TOURISM IN VAUXHALL
IN SUPPORT OF THE LOCAL ECONOMY
Since the development of both the Eldonian and Athol Villages the Vauxhall stretch of the Leeds - Liverpool canal has been transformed from what was a derelict unused waterway into an attractive stretch of the 127 miles long canal, which is now often visited by canal narrowboats and barges. Our photographs picture a narrowboat heading towards the Eldonian basin to join two already moored there. The basin is located directly in front of the Eldonian Village Hall, which could be the starting point for people to explore, discover and learn about the history and heritage of the canal in the Vauxhall area. The Leeds - Liverpool Canal is now linked into the Albert Dock, and as such is set to bring (yearly) many thousands of canal barge and narrowboat owners to and through the Vauxhall area. The passage into Liverpool will be in two stages and boats will be required to moor overnight at the Eldonian Village end of the canal's main line. It is to be expected that there will be lots of questions asked about the canal's relevance to the history of the Vauxhall area and the historically (19th Century) significant Stanley Locks and the famous Docks (Stanley, Collingwood, Salisbury, Clarence, Trafalgar etc). According to a recent survey the credit crunch is encouraging more than half of Britons stay at home for their summer holidays in 2009. This could be a good year to promote the Vauxhall stretch of the Leeds - Liverpool canal to add weight to efforts to encourage 'Tourism in Vauxhall'
The combined-photos above (taken 2006) picture a view from the Liver Buildings (Pier Head) looking towards north Liverpool. The 'Six-Sided Clock (Salisbury Dock) and 'Tobacco Warehouse' (Stanley Dock) can be seen in the background, as can Princes Dock and Waterloo Dock in the foreground. It is through these docks that the canal narrowboats travelling to and from the Albert Dock will travel. The interaction of two or more forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects is a thought process applied to many community development and regeneration programmes and projects. It follows therefore that combining the history and heritage of the docks (named above) in the Vauxhall area with the increased numbers of visiting narrowboats travelling through them should be a recipe for bringing more money into the economy of the Vauxhall area. Sadly this might not be the case unless there is the ability for Vauxhall to be fully involved.
The aerial view photo above looking north was taken in the 1960s and shows the vibrant nature of the area surrounding the Princes Dock and Waterloo Dock. The three chimneys at the then Clarence Dock Power Station are also clearly visible. At this time the docks, warehouses and factories together with businesses (both large and small) in the Vauxhall area created large scale employment and economic vitality. There was a time in the not too distant history of the Vauxhall area when employment was numbered in the tens of thousands. The closure of many major employers substantially reduced that, number. There are lots of people who feel that the Scotland Road and Vauxhall areas never really recovered from the 1980s when hundreds of redundancies occurred. Many feel that this is still a reason why generational unemployment exists in this area. A prime aim of the Scottie Press 'Tourism in Vauxhall' Project (launched in 2004) is to put the Vauxhall district of Liverpool onto a recognised tourist map and as such bring much needed money into the local economy together with employment opportunities. All of the buildings and locations highlighted by the Tourism in Vauxhall Project (and featured on this webpage and or on other webpages on this website) are 'well worth a visit'.
MAKING THE MOST OF WHAT WE'VE GOT
Newspapers are now filled with articles on the great economic crisis engulfing the world but few leave us any the wiser. Most of them attempt to explain how it all went wrong but fail to offer solutions to problems arising from the recession and how to avoid similar ones in the future. If we are to avoid increasing hardship, poverty, social breakdown and a spreading sense of hopelessness then we have to come up with concrete solutions and not just confused ideas. The accepted rules to solve problems arising out of a recession can be compared to a cookery book that gives a number of recipes, sometimes in full detail. But good cookery needs more than knowing how to weigh and mix ingredients - or even learning recipes by heart. A skilled cook knows how to go beyond the instructions and turns his job into an imaginative art. A prime aim of the Scottie Press 'Tourism in Vauxhall' Project (launched in 2004) is to put the Scotland Road, Vauxhall and Everton districts of Liverpool onto a recognised tourist map of Liverpool and as such bring much needed money into the local economy. This can be achieved with imagination and vision and by making the most of what we've got. The photographs (above) were taken on Sunday 22nd March 2009 and feature Regent Road, which is now extremely quiet (of traffic) due to the road closure. When news was announced (in May 2008) of the road closure for bridge repairs (expected to take 12 months) the Scottie Press raised concerns about the road closure effect on the Sunday Heritage Market (Stanley Dock -Tobacco Warehouse) and other local businesses on and around the Regent Road area.The Scottie Press is now questioning the length of time that the road has been closed and progress made.We will feature updated information as soon as possible. We welcome hearing from local businesses as to the effect the road closure has on their business since May 2008. Email firstname.lastname@example.org
OUR THANKS GO TO LOUISE ELLMAN MP
Our thanks go to Louise Ellman MP who has contacted Ian Pollitt (Development Investment Surveyor, Peel Land and Property (Ports) Limited) about the closure of Regent Road. Louise Ellman has also (on Friday 3rd April) provided the Scottie Press with details of Ian Pollitt's reply (see below)
"I would confirm that we have applied for a further extension (12 months), following discussions with the Head of the Highways Department, for Liverpool City Council to keep the road closed. The bridge is beyond repair and we are now looking to replace the bridge with a new fixed Concrete bridge (The council highways department are in agreement with Peel on the type of bridge), we are now working on the design of the new bridge (estimate build cost £450,000). We also have to liase with the conservation officer, as the bridge (which is not listed) sits within a conservation area and also falls under the buffer zone, for the World Heritage Site. The upper parts of the structure of the bridge will hopefully be removed within the next month. The consent to demolition a structure within the buffer Zone is currently being put together for the remainder of the bridge structure, by our consultants. It is likely to take about 3 /4 months to get approval (so long as we can convince the conservation officer). Another reason for the delay in design is that we are trying to ensure the bridge we construct, will serve Liverpool Waters and will not have upgraded in 10 years time. There are plans to run a tram along the Dock Road (one of a number of options we are considering with Mersey Travel and Liverpool City Council)."
