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Thread: New book about Liverpool-by Stan Williams

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    Newbie Fat scouse's Avatar
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    Default New book about Liverpool-by Stan Williams

    Hello to all. I have just picked up a new book about Liverpool, The authors memories from the 40's on. The title is-Penny Lane Is In My Ears And In My Eyes. by Stan Williams, who lived on Borrowdale road Wavertree, Liverpool 15. It's well written and got some great pictures of those days.Stan was born in Toxteth in 1941 and he graduated as a teacher at Liverpool Uni, and then began a career teaching in Scotland. He has written for the British Beatles Fan Club Magazine. My interest in the book is the area Stan grew up in around Borrowdale Rd and Garmoyle Rd. in Liverpool 15. ( I lived in Garmoyle Rd through the 50's and early 60's)
    Stan went to Lidderdale Rd Primary School as I did and then Dovedale Rd Junior school. (likewise) He remembers the same teachers I knew at that time- Miss Leopold of Lidderdale Rd Primary and Mr bell and Mr Bolt teachers at Dovedale Juniors and also Mr Evans, the Head at that school, so you can see I have enjoyed going down memory lane with Stan Williams- though I don't remember Stan at all. I guess the 4 year age difference counts for that.
    One of Stan's memories is of a book shop on Smithdown Rd, which he calls Bassnetts. The only shop I recall which fits Stan's description was called Bascombes as I knew it. It was the only shop I knew where I could get the Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine (never missed a copy!) and when I joined the Army my Mam threw them all out! It was this shop that also sold American Horror comics before they were banned and all the Super hero comics too. I bought my first paperback copy of Mary Shelly's Frankenstein here and also Bram Stokers Dracula. They had copies of Edgar Allen Poe's Tales Of Mystery and Imagination and all of H.P. Lovecraft's short stories. So you can see it was a magnet of a shop for young lads like myself in the late 50's and early 60's. I know that two Liverpool Fantasy and horror writers Clive Barker and Ramsey Campbell both mention Bascombes shop in frontispieces of two separate books they wrote. Sidetracked there a bit- Heartily recommend the book Penny Lane Is In My Ears And In My Eyes by Stan Williams. It's available at Waterstones. Cheers all. Jim Eaton


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    Newbie Fat scouse's Avatar
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    In addition to the last post, I must mention that those early paperbacks I bought, when I was about 12/13 years old, by Poe and Shelly et al; Thinking back and being honest I really bought them more for their garish covers and not their literary content! Though I did get to read them later and enjoyed most of them. I remember the cover of Mary Shelly's Frankenstein had a black and white reproduction of Boris Karloff on the cover, as the famous movie monster. I guess I was going through my Gothic period then, the way most teenagers do.
    My father worked for the council then and he brought home the strangest memento from a hospital that was being refurbished- a real human skull with hinged cranium and jaw-it had been thrown out and replaced with a plastic version. I kept this in my bedroom with a candle on top- much to my Mams horror.

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    Senior Member ChrisGeorge's Avatar
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    Hi Fat scouse

    Many thanks for the heads up on the book Penny Lane Is In My Ears And In My Eyes by Stan Williams. Sounds great. I am a south ender and know the Penny Lane area well. Also thanks for your interesting reminiscences. Maybe you should write a book, too. I remember Bascombes shop but don't recall where it was. Could you clue me in?

