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Thread: Liverpools Salors Home in Canning Place.

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    Captain Kong captain kong's Avatar
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    Default Liverpools Salors Home in Canning Place.

    This is a note I sent to Kay Jones of the Liverpool Museums, They are going to do a feature of the Home in the new £72,000,000 Museum of Liverpool near the Pier Head in 2011.
    If anyone has any experiences of the Home, Kay Jones would like to hear about them. on kay.jones@liverpoolmuseums.org.uk


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    I first stayed at the Sailors Home in 1952 as a green Deck Boy. Wow what a culture shock,
    It was rumoured at the time as once being a prison with the galleried balconies going around the inside with wire netting across each floor, in case anyone fell over the balconies. This was wrong as it had been purpose built as a Sailors Home.
    I had left the Vindicatrix Sea Training School in Sharpness Glos. and had to await nearly six weeks to find a job on a ship.
    The price was four shillings a night for bed and breakfast for men, Boys were about three shillings. It was just a bare cabin. wooden panels, painted green on the walls, iron framed bed and a chest of drawers. a communal bathroom and toilets, There was a room for the breakfasts, Sausage [these were usually thrown out of the window, they were awful. always a big pile of them outside the Home.]
    egg and a piece of bacon, slice of bread and a mug of tea.
    Alongside of the home was a bomb site from WW2 and at night the plonkies and winos would doss down for the night amongst the rubble, with a bottle of Meths or cheap plonk.
    One night, I was 16 years old, I was walking back in the pouring rain, to go into the Home. a plonky shouted to me, "Hey lah, av yer gotta room there." I said "Yes". "Its cold and wet out `ere, let us sleep on the floor in yer cabin." Being a bit soft I said `OK`.
    Then six of them got up from the rubble and followed me in, when I opened the cabin door, two crashed onto the bunk, two slid under the bunk and the other two curled up on the deck. I was stood in the doorway, couldnt believe in what I saw. There was no room for me.
    I went back down stairs and back into the rain, the only place I could go to was The Gordon Smith Institute for Seamen across the road and round the corner. That building is still there. I got a bed there for three shillings and six pence in the Dormitary, a large room with about twenty beds in, all occupied, with the sound of snoring and other types noises coming from them. they Night Man told me to lay my suit and any money under the mattress and shoes under the pillow or they wouldnt be there next morning.
    Next morning I had a breakfast there and then went back to the Sailors Home and had the other breakfast I had already paid for. Then I went up to my room, all the plonkies had gone, amazingly all my gear was still there.
    I stayed there many times over the years, it was very handy for somewhere to stay when in Liverpool, I lived in Bolton. When I joined a ship in Liverpool and after the end of a voyage of four or five months and we paid off in London we would all get the train back to Liverpool and have a few bevies up on Lime Street, the Sailors Home was ideal for some where to stay before going home the following day.
    The ground floor of The Sailors Home was the Shipping Federation or more better known as "The Pool". A place where seafaring men went to to find their next ship.
    The door on the left hand side of the Pool opened into a large room with a long counter, This was covered with wire netting to prevent some of the Characters attacking the Staff
    if they got a bum deal from their last ship or if they were turned away with no job, if the man was approved they would open the turnstile to the next room.
    Sometimes if the Man wasnt looking we could drop onto the floor and slide underneath the turnstile and into the inner room. There was a counter for each department, Firemen, Catering and Deck, again wire netting covered the three desks. Behind the desks stood the Man who gave out the jobs or number of men required by the Ship owner for each ship.
    These Men were legends at the time. Mr Repp, Mr Griffiths, Mr Slater, Mr Deakin and so on.
    While stood there you had to learn to read the book upside down to see what name of ship he had on the page, you got to know what ships were good and which were the ones to stay clear of in case you got Shaghaied for a two year trip. If Mr Repp or Mr Griffiths called you by your first name you knew he had a bad ship for you. Sometimes Mr Repp had his hand over the bottom of the page where he had some good jobs for his favourites. the trick to find out what ship he was hiding. If you were given a ship he gave you forms to take for a Doctors inspection then you went into the next room. The Doctors assistant would call you in then you dropped your trousers and he held your right groin saying `Cough`, then the left side, cough again . open your mouth to see you had some teeth, `OK you`ll do`, he would say and sign the form then you signed on the ship and went to sea.
    Some of the old guys had no teeth, and a fellow would say . "eh lah give us a go at yer teeth" and the other fellow would take out his teeth and he would put them in, didnt matter if they didnt fit, he had teeth, so he passed the Medical, on the way out he would give the teeth back and someone else would borrow them.
    After the Sailors Home closed the new Shipping Federation or Pool was at Mann Island. now gone.These Characters and events are now gone , just a fading memory of the few of us still hanging on. The Home should have been saved, it was a fantastic design, that Classic structure would have lasted for centuries, and a great memorial to all the Sailors who passed through its doors, now just a memory of a by gone age that can never happen again.
    The people who demolished it should have been gaoled.
    Cheers , in the first photo the building on the left is the Customs House, bombed and destroyed by German Bombs in the Blitz. They never did pay us for it.
    Brian.

