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Posts tagged ‘preservation’

The First Ever Passenger Station gets a new use

Extract from the 1890 Ordnance Survey Map of Edge Hill, Liverpool

Wapping Cutting, from the 1890 OS Map of Liverpool

It’s good to see that one of the disused platforms at Edge Hill station has found a new function. Edge Hill has had two stations, and the earlier of these was the first passenger station in the world, along with Liverpool Street in Manchester.

The first of the two stations opened in 1830, and sat in a sandstone cutting with three tunnels at one end. The passenger terminal at Crown Street lay at the end of one of these tunnels, but was rarely used. At the other end of the station sat a stationary steam engine which was used to power the system which brought trains up the hill from Wapping Dock station.

The new Edge Hill station (and the one benefitting from the new ‘creative space’) opened in 1836, further north-east than the original. This was connected by a tunnel to the new Lime Street Station, which was built as a more central passenger terminus for Liverpool than the Crown Street one.

All that’s left on the ‘surface’ are the fascinating ruins of the Wapping cutting, and a small stretch of track which still sticks out into the green space between Overbury Street and Smithdown Lane. Below ground the new tunnel still takes passengers from the new Edge Hill Station to Lime Street. The tunnel and cutting now blaze an impressive streak across the inner city.

Liverpool places of worship receive £373,000 repair grants

Three listed buildings in Liverpool are amongst over 150 to receive money from English Heritage and the Heritage Lottery Fund’s Repair Grants for Places of Worship scheme.

The Church of All Hallows (£103,000), St Michael in the Hamlet (£199,000), plus the Princes Road Synagogue (£71,000) were all beneficiaries of the latest round of grants, which totalled £15.7 million this year. The money will be spent on repairs and restoration of the buildings, as well as anti-vandal measures where necessary.

Liverpool photo competition, and Local Development Framework

Liverpool Skyline by jimmmedia via Flickr

Liverpool skyline shows the new and the old bidding for space (by jimmedia via Flickr)

The Art in Liverpool blog has news that English Heritage and Liverpool City Council (as part of the Historic Environment of Liverpool Project) are running a competition to contribute to the Shanghai Expo 2010.

The theme of the competition is ‘Your Liverpool’, and you can enter by submitting a photo or about 100 words on the topic.

The 10 shortlisted entries will earn their creators a chance to work with digital designers to produce short pieces on ‘their city of Liverpool’. The pieces will then be shown in the Liverpool pavilion at the Expo later this year. Closing date is 22nd  February.

Future of Liverpool

On the City Council website today is news of a Local Development Framework (LDF) to guide the future development of the city. The plan has been released for a public consultation.

The most relevant of the seven main features for readers of this blog is “Protecting  important historic buildings”. As all Liverpool residents past and present will  know, the city has an amazing array of listed and other historic buildings, particularly in Dale Street, Castle Street and the Lime Street/William Brown Street area. It has also seen a great deal needlessly lost.

So get onto the Council site and have a look at the LDF documents, and have your say at one of the local events!

Florence Institute restoration, LOR film, and Liverpool art

The Liverpool Echo is reporting that work could begin as early as April on the restoration of the Florence Institute, which has received £3.7 million restoration money from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

£6.6m has already been raised by the Florence Institute Trust, but the new money will allow the construction of  “exhibition and performance space, activities for young people and the elderly, an indoor/outdoor sport area, childcare facilities, workspaces for local business and a Heritage Resource Centre”. An additional £1.7m may be granted by the North West Regional Development Agency.

The Echo also has a brief history of the Florrie, which began life as a boys’ club in 1890.

Overhead Railway video to be screened

Seaforth Sands Railway Station, from Wikmedia Commons

Seaforth Sands Railway Station, from Wikmedia Commons

Motor coach number 3 is the last surviving coach from the legendary Liverpool Overhead Railway. It was donated to National Museums Liverpool when the LOR closed in 1956.

On Friday 29 January from 1 – 4pm FACT will be screening footage of the LOR, showcasing research into the Lumière brothers’ film footage of the railway, and introduced by Dr Richard Koeck. According to the Art in Liverpool  blog:

Dr Koeck will share insights into his research and ongoing production of the film animations that will contextualise and reference the original Lumière archive footage with historical maps of the time, and retrace the precise route of the films.

The LOR and motor coach number 3 will become part of the Port City gallery in the new Museum of Liverpool, due to open in 2011.

Mad About Liverpool?

Of course you are, so head over to the gallery of that name which has opened in Clayton Square. More details on the Art in Liverpool site.

Creative Commons History

Finally, anyone out there know of a good source of Creative Commons historic images?

There’s some good stuff on Flickr Commons, especially from the Library of Congress in the US or the Powerhouse Museum in Sydney, but just wondered if there was  source of Liverpool pictures I could use to illustrate this blog and Historic Liverpool.

If you know of one, let me know in the comments!

How Merseyside’s Historic Landscape Helps During the Snow

Northwich Salt Factories (part 1), by DaveAdams via Flickr

Northwich Salt Factories (part 1), by DaveAdams via Flickr

The local landscape is playing a major part in snowy events on Merseyside this winter. Salt companies in Cheshire are finding a boom in trade as councils run low on supplies of grit for roads. British Salt Ltd in Middlewich is apprarently running 24/7 and still having trouble keeping up with demand.

Ineos in Runcorn is also helping out, with 12,000 tonnes of salt having already left their depot.

Salt has been an incredibly important industry in Cheshire since at least Roman times, and almost certainly prior to that. Middlewich, Nantwich, Northwich and Winsford are all historic salt mining locations. Middlewich was even called Salinae by the Romans, showing how important the location was for salt (salt was, in turn, of extreme importance during the Roman period. Salt could be used as currency, leading to the modern English word ‘salary’).

