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Thread: Beresford Road c1890

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    Senior Member Colin Wilkinson's Avatar
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    Default Beresford Road c1890

    Old photographs of the South End are, strangely, less common than those of Everton/Kirkdale and the North End in general. In fact, in some kind of perverse reversal, the better off the area – the fewer old photographs, particularly of street life. With camera ownership being very much restricted to the better-off (in the 1890s), [...]

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    Senior Member GeorgePorgie's Avatar
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    Not a tin can,plastic bottle,or paper wrapper in sight....and here's me thinking todays drop litter campaign was making a difference. pffft!

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    Senior Member fortinian's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Wilkinson View Post
    Old photographs of the South End are, strangely, less common than those of Everton/Kirkdale and the North End in general. In fact, in some kind of perverse reversal, the better off the area – the fewer old photographs, particularly of street life. With camera ownership being very much restricted to the better-off (in the 1890s)
    I think perverse is quite the right word for what you are describing. The late 1800s were the beginning of the social 'pastime' known as Slumming. This is when Mr and Mrs Well-to-Do would visit the slums, sometimes to help those in genuine poverty but othertimes to simply gawp at the squallor.

    From Wikimedia Commons, New York Slummers

    It seems likely that the profusion of photos of the poorer north-end of Liverpool could be a reflection of slumming.

    Slumming was a very complex social event and induced much good-will and charity work as well as morbid facination with the 'great unwashed'. George Orwell is probably the most famous slummer. Dr Bernardo arguably utilised the fashion for slumming to help establish his charity, often with photographs of the poor children in the slums - the guilt-trip advert is clearly not a modern invention!

    On a side note: - that 'Grand Old Man' William Gladstone, was arguably the most famous scouse slummer, some evening he'd visit fallen women in the London slums, often to give them a dose of 'religious improvement'!

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    Senior Member wsteve55's Avatar
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    Interesting stuff,Fortinian! I'd heard/read of the more well off going to gawp at the poor, but didn't realise it had developed into a pastime/hobby!(for some,at least!)

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    Senior Member Norm NZ's Avatar
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    quote: On a side note: - that 'Grand Old Man' William Gladstone, was arguably the most famous scouse slummer, some evening he'd visit fallen women in the London slums, often to give them a dose of 'religious improvement'!

    "Well! that's his story, and i guess he's sticking to it"!!!!!!!!

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    Senior Member marky's Avatar
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    The corner shop is on the junction of Beresford Road/Mill Street. It was McIvers bicycle shop in the 1980s. The Church and School that faced this corner shop was St Cleopas.

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    Senior Member lindylou's Avatar
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    Fantastic picture Colin.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Wilkinson View Post
    Old photographs of the South End are, strangely, less common than those of Everton/Kirkdale and the North End in general. In fact, in some kind of perverse reversal, the better off the area – the fewer old photographs, particularly of street life. With camera ownership being very much restricted to the better-off (in the 1890s), [...]

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    Brilliant again Colin. Is the church not St Cleopas though? Just a thought.

    ---------- Post added at 09:51 AM ---------- Previous post was at 09:51 AM ----------

    Sorry, just saw Markys post.
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    Senior Member Colin Wilkinson's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info, Marky. In the 1893 Gore's Directory, William Needs shop is listed on the corner of Beresford Road and Bessemer Street - but I did think it looked more like Mill Street. Also - re. Fortinian's great post - I suppose part of it was a moral lesson - 'there but for the grace of God' and all that. Certainly from a point of interest, the photos of teeming back streets with all their activity are more interesting than the usually empty streets of well-heeled suburbs. I think there is also the point that physically, the better areas tend to change very little compared to inner-city 'slum' areas.

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    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    Great post fortinian,

    'The Grand Old Man' had some peculiar habits; he used to chop wood for exercise. I can't imagine what got him so worked up?


    To go 'Slumming' was part of an older English tradition of peering at the unfortunate:

    'In the 18th century people used to go to Bedlam to stare at the lunatics. For a penny one could peer into their cells, view the freaks of the "show of Bethlehem" and laugh at their antics. Entry was free on the first Tuesday of the month. In 1814 alone, there were 96,000 such visits.'

    From wiki. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bethlem_Royal_Hospital

    Click image for larger version. 

