer, Glynn Thomas, Jim Crabtree, Jim McCosh, Barbara Mace, Jimmy Parsons and the many volunteers who have given their precious time to make this event a success.

Finally, thanks to "Chunky" Merrick our entertainment organiser and sound engineer, Bryn Mallion who will be providing commentary on the steam traction and to Arrowe Sound Hospital Radio, who have provided our comperes, Glynn Thomas and Mike Shepherd.

Almost as soon as we close the gates on this year's event, planning gets underway for the 2017 Festival, scheduled again in September.  If you would like to volunteer or sponsor the event please contact me on (h) 0151 678 3597 or (m) 07714 254503.


Ken Fretwell  (Festival Chairman and Birkenhead Lion)


President Birkenhead Lions

I have the pleasure of being the President of Birkenhead Lions Club

For 2016-2017.


It gives me great pleasure to be involved with the Birkenhead Park Festival of Transport which is now in its 9th year.  Each year the event has gone from strength-to-strength and we have brought some fantastic steam exhibits and entertainment to you, reflected in annual visitor numbers regularly exceeding 20,000.

That figure of 20,000 also represents the amount in pounds we have been able to donate to local charities and good causes since this event was conceived back in 2008.

As you have no doubt read in publicity material, it has been necessary this year to increase the admission charge to £5 for adults (it's still free for accompanied children under 16) to maintain the quality of entertainment and exhibits and also to ensure the event's survival in 2017. 

Thank you for your support and I hope you thoroughly enjoy the 2016 Birkenhead Park Festival of Transport.


Jim Parsons

President, Birkenhead Lions Club

Would you like to help out at this years show ?

We are currently recruiting Volunteers to help out at this years Show.

This is a very Exciting Opportunity for People to help out behind the scenes at Wirrals Biggest and Best show this year.

You can help out for a few hours, a day or the whole Show Weekend. If you would like to discuss this further please   Click Here for More Information.

A Tribute to the Late Mike Friend

Mike Friend passed away on 17th September 2014, just days after our Festival of Transport event finished.He was 69 years of age.

Previous visitors to our Festival would know Mike as the man riding his recumbent cycle, leading the parade of steam around the park.  He was a valued and active member of the Transport Festival Committee. Without exaggeration,  those early events would not have happened without Mike's active involvement and tireless enthusiasm.                                                                                      He became Chairman Ken Fretwell's right-hand-man.

The Transport Festival Committee would like to convey their sincere condolences to Mike's wife Izzie and family. He will be sadly missed. 

              HUSSAR !

For this years show in the arena we have the Fantastic Anglesey Hussars,

they are a re-enactment group who portray life as a Napoleonic soldier. They portray the 7th Queens own Hussars mounted cavalry ‘A’ Troop Royal Horse Artillery.

And the Royal Caernarfonshire Rifle Corps ( militia ). This is something definitely not to be missed, please remember your cameras !


Honouring The Few

As this Year marks the 77th Anniversary of the start of WW 2 we are proud to be able to announce that we will be displaying a full Scale Replica of a WW 2 Spitfire to Commemorate the Brave Men and Women of the RAF who prevented the fall of our Country to the Natzi,s in 1940.

An RAF Spitfire also crashed into Birkenhead park near the Dog show arena on 14th October 1942.

The pilot - US serviceman Douglas Cooper Goudie ( pictured right )  managed to bale out of the plane and land in Dingle Liverpool with just a sprained ankle.

The plane continued on over the River Mersey and plunged into a field in Birkenhead Park on the Wirral without hurting anyone.

The Mark 2a Spitfire had taken off from RAF Hawarden on a test flight on the day of the crash.

It came down in a field within Birkenhead Park known as the Night Pasture.

Much of the wreckage, including the engine and some of the cockpit instrumentation, remained buried in the field until five years ago when an excavation team from the Warplane Wreck Investigation Group mounted a salvage operation.

The engine is now on display alongside other war plane artefacts at Fort Perch Rock in New Brighton.

Fort Perch Rock is managed by Doug Darroch, whose father Doug Darroch Senior witnessed the crash.

Artefacts from this plane crash will be exhibited next to the replica Spitfire.


The Spitfire is again on display by very popular demand this year to mark the 76th Anniversary of the Battle of Britain. And so we thought it only right that its arch foe the Messerschmitt
 ME 109
should also make an appearance

( If Available, unfortunately due to circumstances beyond the control of its owners it is not ready yet ) this year
along side it as well as a V1 flying bomb!
These two iconic planes of the Battle of Britain met in daily dog fights over the south of England in a bid to gain air superiority, for the Germans to be able to invade England, and for us to prevent it.
The Messerschmitt ME 109 is being displayed by the  Northern 40's  WW2
Re enactment group who will also have a ground display of German Bomber Pilots and equipment. There will also be a full size replica of a V1 Flying bomb as well as RAF re enactors and displays of RAF equipment.


