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Thread: Sefton Park railings

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    Member johno's Avatar
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    Default Sefton Park railings

    Has anyone noticed that as you walk around the perimeter of sefton park the sandstone blocks that enclose the park from the Aighburth road entrance
    to ullett road have square holes on the top of the blocks. Does anyone know if at one time these held railings.Rumour has that they were taken down for the metal for the war effort at the start of the war. Anyone any ideas

    Johno


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  2. #2
    PhilipG
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    Quote Originally Posted by johno View Post
    Has anyone noticed that as you walk around the perimeter of sefton park the sandstone blocks that enclose the park from the Aighburth road entrance
    to ullett road have square holes on the top of the blocks. Does anyone know if at one time these held railings.Rumour has that they were taken down for the metal for the war effort at the start of the war. Anyone any ideas

    Johno

    Yes, they were taken for the war effort.
    In fact, most of the railings from private houses were taken as well, with very few exceptions.
    Try walking round any old street and try to spot original railings.
    You won't see many!

    And, as it turned out, most of the metal collected that way was pretty useless for building planes.

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    Senior Member wsteve55's Avatar
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    Exclamation sefton park railings

    re' the long gone railings! this was lord beaverbrooks idea,during ww2,and most railings(but strangely, not all?!)were cut down.somebody then realised that cast iron couldn't be re-used,and after the war ended,it was dumped in the north sea!!! so,you could say it was one of the worst cases of official vandalism, from which many places never recovered! oddly though,i've noticed they've recently replaced the railings around west derby cemetery,so what an idea, to do the same with sefton park!:

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    Member johno's Avatar
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    Default Sefton park railings

    There going to try and revamp Sefton park back to it's original design so maybe the raiings might reappear.

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    Default sefton park railings

    yes a lot of railings where used for scrap in the war.

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    Thanks for the interesting info, I didn't know the reason for the railings being taken down...
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    Senior Member ChrisGeorge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kev View Post
    Thanks for the interesting info, I didn't know the reason for the railings being taken down...
    I knew since I was a kid that the railings were taken for use as scrap during the War, but then I was born right after the Second World War in 1948. Quite possibly it was my Grandad, who was in the Home Guard during the war, who told me that in one of our bus journeys into town on the 80 bus from Booker Avenue!

    The question is... was the scrap iron not used for anything as has been stated in this thread? It couldn't be used for aircraft but couldn't it have been used to make steel battleships or guns?

    Lord Beaverbrook also issued a call for aluminium which apparently was not used:

    The Great Aluminium Scare began on 10 July 1940 and the ladies of Dartford responded magnificently. Lord Beaverbrook issued a manifesto through the papers "We will turn your pots and pans into Spitfires and Hurricanes, Blenheims and Wellingtons". Locals were encouraged to hand over all their aluminium utensils for use in the manufacture of aircraft. Mountains of pots and pans, shoe trees and bathroom fittings were handed over for recycling. Ironically, most of this aluminium was never used.

    Dartford children joined enthusiastically in the national campaign for salvage. Salvage shops were opened where people might leave or report their scrap metal. From 1940 onwards, iron railings were removed from parks and gardens.


    From Dartford at War 1939-1945

    What's the proof that the scrap iron from the railings was dumped in the North Sea, or was it the aluminium that was dumped in the sea?

    Chris
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    Senior Member wsteve55's Avatar
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    Red face dumped railings!!!!

    the info' on the fate of the scrapped railings,etc,was taken from a book i got from central library a couple of years ago. it was called"the forties", and was part of a series of books on the decades of the 20th century! the article wasn't very long,and didn't state that all scrap, had been disposed of,but did make the point that lord beaverbrook's attitude had been uneccesarily enthusiastic!
    i wondered why some houses,businesses,ironwork seemed to have escaped the fate of most, and have the image of irate old girls, chasing away council workers screaming "dont you *!?!* dare touch my railings",but the answer is probably something more mundane!

