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Posts tagged ‘railway’

Book Review – Candles, Carts & Carbolic: A Liverpool childhood between the wars

Is this the best Liverpool memoir? It’s certainly different to all the rest.

There are plenty of memoirs and autobiographies written by people who lived through some of Liverpool’s darkest days (or, at least, they lived in Liverpool’s darkest areas – not many memoirs by the Victorian gentry). Some are semi-fictionalised, like Her Benny, and Helen Forrester’s Twopence to Cross the Mersey, while others form the basis of photo books, like Scotland Road: the old neighbourhood, by Terry Cooke. Still more are dotted around the Web, shared on Facebook and passed around. Read more

Here’s 5 views of Google’s 3D Liverpool you might not have seen

It’s been all over the news lately: Liverpool is one of the first British cities to be rendered in three full dimensions on Google Earth. There was, as a crazy extra, a rumour going around that it was in preparation for a new Google office which was opening in the city.

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Bootle: seaside village

Today’s map is taken from a detailed one that I picked up recently, from the Illustrated Globe Encyclopedia printed in 1878.

The point of interest I’m drawing your attention to is Bootle. In 1878, and also visible on the First Edition Ordnance Survey map of the area, the village of Bootle sits alone to the north of Liverpool. The docks to the west have stretched this far north, but Bootle’s strong links with the port were still a little way in the future. Read more

Liverpool Heroes 4: Jesse Hartley

Continuing our look at the men and women who have had the greatest impact on the Liverpool landscape, this time we examine the work of Jesse Hartley, dock engineer.

Jesse Hartley (1780-1860) is best known as the architect of the Albert Dock. But this was just one of his achievements as Civil Engineer and Superintendent of the Concerns of the Dock Estate in Liverpool from 1824 to 1860, and his career was one which changed the face of Liverpool. It’s a landscape we can still see today, and his buildings continue to affect how we move through and how we deal with the built environment of the city.

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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.

A quick news roundup of Liverpool history

Sugar Silo & Conveyor, Huskisson Dock, Liverpool

Sugar Silo & Conveyor, Huskisson Dock, Liverpool, by David Barrie via Flickr

Hello! It looks like my hopes for getting the second historic maps article to you this week have come to nought. It’s amazing how much time arranging a wedding soaks up!

So, before I head off on honeymoon, as I can’t bring you the usual detail of stories, I’ll resort to the bulleted list:

  • The BBC have shown archive footage of the 1960 fire in Henderson’s department store. A link to the Inside Out programme which showed the footage is available from the BBC Liverpool article on the fire.
  • One of the earliest railway tunnels – Bourne tunnel in Rainhill – has been listed at Grade II. Buildings are listed if they are of nationally significant architectural value.

Well, I hope that can tide you over until mid-April, when I return. I promise much more exciting articles in the weeks and months to come, on all aspects of the history of the city of Liverpool. Until then: au revoir.

Historic Liverpool on the Web

As things seem to be quiet on the ‘historic Liverpool’ front (that’s historic with a small ‘h’ – not my website!) I think it’s a good time to put down a few quick notes about where Historic Liverpool (the website!) and my interest in history on the web should be leading me in the next few weeks and months.

For those of you eager to see what additions will be made to the main site, I can tell you that I’m currently researching West Derby township. This includes the former villages of Tue Brook, West Derby, Knotty Ash and Broad Green, and will hopefully be online soon. Anyway, until then…

Every month new historical and archaeological resources go online (for example the Liverpool Wiki), and the ones that have been online for a while are constantly adding to their databases (see the Archaeology Data Service). Though the Council for British Archaeology’s website (recently relaunched) was a pioneer in making use of the web for archaeology, the historical and archaeological disciplines are only gradually making full use of the web, in particular “Web 2.0“, the interactive web. This new, user-generated form of the Internet is a big opportunity for history and archaeology, building on the participation seen in many amateur excavations in Britain for decades, and the discussion forums taking in Liverpool history amongst other city issues all over the Net.

It’s part of my job to know about what makes an attractive, usable, interesting heritage website, and I’d like to pass on what knowledge I can to help promote new archaeological and historical Web 2.0 sites. My own site, Historic Liverpool, shows my own modest efforts (more archaeology than Web 2.0!) but so much more sophisitcation is possible in this developing era that I really want to do what I can to help. With this in mind, I will shortly be launching a new website (to be named – watch this space!) dealing with [edit:] expanding this blog to include the wider developments in heritage on the web. There’ll also be a blog there, where I will put my thoughts down on the subject, along with longer articles on avoiding some of the pitfalls of building a complex or data-rich website aimed at the general public and interested amateur. After all, this is the advantage of the Internet, and the sharing of data and knowledge – anyone can become involved! Edit: for now I have little time to dedicate to a new website, so I’ll be mentioning interesting web initiatives on this blog until someone invents the 34 hour day and I have time to write two blogs!

Finally, while researching West Derby I read the relevant chapter in J.A. Picton’s Memorials of Liverpool, vol II, Topographical (1875). In it he details all the roads from Low Hill eastwards, and takes in Kensington, and Newsham Park. He rues the state of Wavertree Road:

Picton Road as seen by the Google StreetView car

Picton Road as seen by the Google StreetView car

“at present a somewhat unsightly entrance into Liverpool … flanked with shops and dwellings of an inferior class. Down to 1830 this road was a beautiful avenue lined with tall trees on each side, whose umbrageous foliage meeting overhead, imparted a grand and solemn character to the vista. The construction of the railway crossing the road … and the subsequent construction of the bridge … made the first inroad”

This fairly judgementmental description of the area is typical of this wonderful book, but the modern mapreader must note that whereas in 1875 Wavertree Road stretched all the way to Wavertree (of course), these days the length from Picton’s bedevilled railway bridge to the clock tower is of course… Picton Road.