So today I read in the Liverpool Echo that John Moores University is to sell off its historic IM Marsh campus. The site will be bought by developers,with the university transferring the faculties for Education, Community and Leisure that are currently based there to the city centre. The university has confirmed the move will result in redundancies but in a memo to staff said: “it is far too early in the process to go into detail.” First the boring historic bit. Irene Mable Marsh, Founder of ‘Liverpool Physical Training College’ in 1900. This became LJMU’s IM Marsh Campus and today is a well-respected centre for teacher eduction, food and consumer studies, dance, adventure tourism and sports development. Some great pic from the 1920’s and 1930’s can be found HERE So what’s the big fuss over this place going ? Well from the age of about 10 to 17 I spent a large chunk of my life on the campus. Security was lax to say the least . I moved house and lived right by the site and cut through it every day on my way back from Sudley Juniors (In the days when parents let you do stuff and were not wrapped in cotton wool like todays kids) So from the early days of playing cricket on there trying to emulate Ian Botham to bunking on the tennis courts every Wimbledon (along with the rest of the kids in Aigburth) the I.M Marsh (Or the I.M as we called it) has a huge place in my life. As I grew older (15 ha ha ha older eh ! ) the I.M became our local pub and indeed to this day I hold the record for necking a one litre bottle of Merrydown Cider in two swigs. I also seen my wife to be on the I.M back in the day but it would be some 10 years later before she finally got the catch of her life. Early summers were spent in the I.M at the local playscheme and I can even remember going on the outdoor ski slope it once had sitting on any kind of plastic road sign we could rob to get added speed. Once a mate of mine came off and a bit of the brush type surface had ripped up and he went right over it resulting in a nice gash to the leg and that was the end of his ambition to be the scouse Franz Klammer. I’ve been on most roofs in that place and now look on in sheer horror at the height of some of them and as we our years advanced the female students who were living on site became a target for us. First with fireworks every November the 5th as we had our own coalition forces attack on the high rise they lived in. Soon it was to get in the high rise and seduce a few of them. Even to modern day I have taken my eldest daughter there to swim and whilst she was swimming I would take my youngest for a walk around the campus with many a memory being evoked from the endless playing of sports (wasnt just footy in them days) Indeed we had our own olympics on the gravel running track and sand pit it once had. Later memories would be of dodgy songs we used to get drunk to (Londonbeat ,and M.C.Hammer to name a couple) I still even play footy up there sometimes on a Tuesday night. So for what is coming up to 30 years the I.M.Marsh has played some kind of part in my life. It will be sad to see it go. Hopefully they will keep some of the old buildings and turn them into flats. But once its been flattened I will no longer be able to so easily recall those memories of the past once it’s a modern housing estate. Perhaps I could buy a house there and claim a bit of the I.M.Marsh as mine. I know i’m a sentimental old fool and with these changes people are losing jobs but it will be a sad day for me when it goes. Perhaps I need to get up there with a bottle of Merrydown this summer and have one last piss up on there in memory to Irene Mable Marsh.
Fay x x