Famous faces and places of Liverpool's past go on show
Oct 17 2008 by Laura Sharpe, Liverpool Daily Post
EVOCATIVE images capturing Liverpool in the 1950s and 60s have gone on display in the city for the first time.
Black and white photographs showing famous Liverpool streets and local heroes are just some of the images on show at the National Conservation Centre.
The photographs were taken by the late Philip Jones Griffiths, a Welsh-born photographer best known for his pictures of the Vietnam war.
He died earlier this year, but remembered his time as a student in the city fondly, saying: ?In my youth, Liverpool was the unofficial capital of North Wales. It was where I went to expand my horizons, experience the world outside my village.
?It provided a mix of enlight- enment and education and an early experience of multicult- uralism. The bustling seaport city became my favourite.?
He was influenced by Liverpool artist and friend Adrian Henri, and one of the pictures shows Henri standing in front of his famous ?Long Live Socialism? painting.
Poets Roger McGough and Brian Pattern feature in a series of images showing the ?happenings? in the city, spontaneous events which gathered together poets and painters in the early 1960s. Hope Street and other graffitied terraced roads show the deprivation and harshness of life for many people.
The distinctive image of a blond haired woman surrounded by children is simply entitled ?Woman living with children.?
Another, School Outing, is noted as showing the ?intensity of facial expression? as a headmaster and children stand grim faced and confused waiting for the bus to arrive.
The old Paddy?s market also features, taken again in 1966, where Griffiths captures a cold, wet day as women lay out piles of clothes in heaps on the floor.
It goes without saying that the Beatles make an appearance, with portrait pictures hanging next to a laid-back image of Ringo in his dressing room.
Griffiths photographed the group?s first appearance at the Liverpool Empire and took many shots backstage.
Griffiths wrote: ?Things were very casual in their dressing room; fans popped in for autographs and Ringo obliged.? The photo shows him wearing only a shirt and no trousers.
The ?Reflections? collection also showcases pictures of Britain during a time of social and political change.
One shows a ?Ban the Bomb? enactment of casualties lined up along London Embankment watched by a bemused soldier.
Always proud of his roots, there are images of Welsh towns and local characters, and others taken in Northern Ireland showing everyday images which seem unbelievable including a woman mowing her lawn while a soldier hides in the bushes.
ADMISSION is free to the National Conservation Centre, Whitechapel, between 10am-5pm every day.