    The Sailor's Home in Canning Place, foundation stone of this home for Liverpool seamen was laid by Prince Albert in July 1846. Demolished in 1970s.
    Photographs of Liverpool
    by Steve Howe
    thanks Steve for the use of your pictures in a good cause.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
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    Senior Member wsteve55's Avatar
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    There were pieces of the doorway decoration,left in a pile,in what must have been the cellar,for quite a few years! I phoned the maritime museum regarding this,to be met with total disinterest!! These remains were removed/stolen during the building of Liverpool 1,so they must have been of use or interest,to someone!! (like the gates)

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    Keeping It Real !!!!!!!!! ItsaZappathing's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by captain kong View Post
    This is a note I sent to Kay Jones of the Liverpool Museums, They are going to do a feature of the Home in the new £72,000,000 Museum of Liverpool near the Pier Head in 2011.
    If anyone has any experiences of the Home, Kay Jones would like to hear about them. on kay.jones@liverpoolmuseums.org.uk


    I first stayed at the Sailors Home in 1952 as a green Deck Boy. Wow what a culture shock,
    It was rumoured at the time as once being a prison with the galleried balconies going around the inside with wire netting across each floor, in case anyone fell over the balconies. This was wrong as it had been purpose built as a Sailors Home.
    I had left the Vindicatrix Sea Training School in Sharpness Glos. and had to await nearly six weeks to find a job on a ship.
    The price was four shillings a night for bed and breakfast for men, Boys were about three shillings. It was just a bare cabin. wooden panels, painted green on the walls, iron framed bed and a chest of drawers. a communal bathroom and toilets, There was a room for the breakfasts, Sausage [these were usually thrown out of the window, they were awful. always a big pile of them outside the Home.]
    egg and a piece of bacon, slice of bread and a mug of tea.
    Alongside of the home was a bomb site from WW2 and at night the plonkies and winos would doss down for the night amongst the rubble, with a bottle of Meths or cheap plonk.
    One night, I was 16 years old, I was walking back in the pouring rain, to go into the Home. a plonky shouted to me, "Hey lah, av yer gotta room there." I said "Yes". "Its cold and wet out `ere, let us sleep on the floor in yer cabin." Being a bit soft I said `OK`.
    Then six of them got up from the rubble and followed me in, when I opened the cabin door, two crashed onto the bunk, two slid under the bunk and the other two curled up on the deck. I was stood in the doorway, couldnt believe in what I saw. There was no room for me.
    I went back down stairs and back into the rain, the only place I could go to was The Gordon Smith Institute for Seamen across the road and round the corner. That building is still there. I got a bed there for three shillings and six pence in the Dormitary, a large room with about twenty beds in, all occupied, with the sound of snoring and other types noises coming from them. they Night Man told me to lay my suit and any money under the mattress and shoes under the pillow or they wouldnt be there next morning.
    Next morning I had a breakfast there and then went back to the Sailors Home and had the other breakfast I had already paid for. Then I went up to my room, all the plonkies had gone, amazingly all my gear was still there.
    I stayed there many times over the years, it was very handy for somewhere to stay when in Liverpool, I lived in Bolton. When I joined a ship in Liverpool and after the end of a voyage of four or five months and we paid off in London we would all get the train back to Liverpool and have a few bevies up on Lime Street, the Sailors Home was ideal for some where to stay before going home the following day.
    The ground floor of The Sailors Home was the Shipping Federation or more better known as "The Pool". A place where seafaring men went to to find their next ship.
    The door on the left hand side of the Pool opened into a large room with a long counter, This was covered with wire netting to prevent some of the Characters attacking the Staff
    if they got a bum deal from their last ship or if they were turned away with no job, if the man was approved they would open the turnstile to the next room.
    Sometimes if the Man wasnt looking we could drop onto the floor and slide underneath the turnstile and into the inner room. There was a counter for each department, Firemen, Catering and Deck, again wire netting covered the three desks. Behind the desks stood the Man who gave out the jobs or number of men required by the Ship owner for each ship.
    These Men were legends at the time. Mr Repp, Mr Griffiths, Mr Slater, Mr Deakin and so on.
    While stood there you had to learn to read the book upside down to see what name of ship he had on the page, you got to know what ships were good and which were the ones to stay clear of in case you got Shaghaied for a two year trip. If Mr Repp or Mr Griffiths called you by your first name you knew he had a bad ship for you. Sometimes Mr Repp had his hand over the bottom of the page where he had some good jobs for his favourites. the trick to find out what ship he was hiding. If you were given a ship he gave you forms to take for a Doctors inspection then you went into the next room. The Doctors assistant would call you in then you dropped your trousers and he held your right groin saying `Cough`, then the left side, cough again . open your mouth to see you had some teeth, `OK you`ll do`, he would say and sign the form then you signed on the ship and went to sea.
    Some of the old guys had no teeth, and a fellow would say . "eh lah give us a go at yer teeth" and the other fellow would take out his teeth and he would put them in, didnt matter if they didnt fit, he had teeth, so he passed the Medical, on the way out he would give the teeth back and someone else would borrow them.
    After the Sailors Home closed the new Shipping Federation or Pool was at Mann Island. now gone.These Characters and events are now gone , just a fading memory of the few of us still hanging on. The Home should have been saved, it was a fantastic design, that Classic structure would have lasted for centuries, and a great memorial to all the Sailors who passed through its doors, now just a memory of a by gone age that can never happen again.
    The people who demolished it should have been gaoled.
    Cheers , in the first photo the building on the left is the Customs House, bombed and destroyed by German Bombs in the Blitz. They never did pay us for it.
    Brian.

