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Heysham Road (north end) from 1848 onwards

© Ordnance Survey and Old-Maps

This 1848 OS map of north Heysham illustrates how the vast majority of Heysham parish  was then open land with farms and lanes, mostly with names, some of which are still in use. in one form or another.
Click here for a larger version of the map.

Mears Beck for example (near top centre) seems to be a name for an area; one oan see Mearsbeck Cottage below and right at the top Mearsbeck foot. On the Tithe Schedule (1838) the names of many of the fields in this area had Mearsbeck ( or Meresbeck) in them, e.g. Mearsbeck meadow or Mearsbeck hill. Today Mearsbeck is the name of a tower block of flats and there is also a Mearsbeck Close. Are Mearsback Cottage and Swordifsh Hall the same building? OS use one name and the Tithe Map has the other,

There was no Heysham Road where it is now in this area; the route south from the Old Mill and the other cottages at Mearsbeck Foot is Sandy Lands Lane which was roughly along the line where Sandylands Promenade is today.  On the seaward side of Sandy Lands Lane there appear on the map to be dunes called not surprisingly Sandy Lands.

Sandy Lands Lane came down the coast to just short of where Grosvenor Road is today. From there appears to be a path across fields joining up with Cross Lane (now Heysham Road)  just short of Cross Cop, the high point of that area. Mears Beck Cottage and Crows Dubs farm are in what is now Dalton Road and from there Bone Mill Lane (not labelled as such on this map, but now part of Fairfield Road) curved round to Lordsome House, another farm. The curved lines on the map here and elsewhere are the primitive form of Ordnance Survey height contours (used by OS from 1843 onwards). From Lordsome House Winter Lane (also now Fairfield Road) led to Winterend Farm on the site of what is now Tibicar Filling Station.

Cross Lane connected Cross Cop with Four Lane Ends (and another farm). South from there Heysham Road was Overtown Lane. The old name for the first section of Oxcliffe Road was called Tibicar Lane; many of the fields around there had names involving ‘Tibicar’ and the biggest one was Great Tibacre. This would seem to be used nowhere else in this country; it would be interesting to know its derivation. The old road names were mostly lost in the 1920s development of this area of Heysham but some fortunately survive in other usage.

The left hand picture appeared recently on Facebook and the right hand one was sent to us by Michael Gibson, whose family owned the shop in the 1960-1980 period. The buildings in the distance down Tibicar Lane just to the right of the shop are called Summerside on late 19th century maps onwardsand are opposite Winterend Farm. They are still there today opposite Tibicar Filling Station.

The development of Heysham Road started at the Battery end. In the picture above some of the houses in the background, for example in Royds Avenue, date from the Edwardian period. Most of the housing development along the road south of Cross Cop took place in the period 1925-1935. One can see the pavements being laid out and the trees being planted. The picture right shows how the trees had matured in the 1950/60 period, but since then have slowly declined in number and never been replaced.

The two pictures above and right are from the later 1920s; all the houses one can see are on the 1931 OS map. Currently we think the left hand one is earlier for various reasons:

(i) The prominent building on the left of Tibicar Lane (Oxcliffe Road) in the right had picture does not appear to be present in the left hand picture.

(ii) The tram tracks cannot be seen in Heysham Road on the right; one can make out possibly where the part of the road where the tracks have been has been resurfaced with tarmac

(iii) The open topped tram on the left was number 4 in Morecambe Tramways petrol tram fleet (info from Ashley Birch). A  website listing the dates of all tramways companies in the UK states that the petrol trams stopped operating from 24 October 1924.

However this last reason poses another problem; on present information very few of the Heysham Road houses in the picture would have been built by 1924. Did some private operator continue to run the trams after 1924?

The interesting feature on the right is thought to be a boundary marker or ‘ guide stoop’ and is solitary at the north corner of Heysham Avenue. Currently its origin and purpose are unknown; it is unlikely to have any connection with  Strawberry Gardens as the northern boundary of that was some 20 metres to the south of the stoop.

Photo by Fraser Smalley