CAREERS IN TOURISM
You get far more out of visits to towns and cities, historic buildings and religious sites when there is someone knowledgeable to give you all the facts. With tourism becoming one of the major growth industries there are more and more opportunities for people to have a career in tourism with ever more chances to progress. If you are wondering how to become a tour guide we print below links to a number of websites that offer more details.
One of the successes of Liverpool's status as European Capital Of Culture in 2008 was the increased numbers of visitors to the city. Continued investment in culture and tourism during the credit crunch is vital to keep Liverpool ahead of national and international competition in 2009 and subsequent years. It is agreed that there needs to be support given to help create new events and experiences. Tourism bosses are set to spend £750,000 to keep cultural Liverpool on the map. The, drive includes a spring advertising campaign aimed at people in the UK and particularly at the weekend break market. Tourism in North Liverpool could become an ever-increasing part of not just North Liverpool's economy but its, survival. If so visitors to Liverpool will need things to see and do as will residents of Liverpool who may curtail their own international tourism in favour of stay at home holidays. Efforts to encourage Tourism into North Liverpool took the form (in 2005) of a Scottie Press project called 'Tourism in Vauxhall'. Among the places visited on several promotional bus tours in 2005 and 2006 was The Tobacco Warehouse, which houses the very popular and busy Heritage Market. We picture this building (see above) when recently at the end of a Rainbow. There is an old saying that goes; "At the end of a rainbow, you'll find a pot of gold". The Tourism in Vauxhall project also highlighted SFX Church. In the December 2008 issue of Scottie Press we voiced up news that St Francis Xavier's Church (Salisbury Street) had over 12,000 visitors to an exhibition staged at the church (August and September 2008). The historical heritage and culture of the Scotland Road, Vauxhall and Everton areas is varied, with each area having its own important story to tell. These stories have been the subject of much research culminating in a mix of websites, of which the Scottie Press is one of the most comprehensive. Interest in genealogy has grown significantly in recent years and more and more people are keen to research their family tree and visit family history centres and follow family history trails. In 2009 we will continue to enhance the Tourism in Vauxhall project's webpage and welcome hearing from readers who might have suggestions as to how best visitors to North Liverpool can be encouraged to see and appreciate the historical heritage in the Scotland Road, Vauxhall and Everton districts.
RAIL & CANAL TOURISM
A vital asset to help and encourage Tourism in Vauxhall is the proximity of Sandhills railway station, located to the north of the city centre (at Sandhills Lane) on the Northern Line of the Merseyrail. It stands at the junction between the branch line to Southport and the branch line to Ormskirk and Kirkby. The usage figures for the station underestimate the actual usage as it is a busy interchange station. 71,953 interchange passengers are recorded for 2004-5, but passenger statistics do not include travellers using Saveaway or other multi-mode tickets. Sandhills origially opened in 1850 as an intermediate station when the Liverpool, Crosby and Southport Railway was extended from its previous terminal at Waterloo to Liverpool Exchange. The station was closed for refurbishment on 17 November, 2007, and reopened on 7 July, 2008 in order to cater for passengers travelling to Birkdale for the 2008 Open Championship, and Liverpool for the 2008 Tall Ships Race. Many of these ships were berthed at docks on the Vauxhall area.
When the Leeds - Liverpool Canal is linked into the Albert Dock, and as such attracts many thousands of canal barge and narrowboat owners, more and more people will visit the Vauxhall area. It is to be expected that there will be lots of questions asked about the history of the canal and its relevance to the history of the Vauxhall area. It is also to be expected that people visiting Vauxhall (non boat owners) will wish to take canal barge or narrowboat trips along the canal to and from the Albert Dock possibly passing through the historically significant Stanley Locks. The Scottie Press has highlighted (for more than 8 years) the environmental and economic benefits to the Vauxhall area by making more from regeneration programmes to the Leeds - Liverpool Canal see http://www.scottiepress.org/projects/nature.htm
MAKING MORE OF NORTH DOCKS
Making more of Liverpool's North Docks is seen as a vital part of plans to encourage Tourism in Vauxhall. Community activists and urban design experts are calling for a radical new initiative for the development of the waterfront on Liverpool's North Docks.
