“Art College was a far more attractive idea than prison”
These fantastic artworks were recently kindly donated to the Museum of Liverpool. They were painted by Andrew Kenrick in the 1970s and evocatively capture football fan culture at the time. Andrew grew up in Hoylake and is a big Liverpool fan. He mostly painted these particular pieces whilst at Art College in London and when he worked as a teacher. He would travel back up to Liverpool for home games and attended away matches whenever he could.
Andrew tells us more about combining his love of football and painting –
“I always loved art and decided that Art College was a far more attractive idea than prison. I wasn’t evil or “off the rails” but had left a top academic school at 14 to live an alternative life. A couple of years travelling, hitch-hiking and sleeping rough enabled me to see the disadvantages of low paid jobs and the potential benefits of further education. I undertook a Foundation Couse at the (then) London College of Printing and then went to Hornsey College of Art to study Fine Art and History of Art. I painted and sculpted and became interested in the excitement of crowds and fights at football matches. I found that I struggled to render the movement of crowds in 3D so my degree show (1974) was mostly based on boxers and their movements.
Half of my family are Blue and the other half Red (my uncle is the editor of the Everton Fanzine). I always watched Liverpool whenever I could. I travelled back to Merseyside, stayed with family in Wallasey and hitch-hiked and cycled to matches. In 1975 I was living in Shepperton and teaching Art and Games in a school in Woking, Surrey. I was very interested in the theatre of football, the fans’ clothes, badges and scarves. It was this fascination and my own experiences that led to the first paintings.
My first painting was ‘Walton Breck Road, March 1974’.
In 1974 Leeds were running away with the title and their visit to Anfield on 16th March 1974 was their first defeat of the season. I had travelled with my friend Dick from Art College. We came up on Friday, stayed with my aunt and travelled to the stadium at about 9am. My recollection is that the turnstiles opened around noon and the stadium was full soon after. I wanted to capture the lively movement of the crowd and was very disappointed with how static this was. I took photos a few weeks after the game, but invented the crowd. Dick and I are just left of centre talking to a friend. He pointed out that I am taller than I painted myself (I was 6 foot 4). I moved the pie shop (Mitchell’s) from its actual location, because I wanted to include it and I think the shop on that corner was empty. All of the other details are attempts to capture the pre-match excitement of that day. Some of the other figures are portraits from memory of individuals or groups. I made a second version of this painting, painted in a Futurist manner, which I always liked better. However, I am not sure if I still have it. It was very much influenced by Umberto Boccioni’s paintings of crowds in the streets.
‘Molineux, 4th May 1976′
Division One Championship. Wolverhampton Wanderers v. LFC
I always collected newspaper cuttings from matches and scoured football magazines for photos of the crowds. Although we could hear ourselves on Match of the Day and there were sometimes references to chants or particular songs, photos of crowds were rare. I found this one soon after the match and pinching the idea of using popular culture for images from Peter Blake and Walter Sickert. I used it with many modifications. In those days, crowds often went onto the pitch and that day the crowd was bubbling onto the pitch at every goal and at the final whistle a party began on the pitch. I found the photo before I travelled to Molineux and made studies of the background when I was there. On the day of the match, I stayed high up in the South Stand with my brother.”
‘Rome, 25th May 1977′
The city was awash with Reds. I took photos of many groups and this is a composite of several of my photos. I used images of red cars to emphasise the takeover. I saw battered vans from Runcorn pull up and disgorge crowds of lads who kissed the ground before joining the party. Strange to consider what an all male experience it was in those days. There were few women at any matches and although I took my wife (I married in 1972) to some games, I was never completely confident about her safety in large crowds of inebriated fans.
European Cup Final. Liverpool v. Bruges.
Liverpool did it again the following year and I was there. 10th May 1978, I was less ambitious in this painting, but tried to capture the atmosphere of old Wembley. I was teaching Art and Games at a Boys’ Grammar School in Blackpool at this time. I had a friend who had travelled to Belgium and bought 20 tickets but the disadvantage was that it was in the Bruges End of the ground. It was the day of the Town Sports and Ted Schools. The Head of Games put me on “car park duty” which meant I was free at lunchtime. I hired a Ford Escort for the day (I was a cyclist) and…and this is the mad part, I took four Sixth Form boys with me. They had tickets and were sworn to secrecy.
Kenny Dalglish scored the winner at the other end and I was standing with a group of my friends. Whilst we celebrated the defeat of Club Brugge it was dark and dingy and there were quite a large number of miserable Belgians standing around us. I have another painting of my friends in Wembley before the darkness; Dave, Mick, Doctor John but again no Big Ron!
I was pleased with the atmosphere in this painting and prepared some others of the Kop seen from the side but never really settled on a composition.”
