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Timeline – Kirkby

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870 A.D.

֍ Traditional date of first settlement and simple chapel


֍ Domesday Survey – Kirkby cited as ‘Cherchebi’ – part of the ‘West Derby Hundred’ – population around 70

11th-16th Century

֍ Little change to the rural farming community but frequent changes of land ownership


֍ The Molyneux family complete the purchase of the entire Kirkby manor lands


֍ Whitefield House and nearby dovecote (pigeon house) erected


֍ New chapel built on the site of former ancient building


֍ Charles William Molyneux created 1st Earl of Sefton


֍ Kirkby School built


֍ Kirkby Tithe Map and Apportionment Schedule completed


֍ New vicarage built in Old Hall Lane
֍ Kirkby Railway Station opens as part of the Liverpool, Bolton and Bury line
֍ Kirkby Waterworks, built by St Helens Corporation completed


֍ Birth of Robert Atherton (Robin o’ Bob’s), ploughboy poet, known as the Lancashire ‘Burns’


֍ New parish church of St. Chad consecrated. Ceremony performed by the Lord Bishop of Chester


֍ Old Kirkby Chapel taken down


֍ First sod cut by Alderman McBride, J.P., Mayor, on the site of the new Kirkby waterworks pumping station – 11th June 1886


֍ Foundation stone for the St. Helens Waterworks pumping station at Kirkby laid by Alderman McKechnie, Mayor, 31st July


֍ Strike by agricultural workers for better pay and shorter hours


֍ Robert Atherton (Robin o’ Bob’s) buried at St. Chad’s churchyard


֍ East Lancashire Road (A580) built, a dual carriageway linking Liverpool with Manchester officially opened by King George V – 18th July 1934


֍ Royal Ordnance Factory built, employing 20,000 workers at its peak


֍ ROF site bought by Liverpool Corporation with a view to develop a trading estate


֍ Kirkby land bought by Liverpool Corporation from Earl of Sefton for housing development


֍ Former Royal Ordnance Factory hostel site at Kirkby Fields becomes Kirkby Training College, a facility to provide emergency training to teaching staff following the war, officially opened 5th July 1948


֍ Liverpool City and Lancashire County officials meet to discuss Kirkby ‘New Town’


֍ Development of new housing in Southdene, Westvale and Northwood
֍ The Kirkby Industrial Estate expands to become one of the largest in the country


֍ First batch of students arrive at the new Federation of Malaya Teachers’ Training College, Kirkby Fields – 2nd January 1952


֍ Kirkby Urban District Council created


֍ Kirkby Market opened


֍ Kirkby’s population 52,207 (Census)
֍ Opening of Westvale Community Centre
֍ Opening of Webster Park
֍ Opening of Kirkby College of Further Education
֍ Opening of Kirkby Police Headquarters


֍ Closure of the Malayan Teachers’ Training College at Kirkby Fields after 1,300 teachers are trained in a period of ten years


֍ Kirkby Library, Newtown Gardens opened – 18th March 1964
֍ Kirkby Stadium opened by the Rt. Hon. Harold Wilson, M.P. – 20th June 1964


֍ Building work begins on new Kirkby Civic Centre


֍ Kirkby’s landmark waterworks’ building and tower demolished
֍ Phase I of the Tower Hill Estate completed, Phase II begun
֍ Kirkby Town Football Club, Simonswood Lane, opened by J. Harold Wilson – 7th April 1967


֍ Opening of the “Civic Buildings“ by Prime Minister Rt. Hon. J. Harold Wilson, O.B.E., M.P. – 19th April 1969


֍ Local government re-organisation – Kirkby becomes part of the new Metropolitan Borough of Knowsley
֍ Kirkby Sports Centre opened by Wilfred Byron, Clerk of the Council – 29th March 1974


֍ Opening of Kirkby’s ASDA store – 30th September 1975


֍ J & A Cinema, Kirkby, shows its first film: Paint Your Wagon – 4th January 1976


֍ Queen Elizabeth II visits Kirkby as part of a tour of Merseyside


֍ Kirkby’s ASDA store closes – 24th August 1979


֍ Kirkby’s J & A Cinema closes – 1st August 1982


֍ Regeneration of Kirkby Town Centre including Kirkby Library. Two new installations erected in Newton Gardens: a multi-coloured clock tower and a bandstand for community events


