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16 August 2009

Newsletter       No 63 :  16 August  2009 

▀ Heritage Open Days
These take place this year 10-13 September. This is a not-to-be-missed opportunity to see some of the architectural glories with which our region is so well endowed. English Heritage is managing the project nationally this year. At the time of writing, we do not have full details of what is open although much is already posted on the English Heritage website. No doubt more information will soon be available on the web, at 08 Place in Whitechapel and from local libraries throughout Merseyside. Here are three events we know of.

St Francis Xavier Church
Between Friday 11th and Sunday 20th September, SFX, which is just off Shaw Street in Everton, will be open daily from 9am to 4pm. Refreshments available. Each day there will be a guided tour of the church at 2pm.  As 2009 is the 500th anniversary of Henry VIII's coronation, the Church will be exhibiting a copy of his 'Defence of the Seven Sacraments', along with St Thomas More's cross and St John Fisher's signet ring - on loan from Stonyhurst College. Along with these beautiful objects will be displayed some of the important collection of church plate and vestments.

Liverpool Town Hall
Liverpool Town Hall Open Days are from Monday 17 August to Sunday 23 August. Free.

++ Building open: 10.00 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. (but closing at 2 p.m. on Friday 21 August).

++ Café open: 10.30 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. (but closing at 1 p.m. on Friday 21 August).

++ Tours: Monday to Friday only, 10.30am to 11.30am.

++ Council Chamber Talks:  Monday to Friday only. 12.00 noon to 1.00pm.

No charge. Places for tours and talks limited. Bookings: 0151 225 5530.
Other info: 0151 236 5181. Email:

The Bluecoat (School Lane, Liverpool, L1 3BX)
 The Bluecoat,  the oldest building in Liverpool City Centre, has free tours every day in August from 12.00 to 4 p.m. lasting 30 minutes. Then every Saturday and Sunday in September.  See:  Tel: 0151 702 7761. Just come – but groups please book.
▀ Liverpool Working Class Music Festival
This is a festival of radical song which takes place every September at the Picket Music Venue Liverpool. The festival was established in 2008 Liverpool's year as the European Capital of Culture. The aim of the Festival organisers is to promote songs of struggle, protest and social justice, as well as songs that tell the story of working people.
The 2009 Festival will take place from Sunday 13th September to Wednesday 16th September inclusive. It will run in tandem with the TUC Conference, also taking place in Liverpool at the same time at the BT Convention Centre, Liverpool Echo Arena on the waterfront.

Sunday 13th September at 7pm- supported by War on Want.             Tickets £10.
Leon Rosselson
Leon is celebrating 50 years as Britain's foremost mischief maker.  An outstanding and prolific songwriter who has spent half a century "artfully stirring things up".

Roy Bailey
Tony Benn describes Roy as "the finest socialist singer of his generation." A tremendous live performer with charm and passion in abundance.

Frankie Armstrong
Frankie is an incredible story teller. She has a remarkable pedigree within the folk world having worked with figures such as Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger.

David Ferrard
Young Scottish-American songwriter David is a rising star of the political folk world. His voice has been compared to James Taylor and his lyrics to Woody Guthrie.
Monday 14th September, 7pm                            Tickets £12.50. With Love Music Hate Racism and Unite Against Fascism.
Legend Live
A two hour full stageshow dedicated to the music of Bob Marley. Delivered by the 8 piece band Legend Live - Europe's very best Marley act. So faithful to the sound of Bob Marley that they can even count The Wailers as fans!

Combat Rock
Britain's number 1 tribute to The Clash. Capturing the live sound of The Clash, they have played with The Specials, The Beat, The Buzzcocks and Stiff Little Fingers, as well as the legendary Strummercamp event.

Tuesday 15th September at 7pm                        Tickets  £11
Amsterdam were amongst John Peel's favourite bands, and count Elvis Costello amongst their fans. With their anthem 'Does This Train Stop on Merseyside' recently recorded by Christy Moore and their 'Arm In Arm' album receiving rave reviews, we are delighted to have these consistent crowd pleasers on board for this year's festival.

The Trestles
NME said that lead singer Al O'Hare was like Bruce Springsteen fronting Oasis. Named after a Springsteen lyric with a nod to the author of a Socialist bible The Trestles have something to say but rock hard while they say it.

Claire Mooney
Manchester's number one radical chanteuse, Claire's music has been defined by her passion and politics. She writes of protest, peace, justice, love and life, and delivers it with a rare ability to engage an audience.

Phil Hare
Amsterdam's Ian Prowse describes him as "a f***ing genius". Phil is one of the most technically accomplished guitarists on the scene. Fire in the belly material.

Wednesday 16th September at 7pm                         Tickets £14.
We are delighted to announce anarcho-punk chart toppers Chumbawamba as our festival headliners for 2009. Currently promoting their EP In Memorial: Margaret Thatcher. Achieved mainstream success with their hit single 'Tubthumping', "I get knocked down but I get up again".

Attila The Stockbroker
Brighton FC's poet in residence, and Britain's most uncompromising political performance poet. Armed with words, attitude and mandolin. Not to be missed.

