Some pictures aound Oglet today. The silhoutted building is the sailing club. There is a good path now from Garston which will take you to Speke Hall, Oglet and on (with a brief detour onto roads) to Hale Lighthouse.


A great webstie, intelligent and quirky, reaching deeply is Liverpolitan. Great collection of articles and pictures. As a bonus, much material from beyond Liverpool – locally and internationally, often with underlying comparisons to be made with the city.

The above is a detail from the 1947 OS Map 108. It shows quite clearly the ‘white spaces’ beyond the Liverpool boundary, speaces that were soon to fill up with new housing estates to take people from the inner city. Similar white speaces exist at the same time around the tiny town of Kirkby.

Over the next month or so we’ll be looking at some aspects of the transitory time as countryside became built over. In particular, individual memories of childhood, of playing in rural surroundings, of visits to the riverside, of nature and adventure. We’ll look at Paul McCartney’s memories of growing up in Speke when it was being built and Western Avenue ended in fields and mud; we’ll look at his recall of happy visits to Oglet, an almost idyllic escape from urban life. Even today, a walk from Garston past Speke Hall – along the Mersey Coastal Path – reveals the remains of farming activity, second world war defences, and the Dungeon, a major salt waorks. See Mike Royden’s  excellent piece on Oglet and the Dungeon, and the importance of salt to the rise of Liverpool’s economy.


Thanks to Steve, Arturus and John for these pictures of HMS Liverpool’s final call at the port before decommissioning. March 2012

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zQVQ7ry94lI Cunard vessel, Liverpool, 1901 . See The BFI DVD ‘Electric Edwardians: The Films of Mitchell and Kenyon’ is available to buy at http://filmstore.bfi.org.uk/acatalog/info_107.html Now that the City Council has reached agreement over repaying grants (which were deemed to offer an unfair commercial advantage) it looks like Liverpool will become a turnaround port for liners, and that liners may eventually be based here. A second terminal as part of the Peel Group’s plan for Liverpool Waters, with matched hotel and other facilities, is also planned. Thiese developments would allow liners to start at Liverpool. For now, from the Council’s information site, here is the schedule of liners to visit Liverpool in 2012:

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Click on the slideshow above to see some images of the Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Liverpool last week.

When, as now seems likely, Liverpool wins its legal battle with Southampton (who have argues that Liverpool’s subsidies for the building of the liner terminal give them an unfair trade advantage), it’s anticipated that many more cruise liners will visit the city.

Liverpool Hall of Science, Lord Nelson Street

In this, the City of Radicals Year, we remember here one of the city’s less well-known figures, John Finch. Radicalism is often associated with calls for wholesale structural changes – the word radical comes from the Latin for ‘root’ and suggests getting down to the basics rather than the branches or leaves; a famous example of radicalism is Marxism which seeks to change the whole capitalist system – root and branch. But it is well to remember that one of the most prominent radicals in recent British History was Margaret Thatcher who is associated with monetarism and weakening of Trade Unions. Certainly in the nineteenth century, it may be better to see key figures as radical reformers. Before the end of the year. we’ll look at many of these figures; some of them will be described on Hope Street Chronicles (several relate to the reform of health and conditions in the workhouse). The description of John Finch below is based on an essay by Professor R.B.Rose, details after the piece:

John Finch: Radical?.

John Finch is largely forgotten today yet his work in Liverpool during the mid-nineteenth century, as well as nationally, although it ended usually in failure shows him as a visionary for much of what he attempted to start took root shortly after his death. Born to a poor but respectable working class family in Dudley, he received a basic education at a charity school. From there and through several clerical jobs he became a self-made and successful businessman after entering the employ of Irvin and Sons, iron merchants of Liverpool in 1818. During the rise of the industrial revolution when iron was needed for engines, machines, railways and ships he began his own business in 1827.

Early co-operative movements in Liverpool largely dependent on Finch’s initiative, failed (although ten years after his death the Rochdale Co-operatives proved the soundness of the idea). Finch, as a Unitarian Christian, understood Christianity to mean practical action to lessen suffering, poverty and injustice. He was a fervent adherent of the Temperance movement, travelling great distances in the North and into Scotland to get people to take the pledge. Further, he wanted to understand what lay behind drunkenness, and sought its economic and social causes. Among the Liverpool docks he discovered that about 120 “Lumpers”, men who were given a certain sum to load  and unload ships took to ‘subcontracting’ the jobs at a lower rate. These secondary hires were done in pubs, so in order to have a chance of getting work men had to patronise the pubs; indeed, some of the lumpers kept pubs themselves.

Finch organised the setting up of a Dockers’ co-operative. He pointed out, successfully, to employers, that erecting shelters for men overseen by “a steady person” who would keep lists and assign work would remove what Rose calls ‘the endemic dishonesty of desperation, and the shoddy work of drunkenness.’ The Dock Labourers’ Society began successfully, recruiting 2,000 of 6,000 dock and warehouse workers. Wealthy merchants and sympathisers contributed so that the fixed wage went from two shillings a day to three shillings, and the cutting out of the middle man’s take also increased income. Branch offices were equipped with libraries and school equipment, and literate dockers were to instruct their mates during slack periods. Continue Reading »