Liverpool Historical

A thread for all those interested in the history , recent and further back , of the City of Liverpool. Would love to see any old videos or montages of Liverpool related stuff.

I’ll kick it off with a short film which supposedly had the iconic punk club Eric’s as its subject but quite shockingly serves as a reminder of just how desperate things were in Liverpool in the late seventies. People who scoff at the idea of the Torys’ ‘managed decline’ strategy for the City should take a look at this and see just how close the place was to becoming no longer viable.


is that link wrong as its not exactly a film.

i did like it though

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It was shot by an Italian film company , presumably to be part of a bigger piece. Whether it came to fruition or not , I have no idea. I can’t seem to find anything about the company but I will ask an Italian guy I know if he can discover anything more about it.

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is it just me or is it just a music video?

It looks like a clip of a piece they were doing about Eric’s. Maybe the music was added by whoever posted it (although it was of its time) ? Dunno.

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There’s quite a few old clips used for music videos. I came across this that has a piece about Runcorn new town at the end:

That was where much of the problem with decay started. There was a lot of slum and heavily bomb damaged housing. I can remember swathes of this being demolished in the 1970s but rather than being rebuilt with modern housing, the population were shipped off out of town to purpose built, and completely soulless housing estates. Many big cities had the same problems.

It seems odd now seeing just how black the Liver Building was. It was cleaned up for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee in 1977 and I remember being amazed that it was meant to be white. I’m trying to remember when we went smokeless - early 70s?

Another thing I would like to see is the underground rail before it was modernised in the mid-70s. I particularly remember James Street - my father worked in the Dock Board building at that time so we would occasionally meet up with him in the evening. At that time, the underground stations had all their Victorian ornamentation and the platforms had newsagent’s booths that used sell popular books as well. I can remember getting the Guinness Book of Records for Christmas having previously seen it on display there.


If anyone is interested the whole Play For Today episode of “Our Day Out” is available here:

This was written by Liverpool playwright, Willy Russell, about a special needs class from an inner city Liverpool school who go on a day trip to North Wales.

It was made in 1977 (not 1970 as the link says) and features quite a few clips of ordinary Liverpool from that time. The children were all real kids from Liverpool rather than acting school proteges.

I suppose it would be described as tragi-comic but don’t let that put you off. It’s genuinely laugh-out-loud funny.


I have vague memories of the trams and the overhead railway in the early 50s. I definitely remember going to the Seaforth Overhead Railway terminus. There was a one legged Echo seller who sat under the bridge on the floor. He was called Billy Binks and I was fascinated by him as a small child. He always had the empty trouser leg tied up with rope.

In the Museum of Liverpool Life there is a film on loop of the docks taken from the overhead train plus of course one of the carriages is in the museum. I am sure you could go inside the carriage at one time but last time I was there, you couldn’t.

Imagine if we still had both the OHR and the Trams…


I was thinking of posting this too. Everybody my age from North Wales remembers it. It even inspired one idiot to try and nick a penguin himself , or was that just another urban myth , I never did quite find out.

Nice to see the entire thing too. The last time I watched it ended abruptly at about the hour mark. I’ll give it another go soon. Cheers !


Those town planners from the seventies have a lot to answer for. It made me laugh at the end when he said Runcorn would be a nice place for families.

Isn’t it the case that a great deal of the housing stock there is practically worthless due to the fact that the land it is built on is seeping toxins , a legacy of ICI and others having previously used the area as landfill to get rid of their petro-chemical waste ?


Fascinating stuff. It’s just a shame that they don’t get some local historian to narrate.


Blood Brothers is one of my fav shows, written by the esteemed Mr Russell. Exactly this backdrop.

I remember going to see that at the Playhouse with my mother and sister when it first came out. My mother was a big Barbara Dixon fan so we got tickets for her as a birthday present.

A word of warning for the unaware: it’s quite sad. Unfortunately, we had bought matinee tickets and had to get the underground back from the city centre (during the rush hour) with my mother and sister having suffered severe mascara malfunction.

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What year was that ? Tickets on sale at the door … for Bowie !

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4th September 1972. This was, unbelievably, the Ziggy Stardust tour!


Another BBC film here from 1990. It’s largely forgotten but is another searing piece of work from Jimmy McGovern which was came just before he found worldwide fame with Cracker.

Set in Liverpool at the height of the heroin / AIDS pandemic , it’s not for the faint hearted , and it’s not hard to see why nobody else would go near a subject that was virtually taboo , not just for film makers but for the police and lawmakers at the time too. It’s one of those films where you just couldn’t imagine any other writer doing it justice.


That is unbelievable ! :open_mouth:

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Oh, it’s not a comedy. Took Jnr last year, sobbing. Just like Marilyn Monroe…