ST JOSEPH'S PARISH
ROSE HILL POLICE STATION
Dear Scottie Press, I now live in Australia. It has been my pleasure to be an avid reader of your website. I was a beat copper on what was called the Second Section working out of Rose Hill in the late 50's and 60's. Here are some tit bits of info for you if you can use them. The relationship between the old time coppers from Rose Hill and the people from Scottie Road and surrounding areas was one of the most remarkable of all times. There was the occasional animosity - mainly when a copper appeared a bit too rough or the odds weren't even. They were the days when a good old-fashioned Liverpool bobby could take his jacket off and the bloke who could have been arrested took his off. If the bloke won it was fair game. If the copper won the bloke was 'nicked' but the Bridewell Sergeant always winked when the bloke was charged. Perhaps seeing the cuts and bruises on both. Normally he would get off fairly lightly after appearing before a magistrate such as Bessie Braddock. Bessie understood despite her sometimes tenuous relationship when on the Watch Committee.!
For me it was a privilege to pound the beat between Scottie and the Dock Road. The people were warm and friendly. The 'pitch and toss' schools were regularly raided on Sundays just after the pubs closed. We used a big black van - not the Black Mariah. They always knew we were coming with their 'douse' men placed at strategic lookout points. It was always the same darned van. But occasionally we caught someone. All Scottie Road people will remember the regular police visits to the pubs. Both during and after hours no doubt! Scottie was always known to the local copper as the road with a pub on every corner and one in between. Many old publicans will tell you of the after hours pints the local beat bobbies had. We called it a working relationship.
Many will also remember the bobbies doing traffic (point) duty along from Byrom Street to the Rotunda and all along from Moorfields and Vauxhall Road. This, of course, was before traffic lights. Most would say that we held the traffic up unnecessarily. Possibly right. But also imagine what it was like for the copper standing (for instance) at the junction of Rose Hill and Scottie on a foggy January evening when the rain was pelting down. Heavy white rubber cape - rain running off his helmet slowly soaking into his boots and motorists hardly able to see him. However, not a rude word said (or should I say heard). Sunday morning for me was always great. It was serene. The shops and warehouses closed, the docks not too busy and the streets quiet with most of the men still in bed after their Friday and Saturday night booze ups. Then it was 'surgery time'. The Mams would be waiting at the door for me to pass - and ask me to see their Johnny or Mary who had been naughty or missed Mass or something. I would, normally, look down at them - and they were probably still dressed in their night attire - and shake my finger and say something profound. They were the days when parents would say to their kids 'I'll call the bobby'. And the kids would begin to listen.
Of course there were tragic times as well. The winter of 1963 saw many deaths in St Martins Cottages and the Burlington Street/Portland Gardens areas. I was called to many of the deaths. The people were still very poor but they were also very proud. This is what also made the Scottie road people: poor yes - but proud. Indeed Scottie Poor and Scottie Proud. Indeed times were tough. Between coppers and people it was a remarkable relationship. But, whenever either 'side' needed help it 'miraculously' appeared. You see, the coppers and the people had unwritten rules. Rules, perhaps, we will never retrieve.
The photograph above pictures Rose Hill. It's taken from Rose Hill (Rose Lane?) itself with the Bridewell on the right. To the left of the bin lorry is (probably) the black Ford Anglia police vehicle used by the Duty Inspector. The car park (waste land left) is where the shift coppers parked their vehicles. (Mine was actually pinched one night when I was on night duty. Reckon it was a Liverpool supporter as it was found later in London - the Reds were playing Arsenal in the Cup! (Ha Ha.) Everton lost to Sunderland on the same day. The Engine conked so they couldn't drive it back to the Pool. Served them right.
Judging by the Ford Anglia (and the radio mast on the Bridewell roof) this photo was taken about 1961/2. Personal radio at that time had not been trialled anywhere in the UK. Therefore, this must be the general communications mast for mobile patrols. The first ever personal radios in the UK were trialled on Scottie in about 1963 - there's a bit of history for you. Also there appears to be a Land Rover in the picture. This could be the patrol jeep (we nicknamed it the bo-peep) though not sure it doesn't seem quite the right shape as ours was short based.