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    Hi Steve

    The information you reported might be exactly correct. I would though like to see it verified rather than to think we might be promulgating another myth and that instead much or most of the scrap was actually used for the war effort. I am just trying to get to the facts of the matter, not doubting your word that you read a statement to that effect.

    Chris
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    PhilipG
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    It was certainly a fact that most of the metal collected was entirely unsuitable for the War effort, which was (I think) mainly concerned with building planes, and manufacturing bombs.
    Personally, I don't know what they did with the unused metal, but it seem highly logical that it was dumped at sea, rather than admit that a war-time government got it wrong.
    The railings certainly weren't returned to their original owners, and I agree that it was an act of vandalism that the streets of the country must still regret.

    As I said, there are not many original railings left today, because most people believed they were helping their country, but I did notice that the Belvedere School has some of its original railings.

    It looks like churches were exempt, as St Luke's and Great George Street Congregational (to name but two) retained their railings.
    Last edited by PhilipG; 03-06-2007 at 12:17 AM.

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    Hi Philip

    Another aspect of this is that possibly the owners of the railings might have been able to claim compensation after the war. I think you may know that one of my interests is the War of 1812 fought 1812-1815 between Britain and United States. I have just written an article about ships that were sunk in Baltimore harbor to stop the British getting past Fort McHenry in September 1814. The owners of those ships were able to claim compensation for their losses in terms of damage done to the vessels while they were submerged. Since around eighteen of the ships were in the harbor the whole of the winter of 1814-1815 you can imagine that the damage sustained was substantial. Most of the ships were raised and were usable although at least one of them was shipwrecked in a subsequent voyage, which might be attributable to damage incurred during the submersion despite repair after she was raised.

    The matter of compensating the owners of the twenty-four ships damaged in the damaged by submersion in the harbor was brought before the U.S. Congress, and although it took appeals year after year to get the compensation, eventually, twenty years later, all of the owners received some reimbursement.

    I do realise that, after the Second World War, Britain was in financial straits and still on rationing and that also the taking of the railings etc could have been viewed as a national need for the government to do and a patriotic duty for the citizens to give up the railings. However, I wonder whether even in Britain after 1945 some landowners etc did receive compensation for damage the armed forces did in requisitioning their lands or buildings, so why not the private owners and civic bodies who owned railings or other confiscated iron entities as well?

    All my best

    Chris
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    PhilipG
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    Chris.

    I don't know if compensation was offered, but I suspect not.
    After all "it's the war" was probably quoted, and people didn't think in terms of compo in those days (unlike today).

    Even if compensation was given, the money didn't go on replacement railings, because the evidence of where they were on the streets is still all too apparent.

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    Some of the roads in Kenny off Prescot Road as you get near the Royal have still got their original railings. Quite a few parks such as knotty Ash have still got theirs but are in a bad state. They only need a lick of paint to bring them back to their former glory.

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    Default more railings

    hi all,
    one place i would really like to see the railings replaced would be st.john's gardens, which i'd have thought would have had some sort of priority,considering it's position,and it's proximity to st. george's hall! Theres a small section still there, around the public toilets,which are closed!?!

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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisGeorge View Post
    Hi Steve

    The information you reported might be exactly correct. I would though like to see it verified rather than to think we might be promulgating another myth and that instead much or most of the scrap was actually used for the war effort. I am just trying to get to the facts of the matter, not doubting your word that you read a statement to that effect.

    Chris

    I am not so sure whether or not it was compulsory to 'donate' your railings to the war effort. I thought those that remained were owned by residents who weren't too worried at the reaction of their neighbours when they didn't.

    If I am wrong, and exemption applied, it certainly didn't cover historical or important locations because down here in the SW I have seen evidence of railings having been removed in close proximity of some fine buildings.

