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Bootle Coat of Arms with Motto.jpg
Bootle is located in Merseyside
 Bootle shown within Merseyside
Population 98,449 [1]
OS grid reference SJ340944
Metropolitan borough Sefton
Metropolitan county Merseyside
Region North West
Country England
Sovereign state United Kingdom
Post town BOOTLE
Postcode district L20, L30
Dialling code 0151
Police Merseyside
Fire Merseyside
Ambulance North West
EU Parliament North West England
UK Parliament Bootle
List of places

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Bootle (pronounced /ˈbtəl/) is a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Sefton in Merseyside. The town was formerly known[when?] as Bootle-cum-Linacre and has a total resident population of 77,640.[2][disputed ]

Historically in Lancashire, Bootle's economy has been centred on the docks and their associated industries for decades.

Geography and administration

Bootle Docks is a part of Liverpool Docks and located in the both bank sides of the Mersey River. Bootle Docks are situated at the northern end among 5 miles Liverpool dock system.

Bootle, along with Southport, is one of the two main administrative headquarters for the Metropolitan Borough of Sefton. Among Bootle's neighbouring districts are Kirkdale to the south, Walton to the east, with Seaforth, Litherland and Netherton to the north. To the west the Port of Liverpool flanks the River Mersey.

The old civic centre of Bootle contains large Victorian buildings such as the town hall and the municipal baths. East of this centre is a sizable area of large office blocks, to the west is the Leeds and Liverpool Canal and large areas of docks lining the River Mersey. To the north lies the New Strand Shopping Centre, which gained notoriety after the abduction and murder of two-year-old James Bulger in 1993.



Etymologically Bootle derives from the Anglo Saxon Bold or Botle meaning a dwelling.[3] It was recorded as Boltelai in the Domesday Book in 1086. By 1212 the spelling had been recorded as Botle. The spellings Botull, Bothull and Bothell are recorded in the 14th century.[4]


Bootle was originally a small hamlet built near the 'sand hills' or dunes of the river estuary. The settlement began to grow as a bathing resort for wealthy residents of Liverpool in the early 19th century. Some remaining large villas which housed well-to-do commuters to Liverpool are located in the area known locally as 'Bootle Village'.


Bootle Town Hall
Bootle-cum-Linacre inscription on the town hall's external stonework

The Liverpool, Crosby and Southport Railway arrived in the 1840s and Bootle experienced rapid growth. By the end of the 19th century[5] the docks had been constructed along the whole of the river front as far as Seaforth Sands to the north. The town became heavily industrialised. Bootle was incorporated as a municipal borough in 1868[6] under the Municipal Corporations Act 1835, and was granted the status of a county borough by the Local Government Act 1888 in 1889, becoming independent from the administrative county of Lancashire. During this time period it was sometimes formally known as Bootle-cum-Linacre. Orrell was added to the borough in 1905. There are still large areas of Victorian terraced houses in Bootle, formerly occupied by dock workers. These are built in distinctive pressed red brick.

Bootle's town hall and other municipal buildings were erected in the last quarter of the 19th century. The population of the town swelled during this period, boosted by Irish immigration and the attraction of plentiful work on the docks.[7] The wealth to pay for the splendour of the town hall and the gentrified 'Bootle Village' area was generated by these docks. The skilled workers lived in terraced houses in the east of the town, while the casual dock labourers lived in cramped, dwellings near the dockside. Stories about three streets in particular caused great alarm. They were Raleigh Street, Dundas Street and Lyons Street. The last was the scene of a crime dubbed 'The Teapot Murder' by local press. Lyons Street was so notorious that it metaphorically 'died of shame' and was renamed Beresford Street shortly before the Great War.

