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My Liverpool Books

Liverpool Books

The history of Liverpool was a pastime and a hobby of mine from the early 1980s and fast became a passion. Everything I could learn about it from my elders, books and videos became a must. Some books gave me inspiration to photograph what was about to be demolished in the late 1980s, some of these appearing in my own very first book mentioned elsewhere on this site.

Following is a collection of what I own in the written form, though others have been lent out and lost, borrowed from the Central Library or studied in the reference section during my researching. My philosophy is, if you want to know what you're talking about, research it, and boy have these helped a little. :o)

With hundreds of pages between them, these three similar styled offerings take us back in time with dozens of fantastic city centre photographs taken over the decades as well as insights into some of the city's most famous manufacturing Companies.

One of the most often posed questions on history forums or local media threads seems to concerns pubs. These four books by Freddie O'Connor take in the majority of the city's pubs, always with photographs and often with addresses, the names of the landlord at the time of the photograph and other snippets of information. Complimented occassionally with shots of the surrounding areas, these are a must for any self respecting anorak.

The Daily Post and Echo have periodically delved into their archives in the past to issue pull outs inside of their general newspaper runs. However, these glossy magazines with high quality pics from yesteryear are a great added bonus and again a must have record of past times.

Six fantastic books concerning themselves with my old area, an area I had great pleasure growing up in. These books take you back to the 1920s, eventually bringing you right up to date. Courts, ice cream parlours, street musicians, local sportsmen, pubs, street scenes, places of entertainment and worship - they're all here for the Scottie Roader.

Whilst few books about Liverpool were doing the rounds in the 70s and 80s, the awarding of the European Capital of Culture in 08 saw a glut. Here are a few that found their way into my collecton.

Events, people, places, changes and suburbs are sub-titles to these three books that cover the city and it's outlying districts very well. Anyone interested in the history of the city shouldn't be without them.

More must have views of ye olde Liverpool from the Liverpool Records office as compiled by Colin Wilkinson of the Bluecoat Press.

Another two by Colin showing then and now aerial pics and street scenes, a slant which always goes down well.

More compilations, including the very difficult task of picking just a handfull of the many hundreds taken by Harry Ainscough that were bequeathed to the LRO.

For the connoisseurs amongst us wanting to know every event date, architect and building detail there are no books better than these three by the Scouse Press, Quentin Hughes and Sharples Pevsner guide.

Two excellent books that for me go hand in hand. Both compiled by Kay Parrott, once of the LRO, these capture pre camera Liverpool in paintings by Herdmanb and Tankard.

More 2009 offerings from the Liverpool Echo as a souvinir from the decades of the 50s, 60s, 70s and the 80s. Everything in these from pictures of iconic buildings, general fashions and trends of the day as well as local personalities.

Paul Bolger's excellent Edwardian A-Z directories showing 1908 street maps, such as those by Alan Godfrey together with premises listings for a lot of the main roads, supplimented with photographs from the areas covered on the maps. Very handy for seeing 'what was once there'.

Three books concentrating on particular buildings in the city, notably the Anglican Cathedral, Liverpool Royal Infirmary and the South Docklands. With many architectural nuggets and specification info, you can learn something new from all of these publications.

Three of just a few of the books on the market concentrating on personal recollections and never has the ordinary man in the street's story been so interesting as now. Learn from Jim Elliott about Hughie Smith, strongman and escapologist who played his show to hundreds if not thousands during the 50s and 60s. Accounts of growing up in the courts and backstreets of Liverpool and a love for the city as recalled equally by Sarah Allen and J. Woods.

Philip Mayer is a mine of information on the buildings of Liverpool, their former uses and construction dates etc but his pet subject is Liverpool's cinemas. However, upon moving to the Dingle from Southport, it is the subject of Dingle that Philip chose to write about and a great book with old photos it is too. Memories of Merseyside is full of unusual photos, not otherwise published before, nor many since, making this book a must.

A collection of photographs from the Stewart Bale archives were put together for this book. Based in Liverpool, many of theirs are held on the records office and have been highlighted in exhibitions in such venues as the conservation centre. Looking back is another for scenes of yesteryear, none more depicted than the haunting cover shot showing the Docker's Umbrella overhead railway undergoing de-construction.

You only have to look at the cover of 'Images of a great seaport' to see the type of quality on show in this book, some fantastic shots. Peter Wooley, who has also written books about Bootle has compiled a book of old picture postcards which by their very nature show the old city at its best

Two of my most favourite books in my collection and like the pub on every corner series, these are by Freddie O'Connor. As a 1960s cab driver, Freddie captured on camera what was about to be lost and carried this on into the 70s and 80s compiling a record that is what it says on the cover. 'It all came tumbling down'. This book was undoubtedly my inspiration to go out in the late 80s to record some dereliction of my own. 'Our city - Our heritage is jam packed with stats, information and pictures on various areas taking us from the slum courts to the date of publication. You just have to own this one.