Also making their first appearance at our show this year are a group of living history re-enactors who portray the work of the ARP or Air Raid Precautions, better known as the Air Raid Wardens.
These men and probably some women would stand outside while the bombs were falling all around them, and everyone else was taking shelter.
There job was to note which buildings had been hit, where bombs had failed to explode, UXB,s, and help with the rescue of trapped people in bombed buildings and shelters, and also the task of removing the dead from the buildings and streets.

Sentinel DG8 "Tarmac" steam wagon (1929) .

The restoration of an 87-year-old steam wagon has been a real labour of love for classic vehicle enthusiast Richard Straughan. It took him more than 28 years to get the old Sentinel "Tarmac" wagon roadworthy again.

While advertising for parts for another wagon he was restoring, Richard was contacted by an engine dealer in Wolverhampton who had purchased the remains of an eight-wheeled Sentinel.

“At the time, I wasn’t too interested but I bought them anyway. I brought them back and forgot about them for years”

Research revealed that the remains were of a Tarmac Sentinel wagon, which had been made in 1929. Richard discovered that the wagon had been taken apart and scrapped around 1945.  Some 15 years later, the wreck was bought from the scrap yard by the man in Wolverhampton from whom Richard bought it. When he set about restoring the wagon, he sourced parts from all over the world, including Australia.

Many of the other parts on the vehicle have been hand-made, including the windows and the authentic leather seats, made with horse hair by upholsters in Stainton.

As a member of the Sentinel Drivers’ Club, Richard has access to the designs and patents of the vehicle, which has helped him make various pieces for the restoration.

The Show Committee are proud to announce that for this years show we have booked Rob Chapman Magician from walking with wonder.

Rob will be literally popping up here there and everywhere around the show ground on both days of the show.

He will perform magic for the little kids and the not so little kids, so if he shakes your hand make sure you still have your wrist watch !

For this years show we have a go kart racing track for the boys and girls to show off their racing skills and have some fun in the sun.


WIRRAL SLOTCAR RACING (WSR) is a social enterprise, (none profit organisation), which aims to promote Slotcar Racing as an activity for all the family, all ages, welcoming Slotcar racing enthusiasts and creating opportunities for newcomers to try the experience. We operate an equal opportunity and diversity policy and social inclusion policy, supporting community engagements.


We are family themed and encourage a lot of Father/Son Mother/Daughter type Racing.


WSR is in the process of developing a joystick controller to enable people with limited mobility access to enjoying the thrills and spills of motor racing in miniature.


All profits are used to subsidise premises for our monthly club days where we try to get more people involved in the Hobby.


Scalextric Rally Time Trial:

Top our Leader Board... Lap times are recorded on a leader board. The fastest lap time is awarded with medal and certificate; certificates are awarded to second and third place. When the leader board is full with the first 12 racers it’s then knockout time trial replacing the slowest with the fastest times, further certificates are awarded for getting on the leader board. Prizes are awarded for a sub 15sec lap time. Under 5s are awarded with stickers just for having ago.

North West Mobile Speedway Museum.
This year we are pleased to announce that we have the North West Mobile Speedway Museum attending our show,please make time to have a look at a piece of racing history.


This year our Show Arena is dedicated to two full days of all things dog.

Birkenhead Park Festival of Transport Show is a highlight of the North West calendar, and the annual dog show is one of the most popular attractions.

This year our Arena will host a two day celebration of our unique relationship with dogs and their role in our family, sporting and working lives.

The dog shows are kindly sponsored by Wirral Dog Food, Point2point Dog Training, Wirral Kennel Association and CSJ specialist canine feeds.

Come along to discover many different breeds and find out more about type, temperament, health and activity needs.

This event is about awareness and responsible ownership as well as a celebration of our best four legged friends.There will be lots of advice and information about feeding, training, handling, rescuing, showing and choosing the right dog for your family and lifestyle.

This year we will again be having demonstrations by Guide Dogs, come along and see how these wonderful dogs are trained and how they change peoples lives.

Saturdays Arena - includes Pedigree dog show, training demonstrations, canine games.

Sundays Arena -  working dog show including Terrier, Lurcher, Whippet and Gun dog rings and working dog demonstration.Our popular fun dog show will be running on both days.

What about a ride in the spitfire simulator

Had your photograph taken standing next to the Spitfire, wondering what it would be like to fly in a real one?

Then take a ride in our flight simulator,hold on tight and enjoy the ride !

For this years Show we are providing a land train to help our visitors move from the car parks to the show site more quickly and more comfortably.

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