Bootle was remarkable in other, more positive ways. It was the first borough to elect its own school board, following the passage of Forster's Education Act of 1870. In 1872 Dr R.J. Sprakeling was appointed the first Medical Officer of Health, and was instrumental in improving sanitary conditions in the town. The Metropole Theatre on Stanley Road played host to stars such as music hall singer Marie Lloyd. The emporia in the Stanley Road and Strand Road areas of the town were filled with goods from all over the British Empire[citation needed]. Tree lined streets surrounded magnificent open spaces, such as Derby Park, North Park and South Park. Beautiful Roman Catholic and Anglican churches sprang up all over the town, and Welsh immigration brought with it Nonconformist chapels and the temperance movement. Local societies thrived, including sports teams, scouts and musical groups. The Bootle May Day carnival and the crowning of the 'May Queen' were real highlights of the social year. The town successfully fought against absorption by neighbouring Liverpool in 1903. This was a matter of some civic pride to the people of Bootle and the Latin motto of the town, 'Respice, Aspice, Prospice,' (look to the past, the present, the future) was emblazoned on school buildings, stationery, the local press, police uniforms and all manner of other places. The development of the area can be seen by looking back at one of the earliest old Ordnance Survey maps of the area published by Alan Godfrey Maps (ISBN 9780850542455)[8] and what it looks like now on Multimap.

Second World War

The docks made Bootle a target for Nazi German Luftwaffe bombers during the Liverpool Blitz of the Second World War, with approximately 90% of the houses in the town damaged.[9] Situated immediately adjoining the city of Liverpool, and the site of numerous docks, Bootle had the distinction of being the most heavily-bombed borough in the UK.[10][11] Bootle played an important role in the Battle of the Atlantic.[12] The famous u-boat hunter the Royal Navy's Captain Frederic John 'Johnny' Walker, would rest in the Mayor's Parlour of Bootle Town Hall and his ship, HMS Starling, sailed out of Bootle and the ship's bell and flags signalling the General Chase can still be seen in Bootle Town Hall's council chamber today.

Post war

After the Second World War large council housing estates were built inland from the town centre, including the area of Netherton, which was built on new town principles. The Liverpool Overhead Railway and Liverpool Tramways Company closure in the 1950s reduced Bootle's connection to Liverpool.

Bootle did share in the postwar boom. The centre of the town was redeveloped and the 'Bootle New Strand' shopping centre was opened in the late 1960s. At the same time, new offices were built in the town centre. The town lost its access to the beach when neighbouring Seaforth Sands was redeveloped in the early 1970s, but the Seaforth Container Port brought new jobs into the area. The local authority, and other 'social' landlords, saw to it that new housing was built and older stock renovated. Bootle did not go down the route of massive housing clearance, and many local communities remained intact.

The borough celebrated its centenary in 1968 and civic pride was much in evidence.


The docks declined in importance in the 1960s and 1970s,[13] and Bootle suffered high unemployment and a declining population. The establishment of large office blocks housing government departments and the National Girobank provided employment, filled largely by middle class people from outside the Bootle/Liverpool area. In the early 1970s local government reorganisation saw Bootle lose its borough status, to be absorbed into the new local authority of Sefton. More fundamental than political change was economic change. The very reason for Bootle's existence, the access to the Mersey, became almost irrelevant as the docks closed and the new container port required far fewer workers than the old docks had. This in turn affected practically every other industry in the town. The problems slowly gathered pace until Merseyside hit crisis point in the early 1980s. Even by 2006 the area was one of the poorest in the country and had high levels of unemployment.[14]


Bootle is undergoing massive regeneration, which has included the creation of the HSE buildings and the new-look Strand Road. Many old houses are being demolished to make way for new housing projects and lots of regeneration projects for existing properties and council buildings are ongoing.

A number of other significant development projects completed include the refurbishment of Oriel Road Station, promoted by Merseytravel, the creation of a new block of flats on the site of the Stella Maris building and a Lidl store on Stanley Road. Walmart stores inc, owners of Asda superstores have invested in building a new superstore on Strand Road. It is perhaps in this new spirit of optimism, that banners have appeared, adorning the town centre with the Latin motto of the former borough: 'Respice, Aspice, Prospice.' In 2008, the town centre management programme was introduced, via the Stepclever initiative, to support SME businesses and drive the regeneration of Bootle as a retail destination. The programme has delivered a new brand image, and a website, [].