Alun Parry
The voice of radical Liverpool. Newly signed to Irregular Records for his new album 'We Can Make The World Stop', Alun is a slice of life musical storyteller with a socialist message.  

Tracey Curtis
Ammanford based singer songwriter with two quality albums of protest under her belt. Has taken her music to folk festivals, punk festivals, veggie cafes, folk clubs, and prisons.

Tickets from the Liverpool Philharmonic Box Office, Hope St, Liverpool or 0151 709 3789.
More Info: or or or or
The Picket is fully accessible.

▀ Art on the waterfront: 14 – 16 August

Pier Head:                    Albert Dock:
Friday (9.30pm - 10.30pm)             Saturday & Sunday (12 Noon -5pm)
Saturday (8.30pm - 10.30pm)

With inspiration coming from the Colour Chart exhibition at Tate Liverpool, a family friendly feast of fun that will animate the docks with a whole host of creative activities for children and adults. Colour themed street theatre, music, dance and aquatic installations by day, and at night, an extraordinary sound and light installation and special event designed to illuminate one of the city’s most beautiful buildings.   

▀ Liverpool Biennial Urbanism 09
Five days of exhibition, exploration, discussion and celebration along the Leeds-Liverpool Canal, including new commissions by international artists and architects invited to respond to the canal over the past year as well as presenting the exhibition of muf’s Feral Arcadia and the five shortlisted designs for Waterworks, a mobile hub for watersports and environmental education on the canal.
On Thursday 17 September, see real case studies of creating positive spaces in Propositions for the Happy City.  Talk to the bees, talk to the sky, drink tea in the floating Tea House, paint in the floating studio, explore the Feral Arcadia museum, make chutney in the Squash vegetable garden, take a swan pedalo down the canal and make plans for the Happy City . . . with David Bade, Ben Parry, Kerry Morrison, Squash Nutrition, Raumlabor, Maciej Kurak, Danilo Capasso, Muf Architecture, Public Works and Rob Sweere. Free but must be booked in advance.
On Friday 18 September 2009, in association with Places Matter! How to Design a Happy City explores alternative ways of planning and redesigning our cities and neighbourhoods, starting with the premise of not simply providing more houses but improving the quality of the spaces between them and the wellbeing of their inhabitants. Speakers include Pete Halsall, CEO of visionary developers, Bio-Regional Quintain, Joost Beunderman Research Associate at Demos, Ian McArthur Regional Director of Groundwork and Michael Palwyn of Exploration Architecture. Places can be booked for £25 per person (includes lunch and refreshments).

The week reaches a climax on Saturday 19 September 2009 in a water-borne parade including an upturned Black Cab, a floating Mint Teahouse and a whole variety of crafts created by artists and residents who live in the neighbourhoods along the canal; giving a whole new meaning to the traditional processional ‘float’.
▀ University of Liverpool Department of Civic Design Centenary
The Department of Civic Design is celebrating its centenary in 2009 and is hosting a range of special events and activities to mark this important milestone.

“Making Plans: 100 Years of Civic Design” - An exhibition featuring the history of the Department and the influence it has had upon planning education, research and practice over the last 100 years. The exhibition is being held in Victoria Gallery and Museum, University of Liverpool from 3rd July - 28th November 2009, opening times Tuesday to Saturday 10am-5pm.

 ▀ Hartley's Jam Factory
The area around Hartley’s Village could become a heritage site and a museum of food and drink, a major Liverpool business activity over many years. The project in some ways would mirror Wirral’s Port Sunlight village. Food giant Jacobs is looking at the possibility of using the site for its museum of food and drink. The Long Lane area of Walton has a rich history of food production, with jam-makers Hartley’s, Nelson’s and Jacob’s all having produced there over the years. Founder William Pickles Hartley gave a recreation ground to the children of Walton and built the lakes and allotments.
▀ A parrot and a rocking horse
We were asked by an American correspondent which Liverpool store had a parrot in it. Two readers tell us that it was hung from the ceiling of the atrium of the old Blacklers Store on the corner of Elliott Street and Great Charlotte Street. One reader describes it as about ten feet long.  The original building was destroyed in the German blitz of May 1941. The rebuilt store was opened in 1953 and remained open until 1958. It is now a Wetherspoons pub. It also had a rocking horse which was later displayed in the Museum of Liverpool Life. Beatle George Harrison worked as an apprentice electrician in the store. Blacklers was famed for its lavish Christmas displays. We had a discussion with a reader about whether the store had one of those systems for handling cash received from customers by putting it in little containers which were catapulted to the central till along a network of wires suspended from the ceiling. Alternatively, there may have been a more modern version which used pneumatic tubes for the purpose. (Asda has a modern version of this at Woodchurch.)

Another reader says the reference is to “Joey” which resided in Rushworth & Drapers grand-looking music store which adjoined the County Sessions building (next to the Walker) on the site now partly occupied by the Transport & General Workers Union (Unite) office.

▀ Wildlife Photos
The BBC Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition runs at the Anglican Cathedral from 15 August to 20 September.
Andrew Pearce, Editor