Driving or walking along the Dock Road, it's hard to miss the huge (Grade ll) sugar silo (see pictured below) built by Tate & Lyle in the 1950s, close to the Huskisson Dock. When in operation the sugar was brought into the silo via a huge conveyor tower and once inside the silo an overhead railway system was used to distribute the sugar along the full length of the silo.
Promoted as being 'The Little Oasis on the Dock Road' the Atlantic Corner stand on the corner junction of Sandhills Lane and Regent Road, Liverpool 20. The Atlantic Corner is a family run business and is well located on the famous Liverpool Dock Road - Only 1 mile from Liverpool City Centre 3 minutes walk from Sandhills train station. The residence contains simple but comfortable accommodation that is completed by tea and coffee facilities, TV and more. Phone 0151 922 9815 or email email@example.com You can also visit www.atlantic-corner-hotel.co.uk
Vera at the Atlantic Corner Hotel is also keen for the adjoining Atlantic Pub (circa 1887) to feature in the attractions to the North Liverpool area and it is easy to see from the photos below why Vera feels the Atlantic Pub is like a jewel in the crown. Vera is determined not to waste the opportunity to get the Pub open day and night for tourism, local trade or functions
Reviving dockland communities left stranded by bad planning and a collapsed economy must be central to a new North Liverpool Master-plan. It's time for leadership and vision." Among those backing the campaign is Dr.Rob McDonald from the School of Architecture at Liverpool John Moores University. He says: "We need imaginative and independent thinkers to devise a dynamic and sustainable urban master-plan, working with local residents and stakeholders".
The history of Liverpool's North Docks and in particular those in the Vauxhall area is a major part of the development of the city of Liverpool. This is clearly evident in information contained within the website
PUTTING VAUXHALL ON THE MAP
A prime aim of the Tourism in Vauxhall Project is to put the Scotland Road, Vauxhall and Everton districts of Liverpool onto a recognised tourist map of Liverpool. All of the buildings and locations highlighted by the Tourism in Vauxhall Project (and featured on this webpage and or on other webpages on this website) are situated within the areas shown on the map above. We hope in time to have map specially designed to show the buildings and places 'well worth a visit'.
Many an Irish emigrant settled in Liverpool town
His flamboyance, the coat and hat
He was always ready with a helpful deed
His body had returned to Wexford to lay in its grave
On the monument was an inscription
Many years in the same spot it did stand
There it stood until August of 1983
Oh do these people ever pause
Poem by Joe O'Grady - September 1983.
The restored monument to Dandy Pat Byrne (see pictured above) was restored, sited and unveiled in the grounds of St Anthony's Church, Scotland Road in the year 2000. This monument is very much a focal point of interest to people visiting St Anthony's Church and especially to those visiting the Heritage & Visitor Centre. The most often asked questions being “who was Dandy Pat Byrne”? and “why is there a monument to him”?
In appreciation of this interest etc, local author Mike Kelly (along with the Scottie Press) is working on producing a small book (approx 11,000 words plus photos) about the life of Dandy Pat Byrne and about how and why the monument was restored. We would like to hear from readers who may be interested in this book, which could be published before Christmas of this year and priced under £3. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
OLD BANK COULD BECOME HERITAGE CENTRE
In 1998 as part of a community campaign which asked 'Has Scotland Road Got a Future' the Scottie Press voiced up the benefits to be gained from having the Old Bank Building on Scotland Road used as a History & Heritage Resource Centre in order that the fame of Scotland Road and its people could be recorded and promoted to current and future generations of people. In 1998 the Liverpool Daily Post featured an article entitled "BATTLE IS ON TO SAVE SCOTTIE ROAD HERITAGE". This article voiced up how campaigners aim to give famous building a new lease of life. Much water has gone under the bridges since 1998 but the Scottie Press has never lost sight of this idea. The Old Bank Building (circa 1882) was recently up for sale again and as such the Scottie Press spoke to Louise Ellman MP about the possibility of having the Old Bank Building included in Project Jennifer and brought into use as a Scotland Road History & Heritage Centre that would marry in with the St Anthony’s Visitor Centre (see photo above) and be enhanced by the Throstle’s Nest Hotel now able to provide Bed & Breakfast Accommodation. This all aimed at securing ways by which visitors to Liverpool can be attracted to the Scotland Road area as part of the Tourism in Vauxhall Project.
