Growing up in North Liverpool

In the early days of this blog we had a look round Liverpool in 1953, the place I was about to get born into. In this follow up to that one we’re going to come in a bit closer. Having spent much of my life with no early photographs of my early days, I’ve recently gathered up a few, courtesy of my Dad. And they’ve got a story to tell.

But before I arrive, of course, my parents have to meet.

My Dad, Joe Hughes, with his sister Terry.
My Dad, Joe Hughes, with his sister Terry.

In this lovely picture Joe is eight and Terry four. Meaning it’s 1936. They are living in North Liverpool down by the Dock Road.

“Even at that age, in those days, we were allowed to roam wherever we liked and I was trusted to look after Terry’ Joe says now. ‘We’d go to church on our own and then go off wandering around the docks and streets and even into town. I remember me and Terry being in town together even after it had gone dark. We had a much bigger Liverpool to play in than children seem to be allowed now. It was great.”

When the war comes three years later Joe is still too young to join the forces. Continue reading “Growing up in North Liverpool”

Out of Liverpool: Walking to Leeds Section 2

leeds-liverpool-2-65On the bus from the centre of town then, back to where we left off at Wally’s Steps for the second section of our walk from here to there along the whole of the Leeds Liverpool Canal. 127 miles to Leeds with 119 to go. Today we’ll cover the 8 miles from Aintree to Downholland Cross.leeds-liverpool-2-1 leeds-liverpool-2-2 leeds-liverpool-2-3Quality graffiti here. So today will we be Riders on the Storm who will Break on Through to the Other Side? Well.

Sarah has a new jacket.
Sarah has a new jacket.

It’s a ‘paramo’ thing and apparently ‘jacket’ is hardly the word for something that will prove to keep her warm, keep her dry, keep her cool, keep her ventilated and be her best friend when other humans, me, aren’t quite up to the mark. It’s a miracle. And you can keep canal maps in the front. Continue reading “Out of Liverpool: Walking to Leeds Section 2”

When we were boys

Shortly after we are born the rationing from World War II and the subsequent austerity finally ends. Sweets rationing has finished a year earlier and now bacon and meat (somehow considered separate items) are the final items whose removal makes ration books redundant. All ready for us to grow up into a world of plenty which, eventually, we do.

But at the time, the place we are born into still looks as if the war has only recently ended.

The Custom House, 1954. Where Liverpool One now stands.
The Custom House, 1954. Where some of Liverpool One now stands.
Bomb site car parking in 1954 opposite Blackler's Department Store.
Bomb site car parking in 1954 opposite Blackler’s Department Store.

But of course we see none of this, we’re just born after all. Born only days and streets apart, though we won’t meet for another five years. Continue reading “When we were boys”

At last, it’s 1970

At the moment we have a visitor staying with us here in Liverpool and we’re in the middle of showing her the delights of our beloved place. There will, of course, be a blog post about all that.1

But obviously one of the places we’ve taken her has been our beautifully renewed and restored Liverpool Central Library. We were in there for hours, and at one point, while Sarah and Mandy were exploring the treasures in the Picton Reading Room, I reverted to type and explored one of my own particular delights, their complete collection of TV Times magazines.DSC07824Not for the TV, which I never watched much then and not at all now, but for the adverts. This was a mass market magazine and I love to see what the adverts tell us about what mattered in the culture of the country in those days. Continue reading “At last, it’s 1970”

Autographs

It looks like a different world to now. People look more nervous in the photographs, like they’re not used to being in them. And though there is colour in some of the photographs, it’s often tinted in. This is a world that was lived mostly in black and white. On the relatively few televisions. In all the newspapers. And in the monthly magazine I treasured in the early to mid 1960s, ‘Charles Buchan’s Football Monthly.’ Which I’ve been remembering this week because I borrowed a book of the ‘best of’ it from Allerton Library.

And what a treasure it is. Depicting a world where the beginning of success for any young footballer appears to be signified by being asked to sign their autograph. A world where all goalkepers are ‘doughty custodians.’ Where brilliant young Pele of Brazil outrageously appears to be presented as the only black person on earth. But also a world where footballers clearly live amongst the communities that support them. Continue reading “Autographs”