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Posts by Liz

A Social Evil, victims or scapegoats?

13 December 2018 by Liz

This research was spurred by looking into Pembroke Place’s past for the Galkoff’s & Secret Life of Pembroke Place exhibition

Today we have a guest blog from Susan Bennett, who has been researching Victorian brothels to explore the ‘little hell’ underworld in the late C19th as part of the Galkoff’s and Secret Life of Pembroke Place project. This is a difficult subject, and original Victorian documents and records can be very blunt!

“Between 1837 and 1901 Liverpool expanded massively to become one of the greatest ports in the world. Every day thousands of sailors, just paid off, eager for physical outlets after hard months at sea, poured onto the streets looking for women, drink and other vicious practices such as fist fighting and gambling – the Social Evil! An east wind could carry off between 10 – 15,000 sailors a day on ships from the port and a westerly wind cast that same number ashore with full pockets and much energy, “to do what men do naturally”, as a newspaper report gamely put it. The police force, newly recreated in 1836 with 390 men rising to a peak of 1,002 in 1859, struggled desperately to keep on top of the ensuing vice, violence, and crime. Read more…

At the Cutting Edge, with Edge Conservation

8 December 2018 by Liz

Today we have a guest blog from Anna Dembicka, who has worked on the Galkoff’s and Secret Life of Pembroke Place project as an ICON Ceramics Intern. Anna’s detailed work on the tiles with the Edge Conservation team has brought them back to beautiful condition for display in the People’s Republic gallery at the Museum of Liverpool.

Galkoff shop before tile removal

‘There are few people in Liverpool who don’t immediately recognize the green façade of the tiled Galkoff Kosher butcher’s shop. Having travelled past it on my way to university every day, I often thought about what its history and its future fate might be. But it never crossed my mind then that a few years later I would have the privilege of helping to restore it to its former glory Read more…

Pleasure Gardens Past

5 December 2018 by Liz

Today we have a guest blog from Rebecca Metcalfe, a volunteer working on the Galkoff’s and Secret Life of Pembroke Place project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Rebecca has been researching historical open spaces in Liverpool, and discovered a lot about Ranelagh Gardens Read more…

The Art of Butchery

26 November 2018 by Liz

Drawing of the P. Galkoff shop by his great great Gandson, Ilan Galkoff

Today we have a guest blog from Ilan Galkoff, great great grandson of Percy Galkoff, the butcher whose shopfront we have moved to the Museum of Liverpool as part of the Galkoff’s and Secret Life of Pembroke Place project with Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

‘I wanted to write a few words about how I came to create this piece of art depicting Galkoff’s Butcher shop. I’m Percy’s great, great grandson and I’m currently 15 years old. Read more…

Latest archaeological discoveries

26 September 2018 by Liz

NML archaeologist shows recent find at Rainford

This year’s Merseyside Archaeological Society Conference, being hosted at the Museum of Liverpool on Saturday 13 October, is exploring ‘Recent developments in Merseyside archaeology’. Talks will present some of the latest finds, with reference to many periods of our region’s past.
Read more…

Reminders of Liverpool’s lost castle

30 July 2018 by Liz

castle model in museum display

Model of Liverpool Castle in the History Detectives gallery at the Museum of Liverpool © Mark McNulty

When visitors to the Museum of Liverpool reach the first floor, they’re often surprised to be greeted, right at the top of the stairs, by a model of a castle! Castles possibly aren’t something you especially associate with Liverpool, but the town did have one from around 1235 to the 1730s.  Read more…

Pembroke pubs

2 May 2018 by Liz

Today we have a guest blog from Daniel Edmonds, Research Lead on the Galkoff’s and Secret Life of Pembroke Place project:

“Throughout its history Pembroke Place has been home to a number of different types of leisure activities, from roller-skating rinks to zoos. It probably comes as no surprise that a series of public houses and hotels also thrived in the area. Some of our researchers have been investigating the night-life of Pembroke Place and the history of its establishments.

The Pembroke Hotel was pre-eminent, with mentions of its events appearing in both the local and national press. Throughout the late-Victorian Era, this local fixture hosted numerous gatherings attended by local dignitaries. Read more…

Looking back on back houses

6 April 2018 by Liz

Patchin Place, Greenwich Village, New York. ‘Court’ style houses filling a small side street area.

I was fortunate enough to make a research trip to New York recently, with my colleague Poppy Learman. This was supported by the Art Fund’s Jonathan Ruffer Curatorial Research Grant, and the Heritage Lottery Fund through the Galkoff’s and Secret Life of Pembroke Place project.

We visited numerous heritage sites, archives and museums. One of the highlights for me was meeting staff at Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, and discussed their work on New York’s back houses. The irregular street layout at the south tip of Manhattan, developed from the Dutch settlement street pattern, creates areas where courts and alleys developed, with some similarities to Liverpool court housing. A walking tour with Sarah Apmann enabled us to see examples of the Greenwich Village back housing. Read more…

A meeting of minds

22 March 2018 by Liz

In the current television series, Civilisations, David Olusoga has explored the idea that art and creativity are always on the frontline when cultures meet. Olusoga observed that through history encounters between different peoples have been be for many reasons, and have resulted in peaceful exchange or violent clashes. Read more…

Hard sweat: Liverpool’s garment district

16 March 2018 by Liz

Today we have a guest blog from Susan Bennett, volunteer researcher working on the Galkoff’s and Secret Life of Pembroke Place project. This Heritage Lottery Fund-supported project is exploring the history of this fascinating Liverpool street in all its facets:

“Cobblers, boot and shoemakers, tailors, all manner of drapers, wool, linen and silk merchants, all leapt out of the pages of Liverpool Street Directories in my research Read more…



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We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.