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[Note 655.1] In 1830, a Liverpool merchant, James Atherton, purchased much of the land at Rock Point, which enjoyed views out to sea and across the Mersey and had a good beach. His aim was to develop it as a desirable residential and watering place for the gentry, in a similar way to Brighton, one of the most elegant seaside resorts of that Regency period - hence "New Brighton". [Ref]

[Note 655.2] Atherton's ambition to establish a resort for the gentry seems to have been undermined almost immediately. The general tenor of the song suggesting that people went to get drunk and seek sexual encounters.

[Note 655.3] The picture of New Brighton by was painted in 18

The first pier (shown at the left of the picture, was constructed of timber and a small "run-out" section was added later. During ebb-tides the ferry boat, as it left the stage, would haul the stage out, to enable the next boat to use the birth. [Ref:]

[Note 655.4] Kiss-in-the Ring is an open-air game played by young people of both sexes, who stand in a ring with hands joined, except one who runs round outside the ring and touches (or drops a handkerchief behind) one of the opposite sex, who thereupon leaves the ring and runs after the first, kissing him or her when caught. [OED]

[Note 655.5] The British Library holds at least five scores of Pop Goes the Weasel printed around 1855 which suggests it was in vogue during this period.

Pop goes the weasel, can traced back to the mid-nineteenth century 1853, in the UK children have played pop goes the weasel since 1890 it’s a London song game.

The children form several rings, in each ring one child stands he or she is the weasel the children dance round and sing the song, as the last line is reached (Pop goes the weasel) all the children rush to a new ring, the last child to join the ring is eliminated, until only one child is left. Pop goes the weasel.

[Note 655.6] "The hurdy-gurdys they will come". The Hurdy-gurdy was played by many street musicians during the mid-19th century. The Picture below is taken from Mayhew's London Life and the London Poor published in but based on research done during the 1840s.

A musical instrument resembling the lute or guitar, and having strings (two or more of which are tuned so as to produce a drone), which are sounded by the revolution of a rosined wheel turned by the left hand, the notes of the melody being obtained by the action of keys which ‘stop’ the strings and are played by the right hand; thus combining the characteristics of instruments of the bowed and the clavier kinds. {OED]

[Note 655.7] "Young chaps will try to do the grand". The will try to give the impression that they are a person of wealth or high social position [based on OED]

[Note 655.8] Donkey rides were a popular seaside diversion from the beginning of the century.

[Note 655.9] "Will have to go to the Golden Balls" Three gold balls are the sign of a pawn-shop

shift(1) The name given to a chemise in the Gerogain and early regency period (i). A long shirt or shirt-like undergarment worn (esp. by women) for warmth and to protect clothing from sweat; a shift, a smock. [OED]

Cutaway view of a crinoline, Punch magazine, August 1856


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