We would be grateful to hear from Scottie Press website readers who might wish to voice up their thoughts on why a Scotland Road History & Heritage Resource Centre with hopefully a tea rooms would be a very positive way of showing that Liverpool City Council will try to ensure that Scotland Road does have a future beyond that of a six lane motorway. Please email email@example.com
IN SUPPORT OF HERITAGE CENTRE
Dear Scottie Press, I think the idea of a Scotland Rd History and Heritage Resource Centre with a tea room would be a brilliant idea. I don't live in Liverpool any longer but have Italian connections to Little Italy. I would love to visit such a centre where all the resources were together and think a tea room would be necessary for visitors such as myself who would be happy to spend a day or more there researching and chatting with the few people left keeping the memories alive.
I find it so sad that a big part of the area has been demolished for fast traffic and now very little is left of the Scottie Rd I knew as a child Surely such a centre is the type of project the Council should be thinking of now that people are so interested in researching their family history. There are lots of people whose families emigrated from Scotland Road who will travel from many other countries to trace their families' history. How sad when they if they get to the area their forefathers came from and find there is nothing left of the area. So much has already disappeared don't let any more of the area go Surely not too much to ask to retain what little is left of an area with such rich history in the making of the City of Liverpool.
Carol P A Moretta Rigg
IRISH FAMINE PLAQUE
On Regent Road, Vauxhall, Liverpool 3, alongside the Clarence Dock Gates there is a plaque, which remembers the Irish Famine. Two million Irish people came to Liverpool in one decade, fleeing a country that had been devastated by famine. This was approximately a quarter of Ireland's population. From January to June 1847 over 300,000 Irish immigrants arrived in vessels that were termed 'coffin' ships, passengers were packed together on deck in all manner of weather, some ships arrived with a third of the passengers dead. The trip across the Irish Sea could take three days if the weather was bad.
Many thousands of those who came to Liverpool in 1847 sailed on to a new life in America and other New World Countries but many more who came to Liverpool stayed in crowded cellars and houses in the Vauxhall and Scotland Road areas. Typhus, Dysentery and Cholera were prevalent. It is estimated that 60,000 people caught the fever and 40,000 contracted dysentery.
The onward journey to America was an ordeal and it is recorded that one in six emigrants who sailed for America in 1847 died. The peak year for emigration was 1852 when almost 300,000 people left Liverpool, and this tidal wave of humanity was to see nearly nine million people emigrate to America from Liverpool with a thousand ships a year were leaving the port.
The 94th anniversary (1912-2006) of the sinking of the famous White Star Line, Titanic is on April 14th. The British Titanic Society are to hold their annual convention at Liverpool's Aldephi Hotel (Fri-Sun 21st - 23rd April). A feature of the convention will be a commemorative tour of the Liverpool landmarks that recognise the connections the city has with the White Star Line. These include the former White Star Line HQ in James Street and the Memorial to the Heroes of the Marine Engine Room at the Pier Head. Many Titanic crew came from the Scotland Road area and it's recorded (see diagram) that the longest alley-way on the ship's E Deck was called Scotland Road.
On Tuesday 31st January the Scottie Press organised a whistle stop Tourism in Vauxhall bus tour for Mark Stewart (Tourism Development Manager - Liverpool Culture Company). The bus tour was arranged in order that Mark could gain a better visual awareness and appreciation of the Tourism in Vauxhall Project's aims and potential. Listed below are the places visited on the day and about which the tour highlighted.
Mark has contacted the Scottie Press to advise that Liverpool City Council's Communities and Tourism Scrutiny Panel recently considered a report on Heritage Tourism in Liverpool's Neighbourhoods. This report recognised that there was a developing tourism offer in Liverpool's neighbourhoods with potential for further development. Liverpool Culture Company is committed in principle to encouraging tourism development outside the city centre. Liverpool can expect to attract 1.7 million visitors in 2008 and from 13th February this year tourists to Liverpool can get all the information about Liverpool and 2008 from Tourist Information Centres at the 08 Place in Whitechapel (City Centre) and from the TIC at John Lennon Airport.
It is a firm intention of the Tourism in Vauxhall Project to have information on display at the Tourist's Information Centres about what visitors to Liverpool can see in the Scotland Road, Vauxhall and Everton areas and to produce a virtual 'Tourism in Vauxhall' DVD which they can view and a book they can read.
The Scottie Press was recently contacted by The Mersey Partnership to advise that they were promoting the history of the Little Italy area of Liverpool at a Tourism Exhibition in Milan and as such had written to Italian newspapers highlighting the efforts of the Scottie Press in the promotion of this famous district of Everton, Liverpool 3.
Liverpool City Council recently announce that it was to ask residents of Liverpool about how best to influence the changing face of the city. They listed five objectives in a core strategy. These included strengthening Liverpool's economy and building strong communities. It is clearly evident that Tourism in Vauxhall can help achieve this if given the proper support and encouragement. If you would like to register your support for the Tourism in Vauxhall Project please email firstname.lastname@example.org
TOURISM IN VAUXHALL PROJECT
Local author, Ged Fagan is photographed at the entrance to Liverpool Central Library wherein he spends a considerable amount of time researching information and viewing photographs for a new book about Liverpool's Tenement Housing & living. Ged's two books - 'IN A CITY LIVING' (1 + 2) have been a great success and he hopes his third book will prove to be equally as popular.