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    "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."... ... ... Mark Twain.

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    Re-member Ged's Avatar
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    Although slumming no doubt happened, i'm not sure that the proliferation of 'North end' photographs was remotely down to the gawpers as most in the LRO seem to have been taken by the City Engineers department to record dilapidation, cpo areas and slum clearances.
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    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    I think that also helps to explain the existing record Ged. The corporation were responsible for these areas, hence the abundance in the photographic archive.
    "I have never let my schooling interfere with my education."... ... ... Mark Twain.

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    Senior Member ChrisGeorge's Avatar
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    Hi All

    I think "Slumming" became a well-described and popular practice of the upper classes in London and New York. I am not so sure that it was popular in other urban centers such as Liverpool or Birmingham, but I look forward to being proved wrong in that assumption.

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

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    Senior Member fortinian's Avatar
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    I was not saying that the pictures were directly slumming but rather they reflect the general attitudes towards the poorer in society, exemplified by the phenomenon of slumming.

    I too would like my assumption to be proved, ChrisGeorge. Slumming is well documented in London and New York but very litte study has been carried out on provincial slumming. I would guess that provincial slumming was less formalised than London and therefore merited fewer references in contemporary literature.

    That is perhaps why a study of photographic archives in provincial cities would be a worthwhile method of seeking a study on provincial slumming. Photography was more accessible among the better-off than writing for publication (which lets face it, is never easy).

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    Senior Member GeorgePorgie's Avatar
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    They were a rum lot the middle and upper classes in the Victorian era and as been said they would pay a penny to see side shows of a freak nature and see how the lower classes lived,they even had a morbid fascination of photographing their own deceased spouses,relatives,children along side each other.

    ---------- Post added at 08:42 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:21 PM ----------

    Disturbing stuff in this link so be warned.

    The 7th pic is most disturbing as those three children are actually dead and prropped upwith a support.
    http://acidcow.com/pics/1453-the-mig...h-26-pics.html

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    Senior Member Colin Wilkinson's Avatar
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    I have quite a number of 'slum' photographs. Clearly the City Engineers had their own agenda (and did not start until 1898 at the very end of the Victorian era) which was slum clearance, insanitary housing etc. They did not necessarily want people in their photos - they were resigned to that eventuality. What I was writing about was the vogue for venturing into the slums with a hand-held camera to capture life in the raw. Which gives me an idea for my next post!

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    Re-member Ged's Avatar
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    You're right there George. Some very heartbreaking pictures there - scary even.
    www.inacityliving.piczo.com/

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    Senior Member John Doh's Avatar
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    I too have only just seen Marky’s and Ged’s posts, but have been puzzling over that 1890 photo since I first saw it. I knew something was wrong with that description, so went down to take a look today and came back with a few pics. The shot is definitely of Mill Street at the junction with Beresford Road. The original church, which was St. Cleopas, not St Silas, was demolished a few years back and a replacement built plus a community centre and “Cleo’s Café” on the opposite side of Beresford Road. Bessemer Street is not in the picture at all, being two streets lower down, running parallel to Mill Street, joining Beresford Road opposite St. Cleopas school (also rebuilt).

    Now my only question is ‘Where’s St. Silas?’ I know where St Silas primary school is – between High Park St. and Admiral St. Perhaps it too has been demolished?

    Incidentally, the refurbishment of The Florence Institute, just a little way down from where the photo was taken is now well under way – will post photos later on a new Thread.

    [Click between 'Last' and 'Next' to compare Then and Now, bottom left]
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    Senior Member Colin Wilkinson's Avatar
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    Thanks John - and my apologies. Of course it is St Cleopas (it says so on the map). Bessemer Street is on the neg - but as you note, it is further down the street. I'm not sure where St Silas came from - but I have photos somewhere ...

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    Senior Member John Doh's Avatar
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    Here are a few more, complete with autumn foliage, just to show they do have colour now in the Dingle...

    Oh, and George, there wasn't much litter around today... apart from a few eggshells that seem to have appeared inexplicably overnight...







    [Use scroll bar underneath to see full width images, top one too]

    St. Cleopas new church, centre and café is on RHS.

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    Re-member Ged's Avatar
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    Nice comparisons John.
    www.inacityliving.piczo.com/

    Updated weekly with old and new pics.

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