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Thread: Liverpool Old Dock and Custom House

  1. #31
    Liverpool New Yorker! Ronijayne's Avatar
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    Ged, thank you so much. As soon as I saw the photo I burst into tears. I remembered it at once. My father was manager there.

    When he was young and before he got 'called up' during the war, he started dating my mother. When he was on fire watch at night and had to be on the roof of EH Jones and watch for sparks or any kind of fire falling on the building (paint and fire, not good!) my mother who was 19 went and fire watched with him. When you think what they went through in those days! My mother still lives in Liverpool.


    Again, thanks for the memories Ged.


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  2. #32
    Liverpool New Yorker! Ronijayne's Avatar
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    The photo says 1974 and it looks abandoned. I am pretty sure my father was still working as manager then and it was still a paint factory. They made huge drums of paint for schools and hotels etc. Lots for export.

    Don't we petition in Liverpool when they take down buildings we would like to keep (not E.H. Jones), other buildings you are talking about?

    I petitioned here for Radio City (Can you imagine what a loss that would have been, so Art Deco) Also for the Band Shell in Central Park. In the 30's and 40's the big bands, Dorsey, Glenn Miller etc came and played there right in the park and people would dress up and spend the evening dancing under the stars to Tommy Dorsey or whichever of the bands were here. I have seen old photos of hundreds of them dancing and having a wonderful time even when things were tough in their lives. In 1980 we had John's memorial there. Thousands of us stood in the cold and mourned the loss of the genius Lennon. How could I not petition for that. The only reason it was coming down was the people in those buildings on 5th said it spoiled their 'vista' of the park. Well too bad!! It does not block anything and it needs to stay. In the end, it was repaired and painted and stands proudly still. There was an orchestra playing there on Sunday. It is right by the building with the hawks.
    Last edited by Ronijayne; 05-21-2009 at 03:37 AM.
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  3. #33
    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    1967: Bottom right hand corner EH Jones can be seen. The Customs House is still a ruined basement. Soon after it was cleared for the new office complex which lasted about 12-13 years.

    The atmospheric warehouse area from South Castle St to the Dock Rd is still complete.

    In Canning Dock, Abels yellow sand hoppers can be seen. The sand dredgers are out in the bay dredging sand. A ship is using the sheds, which were demolished only a few years ago - I recall a coaster offloading only about 8 years ago. The Landfall night-club ship (converted landing craft) can be seen in Canning Dock. The yellow items on the quays are tower cranes in pieces come over from Ireland.

    Princes Dock is full. Trafalgar Dock has not been filled in. The Carpathia is at the landing stage. An Isle of Man ferry is setting sail.
    Littlewoods Building is still not complete.

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  4. #34
    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    In the 1974 photo of Canning Place, posted by Ged, the buildings in the background at Canning Half-Tide Dock are the flag factory. They made flags for shipping lines and countries from all over the world.

    The Porter Bros flag factory was at Kings Dock Mill on the Baltic Triangle.
    The new Amsterdam at Liverpool?
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    Deprived of its unique dockland waters Liverpool
    becomes a Venice without canals, just another city, no
    longer of special interest to anyone, least of all the
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    canals to view its modern museum describing
    how it once was?


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  5. #35
    Re-member Ged's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronijayne View Post
    Ged, thank you so much. As soon as I saw the photo I burst into tears. I remembered it at once. My father was manager there.

    When he was young and before he got 'called up' during the war, he started dating my mother. When he was on fire watch at night and had to be on the roof of EH Jones and watch for sparks or any kind of fire falling on the building (paint and fire, not good!) my mother who was 19 went and fire watched with him. When you think what they went through in those days! My mother still lives in Liverpool.


    Again, thanks for the memories Ged.
    Glad you liked it Roni.

    There are some great colour pic books of old Liverpool, really good shots in this book including some more from around that area and also around Everton.
    www.inacityliving.piczo.com/

    Updated weekly with old and new pics.

  6. #36
    Liverpool New Yorker! Ronijayne's Avatar
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    Ged, I loved it. That is where my Dad was from about 17 year old till he was about 75. He was a lovely, kind, intellegent, witty and friendly man. Also very handsome! I just got a feeling from the photo of my Dad who died in 1988.
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    Awww. Well he sure put some years in there didn't he. Almost part of the furniture as they say, part of the fabric of the building in all those, nearly 60 years.
    www.inacityliving.piczo.com/

    Updated weekly with old and new pics.

