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Posts Tagged ‘merseyside history groups’

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Parts of the city I have never  visited. The bits I do know I know nearly nothing about. I have picked up a few things about history in South Liverpool but they’re all just bits and pieces. Where I live (Allerton) wasn’t even part of Liverpool until 1913. I have read a bit recently about Allerton and been to see the ancient Calder Stones and the thousand years old Allerton Oak. I’ve looked at a few old maps, and found out about the history of some of the buildings. What I know absolutely nothing about is what the lives of ordinary people were like. It’s as if they didn’t exist.

There are many books and so on about Liverpool, and I’ve read some of them, seen telly programmes and so on. Some of the things I’ve gone a bit deeper into but the deeper I go, the more turns up about any particular subject, and at least one thing I know for sure is that I don’t know very much at all really. Some people, amateurs  and professionals, spend years of their lives researching one little aspect of one little bit of history: certainly when I read some of their stuff, especially about things that interest me like Vikings,  the Slave Trade, labour history, and working class life generally, I’m grateful. But I always feel like I’m scratching the surface. (more…)

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The Duke of Wellington

This is a landmark that greets people leaving Lime Street station when they arrive in Liverpool. It’s been referred to by so many of us for so long as Nelson’s column that it’s become Nelson’s Column!

We confessed to each other that few of us knew much about this Duke or Waterloo or the friezes that are embedded in walls near the column. Across the wa in St John’s Gardens are statues of other luminaries – Gladstone, Wilberforce, Major Lester, Rathbone. Just who are they? Does it matter? It may be a good way to start thinking about our city’s history by asking very basic questions about things we pass by many times without really ‘seeing’. That’s true, of course, of the hidden histories of forgotten people.

Eros..... possibly

Same thing arises with this statue in newly restored Sefton Park. There are some who say it’s Peter Pan! (the confusion arises because there was a statue of Peter Pan nearby). Most know it as Eros, many know it’s modelled on the one in Picadilly Circus. But the information board below informs us it’s actually Anteros, one of the Greek gods of requited love.

Anyway, because we’re out to enjoy ourselves as well as to learn, we’ve begun putting together a short comedy radio play based on such confusions as these. Watch this space.

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We’ll be entering some of the following onto the blogroll but in the meantime here are some websites you’ll find interesting. Some of them you will find amazing!

“Links” also means with people, and we’re intending to network with other groups and get as many interested people as possible interested in what we’re doing.

These provide commentary, analysis, facts and images. There are many other sources on the net such as forums and Flickr for old images which are interactive and user-led. It’s interesting to see here both ‘formal’ history making, and the work of local residents determined to have their area’s history told and preserved – and also several sites which strongly challenge some of the mainstream versions of history.

http://www.scottiepress.org/ A stunning collection. You really have to go there to see how 40 years of hard work by so many people have produced such a wonderful resource visited by people from all over the world. be warned though, you may be away some time!

http://inacityliving.piczo.com/?g=1&cr=7 mainly previously unpublished and out of print images, many courtesy of the Liverpool records office archives and many contributors

http://www.institutions.org.uk/poor_law_unions/workhouse_life.htm and

http://www.judandk.force9.co.uk/workhouse.html History and life in workhouses

http://www.workhouses.org.uk/index.html?Liverpool/Liverpool.shtml A superb site dealing with history and life in workhouses including Liverpool

http://www.btinternet.com/~m.royden/mrlhp/index.html Mike Royden’s local history pages are full of articles, resources, archive material and links.

http://www.old-merseytimes.co.uk Liverpool and Merseyside life transcribed from newspapers

http://www.stjamescemetery.co.uk/history.htm St James Cemetry history

http://2cliverpool.com/default.aspx An ‘about Liverpool’ site produced ny a Liverpudlian. Basic facts.

http://www.liverpooltimes.net/ The Liverpool Times is a continuation of The Kirkby Times, another independent Liverpool website that set the example for local news reporting by and for working class people. http://www.kirkbytimes.co.uk/

http://www.liverpoolhistorysociety.org.uk/home.html Liverpool History Society

BBC Radio Merseyside has a local history section on itse website which includes archive recordings and links to national BBC which contains iPlayer footage, e.g. of the documentary Morning in the Streets:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/liverpool/localhistory/discover/resources/

and

http://www.bbc.co.uk/liverpool/content/articles/2006/12/29/local_history_watch_listen_one_feature.shtml

http://www.peterleeson.co.uk/liverpool/ Peter Leeson was in the City Planning department when the Scotland Road demolitions were underway. He left to become a photographer, artist and film maker.

http://merseyminis1.blogspot.com/ Information and axtracts from the Deborah Mulhearn compilations of writings about Liverpool throughout history and to the present.

http://streetsofliverpool.co.uk/ A superb site from a Liverpool writer and publisher who set up the Open Eye Gallery in 1977 and founded the Bluecoat Press. It’s a wealth of old pictures and written material, regularly updated and always worth looking at each week.

http://www.yoliverpool.com/ Forum for all things Liverpool. Some great history stuff. Interactive and growing as members contribute more and more.

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Here’s an extract from a great documentary made by the then young film maker, Nick Broomfield. It features residents of Kirkby talking about the awful conditions of their housing. We looked at it as part of a wider look at poverty, housing and health in Liverpool and the area. Going back to old documents about life in the workhouse, we went on to examine printed materials, look at old pictures, watch films, read books and listen to archived radio interviews.  Importantly, we looked not only at documentary stuff but also dramas dealing with working class life. We have an ongoing interest in the subjects raised by these issues, but we’re also looking at the changing history of the media themselves. How ‘ordinary’ people’s voices, lives and concerns are represented; who makes the representations; how they’re distributed. Over the coming posts we’ll publish, among other things, more links like this one from our youtube collection.

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A beginning is a good place to start, but all beginnings have a past too. Anyway, welcome to the start of this blog. In it you’ll find some of the work we have produced. It’s been said many times but is still worth repeating that history is made. And it’s not only the things that happen which make it. It’s the people who are involved, a few or whole nations. Then someone tells the story part of history. They tell it from many different angles, missing some things out, emphasising others. People use different forms to tell the story, films, drama, music, dance, writing. We’re a modest crew here. Mostly we’re looking at hidden histories,  stories seldom if ever told, the histories that the past has not worth thought worthwhile to tell.

In doing this, we can’t avoid thinking about how memory itself is made, how it works. We’ve come to see that seeing the world involves a lot more than eyes, and knowing needs much more than knowledge.

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