Concerns have been expressed to the Scottie Press about how the district of Vauxhall is misreported in newspaper and by other media as Everton, Kirkdale or even City Centre. We are grateful to a Scottie Press reader who contacted Liverpool City Council about this issue and we print below a reply he received
"Historically there has never been a definitive map to indicate the different boundaries of Liverpool and the exercise has never been comprehensively undertaken. It was decided that there was a need to define the boundary lines of the City Council's Master Signing Plan, so the Traffic Management Section spent two years trying to decide the most appropriate locations through extensive consultation and research. All of the Ward Councillors across the city were involved and they approved all districts prior to the erection of the signs.
Vauxhall is not a district, therefore it would not be signed as such. The sign that has been erected on Scotland Road was checked by a member of Vauxhall Residents Community Group who confirmed that the sign was in the right place and the Traffic Management Section are satisfied that this is the case".
The ongoing efforts to encourage Tourism in Vauxhall most certainly appreciates that Vauxhall is very much a district of Liverpool and a very famous district at that. The Tourism in Vauxhall Project is keen to hear from readers who would support the project's intentions to seek ways by which signs can be erected to clearly indicate that people are in the Vauxhall area - mindful of the very many people that will be visiting the district in 2006 - 2007 2008 - to experience a Tourism in Vauxhall bus tour.
Vauxhall Road runs from Boundary Street, Liverpool 5 to Hatton Garden/Tithebarn Street, Liverpool 3. It was originally named Pin Fold Lane. Vauxhall was the name of a house on the banks of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal past, which the road led. The name derives from Vauxhall Gardens in Lambeth, London, in the 18th century.
With the growth of Liverpool as a major port in the late 18th and early 19th century, the development of Vauxhall as an industrial area was inevitable. By the 1840s this industrialisation of the area had grown considerably as had housing development. Between the years of 1841and 1851 there was an increase of 4000 houses, roughly parallel to the population growth.
If you would like to see the Vauxhall district clearly signposted please contact email@example.com
In Liverpool there were many merchants and businessmen supporting the Southern (Confederate) States in the American Civil War. Liverpool was Britain's main port of entry for southern cotton. Within the Vauxhall area of Liverpool there was at one time a branch of the Charleston cotton firm John Fraser & Co., - Fraser, Trenholm & Company. Their office at 10 Rumford Place, Liverpool 3 was to become the official 'Confederate Embassy', and the Confederate Navy agent in Liverpool, Commander James Dunwoody Bulloch was given an office there.
Rumford Place is situated at the lower end of Chapel Street and can be accessed from Chapel Street or from Old Hall Street. Our photo shows Rumford Place with the former Confederate Embassy on the right hand side and the Daily Post & Echo Offices in the background. Prominent on the 10 Rumford Place (listed) building are two flags and a number of plaques.
This Vauxhall street dates from about 1800.There is in Great Crosshall Street, Liverpool 3, a building which will become St. Patrick's apartments.
This building was at one time a day school and Sunday school connected to St. John's church. This church stood immediately west of St. George's Hall in its own grounds with a cemetery. The Liverpool Corporation acquired the church and grounds, which were turned into St. John's Gardens at the beginning of the 20th century.
GREAT CROSSHALL STREET
There were at one time two Welsh Chapels in Great Crosshall Street, which would make one assume that the Welsh population was spreading from their established area and stronghold of St. Paul's square Pall Mall, Liverpool 3.
One chapel was at the junction of Marybone great Crosshall Street. This building (pictured above - beyond Prout's Garage) became in later years the office of Brian Green Typewriters before being demolished to make way for student block accommodation (also photographed above). The other Welsh chapel building has long since gone
CAPITAL OF CULTURE
Liverpool Culture Company are determined that the city's historic sites will be central to both the 2007 and 2008 festivities and celebrations. Council leader, Warren Bradley says that 2008 represents a fantastic opportunity for Liverpool to showcase its architectural heritage.
Two new groups have been set up to co-ordinate thinking about how to present the best historical attractions. One panel brings together departments within the council and the other is an external group featuring the National Trust, English Heritage, National Museums Liverpool and Liverpool Heritage Forum.
The Liverpool Culture Company advises that they have projects bubbling up all over the place and that Liverpool people are rightly proud of their heritage and want to share and celebrate it with others. I am keen that the attention of Liverpool Culture Company and the other organisations listed above is drawn to the historic architecture in the Scotland Road, Vauxhall and Everton areas.
I list below a number of buildings in the Scotland Road, Vauxhall and Everton areas that I consider worthy of showcasing by Liverpool Culture Company. I would be pleased to hear suggestions from readers as to others they think should be showcased.
It's a point worth raising the history of the Scotland Road, Vauxhall and Everton areas has seen much of the historic architecture lost to demolition. The books written by Terry Cooke, Freddy O'Connor and myself published many fine examples.
