Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Go Billy Liddel Steaming Down The Middle.

I grew up with stories of footballing legends.

Roy of the Rovers was staple diet.
 You went with it, collecting football cards could swallow up all your earnings. Those hard earned pennies from minding the cars that parked down your road, every Saturday home game. It was a perk of living so close to Anfield.
The cars did not actually need minding, but it was a way of developing a interaction with people.
 It instilled inside you, from an early age, that if you put some time in, and you were polite,and you had a go, you could earn some money.
You would chase towards a car before your mate got there “Mind your car Sir” we always got a smile.
I remember one day a massive chrome encrusted Mercedes the likes of which you never saw on the terraced streets of Anfield parked down our street.
 I had to patiently wait till after the match had finished, but I got a shilling, the usual rate was a couple of pennies or maybe a tanner.
The takings always went up when we won the match.
 Saturday afternoons would be spent taking the results on Final Score which usually came up after the wrestling with Mick McManus and co, including  the strangely named Kendo Nagasaki. I always remember knowing Giant Haystacks, he was a bouncer on the Robin Hood camp disco in Prestatyn where you would be dragged for a holiday.
Although we didn't have a TV, until 1966 when a special effort was made because of  the World Cup.
 Those footie cards always seemed to have lots of swaps, you could just not get Roger Hunt.
I had loads of Tommy Smiths and Tommy Lawrence's but Roger Hunt was gold dust.

Last week I lingered in some family archives that I had been wanting to tidy up for over a decade and I come across a Liverpool Echo, and it was old.

7th November 1957.

What was strange was that the front page was in colour, and emblazoned upon that front page was a hero of a generation before mine....Billy Liddel.

I thought Billy Liddle was a giant, as that's how he was always talked about.
The greatest goalscorer ever they said, and there it was in black and white and red all over, the statistics.
 It must have been my grandfathers, who I never knew. My Grandmother will have kept it. She would often sing out in chorus as if involuntarily Go Billy Liddel, steaming down the middle.
He was a hero. They immortalised him in pubs and factories all over the city. A working class hero was something to be.
Even Evertonian's respected him in the same way as we, with, the Dixie Dean.History is not only about posh art, its about the everyday.
This is the week that Liverpool go seven points clear and although Man City have a few games in hand the next match, the Chelsea match is pivotal we could win the league. Alex Ferguson said the first thing he wanted to do was knock Liverpool off their perch. He must be sick as a parrot this week when ex Everton manager, David Moyes is sacked...the chosen one, by him.
It took 15 years for Moyes to get Everton in the Champions League, but he  has finally done it.
By resigning as Everton manager.
Chelsea have a new cat now, that's what they called their goalie in the 60's.
The Cat. I had a couple of footie cards of Peter Bonetti, The Cat, and a few Peter Osgood's.
You had to eat so much plastic tasting chewing gum and all you get is  a load of Martin Chivers.
 They must have sent all the Roger Hunts to London and sent the London strikers up here.
The Kop hero now of course is Suarez, who hasn't always done the right thing but he may be winning round most of his critics.

I read the paper as if it was the Whizzer, or whatever comic it was that that Roy of the Rovers always dribbled past one, then another , then he would dummy the goalkeeper and yeeeess, he scores.
I read on, and was alarmingly reminded that the paper I was reading, dated 1957 was a year that Liverpool were in the second division.
Then the great Bill Shankly arrived.
I am to have it framed, its history.

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Liverpool Town Hall As A Giant Advertising Placard For Mobile Phones-How Tacky Is That?

It is with deep regret that my city council is being run by people who neither wish to or do indeed respect Liverpool's World Heritage Site.
It is hard to imagine at a time when Liverpool is on the Unesco "In Danger" List that this placement of an advertising hoarding on our Town Hall could be done.
Some time ago the Mayor Anderson helped me remove an advertisement for a giant advert for A Burger In A Bun next to the Listed Lyceum at the bottom of Bold Street.
I have today written to him asking how this unfortunate occasion has been sanctioned.

I wrote this for LPT at the time

Read the letter about illegal hoardings. click above 

Mr Anderson,
It is very disappointing to note that Liverpool's town hall has been turned into a giant advertising placard for mobile phones.
I know you think that Liverpool's World Heritage Site status is no more than a plaque on the wall in the Town Hall and that the city is now about making money out of heritage sites, but this is a step too far.
You will recall agreeing with me that a advert for Burger King was inappropriate for the adjacent building to the Lyceum. You claimed to have it removed.
So how can you find this acceptable.

I am not aware of any planning applications for this event of placing a huge tacky advertisement in a WHS, which is also in a conservation area and on a listed building.

Would you please advise me of any planning applications that have been considered by the planning committee.

Would you also advise me who sanctioned this idea.

Also would you advise me how much is being paid by the advertisers.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Wayne Colquhoun.

Thursday, 3 April 2014

Dr Christopher Dresser-STUDIES IN DESIGN. Published by Cassell, Petter and Galpin.

I was very pleased this week to acquire this Folio entitled STUDIES IN DESIGN by Christopher Dresser which is printed to the highest standards.
Though the binding is in a distressed state the plates inside are mostly as they were when the left Cassell, Petter and Galpin print works.
Each plate is frameable. Though I will never break up a book.   
It has been reprinted but as an original of 1876 It appears to be quite rare.
Its all been said about how far ahead Dresser's designs were.
Though a lot of them are now more esoteric than commercial there is no doubting his place in the history of design, not just in this country but in the world.

If my memory serves me correctly and I am typing this as I think, he collected glass for Louis Comfort Tiffany on his travels round the globe. Where he collected designs, quite a lot of them in the Japanese taste  Not all designs are actually by him, but by his studio. This was a common practice in Victorian times, as an example in today's terms, we can say, Lord Foster cant do all the drawings for all his architectural projects.
Here in splendid colour we can see the vibrancy and attention to detail that was applied in a Victorian age of heavy brown furniture.  If I also remember rightly I was once told by a learned authority that his father was a tax inspector in Liverpool.

I thought you may like to share the beauty of some of the plates. 
And I thought I would like to share it.
Click on the link below to read the e-book on line.