Tag Archives: Barry Ward

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

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

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

Ready Steady Go! Pop music grows up.

Paul Jones of Manfred Mann on Ready Steady Go!

Paul Jones of Manfred Mann on Ready Steady Go!

Our two chums Ronnie and Barry have left the Junior’s now and are about to go to big school. More excited than ever about pop music, Ronnie puts the first records on the turntable this time round.

It’s 1965 and we’re very busy. We’ve taken our ‘Eleven plus’ exam to decide which Secondary school we’ll go to in the autumn. This cruel piece of social engineering will divide friends and send us off to schools in opposite directions soon.

Sandie Shaw, knocked off the top spot by Elvis.

Sandie Shaw, knocked off the top spot by Elvis.

But for now we have the music. And the music is getting very, very interesting and exciting. Continue reading

It’s the 1960s – The music has arrived

Sixties school fellow and contributor to the popular ‘Foods and sweets’ series, Barry Ward, leads on this one, with occasional additional comments from me, about us discovering music growing up together in suburban North Liverpool.with_the_beatles

The first music I remember would have been from the radio, nursery rhymes on ‘Listen With Mother’.  We didn’t have a record player until 1963 and so the radio always seemed to be on in our house. I recall programmes such as ‘Children’s Favourites’ on Saturday mornings, and ‘Two Way Family Favourites.’ From these I would have heard songs such as The Teddy Bear’s Picnic, The Runaway Train, Nellie The Elephant, The Laughing Policeman, How Much Is That Doggie In The Window, The Big Rock Candy Mountain, and the was it sinister or did it pre-date Kraftwerk and ELO, ‘Sparky’s Magic Piano’? (Go to 3m 20s here.)MAY_ BILLY _Sparky_s Magic Piano_
The late 50’s wave of (mainly) American Rock & Roll artists such as Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Buddy Holly and Little Richard passed me by at the time though. Continue reading


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