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Posts tagged ‘National Museums Liverpool’

New mapping websites for Liverpool history and beyond

Photo showing flats on Scotland Road, Liverpool, soon to be demolished

View from across Scotland Road, by SomeDriftwood via Flickr

If you follow me on Twitter you’ll already know that I’m currently writing the Croxteth Park page for Historic Liverpool. So while the blog might be a tad quiet at times, I want to share today a couple of websites: one of interest to Liverpool local history and family historians, and another which has a global scope but which may well build into a resource for the Liverpool-focused.

There’s also a map-related news story for you.

Lost Tribes of Everton and Scotland Road

The new book by Ken Rogers, The Lost Tribe of Everton & Scottie Road, covers the period when the masses of terraced housing in the northern inner suburbs of Liverpool were demolished. The communities in the area were scattered to places like Speke, Kirkby and Skelmersdale, and the houses replaced with Everton Park and the entrance to the Kingsway Tunnel.

Ken went through the electoral role for 1960 to find all the people who lived in the now-gone communities, and collected memories and stories for his book.

The amazing thing about the companion website (and a brilliant example of how to use the Internet to accompany a traditional book) is that you can actually search for the people in the ‘lost tribe’ by family surname or the name of the street they lived in. One thing to note, however: make sure you click on the Search tab to be taken to the search page first. I found that the home page search didn’t work for me.

This site is a great resource for family history as well as people who want to reconnect with those they used to live near. There’s an active discussion going on at the site, so do pop along and report back if you rekindle any long-lost friendships!

A lot of the stories are also of course collected in the book itself. And best of all the website has a string of old maps and photos of the area. Might come in useful when I come to be updating the history of Everton page next.


I found this site via Seb Chan, who’s known in the Museum world for his work bringing archives and exhibits to the wider public through the Internet.

SepiaTown is a site which maps photos, video and audio clips. It wants users (including museums and similar organisations) to upload their old photo collections for the entire world to gain the benefit.

It’s best collections are in places like London, New York and, partly due to the work of Seb Chan and colleagues, Sydney. However, there’s a couple of photos around – though not in – Liverpool (just type it into the search box, then zoom out) and if anyone has any more images they’d like to share, this number will increase.

I have a handful of old postcards which I keep meaning to scan in, so perhaps I can lend a hand.

Memories of Park Lane

And if you’re feeling a bit left out with talk of the northern suburbs, National Museums Liverpool could have the answer for you. They are looking to hear from  people with memories of living near the southern and central docklands from the 1950s to 1970s.

The Mapping Memory project team ran a workshop at Doreen’s Cafe last month, focussing on Park Lane. They recreated the landmarks (pubs and shops etc) on a map as part of the project. The project page on the Maritime Museum website gives more detail. More for you to contribute to!

Further Reading

Ken Rogers’ book The Lost Tribe of Everton & Scottie Road is available now through Amazon. If I’ve whetted your appetite for exploring the area and you’d like to support this blog, please click on the book cover to buy it through my Amazon affiliate link.

Liverpool Culture Director has high hopes for 2010, and history under threat and online

Claire McColgan, Liverpool Council’s culture director, has spoken to the Echo about her hopes for 2010, and how Liverpool should build on the successes of ’08. She mentions the new Central Library, which should open in the next year or so, and the forthcoming Museum of Liverpool, which is very close to completion. It’s great that so many things came out of ’08 (as McColgan points out) but let’s hope Liverpool can see beyond its recent successes and truly stand on its own merits, of which there are plenty.

Frenson’s Buildings at Risk

The Whitehouse Pub, complete with Banksy artwork, by Vinnn via Flickr

The Whitehouse Pub, complete with Banksy artwork, by Vinnn via Flickr

UPDATE (5th February): the Whitehouse pub is now up for auction, and is expected to fetch between £70 and £80,000.

UPDATE: Frenson now have two months to sort these buildings out for compulsory purchase happens.

Frenson Ltd, developers, may soon be served with a repairs order for two historic buildings they own in Liverpool, as the Echo reports. Both the Watchmaker’s building, in Seel Street, and the legendary Whitehouse pub, in Berry Street are gradually falling apart, and the city council have promised to compulsorily purchase the buildings, or force the owners to repair them, unless action is taken soon.

The Watchmaker’s building is just part of Liverpool’s great horological history, with makers such as Thomas Russell still greatly admired for their craftsmanship. There is even a watch museum in Prescot, where Russell was based.

Finally, as the snow closes in on Merseyside, don’t let your appetite for museum stuff fade! On the National Museums Liverpool website you can now explore their Winter Online Exhibition, with bits and bobs from all corners of the museum group on view. There are stuffed animals, painted snow scenes and Inuit cultural objects to look through, each with its own description.

I don’t know about you, but my favourite’s got to be the little Inuit polar bear carvings!

Christmas is on its way!

Sorry if that worries you as much as it does me, but to cheer yourself up have a look at National Museums Liverpool’s advent calendar! Apparently it looks like the one they did last year, but as I missed that one, it looks great to me!

Each day reveals a new phase in the exciting adventures of… well, you’ll have to look for yourself.

Secret Life of Smithdown Road

National Museums Liverpool are putting on an exhibition at the Oomoo cafe on Smithdown Road, showcasing the way in which the road has changed over the years, reports Art in Liverpool. The exhibition, which runs throughout September, will consist of photographs and stories – the memories of old and young who live and have lived in the area – to build a picture of Smithdown Road over time.

This is precisely the thing I’m trying to do with Historic Liverpool, and it just goes to show that there is an audience out there for this kind of history, this landscape archaeology of a single road! It’s incredibly important when writing about history in such a public arena that you connect with what the audience wants, and not what you want to tell them (unless you’re confident you have a new and interesting angle, of course!). That this exhibition actively involves the local residents is excellent; they are the main audience after all. It’s a shame I don’t think I’ll be able to make it, but hopefully I can learn something from this. I know my own site is quite one-sided at the moment (I’m trying the interesting angle, which hopefully isn’t covered by other similar sites), so in future I will try to add stuff more directly related to the people of Liverpool. After all, the aim of the site is to give you insight into the history of your area, help you explore and encourage you to get out there and see the place in a new light.

I’m still finalising the comments arrangements, but soon you’ll be able to hold forth on pretty much any page, so please do!

Historical notes: Smithdown, once known as Esmedune, was a manor mentioned in the Domesday Book, and was part of the royal forest of Toxteth, used for hunting.