Tag Archives: Victoria Settlement Everton

Inspecting Liverpool, part two

So, continuing my Sunday walk this week. It’s a beautiful, sunny day. And having walked to the Bold Street Festival, through Granby, Canning and down the hill from Hope Street, now I’m outside St George’s Hall.

Waiting for the 19 bus to take me to North Liverpool.

Waiting for the 19 bus to take me to North Liverpool.

I get off at Walton Lane and walk along Bullens Road to the first place I want to see.

Diana Street, Walton.

Diana Street, Walton.

This is the street of my earliest memories. We lived in two different shared houses here until I was three years old. I don’t remember any cars then, back in the 1950s. People like us just didn’t have them. But I do remember standing in the front window sometimes and watching thousands and thousands of people walk past the house.

Because at this end of the street is Goodison Park, the ground of Everton Football Club.

Because at this end of the street is Goodison Park, the ground of Everton Football Club.

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Eleanor Rathbone of Liverpool

Eleanor Rathbone, 1872-1946.

Eleanor Rathbone, 1872-1946.

For all of my life, though she died before I was born, Eleanor Rathbone has been around me.

When I got my first proper job working in Everton for the Liverpool City Housing Department, I would pass the Victoria Settlement on my way to work every day. Still going then, it had been Liverpool’s first women’s and children’s community centre, set up and run at the beginning of the 20th century by a group of enthusiastic feminists, including Eleanor Rathbone.

Victoria Settlement, Netherfield Road, Everton.

Victoria Settlement, Netherfield Road, Everton.

Then doing my social sciences degree at the University of Liverpool I was based in the Eleanor Rathbone building. She founded the department.

Margaret Simey.

Margaret Simey.

Working at Liverpool Housing Trust I once booked Greenbank House, owned by the University by then, for a Board meeting. And when we got there LHT Board member Margaret Simey said to me ‘You know, the last time I was here I was taking tea with Eleanor Rathbone.’ This had been the Rathbone family home from the 18th century until after Eleanor Rathbone’s death.

Greenbank House, Liverpool.

Greenbank House, Liverpool.

Margaret of course was a City Councillor representing Granby Ward for many years, as was Eleanor Rathbone from 1909 to 1935, Liverpool’s first female Councillor. And these last few years much of my own time has gone into helping the people in Granby work on the future of their place. Continue reading