    Thanks

    Chris
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    Senior Member Bernie's Avatar
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    I remember Bascombes, it was between the railway and where the old cinema was, used to go there on the way home from school.
    When the smoke has cleared and the bullets cease.another soldier rests in peace. The politicians who caused the fight, rest at home no danger in sight

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie View Post
    I remember Bascombes, it was between the railway and where the old cinema was, used to go there on the way home from school.
    I'm vaguely starting to remember. I think they had some adult mags there, am I right?
    Christopher T. George
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    Newbie Fat scouse's Avatar
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    Hi Chris, Bascombes was a double fronted shop on the Wavertree playground side. From the"Mizzy" gates on Smithdown Rd you turned left and headed towards Penny Lane. It was second shop in at the first row of shops you came to. Next door to the corner shop, which was a Cash and Carry Green Grocers. ( My Mam always sent me for the spuds here ) Bascombes was a cramped shop that sold sweets and tobacco and comics and magazines. they had two windows, the first one displayed sweets and related stuff the second, long window, displayed all the great Horror and ghost story paperbacks. I used to buy the Pan book Of Horror stories and the Pan book of Ghost Stories here.Also Famous Monsters Of Filmland magazine. They had a good range of Sci -Fi books too. The window was a must for youngsters going through their Gothic phase! This is where Ramsey Campbell, Clive Barker and others like me ( unbeknown to each other ) pressed our noses to the glass to take in all the great titles. The former two went on to great literary acclaim while I went on to become a shadow of my former self. My only claim to fame is -I went to school with Brian Patten, the great Liverpool poet and writer, he was a pal of mine and his first pen name was- Bram Hamble- if he reads this he'll have a good laugh! Oh yes thanks for the compliment- maybe I should write a book, I'm full of waffle these days!

    ---------- Post added at 04:16 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:12 PM ----------

    Hi Bernie! which school and where did you live then?

    ---------- Post added at 04:19 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:16 PM ----------

    Er- Yes, that's right Chris- My old man used to send me on a Friday night to buy him an ounce of Highland Sliced Pipe tobacco and the latest Famous crimes magazine I would sneak a peek at the adult stuff as I selected the Crime mag- forgot to mention that!
    Last edited by Fat scouse; 04-06-2011 at 05:14 PM. Reason: spelling!

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    Senior Member Bernie's Avatar
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    Fat Scouse, I went to the Bluecoat Grammar School, left in 1954 at that time I lived in Salisbury Rd. Wavertree.
    When the smoke has cleared and the bullets cease.another soldier rests in peace. The politicians who caused the fight, rest at home no danger in sight

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bernie View Post
    Fat Scouse, I went to the Bluecoat Grammar School, left in 1954 at that time I lived in Salisbury Rd. Wavertree.
    I'm very impressed sir! A top school and quite a distance from Salisbury rd. Makes my little trudge to Dovedale Juniors look like nothing! Then, having failed the 11 plus I had to head in the other direction to Sefton park Seniors. When I came home from the Army in the late 60's my Mam had moved from Garmoyle rd to Beverley Rd, just behind the Bluecoat School. I seem to recall there was a connecting passageway from Church Rd to Prince Alfred Rd, it ran alongside the Liberal party HQ building- or was it the Conservative party. Not sure. Wasn't very political then-or now.

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    If I'm not mistaken, one more frequenter of Bascombe's was Clive's and my good friend Pete Atkins. By gum, did all Liverpool horror writing start there?

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    Sounds a great read wish I could get a copy sent sister sent me a book years ago I said I''ll send you money for the book and postage ha ha the postage was almost the same as the book, my oldest brother & his new wife lived a very very small stones throw from the Penny Lane bus Garage and was alway's waken by the laughter of the crews and the cry of "GENTLEMEN START YOUR ENGINES" he said he loved the cameradera oh hearing the blokes laughing and telling errr the "good jokes' his wife said bl--dy disgusting we should move WHY? you don't complain about were only paying a shoe string rent but sadly back in 1991 he succumed to M.S 6 month's after my mum was getting cremating my father she said the kid's are supposed to out live the parents

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    I remember Luxtons on Smithdown Road near Greenbank, it was always open and still there today, I think. I also remember Axelrods further up Smithdown passed Borrowdale Road opposite Hattons. Axelrods was run by a Jewish family who closed the shop on Saturdays and was the only shop open on Sundays. I think there was a joke shop near there as well where I used to spend all my pocket money.

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