The economic recovery on Merseyside since the 1980s has meant that Bootle is ranked as only the tenth worst area for unemployment in Britain, and all other parts of the region have lower unemployment—a stark contrast to the 1970s and 1980s when areas of Merseyside dominated the list of Britain's least economically active areas. As of 2009, in the depth of a recession, unemployment stands at 12%.[15]


Hugh Baird College

The town has one further education college, Hugh Baird College, located on Balliol Road. The college delivers over 300 courses to more than 7,000 students with course levels from Entry Level to Level 3, A Levels, apprenticeships and university level courses and degrees.

In January 2014, a multi-million pound facility called the L20 Building located on Stanley Road was opened. This houses a dedicated University Centre with open-plan study areas for students studying University level courses.


Bootle bus station

There are two railway stations served by frequent electric services from Liverpool to Southport. These are Oriel Road near the Victorian era civic centre, and New Strand, serving the shopping centre. A goods line, the Bootle Branch, is still in use, this however used to be a passenger line which had a station at Bootle Balliol Road railway station and served the areas of Clubmoor, Tuebrook and Childwall among other places, it closed during the 1960s called the Canada Dock Branch, a second route, the North Mersey Branch could still be opened.[citation needed]

The bus station is underneath the New Strand Shopping Centre, and provides services to Liverpool City Centre, Penny Lane, Allerton, Tuebrook and Crosby.

Bootle Docks used to host passenger ships to Belfast and Dublin however now it is used solely for freight services, and is somewhat less important to the port of Liverpool


The town has a leisure centre located in the North Park area, which includes a modern gym, swimming pool, and various indoor sports halls. The Bootle New Strand shopping centre contains many of the regular high street stores, combined with a smaller collection of local businesses. For entertainment there is a wide variety of public houses, snooker clubs and late night bars. There are also a number of restaurants.


Industrial activities as well as a large number of truck, rail to and from the Bootle Docks was severely affected air quality in the port and nearby community. Dust emission among with raised levels of particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) are the most serious impacts to not only residential vicinity but also to the climate change.

Sources of Pollution

The Bootle Docks gives communities many employment opportunities and other economic benefits. However, the development of the dock come with traffic congestion, noise, and air pollution that takes a significant effect on human health. Nationwide, while the industry continues to use fossil fuel and emit more pollutants, the communities in vicinity to ports, rail yards and other facilities related to the operation of the dock are most vulnerable to these pollutants and paid with their health.

Commercial Marine

Nowadays, people often use ships to moving freight instead of trucks for economic benefits. However, almost ships use the “dirtiest” engines which use a huge amount of the bunker fuel and emit large amounts of PM and greenhouse gas as NO2, SO2, CO2. This kind of fuel more than 1000 times the amount of sulfur than diesel fuel using in trucks and locomotives and is one of the “dirtiest” fuels available.

Cargo-Handling Equipment

The Bootle Docks receive a huge number of containers daily. On land, the containers will be transferred by truck or train to supply the market. And at the dry sites of the docks, the cargo handling equipment is used to load and unload containers from the ship. They also are used to shuffle containers from the yard to storage place. The cargo handling equipment are powered by diesel fuel so they will create a large amount of PM and NO2 pollution.

Trains and Trucks

The majority of trains and trucks operating in the Docks are powered by diesel engines. These engine release fine PM, NO2, CO2 and VOCs (volatile organic compounds) along with many other toxins. PM is a term that mentions the air pollutants made up of a mixture of solid particles and drops found in the air. The index follows PM mention their size. PM2.5 particles examples are the air pollutants of 2.5 microns in diameter or smaller. Mostly PM emitted by diesel containing tiny components called ultrafine particles smaller than 0.1 microns in diameter. These particles are very small in size, we can be easily inhaled and adversely affect health[16]

Operation of the Docks

In the Bootle Docks, using traditional cranes to load and unloading bulk cargo containing cement, coal as well as animal feedstuff creating fine particles and dust nuisance create harmful to the community health.