    The Sailor's Home in Canning Place, foundation stone of this home for Liverpool seamen was laid by Prince Albert in July 1846. Demolished in 1970s.
    Photographs of Liverpool
    by Steve Howe
    thanks Steve for the use of your pictures in a good cause.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Good that CK.

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    Senior Member fortinian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wsteve55 View Post
    There were pieces of the doorway decoration,left in a pile,in what must have been the cellar,for quite a few years! I phoned the maritime museum regarding this,to be met with total disinterest!! These remains were removed/stolen during the building of Liverpool 1,so they must have been of use or interest,to someone!! (like the gates)
    The remains were not stolen, the council took them away.

    Bits of the remains where stolen but most of it was still there, buried in the undergrowth. It was being stored on behalf of the city council at a tourist attraction in Liverpool. I was watching the clean up team that had to come and remove the syringes and needles that had found their way into the cracks and crevices of the stonework over the years. Turns out the recessed demolition site of the sailors home had become a lurking area for down-and-outs and heroin addicts.

    The 'Liver Bird' from the centre of the decoration is being cleaned up and is almost on display.
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    Senior Member burkhilly's Avatar
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    What a magnificent building the Sailor's Home was. I do vaguely remember the building because it was so impressive even to a child. It's a crime it was knocked down. Along with the overhead railway, the Sailor's Home is a great loss to our city.

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    Pablo42 pablo42's Avatar
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    Nice one Captain. I remember the Sailors Home, shame it was knocked down.

    I agree, the people responsible for knocking it down should be flogged.

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    Brian,
    A good tale and well told.You brought back alot of memories,well done mate,
    BrianD

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    Quote Originally Posted by fortinian View Post
    The remains were not stolen, the council took them away.

    Bits of the remains where stolen but most of it was still there, buried in the undergrowth. It was being stored on behalf of the city council at a tourist attraction in Liverpool. I was watching the clean up team that had to come and remove the syringes and needles that had found their way into the cracks and crevices of the stonework over the years. Turns out the recessed demolition site of the sailors home had become a lurking area for down-and-outs and heroin addicts.

