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Posts tagged ‘historic liverpool’

Liverpool Underground: tunnels, digs and docks

Today we’re stepping way back into Liverpool’s history, and also seeing how it can tell us something about the city of today. Read more

New developments at Historic Liverpool

In advance of the exciting developments in a couple of weeks’ time (more information anon!) I’ve been polishing the Historic Liverpool website, which has become a little neglected of late.

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Another new Historic Liverpool

I’ve been very excited about this for a little while, and though it may be just me who thinks this is cool, I’m pleased to announce the launch of the all-new, polished-and-improved, shiny-swishy Historic Liverpool!

And that’s why I’ve been neglecting this blog for several weeks now. Read more

Historic Liverpool 2010: A year in review

Photograph of Liverpool waterfront, including new museum under construction

Liverpool Waterfront, by Ade Bond via Flickr

It’s the end of 2010. It’s been an… interesting year politically – a coalition government for the first time in my lifetime; frequent use of the word ‘swingeing’ in many and varied ways; the Conservation Centre is shutting its doors to the public; and snow is keeping you indoors reading this.

But what else has happened this year? Anything to warm our annual nostalgia cockles?

2010 started on an optimistic note – it was the World Museum’s 250th anniversary, though this was somewhat overshadowed with the closure of the Conservation Centre.

February saw start of the excellent Streets of Liverpool blog. Later in February the keys were handed over for the new Museum of Liverpool, although controversy rose its ugly head later in the year when a historic view was shown to have been blocked.

March and April went by in a blur (oh yes, probably because I got married) and when things recovered the election was fast approaching. At the same time Lewis’s was heading for closure as everyone felt the pinch of recession.

In July the first object – a carriage from the Overhead Railway – moved into the museum, but at the same time the North West Development Agency closed its doors. Another funding source for culture had disappeared.

The Peel Waters project cropped up again and again in 2010. English Heritage expressed concerns about the effect of the new buildings on the World Heritage Site, while in later months Council Leader Joe Anderson reacted angrily to what he saw as EH’s interference with Liverpool’s development and future prospects.  Meanwhile we were spoiled for heritage and arts projects, including: Edge Hill station being turned into an arts venue, Heritage Open Days bringing people into Liverpool’s historic water supply, the funding of conservation for 95,000 aerial photographs of England as well as Visible in Stone – women’­s history and the built environment and in October Black History Month. Finally, Historic Liverpool underwent a bit of a redesign, although it’s far from a finished project. Here’s to another year of additions to that!

Phew! Liverpool and its heritage have had their ups and downs this year. We’ve celebrated the old, welcomed in the new (mostly) and commemorated the highs and lows of Liverpool’s past and imminent future.

Any predictions for the coming 12 months? Or is that an impossible task? And as for 2011, what kind of posts would you like to see here? More about researching Liverpool local history? Should I keep to the news and concentrate the history on Historic Liverpool? Or something completely different?

History of Croxteth Park now online

Quite a short one for you today. I’ve just completed the Historic Liverpool page on the history of Croxteth Park.

The township of Croxteth Park naturally includes most of the park itself, but funnily enough not Croxteth Hall itself. This is still a very wooded area today, and originally was part of the vast hunting forest which stretched from Toxteth to Simonswood. This meant that the area didn’t get built on for hundreds of years, and only really saw development in the 1980s when the estates of Coachman’s Drive and Fir Tree Avenue appeared.

Before then the nearest development was in Gillmoss, which grew from a tiny collection of cottages and farm buildings into a classic example of post-war large scale development.

Even now, Croxteth Park sits on the edge of Liverpool, and remains a ‘green lung’ for anyone in the city to enjoy.

New Appearance for Historic Liverpool

Screenshot of Historic Liverpool with a new Drupal theme

Historic Liverpool with its new Drupal theme

Just thought I’d write a short note to let you know that the appearance of Historic Liverpool has changed!

I’ve changed the colour scheme – the Drupal Theme for those web developers out there – because there were some issues with the last one. I’ve still got to do a bit of tweaking to make sure my particular content fits the new clothes. It’s mostly the same, however, so all the menus and text haven’t changed.

I’d like to know what you think. It feels a bit more professional than the last one, and I really like the way it looks, but the most important opinions are those of the people who use it, so do let me know what you think.

Historic Liverpool Revival – your assistance please!

The Ordnance Survey map from 1851 showing Bootle village before it was absorbed into Liverpool

Bootle village in 1851, from the Ordnance Survey 1st Edition

I’ve put the finishing touches to the History of Bootle page today (minus a couple of tweaks here and there). I’m planning on concentrating more on Historic Liverpool over the coming weeks, after being more involved in other projects over the past weeks.

So, if you know anything about Bootle, or there are other pages you want to see on the Historic Liverpool site, drop me a line or fill in the comments form!

