My Liverpool Street Sign Fetish and a bit of local history.

So I have always had a slight fascination with the history of Liverpool and these days with numerous groups on Facebook and the great @angelcakephotos on Twitter you don’t have to look very far to find some amazing pictures of Liverpool in years gone by.  And a few local questions I had have been solved.

Q Was there ever a Sudley Road and it was split into North Sudley and South Sudley Road by the IM Marsh ?

A There was a Sudley Road but the same stretch became North Sudely Road when South Sudley was built around the early 1930’s. The same is for Mossley Hill Road which was one road running from Queens Drive through to Garston Park going down what is Netherton Road and through to what is now South Mossley Hill Road. With the bottom bit of what is now Mossley Hill Road added again in the early 1930’s causing the creation of North and South.

Q Why do some roads off Aigburth Road by Aigburth Vale start with 3 & 4 (Cromer Road and Milner Road)

A Originally shops were planned all along Aigburth Road up until the Methodist (Now flats) they were never built (Hence the grass verges now) This makes sense as I know the developer ran out of money and the council had to pay for the last few houses in Wingate Road and Lugard Road to be finished and hence they became council houses. One of which my Nan moved into and I now live.

There is a small cottage on Woodlands Road and it had an old street sign hung on their back wall “Victoria Terrace” which I did not know where it was. Only years later with the above mentioned Facebook group I found out it was a row of Victorian terraced housing near the Aigburth Arms. All sadly demolished along with the original Aigburth Arms (Now the Victoria) in their place some “modern” council flats that are still standing. More civic vandalism. That started my fascination with Liverpool street signs and that sign is no longer there as new people moved into the house. I hope the owners took it with them and it wasnt lashed by the new owners.

I wont bore you with any more.

Anyway a lot of these old places have long since gone and I often wonder what happened to the old road signs. Where do we begin with what Liverpool has lost ? The Overhead Railway, The Custom House, The David Lewis building and The Sailors Home. That is just scratching the surface and what the Germans didnt have off, city planners including to this very day have most probably destroyed more. Whilst buildings are not easy to save I often wonder where all those cast iron road signs of roads have gone either it be from slum clearances or projects like the second Mersey tunnel. Some of these road signs are now well over 100 years old and even the ones not quite as old are falling into disrepair. I bet in the old days the council had a crack team of specially skilled cast iron road sign painters. Sadly no more and it looks like even in the days of dodgy outsourcing the signs that are left are sadly on their last legs. Just one lick of paint and a bit of tender care and these signs could last for another hundred years. Its not to be though and they are just being taken down (Would love to know what happens to them) and replaced by snazzy modern plastic ones. The white on the new ones often turns to piss yellow after a couple of years depending on relative position to the sun. How those cast iron signs must be turning in their grave.

As you can see although just a tiny and to most people insignificant bit of local Liverpool history I have quite a fetish for these signs. I must admit before my fetish in 1990 after my joint favourite band The Christians (Deacon Blue the other) released a single called Greenbank Drive. So we headed down with my mates van thinking this will be a piece of piss. How we underestimated the vintage cast iron Liverpool sign. Final Score Greenbank Drive Sign 1 v Fay 0. Now some near 25 years later (My god thats flown by) I have been looking at a more legal way of acquiring an ickle bit of Liverpool History. So searching e-bay for the last year a few have popped up. Ideally I wanted a sign with meaning so somewhere I had been or literally most placed in Liverpool 17 and 19. Sadly no joy. There was one for Window Lane in Garston where I spent many hours playing snooker there in the late 1980’s but the listing was quickly withdrawn. Then the other day a sign for Suburban Road L6 came up for £95 or best offer. Thinking “Blue Suburban Skies” from a Beatles lyric and suburban covers a lots of Liverpool I thought £25 max offer. Much to my joy the offer was accepted but the £86 postage was putting me off. I jest of course and it was pick up only and off to Aintree in our new shiny car I headed (Shiny car blog here)

So next up was a quick check on Suburban Road. Just off Lower Breck Road I have actually played footy right by there back in the day. The fella I bought the sign off paid £50 years ago from an antiques fair as he actually lived in Suburban Road when he was younger but was downsizing his current house so selling off things. So Suburban Road has some old style terraces and some new builds as well (Maybe why the sign went AWOL) In more recent news Merseyside Police has arrested two men following the discovery of a cannabis farm with around 100 plants in Anfield today (Thursday, 18 August 2016). Officers executed a Misuse of Drugs Act warrant at a property on Suburban Road at around 2.25pm and located a cannabis factory inside and the two fellas were found scoffing Jaffa Cakes unaware there street sign had been had off (Fake news alert) The two teenagers were found hiding under the floorboards of a cannabis farm during a police raid. Come to think of it the sign does have a strange smell. Maps show the earliest houses on Suburban Road in 1891 (See below) The earliest map of a full road is 1927 though as mentioned bits of the original road have vanished and been rebuilt since then (See below)

So my new piece of Liverpool History currently resides propped up against a wall in our hall. It can’t go in the back yard until its hung properly otherwise the dogs will piss on it and my antique will be destroyed. I am still on the hunt for a sign that has some meaning to me so let me know if you see one for Liverpool 17.


Fay x x x x x x x x



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