    The 'Liver Bird' from the centre of the decoration is being cleaned up and is almost on display.
    That's good to hear,but the "bit's"were reported as stolen,in the "Echo". We just need to get the gates back,now,and this might be a possibility,in the near future!

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    Wasn't some of the stonework from the Sailors Home photographed and put up on Yo ages ago, wasn't it in someone's back garden or by rice lane farm/cemetery or somewhere, I think it was Dave Wood who posted it up?
    www.inacityliving.piczo.com/

    Updated weekly with old and new pics.

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    Default The Sailors Home Gates - John Cunninghams International Masterpiece are still around

    Great story that Captain Kong, thank you very much for your memories, there can't be that many people around who can tell a similar tale.
    Even though the home is gone, demolished about 1973 I think, but closed a long time before then. However the Gates are still alive and well in landlocked Sandwell, Wolverhampton, below is a link to an appeal I tried to start some time ago to get them returned, I've been down to see them and they're fantastic, do you remember them Captain? as I believe they were removed in the 50's

    http://www.liverpoolmonuments.co.uk/gates/pooley12.html

    Regards

    Phil

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    Quote Originally Posted by captain kong View Post
    ...Boys were about three shillings.
    I think you could have phrased that slightly more carefully, Brian!

    Great story. It's before my time at sea and fascinating to hear about it all. I don't actually remember the building, which is a puzzle as it is certainly very memorable. I might try and see the gates - Sandwell is only a few miles from me.
    Kevin

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    Default Sailos Gates

    Kevin, they're in foundry lane, at the avery weightronix factory, go thro' the archway directly opposite the Soho Pub, and behold!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Griffojack View Post
    Kevin, they're in foundry lane, at the avery weightronix factory, go thro' the archway directly opposite the Soho Pub, and behold!
    Thanks - know exactly where you mean. I'll try and get over there one day soon.
    Kevin

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    Hi Kevin,

    You have missed an opportunity to visit these Gates as they have been removed for refurb, and hopefully, they will then be transported directly to Liverpool

    So its a Liverpool visit for you now

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    Default Good news is always welcome

    As part of the redevelopment of the site of St Thomas's Church on Paradise Street by Grosvenor, the site has now been laid out as a memorial garden to all those who are buried there including Joseph Williamson.

    The centre piece of the garden is a carved stone replica of the Liver Bird which once adorned the Sailors Home on Paradise Street and which was temporarily stored at the Williamson Tunnels Heritage Centre during the construction of Liverpool One.



    I managed to locate most of the sections of the Liverbird Freeze in the late-1980s, some of the more interesting pieces had been removed from the site and had been on display on Bold Street, some time in the late 1970s/early 1980s - fortunately these have survived in addition to the sections that were not stolen from Canning Place in 2004, so with restoration and more replacement sections it would be possible to reconstruct the entire freeze. I could not trace the carvings of the globe and sextant but these were comparatively small and would have made magnificent garden ornaments.

    I obtained permission from the site owners to remove the freeze in 1992 but Liverpool Museums refused them, stating "they are safe where they are" - we know where that story ended.

    From its' discovery in 1990 we had purposely left the Liverbird, face down in the Canning Place site so it would not attract attention. Just days before the cranes arrived to clear the site in 2004, some of Laing O'Rourke's contarctors noticed the liverbird had been moved to the side of the site and quickly had it removed to the compound of the Archaeological Unit - if it wasn't for their swift action we would have lost the most important part of the frieze.



    It is very good news that in addition to the replica, the original Liverbird is to feature in the Museum of Liverpool when it opens in 2011.

    ---------- Post added at 01:31 AM ---------- Previous post was at 01:10 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by kevin View Post
    Thanks - know exactly where you mean. I'll try and get over there one day soon.
    Kevin
    If you want to see ironwork from the Liverpool Sailors' Home why not have a walk over to the Malmaison Hotel on Princes Dock?



    These curved panels, salvaged in 1974, spent many years in Audlem, Cheshire before returning to their Liverpool home.

    And don't worry, they are just in the entrance so you don't have to book a room to see them.