֍ QVC opens a call centre and warehouse in South Boundary Road and becomes a major local employer
֍ The Academy, Liverpool F.C.’s training ground and youth academy opens in Kirkby


֍ Appraisal completed of the following Kirkby Conservation Areas: • Old Hall Lane • Ingoe Lane • Ribblers Lane


֍ Re-dedication of Kirkby’s war memorial outside St Chad’s Church following restoration work – 22 July 2007


֍ Brookfield High School merges with Ruffwood School to form Kirkby Sports College, Centre for Learning, on the site of Brookfield. Officially opening – 2nd October 2009


֍ Kirkby Sports College, Centre for Learning, converts to academy status and becomes known as Kirkby High School – September 2013


֍ The newly refurbished covered Kirkby Market opens – 26th April 2014
֍ The Kirkby Centre opened (in the regenerated Kirkby Suite building) Norwich Way, bringing together key services including Kirkby Library, ARK (Archive Resource for Knowsley), Gallery, One Stop Shop and Adult Disability Day Service


֍ Two out of three public artworks installed in Kirkby town centre: the ‘Tree of Life’ and ‘Edward’s Elephant’ at Newtown Gardens


֍ Official opening of Kirkby’s new bus station after refurbishment – 14th October 2016
֍ The final piece of three commissioned public artworks is installed in Civic Square, outside The Kirkby Centre. The artwork consists of three colourful winged thrones, each with its own distinctive features
֍ Council-owned Volair Limited takes over running of all KMBC’s Leisure Centres including the Kirkby site


֍ Information board commemorating the Malayan Teachers’ Training College at Kirkby Fields unveiled at Granborne Chase on 60th anniversary of the declaration of Malaya’s independence – 31st August 2017


֍ Former Kirkby Library building in Newtown Gardens demolished March 2018. A new cinema is to be constructed on the site
֍ Appraisal completed of the following Kirkby Conservation Areas: North Park Road, South Park Road


֍ Confirmation that Knowsley Council becomes the official owner of Kirkby Town Centre, following negotiations with St Modwen. Total cost of the deal is £43.8 million – November 2019
֍ Construction begins on the new retail development: Morrisons supermarket and petrol station, Home Bargains and KFC. Also, a new car park situated on the site of the former Golden Eagle Hotel, Cherryfield Drive, is begun – December 2019


֍ Opening of The Maples in Northwood, a state-of-the-art facility of 100 apartments for people aged 55 and over, provided under the Extra Care scheme – February 2020
֍ Further investment announced to build a railway station development at Headbolt Lane – July 2020
֍ Liverpool F.C.’s first team train for the first time at the newly opened AXA Training Centre, Kirkby – 17th November 2020
֍ Mexican food chain Taco Bell to open a restaurant in Kirkby’s new retail development – December 2020
֍ The whole year 2020 was dominated by the Coronavirus COVID-19. Working from home or being on furlough became the new normal, together with social distancing measures and the wearing of face coverings


֍ KFC becomes the first outlet of Kirkby’s new retail development to open – 10th July 2021
֍ New exhibition opens at Kirkby Gallery entitled the ‘Kirkby Chronicles’ featuring oil paintings by former Kirkby resident Steve Randall – 13th July 2021
֍ The internal fitout of the new Morrison’s supermarket begins. The store is due to open in the Autumn – 16th July 2021
֍ A recruitment hub opens on St Chad’s Parade for Morrison’s superstore, providing information on vacancies – 19th July 2021
֍ Mexican food chain Taco Bell to open its restaurant for drive-through, eat-in, take-out and delivery options on Tuesday 24th August 2021


֍ ‘Home Bargains’ open a larger store on the new retail development – January 2022
֍ New business premises open on St Chad’s Parade: Davey’s Chemist, Doogles Donuts and Benetton’s childrenswear – March 2022
֍ Enhanced Kirkby gateway to be created on the former Civic Buildings site – June 2022
֍ PureGym to open a fitness centre on the new retail park by the end of the year – September 2022
֍ Amazon open their ‘fulfilment centre’ on Dale Lane with 700 jobs created – October 2022
֍ New Impressionist art exhibition opens at Kirkby Gallery including artworks by Cézanne, Degas, Manet and Renoir – 10th October 2022


Biodiversity improvements to begin in February at six council-managed parks around Kirkby – 18 January 2023

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