Many thanks to Andrew for very kindly donating his paintings and sharing his memories.
As part of our exhibition Blitzed: Liverpool Lives we are gathering responses to the images and first-hand experiences featured in the exhibition.
Jean Phillips kindly contacted us via our Facebook page with information about her family in response to the photograph of Louisa Street, Everton. I have added this poignant information to the exhibition alongside the Museum label.
Jean tells us more:
“My mum’s family all lived in Anfield and Everton, with her aunt’s family living on Louisa Street. My great aunt, Margaret Lea (aged 60); her daughter, Elizabeth Allmark (aged 32); son, Geoffrey Lea (aged 21) and grandson, Stanley Allmark (aged 5) were all killed when the shelter on their street was hit. So ironic that a place of supposed safety became the complete opposite. They are all recorded in the list of civilian deaths.
I believe the man in the trilby hat looking towards the camera is Stanley Allmark. He was a coal merchant based on Beacon Lane in Everton. He must have felt desperate to have lost his wife and son like this.
Although I didn’t know these people, I feel so sad that they died like this. Even now I get emotional about it. I don’t think my gran ever got over it. She then lost my granddad to cancer in 1941 and her brother in 1943 in a shunting accident at the Royal Ordnance Factory; so tragic. Sadly lots of other families had similar losses.
I know that she would be very proud to be included in your exhibition.”
You can leave your responses in the comments book in the exhibition, share via Museum of Liverpool social media or come along to one of our workshops. Selected responses will be displayed in the exhibition.
At least eight people were killed when two air raid shelters were destroyed in Louisa Street, 16 October 1940. The human tragedy of the war is laid bare by the abandoned ladies’ shoe on top of the rubble of the shelter. It is further etched on the faces of the workers and residents.
This year marks 70 years since the UN Declaration of Human Rights. It was drafted in 1948, with no more than 50 countries getting involved – and today, we have over 190 who have co-signed this much needed legal text. And never before has this been such a vital piece of affirmation, than now in present day. When there is so much uncertainty in the world. Whether it’s politics, war, and economy – we need voices to stand up for basic rights now more than ever!
I was so happy to learn that National Museums Liverpool was taking part in the anniversary of the human right declaration. This year, to mark the occasion, artist and activist Ai Weiwei designed the flag which seems simple and unassuming at first glance, but then inspecting in detail, the footprint, which has lots of tiny white dots, actually represents those who are fleeing conflict – who are often barefoot – with nothing but the shirt (if) on their backs. It was inspired by a recent trip he took to the Rohingya refugee camp – this therefore became the symbol of the human struggle.
Across National Museums Liverpool, we have an array of programmes, events and exhibitions that give the voiceless and voice, and portray images of unity, peace and demonstrate our efforts to strive for a better world. Read more…
Our new exhibition, Blitzed: Liverpool Lives brings together dramatic images of Blitz-damaged Liverpool alongside evocative spoken memories of people who experienced the aerial bombardment first-hand. One of those people is John McEwan. John grew up in Salisbury Street, Everton and was evacuated after his family had a very close shave. John’s is one of many interviews in our Liverpool Voices archive which I spent many hours listening to and selecting highlights to be included in the exhibition.
John was invited to our press call the day before the exhibition opened to be interviewed by the local media. Just before it began I had the pleasure of showing him around the exhibition. He listened to the audio of himself in the central ‘cinema area’ and read his quote I used to bring to life a photograph of children outside of bombed homes. It brought back lots of memories for him and he was an absolute pro, recalling many experiences for Radio Merseyside, The Guide Liverpool, Liverpool Echo, Culture Liverpool, Wirral Globe etc.
Read this transcript of John’s audio in the exhibition –
“My dad would be home on leave and he heard sirens and the blackout was on and he made his way home expecting to find my mother and the three children, Betty, Tommy and myself in the air raid shelter. When he went to the air raid shelter we weren’t there. He then went to the house and my mum was under the kitchen table, or under the dining table, with the three children. Obviously my dad was very concerned about this. I don’t know exactly what went on other than the fact that the decision was made to evacuate us. My mother was also pregnant at the time with my younger brother Peter, who is a year younger than myself. And as a result the three children, myself, Betty and Tommy were evacuated to St Joseph’s Children’s Home in Freshfield near Southport, and that would be sometime in 1940, in around maybe the autumn of 1940. Read more…
Dorothy is one of the stars of the Liverpool Overhead Railway gallery. Her story of a school trip on the railway ends with her being given a mystery fruit (which turned out to be a pineapple) by a docker on the return journey. The story is based on one told to me when I did a talk many years ago and I adapted it to use in the gallery.