European Metal Recyclers using traditional shredding process focuses on extracting metals in high volumes has triggered noise nuisance and explosions from fragmentiser.


Originally a Conservative seat, Bootle elected early MPs such as Andrew Bonar Law, a future Tory Prime Minister. The seat was briefly Liberal in the early 1920s. Labour first captured the seat in 1929, in the personage of local hairdresser John Kinley, but lost it in 1931. Although Kinley recaptured it in 1945 it did not become safely Labour until the long tenure of Simon Mahon. It is now impregnable, politically, and since 1997 the Bootle constituency has been the safest Labour Party seat in the whole of the United Kingdom. The area was represented in parliament by Joe Benton until he stood down in 2015.

For elections to Sefton Council the town of Bootle is split between the electoral wards of Netherton and Orrell, whose three representatives, who are all members of the Labour Party, are Susan Ellen Bradshaw, Robert John Brennan, and Ian Ralph Maher. Derby, whose three representatives are Linda Cluskey and Carol Gustafson, who are members of the Labour Party, and Paul Larkin who is a member of the Liberal Democrats, and finally Linacre whose three representatives, who are all members of the Labour Party, are John Fairclough, Gordon Friel, and Doreen Kerrigan. Overall there are nine councillors representing the Bootle area, all of them are members of the Labour Party. Overall the electoral wards of Sefton Council in and around Bootle and the parliamentary constituency itself are extremely safe seats for the Labour Party, sometimes standing uncontested by the other parties. This strong support for the Labour Party is mainly due to the town's working class population, whose mentality is very politically Left-wing, and active both from within the area and from outside. The population generally feel that they suffered badly from the Thatcherite political reforms of the Conservative Party and Margaret Thatcher in the 1980s and 1990s. During this period the area developed a reputation as a stronghold of the Militant group and later epitomised with Bootle's enthusiastic support of the Liverpool dockers' strike of 1995–1998.[citation needed] As a result of this strong Left-wing identification, Conservative Party support in Bootle is minimal with the party struggling to retain its deposit at elections. However, most local politicians today are relatively moderate Centre-left.

The expansion of Bootle docks

Liverpool2 is an ambitious project with a total investment of up to £300 million to expand the port of Liverpool- creating a river berth on “Seaforth Triangle” and is a primary part in the plan Mersey Ports Master Plan. The project has permission granted by Secrectary of State- Harbour Revision Order. Lend Lease is the contractor building the project.

When the new docks are formed, they will be able to accommodate two post-Panamax vessels of 13,500 TEU (Twenty-foot equivalent unit) simultaneously. The expansion of the docks includes construction of a new deep water terminal, which will eliminate the restriction in vessel size of the current docks. The project is estimated to involve 30,000 m3 (1,100,000 cu ft) of concrete, Template:Conbert of new crane rails, and 15000 steel piles. The new container area will require up to 3,000,000 m3 (110,000,000 cu ft) of infill materials.[17]

Furthermore, the completion of the docks will allow the world's container ships from direct connections to the northern half of the UK and Ireland, and is estimated to receive up to 4 million containers per year.

The expansion of the Bootle Docks have significant contributions to local economic and community as add £5 billion for the local economy and bring an influx of employ for the local community. Liverpool Community College and Mersey Maritime has signed partnership with Peel Port to job skills training and provides a source of employment for the community, 5,000 direct and indirect job will be created and then 4,000 of these will be at the Liverpool Port.[18] However, alongside with the benefits, the expansion of the port may have a severe impact on the environment and local communities. Throughout the construction of the docks, a large amount of vehicles will emit large amounts of air pollutants that lead to pollutants concentration in a small area. In addition to air pollution, increasing of noise nuisance and vibrations are other problems need to be concerns. Once completed, the operation of the port will increase considerably with road traffic, rail traffic and shipping, this will lead to reduced air quality and a various issues affecting health community.