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    Member birdseye's Avatar
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    Go to

    http://archive.liverpool.gov.uk/dser...Cmd=Search.tcl

    and put "Aigburth Drive" into the search box and you'll find some pictures of Sefton Park's railings in all their glory from about 1902. I tried to paste them here but the pixel rating is too high.

    My mother lived in Lark Lane during the war and remembers the salvage blokes removing them. They were too heavy to lift in sections and so were just smashed to bits with sledgehammers. Every scrap was taken, which is why the base stones are damaged. All railings had to go for the war effort unless they protected an area which would be dangerous to pedestrians if exposed, which is why the houses in Rodney Street retained theirs.

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    I took these shots a few days ago in Newsham Park.
    They look like the originals but have had the spikes taken of for H&S reasons I think.
    I lick of paint would do the proud.

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    Senior Member taffy's Avatar
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    Default Sefton Park Railings Survive

    Quote Originally Posted by jimboy View Post
    yes a lot of railings where used for scrap in the war.
    Some of the railings still survive. There's some by the children's playground in Aigburth Vale; the site of the old Aigburth Vale Girls' School and some around a block of flats at the bottom of Greenbank Lane.

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    Default Kensington Fields Degeneration-New Deal No Deal

    Kensington Fiedls was one of the few areas which had the cast iron railings in tact, because they had open drops to the cellars and during the war and the blackout they were scared people would fall downthe holes.

    Anyhow we are talking in the past tense now as Kensington New Deal C7 and Liverpool City Council in their infinite wisdom have decided to remove all the old original surviving railings, (these had a variety of patterns based around rose adn other flower designs) with very cheap replicas, hmmmmm, oh yeah the council want it to be a conservation area, er.....hang on this doesnt make sense, better call for Warren Bradley to sort it out.

    There is also a rumour that the original fences have been "sold on" for a nice sum of money. The people who live on the estate are also up in arms because the so called refurbishment of properties has been so badly done, the examples I was told about was interior work being inspected and passed without anyone entering the property (x-ray vision?) and un leaking roofs being reirbish then after the "work" starting to leak. each house has a set amount to spend adn I suspect what is happening is that the builders are getting away with what they can as cheaply as possible and then claiming as much as they can.

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    Default park gates and railings

    Yes johno they were all taken for scrap the railings and big iron gates i think at the top of lark lane the pillars are still there that sealed lark lane off ,dont know if you know it a perimeter of a sand road used to go around the park and back before the war just the other side of the sand stone blocks ''footings for the railings ''and later the toffs who had ponys ect used to ride around this sand track we called it the jockey sand in those days hanging on the gates to the park was times of closing the park keepers would blow there whistles and you had to get out before they locked the big gates public parks were not so public those days,even princess park had private gardens for the local toffs the far side of the lake,the square holes you refer to are were the lead held the railings in place.joe

    Quote Originally Posted by johno View Post
    Has anyone noticed that as you walk around the perimeter of sefton park the sandstone blocks that enclose the park from the Aighburth road entrance
    to ullett road have square holes on the top of the blocks. Does anyone know if at one time these held railings.Rumour has that they were taken down for the metal for the war effort at the start of the war. Anyone any ideas

    Johno

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    Quote Originally Posted by joe scouse View Post
    public parks were not so public those days,even princess park had private gardens for the local toffs the far side of the lake,the square holes you refer to are were the lead held the railings in place.joe
    Princes Park was built as a private park and later bought by Liverpool Corporation. The world's first municipal public park was Birkenhead Park, which Central Park in New York was based on.

    Princes Park, Liverpool - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    The best thing they ever did was take the railings down around Sefton Park. It opened the park out onto the surrounding roads.
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    Here in Chester, the governors of All Saint's Junior School in Hoole (where my kids went) actually removed their railings and hid them, only re-erecting them 'when the coast was clear' after the war.

    The handsome Victorian school has, sadly, recently been handed over to private education, but at least its fine railings remain!
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