Time to take a short break from Lost Liverpool to look at Liverpool’s darker past. The above two photographs are from a set of lantern slides I purchased from Frank Lenhan (whose own photographs I published in My Liverpool). Frank explained that he had inherited them from his father, who was a friend of the photographer N. Stephen, and that they had been used in Band of Hope temperance meetings to highlight the evils of drink. Frank remembered helping his father project the slides at meetings in the 1930s when he was a young boy.
By coincidence, I was recently researching the educational uses of lantern slides and came across a reference to the Church of England Temperance Society. Apparently the Society had commissioned hundreds of photographs (to be turned into lantern slides) of children in the streets with bottles/jars of alcohol – all taken in Liverpool. I have started looking into whether these slides are archived anywhere – but to no avail so far. Perhaps these photographs taken by Stephen around Scotland Road c1895 (I have about 20) were part of that collection – or does anyone have any further information that can help ‘rediscover’ these important images of Liverpool’s social history?

Scenes from Liverpool Life 1895

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