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    Liverpool New Yorker! Ronijayne's Avatar
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    Thanks Waterways, great photo of the waterfront. I can see E.H. Jones.
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  9. #39
    Senior Member Davec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronijayne View Post
    Ged, I loved it. That is where my Dad was from about 17 year old till he was about 75. He was a lovely, kind, intellegent, witty and friendly man. Also very handsome! I just got a feeling from the photo of my Dad who died in 1988.
    I'm well pleased for you Roni. Strangely enough my auld fella worked in a pub on the opposite corner just before the war, till he joined up. Then later, when he came home after the war he went back to work in the same pub, but sadly he died not too long after (1948), so those pics resonate with me too.

    Dave.

  10. #40
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    Was it the Flying Dutchman pub Dave?
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  11. #41
    Senior Member Davec's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ged View Post
    Was it the Flying Dutchman pub Dave?
    Yes Ged that's the one...corner of South Castle St.

    I think I asked you for a pic of it once, to which you kindly assented.

    Dave.

  12. #42
    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronijayne View Post
    Thanks Waterways, great photo of the waterfront. I can see E.H. Jones.
    The Customs House site had a proposal to build a tall skyscraper in 1951. Naturally the city foolishly turned it down. Miraculously a similar design emerged in New York, called the Pan-Am building.

    The new Amsterdam at Liverpool?
    Save Liverpool Docks and Waterways - Click

    Deprived of its unique dockland waters Liverpool
    becomes a Venice without canals, just another city, no
    longer of special interest to anyone, least of all the
    tourist. Would we visit a modernised Venice of filled in
    canals to view its modern museum describing
    how it once was?


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  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davec View Post
    Yes Ged that's the one...corner of South Castle St.

    I think I asked you for a pic of it once, to which you kindly assented.

    Dave.

    Ah, I remember now, I was just gonna say....


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  14. #44
    Liverpool New Yorker! Ronijayne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davec View Post
    I'm well pleased for you Roni. Strangely enough my auld fella worked in a pub on the opposite corner just before the war, till he joined up. Then later, when he came home after the war he went back to work in the same pub, but sadly he died not too long after (1948), so those pics resonate with me too.

    Dave.
    Then it is quite possible out fathers could have met. My Dad was not a drinker but there had to be a birthday or some occasion where he would have gone to the pub with the guys he worked with. Nice thought anyway.
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    Liverpool New Yorker! Ronijayne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ged View Post
    Awww. Well he sure put some years in there didn't he. Almost part of the furniture as they say, part of the fabric of the building in all those, nearly 60 years.

    He did. Never took a sick day either. He used to get very cross when my sister and I took a sick day from work. I remember the beautiful gold watches my mother and he got from Mr. Jones when my Dad ws there 50 years.
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  16. #46
    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    Default Thomas Steers' Map

    This information has not been published before.*

    A map surveyed by Thomas Steers [engineer of the Liverpool's Old Dock] dated 1709.

    This map represents the surveying work he did for the owners of Howland Great Wet Dock, Rotherhithe, London, and is possibly the last work [in his own hand] that he did in London before commencing work on the Old Dock, also in 1709. The bottom right of the map shows 1/2 an acre of land that he had assigned to himself.

    Interestingly, 'the name 'Norris' also appears on the map. It is indeed Richard Norris, one of the two architects behind Old Dock's conception; the other being Sir Thomas Johnson. At least one of Liverpool's city fathers leased land close to Howland Great Wet Dock, and would have been well aware of it's potential. This dock could hold 120 merchant vessels, Liverpool had planned for 100.

    Thomas Steers' map 1709, Rotherhithe [below].*



    Howland Great Wet Dock, Rotherhithe, London 1696-1698. The map above refers to the parcel of land lower right of the illustration, dated 1717 [below] which features 'Bedford Street', 'Thames Street' and 'Russel Street' listed on the map.


    The difference between the Rothehithe Dock and Liverpool Old Dock, is that Liverpool exploited the commercial potential of the wet dock system by providing warehousing close by, and unloading/ loading the ships whilst in harbour.

    Both images courtesy of the City of London Archive.

  17. #47
    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Time Team - Old Dock
    Time Team -click
    The new Amsterdam at Liverpool?
    Save Liverpool Docks and Waterways - Click

    Deprived of its unique dockland waters Liverpool
    becomes a Venice without canals, just another city, no
    longer of special interest to anyone, least of all the
    tourist. Would we visit a modernised Venice of filled in
    canals to view its modern museum describing
    how it once was?


    Giving Liverpool a full Metro - CLICK
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  18. #48
    Senior Member Waterways's Avatar
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    Howland Great Wet Dock was enlarged and renamed Greenland Dock. Unlike the Old Dock, it still exists today, although not in its original form. It initially never had walls being surrounded by trees, meant for refitting East India ships in a constant level of water. The Old Dock had walls and was designed for loading and unloading cargoes - the first dock to do so.




