Tagged: Lime Street

I have to be a bit careful about cinema locations after my post about the Gaumont, but this is a queue for the Futurist on Lime Street in the early 1950s. The main point of interest is the man with his godly message. I remember him as late as the 1980s in Church Street, still pushing the same proclamation. He seemed remarkably good-natured, although I suppose after 30 years he had survived every insult and witticism anyone could throw at him.

There is a long tradition of photographing street characters. John Thompson had started the genre in 1870s London and it was then developed by many other photographers, particularly after hand-held cameras became widely used in the 1890s. Amateur photographic societies often included a category for street photography in their annual competitions and Liverpool had, in Charles Inston, one of the greatest exponents. Today’s streets perhaps lack the variety – back in the 1950s there were escapologists, strong men having paving slabs shattered with sledge-hammers on their chests as well as the singers, violinists and whistle players – but is still plenty of life to be captured and kept for a future generation.

Two photographs – a before and after. The first was taken in about 1964 and shows a lively St George’s Place with the famous Guinness Clock. The architecture may not be first-rate but the setting has lived long in the memory of many I have talked to. This is where many had their first Chinese meal (at the Empress on the far right of the block). The two hotels – the Washington and Imperial – were landmarks which brightened up the entrance to Lime Street station.
The second photograph, taken about a year later, captures the last moments of a much-loved corner as the building of the new St John’s Market gets underway. It is interesting to see the old Lime Street station approach before its demolition to make way for the recently demolished tower block and shopping arcade. At least there is some ground for optimism – the new station entrance gives, at last, an appropriate setting for St George’s Hall and William Brown Street.