The National Museums Liverpool plans for the new £67 million pound 'Museum Of Liverpool' (to be built on Mann Island - between the Albert Dock and the Pier Head) is centred on making it the world's leading city history venue. This is to be achieved by ensuring the museum documents the social history of Liverpool through exhibits as diverse as recreating the stage where the Beatles first performed to the reconstruction of a Liverpool dockyard. If all goes to plan the work is scheduled to start by June 2006 and the first phase of the museum should be completed in time for 'Capital of Culture' year 2008.
One of the many ideas within the plans to ensure that Tourism In Vauxhall can also be a well-established attraction for visitors to Liverpool in 2008 is the creation of 'The Dockers Experience'. This would take the form of refurbishing one of the dockside warehouses in the Vauxhall area to recreate scenes that would have been part of a Liverpool dockworker's daily life in the Vauxhall area over a period of more than 200 years.
By around 1800 the combined tonnage of shipping entering and leaving the port of Liverpool was estimated to be around 400,000 tons. This was to rise rapidly and in 1900 the tonnage was recorded at 12.4 million. By 1860 new docks had been built in the Vauxhall area, which included Bramley-Moore, Salisbury, Nelson, Collingwood, Trafalgar and Stanley. The abundance of dock work created in the late 1800s attracted many men from all parts of the United Kingdom. It also encouraged men from other parts of the world who had had plans to emigrate to the New World countries to decide to stay in Liverpool and find employment on the docks. Their jobs often demanded considerable physical stamina allied to a knack of handling and moving heavy weights when unloading timber, grain, cotton etc. Their pay was considered good in comparison to other ports albeit that in the 1870s their pay was 4/6d a day.
'The Dockers Experience' will record this 19th century history. It will also portray the ability of Liverpool Dockers to adapt to the changing demands of their employment throughout the1900s (including the First and Second World Wars) until the closure of the aforementioned docks in the Vauxhall area. To help with this aspect of Tourism In Vauxhall Project the Scottie Press would like to hear from former and current Liverpool Dockers who may have information (photographs - memorabilia - memories etc), which they feel would enable the concept of 'The Dockers Experience' to be presented in a comprehensive manner to the Liverpool Culture Company (Capital of Culture) to seek their backing.
If you can help please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
My fondest memories of growing up are all related to the family life that engulfed us all. The docks had been a prime target for night raids by Hitler's Luftwaffe. Bombings all around the 'three ugly sisters' trying to knock out the power to most of that area had been unsuccessful, thanks in the main to many an intervention by the RAF 's Spitfires and dogfights out in the Irish Sea. Liverpool, like a lot of other English city's, took a battering from these incessant raids but failed to get the press like London, their only Scousers.
People seem to forget that Liverpool was the major port for most of the commerce that came to England. Thousands of ships have graced the docks over the years. Cargo was transshipped to and from all corners of the earth and the Liverpool Docker was second to none. Yes we even have a downside, but at the time that was par for the course, the slave trade was prolific through the port of Liverpool as the trade ships from Africa used Liverpool as a transient base before heading mainly to the America's.
January 1943, I was born into a family of dockers. My father, Barney Daly, toiled for many years, before, during and after WWII working at any and all docks along the dock road. So who made up this family, my mother Lily, was the eldest of eleven children seven boys and four girls. All seven of my uncles worked the docks, Thomas (Bomb), John, Willie McMahon, Peter, Joe, Jim and Alex McVeigh. Grandma married twice, so we had the McMahon's and the McVeigh's. For a time we lived next door to each other at 23 and 25 Regent Street, Grandma in number 23.
At the time it appeared to me that everybody in the street worked at the docks or had some family working at the docks. Employment was scarce you could count on one hand the number of employers in the area. Bibby's, Silcock's, Tate & Lyle, Stanley Warehouse or the Cotton Warehouses. By far the biggest employer was the docks. Think about this for a situation to get work and put a bit of something on the table for five kids, more if the family came visiting. Take a typical day, go to the clearing house in Vulcan Street and pick up your 'tally', hopefully you would be picked by the foreman issuing them, many a time it was the old saying "it is not what you know but who you know" he would tell you what dock to go to. Report at that dock pronto, give your tally to another foreman and then bust your hump loading or unloading cargo and pray that you would be called back the following day or go through the same process. This was a daily routine and many many men would not be picked, my father included.
We always had a meal, but it was not a breakfast, lunch and dinner scenario like today's children. How about a dripping butties, or an HP sauce butties, sugar butties, we thought that was fine. Brawn, now that was a word that brings back memories. Mom could make a meal out of anything and one of my father's favourites was pressed pig's cheek or tripe and for a special Sunday he might get some salt fish. Silly things but they are wonderful memories.