    If you are visiting North Wales, Clough Williams-Ellis used the Mermaid panels from the home in a few of his buildings in the area, not just Portmeirion.



    He even left one outside the Portmeirion shop in London.



    (These panels are from the first-floor balcony that was removed at the same time as the gates).


    For more images please visit http://www.chesterwalls.info/gallery/sailorshome.html

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    There are a few myths about the Sailors' Home flying about.
    For a full history of the Liverpool Sailors' Home, surviving artefacts and photographs please see the following sites:
    http://www.flickr.com/groups/1457940@N25/
    http://www.chesterwalls.info/gallery/sailorshome.html
    The good news on the Sailors Home Gates is that Avery are paying to have them professionally restored and they have been dismantled and are being restored in Wolverhampton. Liverpool Councillors have applied to have the Listed Structure re-sighted in Liverpool after their restoration.
    (The Gates removal and future is covered by rigid Planning Regulations.)
    The reason that they were offered to Avery Scales? They were originally cast by Pooley and Sons, the company moved its HQ to Birmingham when the Liverpool Foundry was demolished to make way for the Mersey Tunnel. The Company became part of T&W Avery Group of Companies in the late 1930s so when the gates were unwanted Avery bought them as part of the Avery Historical Collection.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Portmeiriana View Post
    There are a few myths about the Sailors' Home flying about.
    For a full history of the Liverpool Sailors' Home, surviving artefacts and photographs please see the following sites:
    http://www.flickr.com/groups/1457940@N25/
    http://www.chesterwalls.info/gallery/sailorshome.html
    The good news on the Sailors Home Gates is that Avery are paying to have them professionally restored and they have been dismantled and are being restored in Wolverhampton. Liverpool Councillors have applied to have the Listed Structure re-sighted in Liverpool after their restoration.
    (The Gates removal and future is covered by rigid Planning Regulations.)
    The reason that they were offered to Avery Scales? They were originally cast by Pooley and Sons, the company moved its HQ to Birmingham when the Liverpool Foundry was demolished to make way for the Mersey Tunnel. The Company became part of T&W Avery Group of Companies in the late 1930s so when the gates were unwanted Avery bought them as part of the Avery Historical Collection.
    Interesting stuff P.Any idea where they might be sited?

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    The Sailors' Home Gates are coming back to Liverpool.

    Sailors' Home Gates at the Avery Site C1992 Copyright Stephen Mckay
    Officers at Sandwell Council have now approved an application to have them relocated as they felt the gates would have more significance to the community in Liverpool.
    The Sailors Home Gateway is undergoing restoration in Wolverhampton, once restored to their original 1850 condition, the intention is to re-erect them in the pedestrian section of Paradise Street in Liverpool One, close to the original site of the Sailors' Home.

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    Excellent news that.

    Nice one.
    "For those in peril on the sea."

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    You'll find lots of fascinating stuff about the much-missed Sailor's Home here-

    http://www.chesterwalls.info/gallery/sailorshome.html

    All corrections/contributions are most welcome!
    Chester: a Virtual Stroll Around the Walls-
    http://www.chesterwalls.info

    The Liverpool Gallery-
    http://www.chesterwalls.info/gallery/liverpool.html

    The Chester Shop
    http://www.thechestershop.com


    Chester & Liverpool Guided Walks
    http://www.chesterwalls.info/guidedwalks.html

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    These Gates are about to be painted, but we're not sure of their original colour, does any one have any ideas?

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    Just heard a crazy rumour....

    Councillor Joe Anderson, the Leader of Liverpool City Council will be unveiling the gates of the former Liverpool Sailors’ Home at 10.30am on Thursday, 18th August 2011 in Paradise Street, (adjacent to John Lewis).

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    Strange. I wonder whereabouts.

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    Its true, they're going in Paradise Street opposite the Tapas Bar, adjacent to John Lewis, there's a big hole in the ground there, so their return is happening

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    Enjoyed this thread, although I can't actually recall the building.
    Cheers,
    Chas

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    Default How They will look

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Good to see. Thanks!

    Cheers

    Chris
    Christopher T. George
    Editor, Ripperologist
    Editor, Loch Raven Review
    http://christophertgeorge.blogspot.com/
    Chris on Flickr and on MySpace

  28. #28
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    Amazing, can't wait.

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