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1980s Liverpool Bands and Hanging Around.

1980s Liverpool Bands and Hanging Around.

St George’s Hall, Liverpool, in the 1890s.

I love the above photograph, posted on Inacityliving’s Facebook page.

At first sight you may not see why, but take a closer look:

Close-up of the steps.

Close-up of the steps.

Taken over 100 years ago, it shows people hanging around and sunbathing on the steps of the magnificent St George’s Hall, in Liverpool’s city centre, a noble tradition I too became a part of in the same area of Liverpool a century later, when I was playing bass for Liverpool New Wave bands Pink Military Stand Alone and Nightmares in Wax. This period is well-documented in the pages of Bombed Out!

Policeman to the right.

Policeman in helmet to the right.

You can see in the above close-up that there’s also a policeman present, and that whole south side of the building looks like a hive of activity, whereas it is now largely cut off from the rest of the city by busy roads and looks like this:

The same side of St George's Hall today (Liverpoolpicturebook.com)

The same side of St George’s Hall today (Liverpoolpicturebook.com)

Whereas it used to look like this:

A 1950s shot of the same side of St George's Hall.

A 1960s shot of the same side of St George’s Hall.

St George’s Hall was completed in 1854, and at the time the headline photo was taken, that part of the building was used as a court, which probably accounts for the activity on the steps and presence of the policeman.

Another interesting fact about this end of the building was that in 1950s the ornate carved pediment, which you can clearly see in the old photo below, was taken off to be cleaned and repaired, after which it mysteriously disappeared.

The pediment clearly showing on the south side of St. George's Hall in a photograph taken in 1867.

The pediment clearly showing on the south side of St. George’s Hall in a photograph taken in 1867.

Apparently nobody knows where it went, although I expect it is now built into the homes and gardens of former Liverpool city councilors, unless they did something perhaps even worse, and stupidly threw it away.

Google Earth view of St John's Gardens behind St George's Hall.

Google Earth view of St John’s Gardens behind St George’s Hall.

St George’s Hall borders a place called St John’s Gardens, which plays an extremely important role in Bombed Out!, because that is where I spent a considerable amount of time when I was in Liverpool bands back in the late 1970s and early 1980, living my life in and around the city centre.

I soon learnt that hanging around was one of the most necessary, time-consuming, and frustrating activities attendant on being in bands back then.

St John's Gardens with St Georgge's Hall behind. (John Bradley, Wikicommons)

St John’s Gardens with St George’s Hall behind. (John Bradley, Wikicommons)

I spent a lot of time in St John’s Gardens with my then-girlfiend, Liz. We’d talk, eat, make out or, of an evening, wait for the Grapes on Mathew Street to open, before going on there.

All of which high-class urban living is comprehensively and graphically recounted in the pages of Bombed Out!

Buy a signed copy of Bombed Out! here: http://www.bombedoutpunk.com/buybook.php

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or signed paperback copies from:
News From Nowhere, Bold Street Liverpool; Waterstones, Liverpool 1 or Pritchards, Moor Lane, Crosby.

 www.bombedoutpunk.com © Peter Alan Lloyd

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