Accidents happened on a regular basis on the docks; freezing cold weather never helped the old bones of some of the older dockers. My father coming home one day with just a small towel around his hand, he had gotten his index finger jammed in one of the cargo landing nets and it took the top off his finger when it hit the ships handrail, no time for hospital go later when the job is done cannot afford to miss a days work. Not as sprightly as the younger ones who had started to become more outspoken and forthright on the scene. Regardless, all my family stayed put working the only job they ever knew. He's getting older, as are the rest of the McMahon's. The tally man is not seeing him as much as he did in years gone by, work is becoming harder to get.
The family has always been the answer, Lily needs some support, and so the family of dockers do what they always did came knocking. We shared 25 Regent Street with my uncle Willie and his family and he was always the one to come up with solutions.......by hook or by crook! It started one night when he came home from doing his day on the docks, a pair of wader's drapesed across his shoulders. He called my mom to come and see him and to our surprise he emptied the waders out, cans of Spam, Jam and the ultimate lumps of Cocoa. We never cared what had been in the waders before or even if he had worn them, we feasted on the Cocoa.
It was coming up to Christmas 1949, dad had been in a terrible slump with little or no work, other than cleaning the stables locally, and although when you have never really been the lucky person who got lots of presents for Christmas it was still Christmas. Again, the family rally around Uncle Bomb, Willie and John all came knocking. A scrawny turkey and a massive ham plopped on the table for mom its OK Lily they are surplus stock!
Night shifts sometimes came up, usually a continuance of the day shift, this was the cream as it was a little extra overtime money. This was usually cargo that had a deadline for delivery or a sailing deadline. The prize one for a night shift was the Guinness ship, it sailed in from Dublin with those wonderful kegs full of the elixir of life. From conversations you always needed a good tap man to somehow extract a certain portion for the dockers who were only doing their dutiful best to unload the cargo and maybe lighten the load a wee bit. My father loved a pint when he was on his drinking spree, usually Christmas through January then teetotal after that. So overtime on the Guinness ship was truly a bonus.
Another great memory centered on the dockers dress code, the cap was a must the leather belt also, strong boots and two good hooks. But it is the one that was worn on a Sunday that sticks in my mind, Sunday best. Most of the dockers came from either Irish or even Welsh backgrounds and Sunday Mass was a big occasion for them all to meet later for a good old natter. The suit was pressed with razor sharp creases; the cap was like new, shirt with press stud collar and always a tie. You always thought your dad was the smartest even if all the uncles looked likewise and some even better, Uncle Joe.
When I was a little older my sister Sally and I would sometimes go to the clearing house to pick up dad's wages. Lines and lines of dockers all waiting for the paymasters to go into their little booths so they could be paid their meager pittance. Roll a smoke, maybe share one with your mate and just wait, the weekly ritual was never ending, or so it seemed. I suppose one of the biggest thrills was for my dad to ask me to take his 'long hook' and his' short hook' to the Blacksmiths on Vauxhall Road to have them reshaped and sharpened, that will be two pence son. Coming home down Burlington Street with the two hooks hanging from my trousers I dreamt that one day I would be a docker just like dad and all my uncles.
Today I am glad I never went down that road as the containerization killed what I remember so vividly.
Liverpool's warehouses, great and small, are the most powerful symbols of its maritime and commercial character. They are no longer seen as evidence of economic decline, these warehouses are now recognised as crucial assets of an historic landscape. This renewed appreciation of warehouses needs to be translated into positive conservation action if they are to remain as relevant to the future as they were to the past. By housing The Dockers Experience in one of the remaining Warehouses in the Vauxhall area the project would support the vision of organisations such as English Heritage to hand on these precious resources to future generations.
Almost all guided 'heritage' walks in Liverpool are concentrated in and around the city centre. These walks highlight buildings such as the Town Hall, George's Hall, Anglican Cathedral, Albert Dock, Royal Liver etc. They may also go to areas such as Rodney Street, Lime Street, Duke Street, Chapel Street and Mount Pleasant. Although these walks adequately provide visitors to Liverpool with an insight into the development of Liverpool from the 13th century they do not give such visitors a chance to fully understand the links that areas around Scotland Road had with the cities claim to have been at one time the second city of the mightiest empire the world has ever known.
The Tourism In Vauxhall Project aims to provide 'heritage bus tours' that will show how from the late 18th century much of Liverpool's fame arose from the world's awareness of Scotland Road and its surrounding districts. The Tourism In Vauxhall Project will make sure that the heritage, assets and facilities of the Scotland Road area, are continued to be made known worldwide.
In the 1800s Scotland Road was the main route that linked the then town of Liverpool with the north of England and beyond. Between 1846 and 1849 many Irish immigrants escaping the great famine were to settle in the Scotland Road area and with the growth of the port of Liverpool Scotland Road became 'world famous' as a vibrant road always bustling with activity, with its many shops, churches, lively public houses, Rotunda Theatre and 'Paddy's Market'. It was also globally recognised for its unique sense of community spirit and how residents stayed loyal to each other in even the harshest of times.