Now we have more evidence of the fun and excitement of a school trip on the iconic overhead railway! A few weeks ago we were contacted by a lady whose friend was a teacher in Liverpool in 1949 and had taken her class on a trip on the LOR. She still had her plan for the day and some reviews of the trip written by her pupils. They have been very kindly donated to the museum and hand-delivered (by her friend Jan) all the way from Derbyshire.
Miss Ireland was a student teacher and recorded arrangements for the trip including the cost of 6 ½ d per child, plus 3d bus fare. Crossville put on an extra bus to take the 45 children from their school, Forefield Lane in Crosby, to Seaforth Sands Station on the LOR. Here the children were met by a guide who explained all the sights to them as they travelled along to Gladstone Dock Station were they got off the train.
On their tour of the dock they marvelled at all the products they were shown; crates of pineapples and coconuts, rubber, hides, hemp and huge teak logs, and were delighted to hear about the baby elephants, mongoose and snakes that had arrived the previous week! Read more…
This guest blog by Major (Retired) Eddie McMahon TD continues our series of blogs commemorating D-Day.
“Cyril Lancelot Askew enlisted with the King’s (Liverpool) Regiment in 1935 and served in the Second World War. Unusually, he served on both the Eastern and Western fronts. His service is described in an earlier blog and in a display at the Museum of Liverpool.
I first met Sergeant Cyril Askew in 1975, while I was still serving with the King’s, before I became involved with the Regimental Association. I was intrigued by this interesting man kitted out in his Corps of Commissioners uniform, proudly wearing his medal ribbons. The Corps was set up to help ex-servicemen into employment after demobilisation and Cyril had welcomed people at many of Liverpool’s amazing buildings, including the Three Graces and The Liverpool Empire.
I listened to him talk about patrolling the dangerous Khyber Pass territory in India, or coming under heavy German fire in the weeks after D-Day while pushing inland. Read more…
When you think of archaeology what comes to mind? People digging holes? Delicate brushing of soil from objects? Time Team? Indiana Jones?!
Archaeologists explore the past through material culture – the things people made, built and used. Those things are often excavated, but can also be standing remains of buildings. After an excavation is completed there is a fascinating process of work to undertake back indoors to understand the site and its objects and make sense of the evidence. In June there are opportunities for you to get involved in some workshops to capture information about finds, and label them with their museum reference numbers.
Working with the archaeology team at the Museum of Liverpool volunteers (aged 18 or over) are invited to explore the finds excavated last years at the site of courtyard housing at Oakes Street. Read more…
This year as part of our Festival of Archaeology celebrations we are hosting an archaeology Twitter conference! A Twitter conference means that anyone anywhere can attend and you can even catch up after the event by following our hashtag #ArchMoL19.
If you would like to submit a paper for our conference, all you need is a Twitter account and to send us your proposal. We want to find out about your favourite discoveries from Merseyside this year (2018/19). A favourite discovery could be a find or a site, but could alternatively be about a methodology, a way of working with students, or an approach to interpretation.
On 6 June, we will commemorate the 75th anniversary of the D-Day, Normandy Landings. This was the start of the Allied forces operation to liberate Europe, which would eventually lead to the end of the Second World War. In recognition of the part played by men from the King’s (Liverpool) Regiment, we are staging a small display on the first floor of the Museum of Liverpool from Saturday 25 May to Wednesday 17 July.
Two battalions from the Regiment took part. Both were allocated the role of Beach Group, which involved securing the Beach, providing cover and directing the landed troops and equipment once ashore. It also involved gathering up the dead and wounded whenever there was a lull in the German bombardment. Anyone who has seen the first few minutes of the film Saving Private Ryan will understand that being part of a Beach Group was no easy task. For our two local battalions, the 5th based at Sword Beach and the 8th based at Juno Beach, that task lasted six weeks. After this, the 8th Battalion were disbanded, while the 5th Battalion moved inland with the advancing Allied troops. For more information on the part the Regiment played in the Second World War, at D-Day, in Italy and in Burma, you can visit our City Soldiers gallery.
Our new D-Day display will focus on the story of one man; Sergeant Cyril Askew Read more…
A newly commissioned artwork to celebrate the 100th birthday of social enterprise PSS (Person Shaped Support) has recently been unveiled in the Museum of Liverpool. The team here at the Museum work with lots of different groups and organisations to create exhibits which tell diverse stories of the city. Find out more about the Our City, Our Stories programme.
We were approached by PSS in 2018 to work in partnership to commemorate their innovative work. We were delighted to support their funding bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (now the National Lottery Heritage Fund). Happily, it was successful.
PSS wanted the proposed display to creatively reflect their organisation, its people and values. Read more…