Ian Boumphrey has many published books but here we obviously concentrate on his pictorial history of Liverpool with over 450 photos and graphics covering from 1857 to 1957, many i'd never seen before, even with that collection. The Pictures from the post special edition features the best photos of 1937, an art deco era which obviously features the new airport being built, oh and that little vessel over the water at Cammell Laird, the Ark Royal. Bygone Merseyside is another capturing nostalgic long lost scenes.

Two books concentrating very much on their own subject matter and that alone. My good friend Paul Sudbury produced a book of his social history documentary 'Gardens of Stone' which concentrates on the Gerard Gardens/Crescent tenement development and the trials and tribulations it witnessed during its 50 year lifespan. See the homepage for further information on this. Played in Liverpool will tell you everything from the white city stadium, Bixteth Street boxing, Aintree racecouse, football, golf, swimming, boys clubs and much much more.

Not every single street is covered but a splendid collection of some of the best walked thoroughfares are included in these books by Thomas Lloyd-Jones. So if you ever wondered who Hunter Street was named after...wonder no more.

Another trio of publications concentrating on their chosen field. Terry Martin's tram shots are fascinating enough if that's what you're into, let alone some of the fantastic background scenes throughout the city, some of which can be found on the post war black and white pics page of this site. The pool of life takes us behind the scenes of the development of hospital and clinic treatment in the pool. Bombers over Merseyside hosts a great collection of blitz photographs, including the docklands, St. Nics and Bootle.

Underground Liverpool by Jim Moore deals with everything you need to know about subterranean Liverpool with many fantastic pics, facts and figures including diagrams. 'Liverpool' a simple title, another great Echo suppliment and like it says, a tribute to the city and its people.

Some of my dad's earlier collection which just like 'it all came tumbling down', were a great inspiration which led me to collect what I could and eventually pen my own trilogy. With dates galore, old shopping advertisements and a 100 year history of the city's schools, they truly make fantastic reading.

Richard Whittington-Egan will be known to anyone who looks into the written history of Liverpool's bygone characters and oddities. Renowned and respected for such work long before the glut of Liverpool ghost books of the 1990s, this trilogy make for some good reading.

Three booklets of their time. Not any length of reading here but the 1964 Corpy bus timetable pre MPTE lists every route undertaken, reminding us of long lost destinations with weird and wonderful names such as Lyme Cross, Lee Park and Longview. It's answered enough questions to warrant a place here anyhow. The next two pamplets concern themselves with the visit to Liverpool of two of the most eminent people in the world and proved to be real crowd pullers. The 21st June 1977 was Queen Elizabeth II's Silver Jubilee celebrations, and who can forget the street parties. Sunday May 30th 1982 was a gloriously hot day which saw Pope John Paul II land at Speke Airport and taken around the city on his Pope-Mobile. Both booklets contain the full programme of events.

Every now and then we are grateful that a new book hits the market as someone else scans those negatives and slides, bringing years of hidden treasures to light. These are another two brilliant colour packed books full of street scenes as captured during the 50s, 60s and 70s by Frank Lenhan and Martin Jenkins with Charles Roberts respectively. It's not just seeing how somewhere once looked but the cars and fashions of the day are captured too.

An original tourists guide and welcome booklet to football fans visiting Liverpool in 1966 for the matches being held at Everton's Goodsion Park as listed on the cover. Some of the photos in here are so atmospheric and of their time that i've published them on the streets ahead and buildings page of this site. Our story, memories of gay Liverpool is a free book/dvd set financed and distributed by Liverpool Central library and Records office.

Central Liverpool is one of many in a similar vein which each look at certain districts of the city, this is another gem that records the city centre buildings and streets. David Lewis takes you on a walk through Liverpool prompting and urging you to look up and see what's around you. There are some marvelous facades on Dale st, Victoria st and Castle st to name but a few. David Cotterill who brought us the book of Liver birds which details the whereabouts of over 100 throughout the city exelled again with City Beautiful.

A second book concentrating on the Italian Families in Liverpool and naturally centering on an area my parents grew up in, in the early 1920s, namely Little Italy. With accounts from those still with us who can relate to what it was like half a century ago or more, and their children who had stories passed down to them, it makes very interesting reading. The author herself is of Italian descendency.

Well that's it for now but please don't be offended if you don't see your publication on here because although I shouldn't do it having lost all my 1980s Whitbread Scousology books, I currently have 7 on loan out to people and these were what were currently in my library when photographed in August 09. I hope some may provide an inspiration for you to go out and capture your city.