    Map of Surrey Commercial Docks, 1921. Greenland Dock is the long dock near the bottom of the map.


    The dock today.

    Wiki on the dock:
    Greenland Dock - London

    http://maps.google.co.uk/maps?hl=en&...27595&t=h&z=15
    The new Amsterdam at Liverpool?
    Save Liverpool Docks and Waterways - Click

    Deprived of its unique dockland waters Liverpool
    becomes a Venice without canals, just another city, no
    longer of special interest to anyone, least of all the
    tourist. Would we visit a modernised Venice of filled in
    canals to view its modern museum describing
    how it once was?


    Giving Liverpool a full Metro - CLICK
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    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    Default Land leased by Thomas Steers - 26th August 1709

    Land leased to Thomas Steers, signed 26th August 1709, for 60 years. 'Bedfort Street', faced the Howland Great Wet Dock, Rotherhithe, London. This suggests that he didn't receive the commission to build Liverpool's Old Dock until after this lease was signed [26th August 1709]. Unless, perhaps, there is a reasonable argument for keeping the land whilst moving to Liverpool? This seems less likely though, since George Sorocold (c. 1668 – c. 1738) and his associate, Henry Huss, had drawn up a plan and estimate for it's construction and had previously visited Liverpool mid 1709. Steer's more likely got the commission afterwards. Incidently, Steers' worked from his own design - for a dock at the mouth of the Pool. Sorocold's earlier plan was thought to be futher inland.




    Thomas Steers' signature attached [below] - signed 26th August 1709.
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    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waterways View Post
    Was is Sorocold who wanted to just dam in the Liver Pool and wall off the side of it, like happened at the Wallasey Pool in making Birkenhead Docks?

    If this happened it would have been less work, and less filling, and the docks would have been much larger. The pool went right up to Williamson Square.

    It would have meant Liverpool had water in its city centre.
    I don't think Sorocold wanted to dam the pool, as was later the case in Birkenhead. I've attached a couple of pages from Peet, writing on the subject. He mentions that after Sorocold had staked out the dock, Steers later 'surveyed and staked out the same closer to the sea', page 8.

    Attachments: Thomas Steers, a Memoir, by Henry Peet, 1932, now out of print.
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  21. #51
    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waterways View Post
    I read somewhere, that the city considered, around the late 1770s/early 1880s, reinstating the pool along Paradise St to Williamson Square as the basements filled up around there as the streams that emptied into the pool still flowed along the same line. The buildings became unstable. I'm not sure if that was the case.
    I thought there was a culvert running along the common shore [Paradise street] that emptied into the dock? This was, I think, how Steers' managed the water leakage from the dock, from tide to tide? Also, I read somewhere that this was also a common sewer, and that it was open as well? Although I can't be exactly certain on this - sources?

    In any case, I could imagine ground water adding to the water table around the common shore area, later Paradise street. So wouldn't be surprized if it's true that buildings, as well as dealing with subsidence from backfilled land, also suffered from basements flooding.

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    Newbie Eric The Viking's Avatar
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    Here is a little bit of history for you. My mum lived in a pub called The Flying Dutchman, located on Canning Place on the corner next to the Customs House. She was there during the war, my grandmother rufused to let her and my aunt be evacuated! She remembers the Customs house being bombed and seeing it on fire. She also remembers that pretty much most of the buildings that stretched from the Victoria monument down to the dock along Canning place were lost. The court house sits on part of the site now.

    It must have been an extremely frightening experience to be in the middle of all that bombing. She mentioned that they often hid in the pub cellar rather that trying to get to the nearest air raid shelter.

    I've often tried to find pictures of the pub but not had much success.

    I love hearing my mum's stories of Liverpool and the places that are now long gone.

  23. #53
    Senior Member wsteve55's Avatar
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    Hi Eric,welcome to Yo! If you try Ged's site,there just might be a pic' of the "Flying Dutchman"!

    http://www.inacityliving.piczo.com/?cr=7

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    There is indeed wsteve, thanks.

    Yes, you'll find one there Eric. Good first post
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    Senior Member goldenface's Avatar
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    I apologise if this has been posted already but I wanted to share this link which has a nice description of the old Customs House, and a couple of other areas around the waterfront, which some might find interesting.

    http://www.gutenberg.org/files/34867...OUSE_LIVERPOOL

    Reading the description of the Customs House pains me because it reminds us of how much we lost when we let go of one of our city's greatest buildings.

  26. #56
    pfft Spike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Waterways View Post
    The Customs House site had a proposal to build a tall skyscraper in 1951. Naturally the city foolishly turned it down. Miraculously a similar design emerged in New York, called the Pan-Am building.

    Thank God we never built that.
    BE NICE......................OR ELSE

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