PS: Love that amazing HDR photo above, by DaveAdams!

Liverpool 100 years ago

The Echo are starting a new history series, looking at Liverpool 100 years ago. The first, introductory article talks about monarchs, strikes and riots, the Titanic and the Suffragettes.

The main photo in the article shows the Mersey in 1907. Of the major Pier Head/Strand buildings only the Port of Liverpool Building has been built, and it stands head and shoulders above everything else in the viscinity. What a change! This building now feels right in the centre of the commercial district, but at the beginning of the 20th Century this merely meant the docks and the Overhead Railway. The other two Graces, and Tower Building etc, are yet to be contructed, and yet to take their place as the centrepiece in Liverpool’s skyline.

Liscard Hall not to be rebuilt

Finally, news reaches us that Liscard Hall, which burned down in 2008, will not be rebuilt. The Hall was built by Sir John Tobin, one time mayor of Liverpool and successful trader. The grounds of what was once known as Moor Heys House became Central Park in 1891.

Plans now include landscaping of the gardens, and linking them more successfully with the nearby rose garden.

See the Geograph page for National Grid Reference SJ3191 site for a photo of the Hall and Central Park.

Conservation Areas – Conservation Bulletin

West Derby is one of nearly 40 Conservation Areas in Liverpool

West Derby is one of nearly 40 Conservation Areas in Liverpool. West Derby 2, by Mrs Magic via Flickr

Every month or so English Heritage releases a new issue of Conservation Bulletin (ConBull), and the latest issue is on Conservation Areas (available in PDF and Microsoft Word formats). Conservation Areas (CAs) were created with the aim of ‘preserving and enhancing’ the built character of a location, and it’s worth flicking through this ConBull for its relevance to areas of Liverpool.

The document is the collected work of experts in the field of conservation, though what is refreshing in recent English Heritage publications is the emphasis on a balance between preservation and development, which can often be in stark contrast to the most conservative Nimby opinion pieces (you know who you are!).

This issue thankfully takes into account the social and economic benefits of preserving historic urban and rural areas, which can only aid the argument for their protection. The whole publication aims to integrate CAs into a positive role as part of the planning process, partcicularly in struggling economies where CAs can easily be cast as an an obstruction to recovery.

What is revealed is that Conservation Areas, in the British sense, are unique in the world – other countries tend to include natural formations within the Conservation Areas definition (what we might in the UK call Sites of Special Scientific Interest, or perhaps Nature Reserves). Examples of this type can be found in China, Australia and Mexico, and this magazine visits all three areas for a comparative look.

Of major interest are the methods by which Conservation Areas are designated. Just as it is useful to know your chances of getting a local building listed, it pays to understand how the professionals judge the importance of CAs, and how the practice of dealing with threats to them works. This issue of ConBull is therefore useful if you live in and wish to help conservation efforts in a local CA.

As an interesting aside, it is reported in this issue that Sefton Park was valued by CABE at £105 million. I’m not sure what this price was based on, but it helps put the Park into context of the interest in economic value of CAs.

The most promising thing about this Conservation Bulletin, and a lesson for us all perhaps, is that it shows that English Heritage do not consider Conservation Areas to be ‘set and forget’ designations. They are part of the planning process, part of people’s living and working environments, and as such should be considered as evolving parts of the landscape, just like the cities in which they sit.

Do you live in one of Liverpool’s Conservation Areas? What are your attitudes to change? What’s distinctive about the place and what is under threat?

Conservation Areas were created in 1967 as part of the Civic Amenities Act. There are 9300 in England, nearly 40 if which are in Liverpool. The aim of CAs is to allow authorities to “determine which parts of their area are areas of special architectural or historic interest the character or appearance of which it is desirable to preserve or enhance” Planning (Listed Buildings and Conservation Areas) Act 1990 (c. 9) (c. 9)

English Heritage launch Heritage at Risk, including Liverpool areas

Seel Street Furniture, by Richard Carter (from Flickr)

Seel Street Furniture, by Richard Carter (from Flickr)

English Heritage launched its Heritage at Risk Register today, with wide coverage across the media. As I’ve mentioned before, Liverpool has nearly 40 Conservation Areas within its bounds, and it is these areas which come under most scrutiny in the media. The Seel Street Ropewalks in Liverpool and Birkenhead’s Hamilton Square make the list. Below are links to some of the articles on TV and in the papers:

The main thrust of EH’s report seems to be the problems of PVC windows and doors, unsightly satellite dishes and the loss of other original features of the suburbs. Though, of course, this is only the side deemed most relevant to the public, and there are many more pressing threats to the historic environment, such as dereliction, the declining economy, and uncontrolled development.

As you can see, the Daily Mail addresses the incredibly important issue of wheelie bins while others cherish their ‘tarnished jewels’. Closer to home the Wirral Globe mentions Hamilton Square. The ‘chairman’ of the Liverpool Preservation ‘Trust’ has another rant.

What are your views on the risks to your own historic environment?

Conservation Areas at risk in Liverpool

English Heritage, as part of their Heritage at Risk campaign, recently launched Conservation Areas at Risk. This will begin with a census of all the conservation areas in the country, of which Liverpool has 34. EH are often under fire for their inaction (or indeed action) on initiatives such as this, so it will be an interesting one to watch.

English Heritage also wants your help with this, so if you live in a Conservation Area and feel there’s an issue with the “wrong type of development” (as EH chief Simon Thurley puts it) then go to www.english-heritage.org.uk/conservationareas.