William Gordon Masters was born in Eldon Place Liverpool in 1887, of Jamaican, Irish parents. He entered show business at an early age as a singer and dancer with The Eight Lancashire Lads. Whose members included the great Charlie Chaplin. In 1908 William was found to be leading the native Jamaican choir at the colonial exhibition at St Georges Hall Liverpool. Sir Alfred Lewis Jones had brought this choir to Liverpool. The Jamaican Choir is photgraphed outside St George's Hall. William is seated front row nearest the door.

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He then went on to play with his orchestra for high society in London. He also appeared in London's west end shows. William was the toast of Paris cafe society during the "JAZZ AGE", of the 1920s with his orchestra "Syncopated Six". William is listed in the publication 'Who's Who of Jazz'.

Some time during the 1920s he relocated to Argentina where he continued his musical career with his 'Symphonic Jazz Orchestra". He was the first British born jazz musician to take jazz to Argentina. He composed music with Argentina's Great Tango Artists' of the time.

William was a British Jazz pioneer and was one of the jazz artists responsible for the internationalisation of Jazz. He was one of the first jazz artists to record on early disc. He was a member of one of the first jazz trios to play jazz music for dancing in Britain. His compositions, musical career are held by institutions across the globe, but here in Liverpool he is unknown. Not bad for the little black barefoot boy on Liverpool's famous Steble Fountain photograph.

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This is just a brief outline of William's life my aim is to have his great talent recognised by the people of Liverpool. Best regards Jeff Daniels. email masters.will@hotmail.co.uk


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Our thanks go to David Charters (Daily Post) who has written a series of articles relating to Scotland Road 2003 and to the achievements of the Vauxhall History & Heritage Group with plaques made and unveiled for St Martin's Cottages, Jim Clarke, Liverpool's Little Italy and most recently William (Bill) Collins.

David is pictured centre of photograph when he met and interviewed George and Gerard McNabb for an article published in the Daily Post in late September.
The article centred on Goerge and Gerard McNabb who visited the Scottie Press to show us a photograph taken in 1922 of a group of local entertainers known as The Eldonian Minstels.

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A special line of thanks goes to George who travelled up from his home in South Wales to show his support for the efforts of the Scottie Press to record for future generations the rich history & heritage and culture of the Scotland Road and Vauxhall area of Liverpool.
Pictured on the photo shown to both the Scottie Press and Daily Post newspapers is George and Gerard's father John McNabb who had a grand baritone voice which was highly praised and appreciated. The photograph was taken in front of Our Lady's Church, Eldon Street. The McNabb family lived locally in Bevington Street - George being born there in 1912.
The Eldonian Minstrels dressed like dandies in their bow ties and cummerbunds, with their shoes polished until the toe-caps shone under the stage lights. Some of them also blacked their faces with burnt cork in celebration of the American Minstrels whose music they admired so much. They sang songs like 'The Old Folks at Home, Camptown Races, Beautiful Dreamer and Old Kentucky Home. They also played a selection of instruments such as banjos, mandolins and tambourines.
We have added the photograph of the Eldonian Minstrels into our 'Computer Archive' collection which will form the basis of exhibition material for events marking Scotland Road 2003.


After years of neglect the municipal flats of Eldon Grove are to regain their glamour. The historic building, which was officially opened by the Countess of Derby in 1912, has been saved from falling to bits thanks to Liverpool building firm Brightace and Shine Developments who are to restore and convert the property in 48 apartments.

They are also embarked on building 8 mock Tudor houses on the old asphalt playground that fronts Eldon Grove and separates it from Bevington Street.

Work will start at the end of August 2002 and take about 18 months to complete.

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Pictured are Andrew Grek (Archictect), Michelle Stannard-King (Managing Director, Brightace) and George Kountis (Shine Developments).

We will be featuring regular updates on the progress of the restoration of Eldon Grove on the Eldon Grove webpage (see Projects)

You can read an article by David Charters (Daily Post) Thursday 8th August about Eldon Grove 'Will the toffs return to chocolate box village?' by logging onto www.icliverpool.co.uk - search for David Charters


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People who live now and or who once lived in the Scotland Road and Vauxhall areas of Liverpool will be very familiar with Eldon Grove. We hope, however, that this project webpage might be able to provide a lot more additional information to what could be known at present. In an effort to achieve this we will be seeking the support from a wide variety of resources that can hopefully help us build up something quite definitive in respect to the HISTORY OF ELDON GROVE.

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If you have anything that you think could be of interest to this project please contact the Vauxhall History & Heritage Group c/o the Scottie Press Community Newspaper, Silvester Street, Liverpool, L5 8SE. Telephone 0151 298 1544 or email ronformby@scottiepress.org.uk