There were two sections of beat patrols around Scottie those days. The First Section, which covered Scottie through up to Netherfield Road - bounded by St Ann Street and Islington. There was the Second Section from Scottie to the Docks bounded by Boundary Street and stretched down to Byrom Street. There were only 10 to 12 beat coppers on the whole division at night plus two sergeants and one Inspector. Occasionally we were supplemented during the evenings by the E.P.s. (Evening Patrols) - the bobbies who sat not so comfortably in the bo-peep and patrolled the whole division.A
gain in the photograph(above). The two Sections (6 beat bobbies and one sergeant) would leave the Bridewell and march to their respective Sections. The Second Section would turn left down the hill at the bottom front right of your photo. This practise ceased around 1955.
The clue to the date (if you are not sure) of the photo is the Ford Anglia and its exact shape of the rear window. It appears to be the second model produced by Ford in Speke.
John Rose Hill Police Station.
RESIDENT LISTING SHEETS
Our thanks go to Ged Fagan, author of In a city living books No 1 and 2 who has made available 9 x (Full Size A4) colour resident listing sheets. Many local people who have already bought them at Gedís book launches, which have coincided with Paul Sudbury's screenings of Gardens of Stone, have found them to make great keep sakes and or gifts.
The 9 x A4 listing sheets feature Gerard Gardens, Cartwright House, Gerard Close, Downe House, Thurlow House, Lionel House, Holly Street, Christian Street and Gerard Crescent. They cost £5 for all 9 (not sold separately) and or further details contact Ged on 07808 723570 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
IT WAS 20 YEARS AGO
Ged Fagan has added another book, containing numerous photographs of Liverpool's tenements, to his previous two 'In A City Living' books (published by Countyvise in 2006) that chronicle the history of tenement housing and living in Liverpool. Ged's three books began life as being a simple record of his Liverpool childhood, which saw him living for a period of time in the Gerard Gardens tenements. The books have now become a wonderful means of preserving the memories of the tenements (city wide), including those built in Vauxhall, Edge Hill, Wavertree, Tuebrook, Old Swan, Toxteth, Speke and Garston. Ged had an official book launch and signing of 'In A City Living 3' at Editions Ltd (Cook Street, Liverpool 2) on Friday 16th February 2007. Ged has expressed his thanks to Olwen McLaughlin (Owner of Editions) for her wonderful support. Olwen and Ged are pictured with Ged's scale model of Gerard Gardens, which has been widely acclaimed and praised by all who have seen the model in 2005, 2006 and 2007. The model also includes Gerard Crescent together with Cartwright, Lionel, Downe and Thurlow Houses. Ged's book launch and signing was quite poignant in that it was 20 years ago (1987) that Gerard Gardens was demolished.
2007 also sees the 50th Anniversary of when Gerard Gardens played a significant role the film 'Violent Playground', which starred Stanley Baker, Anne Heywood and David McCallum. In appreciation of the 20th Anniversary of the demolition of Gerard Gardens Paul Sudbury (who made the Gardens of Stone Film) has designed a special poster which will promote the venues and dates where and when his film will be screened and Ged's scale model will be displayed in 2008. All the people pictured on the poster had a strong association with or to Gerard Gardens. For more details about In A City Living contact email@example.com.
HORNBY HOMES SCREEN GARDENS OF STONE
On Saturday 20th January 2007 as part of an event organised by Hornby Homes, Paul Sudbury's Gardens of Stone Film was screened at the Glaxo Neurological Centre, Norton Street, Liverpool 3 (pictured above). On display (at the screening) was Ged Fagan's scale model of Gerard Gardens (pictured above). The screening was well attended by current Hornby Home's property tenants. One such tenant, was Terry McCormick who was a resident of Gerard Gardens from 1940 - 1960 and as such one of the tenement block's earliest residents. Hornby Homes tenant Sheila McNulty was also present. Sheila moved into Thurlow House during 1977 and as such was one of the last to do so. (Paul Sudbury is pictured below chatting to Sheila) The Question & Answers session (pictured below) was very interesting, with many people commenting on decimation of the area, and how a similar thing was happening today, as commercial apartments tower over council tenants.
