Crosbie Heights, Everton, 1975
Haigh Street, Everton, 1975
Two more superb images from Paul Trevor’s book (and forthcoming exhibition at The Walker), Like You’ve Never Been Away. The photographs were taken for a project/book Survival Programmes in Britain’s Inner Cities – a compelling portrait of child poverty and deprivation. I have posted a number of images of poverty in Liverpool in the 1890s, 1930s and 1960s and these images, taken in the mid-1970s are a shocking indictment of how little progress has been made to eradicate the inequalities in our society. How could we have instigated a housing policy that condemned young children to such bleak playgrounds in the sky, or an education system that supported such grim establishments as that on Haigh Street?
Paul’s book is now in the shops and is a remarkable record of inner city childhood in Liverpool. Buy the book and catch the exhibition (from May 14th) at The Walker.
At anyone time, there is a group of dedicated photographers documenting the changing face of Liverpool. I have published the work of a number, including Charles Inston, Bernard Fallon, Frank Lenhan and Harry Ainscough. Their collective body of work is a constant inspiration to me in developing my book range and, of course, this blog. I am always reminded of the power of such photographs through the responses I get on a daily basis. They are our connection with the past – a link to what was once familiar.
Peter Leeson, today’s photographer, belongs to that noble band who had the prescience to record what was disappearing in yet another blitz on the inner city communities – in this case for the Wallasey tunnel. I published many of his haunting photographs in Goodbye Scottie Road in 2008, a book that documented the destruction of a once-vibrant community ripped apart by a largely uncaring bureaucracy. This photograph, of St Timothy’s Church Hall on Rokeby Street dwarfed by the John F. Kennedy tower block (I think) is indicative of official thinking at the time. Tear down whole areas in which communities were settled and happy, break up neighbourhoods and rehouse everyone in their idea of the future. A shocking history, well captured here.
Liverpool has made an invaluable contribution to the cause of dentistry through two of its great industries: tobacco and confectionary. They both have a long history, although little remains of either. Liverpool as a major importer of sugar was well placed to benefit from the spin-offs and, in the late eighteenth century, an Everton woman, Molly Bushell, decided to increase her income by using recipes from her local doctor to make toffee.
The business boomed and others started up in competition, including Mary Cooper in 1810. Trading from a cottage in Browside, her Everton toffee achieved national fame. In a local rhyme of the time:
Everton Toffee! Ever dear to lass and lad:
More certain cure than balm of Gilead.
Come friends, come buy – your pennies give.
While you keep sucking you’ll be sure to live!
Balm of Gilead referred to ‘cures’ of snake-oil salesman, Dr Solomon of Liverpool, who made a fortune out of his patent medicines. At least toffees gave a burst of welcome glucose!
The memory of this small local industry lives on in the nickname of Everton Football Club. I am not sure when the cottages on Browside disappeared although I have seen a late nineteenth century photograph of them in disrepair. The photograph above was probably taken in the 1880s. The style of cottage was very much the original vernacular Lancashire style, that was gradually replaced by Georgian and, later, Victorian terraces.
This photograph of Havelock Street was photographed by Karl Hughes to be used as an illustration in
Liverpool author, Frank Shaw’s book ‘My Liverpool’, published in 1971.
What is immediately apparent is the traffic-free street, giving the children the freedom to play outside. With no open space nearby and other amenities very limited, the street became a focal point for the community in a way that no longer exists.