Historic Liverpool is all about the historic landscape of Liverpool, rather than the history. So while there are thousands of merry men and women who’ve appeared in the annals of the city over the years, I’ll be concentrating on the built environment – how the city has changed over the years. So I’ll be most interested in comments about buildings – farms, offices, libraries, churches – and landscape features – lakes, ponds, forests, streams, dams – and things like roads and railways. If, of course, you know of great people who’ve shaped the city and its suburbs, and who deserve a place on the site, please do mention them in the comments – I won’t delete anything unless it’s spam!

Bootle’s one of the areas that’s changed the most – from a tiny village (albeit with its own waterworks) through being a seaside resort(!) to an industrial landscape and the modern area of Liverpool it is today.

I’ll be moving on to Childwall next, so if there’s something you’ve been dying to tell about that part of south Liverpool drop me an email or comment. Or if there’s some other part of Liverpool’s history you’d be more interested in finding out about, give me a shout and I’ll do that instead.

I look forward to hearing from you! (Don’t all shout at once…)

Happy New Year!

Hope you all had a great holiday and are raring to go! 😉

2009 was a great year, and this blog really got going – thanks to all my readers, over 1000 of you in November! I hope to make 2010 even better, and try to develop the blog in some way to make it more interesting. I’ll be writing more posts on Liverpool’s history and landscape, as well as commenting on the news like I’ve been doing so far. Remember, though, that all the interesting headlines are shown on the right. If you’re an avid Twitterer, then you can also follow every update at @histliverpool. I’ll be posting news items, links to new blog posts, and any progress with Historic Liverpool (I promise I haven’t forgotten that in all the blog excitement!).

It’s World Museum Liverpool’s 250th anniversary this year, so even more reason to celebrate – why not visit it again to stretch your leg and brain muscles after Christmas?

Also, the Stephen Shakeshaft exhibition ‘Liverpool People‘ is on until 24th January. I visited over Christmas and really enjoyed it! What some Scousers had to endure over the twentieth century is unbelievable, and to keep a sensa yuma throughout just about sums up Merseyside’s attitude to life!

If there’s anything you’d like to see on this blog, do let me know, but otherwise just keep reading and commenting!


Heritage at Risk in Historic Liverpool

Home page screenshot as built in Drupal

Home page screenshot as built in Drupal

Yes, that’s a headline and almost a pun at the same time, for of course the ‘Historic Liverpool’ in the title is your favourite map-based exploration of Merseyside’s history, Historic Liverpool. I have spent rather a lot of hours over the last week moving the entire site from lovingly hand-crafted HTML to Drupal, an open source (Free) content management system (CMS). This wonderful technology means I can spend less time on moving bits of the site round, while having to copy all changes from one page to another, and simply let Drupal do all the work. For anyone who’s used a blog this will be familiar territory. You simply type what you want into the CMS, and the pre-set design will take care of all the menus, sidebars etc. on all the pages. On a technical note, unfortunately MapServer, which I use to create the maps, doesn’t play well  with Drupal (unless I upgrade my hosting package), so the mapping pages are done the old fashioned way – by hand. There are a few more stylistic tweaks to make (the article text is a bit small at the moment) but the site should be easier to maintain from now on.

Which brings me to my main point, which is that I now have more time to add stuff to the maps, and I’ve started with the Buildings at Risk in Liverpool, which can now be found on the Liverpool Explorer map (have a play around with the other layers while you’re over there). Clicking on one of the diamonds when takes you to a summary of the state of these buildings, from where you can click through to the main English Heritage website for more details and a photo. When I get a chance to, I hope to be adding my own photos to the site, as the ones on are a bit small.

I hope you enjoy this first of many new layers (hoping to add other ‘At Risk’ sites soon), so please do send feedback!

See also:

Save Britain’s Heritage: I’ve read this organisation’s book Triumph, Disaster and Decay: the Save survey of Liverpool’s Heritage (2009). It was mostly decay, with the odd disaster here and there, and quite sobering story of the buildings lost on Merseyside since the Blitz. In the end it was a big inspiration to include the Buildings at Risk on this site, so try to find a copy if you can.

Site Redesign, and Archaeological Illustration

Just a quick word to let you know that Historic Liverpool is undergoing a complete cosmetic redesign, as the home page was getting a bit bogged down, and also I visited the  final show for the Oxford Brookes/Swindon College MA in Archaeological Reconstruction, and was somewhat inspired (and unbelievably impressed!) by their work. I’ve not quite finished yet, but the new style will slowly percolate throughout the site in the coming days.

The timeline now occupies the right hand side of the homepage, with the two main interactive maps on the left. Hopefully this is a much cleaner design, and much easier to navigate. Let me know what you think!

A quick thank you to Jennie Anderson, who invited us to the show. Jennie’s website is, as you might expect from a web-leaning archaeological illustrator, a great example of attractive typography and layout, and full of fascinating archaeology too! Jennie’s MA has concentrated on interactive, Flash-based reconstruction, for such uses as visitor centres or even downloadable to your phone, to use while visiting the site. I’ll post a link here when I get one.