Whilst Gardens of Stone is a not a political film, there is no hiding from the 'politics' that drove the policies which resulted in the breakdown of communities throughout Liverpool in the 20th Century. The film appears to have gone beyond its original remit of documenting the history of the area, and developed into a social commentary on the importance of 'people' when making decisions that affect their lives. The years 2007 and 2008 represent major milestone in the Liverpool timetable, and the audience were keen that others would benefit from the opportunity to see the film. Paul said "Many have asked when the film will be released on DVD, there is a plan to have a formal release, but until that has been confirmed I am very happy to offer it for community screening. Out of all the screenings of Gardens of Stone, the Q&A at the end of the Glaxo event was the best, with the audience (including many non residents of the tenements) speaking passionately on the demise of communities as we kick off the 21st Century".
For more information about Gardens of Stone email firstname.lastname@example.org
Our thanks go to Paul Sudbury for providing the Scottie Press website with a link to his website on which there is a short trailer of his Gardens of Stone film which is about the history of Gerard Gardens. Paul is actively seeking venues and support for additional screenings of this film. To view the Gardens of Stone film (trailer) click here (requires Real Player ) and to visit Paul's website click here
PICTUREHOUSE SCREENING FOR GARDENS OF STONE
Over 200 people attended the latest screening of the Paul Sudbury film 'Gardens Of Stone' at the FACT Picturehouse on Monday 10th April 2006. Paul is photographed with Louise Ellman MP who expressed great praise to Paul for the manner in which his film captured the community spirit of Gerard Gardens, widely accepted as being one of Liverpool's most famous tenement blocks.
Prior to the screening an opportunity was given for all present to view Ged Fagan's scale model of Gerard Gardens. Ged is photographed explaining the layout of the model. Pictured with Ged are Radio Merseyside's Roger Phillips and Nunzia Bertali (Italian Consul for Merseyside).
Our thanks go to Pauline Hogan (nee Costello) for providing this webpage with a picture of her First Holy Communion Certificate, which Pauline received on 19th May 1963, having made her First Holy Communion at St Joseph's Church, Grosvenor Street, Liverpool 3.
Pauline has also provided this webpage with a photo taken on the day of her First Holy Communion, which pictures Pauline and a school friend and Sister Agnes. If you have similar photos and or other photographs of the St Joseph's Parish please contact email@example.com
Our thanks go to Marie Smith (nee Gibbons) for providing this webpage with a photo of pupils and teachers at Bishop Goss School in 1952/53. Marie tells us that she is photographed with; Harry Morton, Julie Wiles, Mary Shaw and Teresa Noon. Headmaster, Mr Kelly, is also photographed, as is one of the teachers a Mr Murray. We welcome hearing from readers who recognise faces on the photos and or have other Bishop Goss class photos.
Dear Scottie Press, I just thought you may like this photo to add to St Josephs parish album. This handsome group left Bishop Goss at Christmas 1956. Some names that I recall are, Tommy Walker, Johnny Bowness, Dominic Wyles, Ben Evans, Tommy Sage, Frankie Davitt, Jimmy Hackett, Joey Caton Franny Reece, Tony Burke, Archie Ward, and of course, myself, Michael Dalton. Can anyone see them-selves in there? I can't recall the name of the teacher, but I'm sure someone will know. If any of your readers can put names to faces I would be much obliged. Michael Dalton
CAN YOU IDENTIFY THIS PHOTOGRAPH?
Our thanks go to Mary Wrigley for providing the Scottie Press with a photo taken in the 1920s. Pictured in the group of people are her husband's father Tom Wrigley and his sister Kate. Tom and Kate lived in Holly Street and later Gerard Crescent. and were reared by Margaret and Tom Livesey. The Livesey's were Coal Merchants. The fanily were in the St Joseph's Parish all their lives. Mary would be interested to hear if any readers can shed some light on why the photo was taken. Mary points out that the words 'Institute St A' are written on the Drum.
FILM BROUGHT BACK