Notable people

Many notable footballers were born in Bootle. Jamie Carragher,[19] Steve McManaman[20] and Roy Evans[21] came to prominence playing for Liverpool (with Evans later going on to become the club's manager) whilst Alvin Martin[22] is regarded as one of West Ham United's greatest ever players. Former Evertonian Jose Baxter of Sheffield United was born in Bootle.

In the arts, Bootle has produced the actor Craig Charles, the comedian Tom O'Connor,[23] the television presenter Keith Chegwin, and early rock and roll singer Billy J. Kramer.[24] The BBC news and features presenter Will Hanrahan, is originally from Bootle, and the poet and intellectual, Mark Ford, has resided in the borough. The fashion retailer George Davies was educated in Bootle.[25]

The linguist John C. Wells was born in Bootle and attended school in Wigan, but has lived the majority of his life in London.

Psychic medium Derek Acorah, perhaps best known for starring as the medium at the beginning of the paranormal documentary reality television series Most Haunted, was born in Bootle in 1950.

Alex Smith (2 April 1902 – 29 November 1963) was a British professional ice hockey defenceman who played 11 seasons in the National Hockey League for Ottawa Senators, Detroit Falcons, Boston Bruins and New York Americans, winning the Stanley Cup in 1927 with Ottawa. He was born in Bootle.

The 2011 X Factor hopeful, Marcus Collins was brought up in Bootle. He finished runner-up in 2011.

See also


  1. Bootle is made up of eight wards namely Church, Derby, Ford, Linacre, Litherland, Netherton and Orrell, St. Oswald and Victoria
  2. Young, R.; Cracknell, R.; Hardacre, J.; Tetteh, E. (30 January 2004). 2001 Census of Population: Statistics for Parliamentary Constituencies (PDF). House of Commons Library. p. 58.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "Bootle History: Bootle Past". Archived from the original on 2007-10-13. Retrieved 2007-11-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. Farrer, W.; Brownbill, J. (1907). 'Townships: Bootle', A History of the County of Lancaster: Volume 3. pp. 31–35. Retrieved 2007-11-10.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "Merseyside History, Seaforth Dock". Mersey Reporter.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. "Town, City, and Nation".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Merseyside History, Irish Immigration in Liverpool". Mersey Reporter.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "bootle docks & seaforth1907 (lancashire sheet 99.13)".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Liverpool Blitz: Buildings damaged in the May Blitz". Liverpool Museums. Retrieved 9 November 2007.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. "50 bombs dropped on Bootle as Adolf Hitler attacked town". Liverpool Echo. 3 May 2011. Retrieved 28 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  11. "Blitz Chronology". Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service. Retrieved 28 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  12. "People's War: Bombed Out in Bootle and Evacuated". BBC.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. "Bootle tourist information". Tour UK.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. "Seaforth River terminal harbour revision order". Department for Transport.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  15. "Virgin Media".<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. Pope, C. and Dockery, D. (2006). Health Effects of Fine Particulate Air Pollution: Lines that Connect. Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association, 56(6), pp.709-742.
  17. "Peel Ports invites bids for Liverpool 2". Maritime Journal. 21 May 2012. Retrieved 28 November 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. "Community Benefits". Peel Ports. 2015. Retrieved 4 May 2015. line feed character in |work= at position 5 (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  19. Bootle career statistics at Soccerbase
  20. "Steve McManaman". Retrieved 2008-01-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "Roy Evans". Retrieved 2008-01-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  22. "Alvin Martin". Retrieved 2008-01-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  23. "The Legendary Tom O'Connor". Retrieved 2008-01-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. "Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas". Retrieved 2008-01-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  25. "08 City signs up George". 23 March 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-10-10. Retrieved 2008-01-17.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links