Posts Tagged ‘liverpool’

Opposite the Municipal Buildings is this large banner made by artist David Jacques. It’s part of 2011’s being City of Radicals, marking both the centenary of the general transport strike in the city and the death as a pauper of Robert Tressell who wrote The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists. David is also exibiting an installation at the Walker Art Gallery which we’ll turn to in a moment.

If you look at the apparently random tiles of type and symbols below you’ll make out the phrase, “the  great money trick’. This is taken from Tressell’s novel. We discussed it in November last year and put up a post which includes an extract fully explaining the great money trick which you can read here

At the Walker Art Gallery   accompanying the  exhibition a short text tells of the discovery by the caretaker on the fourteenth floor of Irlam House, a tower block, of a stash of banners and designs left by the mythological art collective which has abandoned the dwelling.  Jacques has long been fascinated with trade union banners, and the imagined banners here are set in contrast with the commercialised production of slogans, mottoes, banners by nineteenth century entrepeneur George Tutil whose work was commissioned not only by trade unions but by the likes of the Orange Lodge and temperance movements. The caretaker (now embarked on an hilariously titled PhD) negotiates with a curator leading, one assumes, to their eventual exhibition, classification and so forth in an art gallery. The last line of the text has the caretaker saying that he personally thinks his find would be best left in the street.

There’s a great review of the exhibition by our very own Denis who’s now writing for Manchester Salon which you can read here.


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A stroll for five minutes, a few photographs, and then a little tweaking on the computer. The past and the present are intertwined. Images produced today evoke the same scenes from a hundred years ago. Ste L, Ste O, Peter, Duncan caught Liverpool in the snow.

Falkner Square

St James Cemetry

Falkner Terraces

Georgian Facade

St James Cemetry

Saint Brides

Georgian terrace

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Mark reads John Masefield’s poem, Hell’s Pavements . You can read the words in the anthology we’re beginning. Click on the Liverpool and Literature button: it’s the first item.

The video for this reading was shot off a Mersey ferry and we put an ‘aged film ‘filter on it to make it look as old as Mark (!)

“The Thames is a wretched river after the Mersey and the ships are not like Liverpool ships and the docks are barren of beauty … it is a beastly hole after Liverpool; for Liverpool is the town of my heart and I would rather sail a mudflat there than command a clipper out of London”

John Masefield

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A couple of us were brought up in and around Speke. We’re both about the same age (an age which some younger group members regard as a biological phenomenon), and keen to look back and recall our childhoods in Speke, and how the area’s changed. This post is just an introduction. It also touches on how by selecting images we can represent places in ways different to how they’re perhaps most commonly thought of. Speke, for example, may summon up simply images of big housing estates, factories and possibly ‘urban deprivation’; in this post we begin to see how selection reinterprets images.

Speke is probably most famous for Speke Hall, the Tudor mansion which you can read about here. As kids, one of the best thing about going there was that it was (of course) haunted. It’s pretty remarkable visiting today with the airport right next door. Still, there are some great woods and gardens around, and a short stroll takes you down to the river and the boat club.

It’s a place of contrasts. Although there have been some good developments made in recent years, Speke was once one of the poorest areas in the UK. It’s orginally a farming community, and still is as you can see from the pictures, but its population shot up in the 50s when the huge housing estates were built, alongside hundreds of factories. The industry declined as quickly as it had started which led to lots of social problems. (more…)

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The Future Rises! The new World Museum nears completion, and the futuristic black block of glassy hard angles here reflected in the winter sunlight. The old icon of Liverpool is in the background, the Liver Building. The Liverpool waterfront has changed, is changing dramatically, in our own lifetime, in the space of a few years. The past and the future are mixed, we are caught between.

Below, standing under a sign about the Future, a product of the Liverpool Biennial Arts events, and ironically on the facade of the ruined Futurist cinema, a man, half in light and half in darkness, making connections on a phone, (one of us actually!) introduces a human element to the flow of history.

The Future is the Past

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From the BBC, 16 October 2010:

A plaque with the names of those from Merseyside who lost their lives fighting in the Spanish Civil War has found a permanent home in Liverpool.

The memorial, with the names of 27 local people, has been unveiled at the Unite building in Islington.

The city’s office block has been called Jack Jones in honour of the ardent trade unionist from Garston who was badly injured in the conflict.

Unite’s regional secretary Paul Finegan said: “We feel very privileged.”

There were approximately 180 men and women who left the safety of Merseyside to defend the Spanish government against the might of General Francisco Franco’s nationalist rebels between 1936 and 1939.

Jack Jones survived the war and became the leader of the Transport and General Workers’ Union. He was heavily involved with the unions until he died aged 96 in April last year.

Local historian, Danny Payne, said that although there were 27 names on the plaque, after further research it is believed that 30 people from Merseyside died fighting.


Jack Jones was christened James after James Larkin. For interesting stuff on Jack Jones and Larkin click here.




We’ll be looking at Ken Loach’s film Land and Freedom which focuses on the Merseyside Volunteers who fought in the Spanish Civil War. It stars the Liverpool actor, Ian Hart.

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Many thanks to John over at our sister site Spiderphoto for having created and uploaded the new header. It shows Pilgrim Street running up to the Anglican Cathedral with Rice Street off to the left. The Pilgrim pub is visible but, contrary to the belief of some group members, the street’s not named after the pub! It is named after a privateer called The Pilgrim, which captured a ship and cargo that you can read about here where there are other details of some Liverpool street names. More information about privateers can be found here.

Just visible up Rice Street is the old Cracke pub. one of John Lennon’s haunts.

The video is from an old television commercial which features the late Jon Pertwee, and was shot on Pilgrim Street, The garage doors in the advertisement are still there.

Sadly, it was Pertwee’s last appearance: he died a week later.

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