This give the, by this time, campaign, a new life. The Daily Post waded in deep and I kept the headlines coming. Radio Mereyside wanted a interview and I nervously went to talk to Roger Philips. Who was looking for something to report on. The City Council had sent a representative to argue for sending the archive to Bradford. What! How can this be?
It was Councillor Frank Doran who I gave a right ear bashing to outside the studios calling him an idiot.
Which proved to be correct as he subsequently had to resign. A clown.
I also found that the City Council owned 120,000 negatives and they were going to Bradford too.
It was an outrage .
Liverpool City Council hawking our heritage to......the lowest bidder.
Well for free.
Mike Storey was leader of Liverpool City Council. Not the most cultured of people.
He would later be gobsmacked when Liverpool was announced a capital of culture.
He wouldn't have a clue.
Liverpool would receive the accolade of World Heritage Site Status and he would use executive powers to take the cities tall buildings policy away and accommodate some of the dodgiest land deals, that the people of Liverpool will forever pay the price for. You couldn't make it up.
He and his friend Trevor Jones would be in bed with The Duke of Westminster's property arm Grosvener and the council would give away most of the city centre for free.
Other headlines about missing antiques from the town hall added to the pressure.
Then BBC North West decided to do a programme as the whole campaign seemed to have legs.
Mike McCartney was interviewed and at one stage he said “Everyone is moaning at us but we are the ones paying the tunnel fees to get over there. It was embarrassing for him.
I was annoyed. I wrote to him after we had a whip round in the barbers next door and enclosed £2.40, that was £1.20 each way return and said “take a paintbrush with you next time you lazy sod”
Everyone I spoke to was amazed at what was about to happen. Soon the public weight behind it gathered momentum and I kept filling the pages of The Daily Post.
Letters started to flow in and the radio waves went haywire.
I had found in the Charity commissions files that Memories of Avignon had been licensed to a major print producing company....for 25 grand. The archive was worth a fortune.
The campaign began to remind me of the Simon Poliakoff film about another photographic archive nearly lost.
I kicked up that much anti feeling against the idle trustees who were, by now getting worried. I got worried that I was starting to resemble the Timothy Small, off the wall character in the film.
I spoke to Poliakoff later when was giving a talk at The Unity Theatre and thanked him for his inspiration. “I have heard of the Chambre Hardman campaign” he said.
I wrote to Liverpool Museums and received a reply from the director Sir Richard Foster said he would look into the matter. He sadly committed suicide soon after.
I wrote a letter to the National Trust asking if they could look at taking over the house as they already had John Lennon's childhood home, Mendips.
I thought they could compliment each other.
Lets say I was actively exploring every avenue, the lazy trustees had not. I was doing their work for them.
I asked for a meeting with the council leader Mike Storey who could not ignore the publicity as it was getting hot. I kicked up headlines every week. We were making them look foolish and showing them up for the lack of respect for the historical past.
He was ignorant to the history so I explained it to him and he offered to look into setting up a room in the Liverpool Library in William Brown Street to house it.
And the 120,000 neg's owned by The City Council.
Gavin Stamp the historian waded in after I suggested we contact him.
Now we were getting somewhere and there was a great weight behind my campaign that many others had joined. We became The Friends of Chambre Hardman.
Peter Elson was up for an award for my, err, I mean his reporting.http://waynecolquhoun.blogspot.com/2020/07/the-chambre-hardman-house-57-rodney.html