The 1920s saw changes made to poor housing conditions in the Scotland Road area and these were to continue up to the start of the Second World War when the area was to suffer severe damage from blitz bombing. But it was in the mid-1960s that the most damage was done to the world famous road when in conjunction with house demolition work also started on the second Mersey Tunnel. The neighbourhood changed almost beyond recognition and was to hasten in the closure and demolition of many of the road's world famous shops and public houses. Current and former residents regard the Scotland Road area with great affection and the mere mention of a street, shop, church or pub often evokes fond memories of times past. The Scottie Press website provides ample examples of the depth of regard for, and interest in, Scotland Road's history and heritage that people (many now living abroad) have. If you would like to support the aims and ideals of Tourism in Vauxhall Project please contact email@example.com
Liverpool is known throughout the world for the role it played in the development of a global trading network. Of all the building types in Liverpool it is perhaps the warehouses that are the most representative of the city's history for these structures handled the trade that brought Liverpool's prosperity. Once numbering hundreds, now much fewer remain. The surviving warehouses, large and small, are of great historical significance and can give great character to the areas of the city in which they are located.
The Vauxhall area of Liverpool is fortunate to still have fine examples of 19th and early 20th century warehouses in the Great Howard Street area and the greatest of these in terms of scale is the former Tobacco Warehouse (pictured above) built within the Stanley Dock in the years 1897 - 1901.
We also picture a number of empty and occupied warehouses located alongside, and within a few minutes walk of, the Tobacco Warehouse. We will be adding more photographs of warehouses in the Vauxhall area to this webpage.
The history of the Vauxhall area is part and parcel of the maritime and mercantile history of Liverpool. These trades required such a considerable number of warehouses that they once dominated the Vauxhall landscape and far exceeded those that now remain. Nevertheless it's vital that the remaining warehouses are appreciated for their past and potential future. By doing so the warehouses can offer up creative and sustainable opportunities to support Vauxhall's ongoing regeneration. This process can begin by first ensuring that current residents of Vauxhall along with those who own, and who work for, the businesses in the area are aware of the assets they have on their doorstep.
There already exists a partnership of organisations including English Heritage and Liverpool City Council who share a commitment to see warehouses play a dynamic role in the city's rebirth through regeneration. No doubt this partnership will gather strength in membership. It is of great importance that this partnership's membership includes the local business and residential community.
The Scottie Press will certainly voice the need for the local business and residential community involvement in the partnership's vision for the future of warehouses in Vauxhall.
If you would like to support our intentions and or offer up your thoughts and suggestions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
TOURISM IN VAUXHALL
Merseyside will maximise opportunities to attract extra visitors to the region during European Capital of Culture year 2008. The region’s designated Tourist Board which has responsibility for promoting tourism across Merseyside and the Liverpool Culture Company have committed themselves to a joint promotions strategy.
The Scottie Press recently met with Frank Tough to talk about Tourism in Vauxhall and to hear about his plans to make Camden 2 one of the biggest tourist attractions in the North West and beyond. Frank is creating a Camden Town like market at the Heritage Market, Stanley Dock, Liverpool. Frank says, for such a market to succeed it must be a market that sells eclectic and interesting merchandise not readily available elsewhere, especially the high street - and be on a site that is an attractive place to be. Stanley dock is an ideal site to establish such a market. It will become the hub of an exciting and fashionable area and will develop into a community within a community. Liverpool is ideally placed to catch a wide target area. Manchester, Newcastle, Birmingham, Leeds, Bolton and North Wales are all within striking distance. Liverpool already attracts a constant stream of tourists and this can only increase as we approach 2008 when Liverpool becomes the European Capital City of Culture.
Frank's plans for Camden 2 will be good news for Liverpool for when he took over The Stables in Camden (London) in 1991 it had just 30 traders and within four months there were almost 650. Frank has big plans for Camden 2 and wants everyone to know about them and be part of them. These plans have already seen a food court opened which provides housing for Chinese and Italian food along with coffee stalls and burger bars. There are also newly built stalls were new traders have extensive ranges of Retro Clothing. All these are added to stalls that are both eclectic and versatile and provide choices for buying furniture, paintings etc.
Every week a design team and consultants plan new areas and are applying ideas that will add to the markets aura. Time and thought are invested into how they can make the building attract a range of people who want to come and enjoy the experience of visiting the new Camden 2. Frank has plans to build, literally, a high street in the alley between the buildings, creating glass fronted stalls encased in chrome framing. This will prove to be in some respects the heart of the market.
Frank told the Scottie Press that he is passionate about the history and heritage of Liverpool and in particular the Vauxhall area wherein the Stanley Dock is situated. Frank was very much aware that Liverpool was once the second city of the mightiest Empire the world has ever seen. It is his belief that with ventures such as Camden 2, Liverpool will become a great city again.
The Scottie Press will certainly be following up the development of Camden 2 and will publish details on this website as part of the Tourism In Vauxhall Project. You can also visit www.heritagemarket.co.uk