Liverpool’s churches come in all shapes and sizes and most of them found their way into David Lewis’s Churches of Liverpool.
Some missed the cut and the Sailors’ Church in Wellington Road was one of them. I spent a good hour trying to locate the tin church and fortunately found another photographic reference. There was another church in Wellington Road, a Free Methodist chapel at which Silas Hocking, the author of Her Benny was an early minister. The Sailors’ Church is of a different order to that once fine Italianate building and presumably drew its congregation from the ships docking in the South Docks.
Liverpool had a long tradition of sailors’ chapels and churches, using no longer seaworthy ships as well as buildings like the one above. It is not a pretty building but the photographer, Pat Weekes, has captured it for posterity (and for future inclusion in the revised Churches of Liverpool.
Here are the final two photographs from the small collection of Dingle negatives I have been posting over the last week. Unfortunately, the photographer has left no details as to the location of either image – or about the event the children are dressed up for. Perhaps it is a Whit Walk – the outfits suggest the weather is warm enough for them to go out without coats. It is clearly a special enough event, since the photographer used a half-plate negative (for the other images, it was a quarter plate).
The three cyclists are clearly proud of their bikes and are typically over-dressed for an outing. I am not really well informed about bike technology – but when were brakes introduced? The bicycle was voted number one invention of the Millennium by a nationwide poll – beating photography, the computer and railways amongst many other options. A questionable result, perhaps, but the bike did have a profound effect on the nation’s gene pool, allowing people (particularly men) to travel far outside their normal area to find partners. Maybe not so important in cities like Liverpool but certainly a big factor in rural areas.
Two more photographs from the photographer of Beresford Street and Park Hill Road. The top image is of Wilson Street, which ran parallel to Park Road and between Park Hill Road and South Hill Road. I think we are looking at the grocery shop of Mrs Mary Slade, on the corner of Drysdale Road, as it is the only shop listed on the street.
The second photograph is more of a puzzle. The only E. Welch (the name of the shop-keeper in the photograph) listed in the 1893 Gore’s Directory, is Ellen Welch of 201 Upper Frederick Street – just outside of the Dingle area.
However, no shop is indicated – which seems to suggest a different location. The property is much older than the Dingle properties I have posted, which suggests it is nearer to the town centre, however, so perhaps someone can pinpoint the location more accurately.
This shot of Park Hill Road is by the same amateur photographer who took the photograph of Beresford Road posted last week. The focus of the image appears to be the shop of Ann Young, confectioner and wholesaler of crumpets and muffins, at 64 Park Hill Road, with a young, delivery boy in the doorway. The street looks prosperous and ordered, clearly a respectable neighbourhood. I cannot work out the intentions of the photographer. I will post more of his/her photographs in the next few days and, hopefully, some connection will become obvious to a more sharp-witted reader. The only link appears to be shops – but that is rather a weak guess.
Whatever the reason, it is great to have ‘ordinary’ streets of areas such as the Dingle captured for posterity. The prevailing opinion that such districts were all poverty-stricken is clearly not the case. These are streets outside of the inner-ring of courts and tenements and my 1910 Gore’s Directory lists the next-door neighbours as John Rathbone, police constable (number 66) and Park Hill Higher Grade School (44-62). Other occupations on the street include joiners, a printer, pawnbroker, engine driver, teacher of music and coppersmith – a real solid mix of working-class trades.
Old photographs of the South End are, strangely, less common than those of Everton/Kirkdale and the North End in general. In fact, in some kind of perverse reversal, the better off the area – the fewer old photographs, particularly of street life. With camera ownership being very much restricted to the better-off (in the 1890s), I would have expected most photographers would have been keener on recording their own areas – although a regular category in amateur photographic society competitions was for street characters/scenes. (Charles Frederick Inston was an early and skillful proponent – although this is not one of his images).
The street scene is of Beresford Road as it crosses Bessemer Street. The church on the corner is St Cleopas, with St Cleopas School next to it. Judging by the number of children in the street, school is out. The photograph shows a well-ordered neighbourhood with the children generally smartly dressed – although there are two bare-footed boys just behind the two girls in the foreground. Although the image lacks sharpness, the shop on the corner is owned by William Needs, greengrocer.