Heritage groups draw criticism for opposition to Everton's docks proposal

Tuesday, 23 February, 2021 112comments  |  Jump to last
Updated Two prominent figures representing Liverpool City Council and business interests in the region have expressed their disappointment that the stance of bodies like UNESCO and Historic England could stand in the way of Everton's Bramley-Moore Dock scheme.

The club's proposed new stadium may have received unanimous backing from the Council today but the project faces an uncertain review from the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick, to whose desk the application process now moves.

Under normal circumstances, a decision from the Government would be expected to be returned within 21 days but there is a chance that concerns about the club's plans from heritage groups like of Historic England and UNESCO could result in the scheme being "called in" for more detailed scrutiny which could delay a final decision by months.

At the heart of the opposition to constructing a football ground on what has been designated by the latter organisation as a World Heritage Site are fears that the integrity of the historic dock walls will be compromised and Bramley-Moore Dock itself will need to be filled in to provide the footprint for the stadium.

Everton have worked hard to address these concerns and incorporated changes that came out of consuiltation with the Liverpool Planning Authority and Historic England into a revised planning application last autumn.

Any lingering objections drew responses from Liverpool Councillor Joe Hanson and Frank McKenna, chief executive of business lobby group, Downtown In Business. Speaking during today's special Council meeting, Hanson, an admitted Liverpool fan, praised Everton for their vision, gave the project impassioned support and questioned the objections from organisations who have voiced concerns over developing the docks site.

"Everton have a reputation for employing and providing good quality employment," he said. "What it will do to the Ten Streets ... will have a massive impact on people and companies who want to come into and invest in what is going to be in some respects a boom time for north Liverpool.

"It's vitally important for our kids to get good, quality work - and that's what Everton will provide and the surrounding area will provide.

"I find it a little bit insulting that you have Historic England who don't live in Liverpool, I don't even know where they live, but they can come in and pontificate and ask for a call-in that could place that project in jeopardy and delay what Everton are trying to do.

"What they're trying to do is create employment, create an iconic stadium on the waterfront - that will hopefully not just be used for football, but be used for a diverse number of businesses and also used by the wider community, and become probably one of the most sought-after visitor attractions hopefully within Liverpool."

McKenna, meanwhile, suggested that Liverpool waterfront's World Heritage Site status has become more of a negative than a positive and poses an obstacle to further progress and modernisation in the City. While the rest of Liverpool's famous Mersey waterfront has undergone regneration that has transformed the area, the north docks stand as the last tract that still lies semi-derelict.

The Peel Group have a £5bn regeneration plan of which Everton's Bramley-Moore Dock Stadium would be just the first piece and McKenna argues that any intransigence from UNESCO would act as an impediment to that progress.

“This is so much more than a football ground," he said. "It is regeneration for an area that badly needs it. It means jobs and investment for north Liverpool which is still one of the most deprived parts of the North West.

“I think Ultimately it will also give us the opportunity of attracting many more investors to the Liverpool Waters Site. Fantastic news for Everton and for the city.

“Now we need to seriously consider what happens with World Heritage Status. My view for a long time is that it has been a barrier to development and we have seen UNESCO really be as intransigent as ever over the stadium despite the club's efforts to protect the heritage on that site.

“And is it now becoming something that is a red flag to potential investors in the future. I think the sensible thing for the city council would be to say to UNESCO ‘thanks for that badge but no thanks' hand it back and let's get on with, not just the stadium, but the many other developments that can shape the future of the city of Liverpool and the wider city region.”

UNESCO's current position on Everton's plans since the modifications to the planning application were made is not known as, due to the pandemic, no World Heritage Committee was held in 2020. However, ToffeeWeb understands that ICOMOS-UK, the domestic National Committee of ICOMOS, the international body that operates as the official adviser to UNESCO on cultural World Heritage Sites, has moved to clarify a statement attributed to them in a Liverpool City Council report which asserted that the stadium development "would have a completely unacceptable major adverse impact on the authenticity, integrity and outstanding universal value".

They insist that ICOMOS-UK specifically have made no comment on the Bramley-Moore Dock stadium project and that while ICOMOS did comment on the proposal in this report in 2019, the organisation has not formally objected to the club's plans.

This report has been updated to reflect a clarification from ICOMOS-UK who insist that UNESCO has not commented recently on the Bramley-Moore Dock planning application and has not thus far lodged any formal objections. The reference to English Heritage has also been corrected to Historic England.


Reader Comments (112)

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Ian Linn
1 Posted 23/02/2021 at 21:28:41
"Would have a completely unacceptable major adverse impact on the authenticity, integrity and outstanding universal value".

Hmmm, wonder what that means.

Jim Burns
2 Posted 23/02/2021 at 21:35:45
Let's hope Jenrick proves my impression of him totally wrong and has the courage and sense to sign this off.

Putting it another way - tell Unesco et al to go and do one. We don't need any more 'World Heritage' dumping sites, thanks – this City is going places.

John Raftery
3 Posted 23/02/2021 at 21:57:22
Historic England has a statutory role of, among other things, championing the historic environment. As such, and as was noted in this morning's Planning Committee meeting it was duty bound to raise objections to the application. It is their default position to object to any proposal which disturbs the status quo whatever the benefits of that proposal.

The fact that nobody locally shares their view and that, on the contrary, there is overwhelming support for the application will surely persuade the Secretary of State to sign off the application as a matter of routine. To do otherwise would run counter to the present Government's stated desire to remove planning barriers.

Bill Watson
4 Posted 23/02/2021 at 22:06:54
History is my thing but wishing to preserve a semi-derelict dock, with no public access, is a complete nonsense.

If the cost of retaining our World Heritage Site status is miles of walled off decaying docks, then Unesco should be told to do one.

Alan McGuffog
5 Posted 23/02/2021 at 22:23:54
In these times, with unemployment now topping 5% it will take a particularly perverse Government mandarin to decide to preserve the North Docks in aspic.

Should said mandarin decide to do so, can the city / club not just go ahead and do it anyway? And cobblers to the heritage industry?

Barry Rathbone
6 Posted 23/02/2021 at 22:32:01
After a 20-year absence from the city, my brother took me for a drive around the docks and city centre and I thought it fantastic – a massive improvement from the early 80s when I left.

I was struck by the fact not all historic buildings had been bulldozed instead renovated to keep the flavour of the city's heritage. I don't see why something similar could not be achieved with the new stadium.

John McFarlane Snr
7 Posted 23/02/2021 at 22:36:08
Hi all, I worked in Stanley Street in the early 60s, virtually opposite Bramley-Moore Dock. It seems to me that the portion of the dock wall involved needn't be completely demolished. I think it can be carefully dismantled, for want of a better word, and incorporated into the plans for the project. Just a thought.
John Keating
8 Posted 23/02/2021 at 23:19:20
Given a choice, these heritage groups would be more than happy to allow derelict buildings and areas to collapse rather than modernise and become useful to their communities. The halfwits in Historic England no doubt live in some mansions down South, totally devolved from the real world.

Bramley-Moore Dock is a total shithole, falling to pieces... the dock has the odd tug tying up there. If it were a working area or a dock contributing to the City, I could understand. Totally out of order.

Derek Thomas
9 Posted 24/02/2021 at 00:24:24
UNESCO & Historic England; the long version of my comments end in... and the horse they rode in on.

On second thoughts, we knew they were stupid, why bother even worrying about them now? It's a done deal.

Paul Jones
10 Posted 24/02/2021 at 01:10:58
I used to work somewhere that had uninterrupted view of the "Three Graces" and the River Mersey... then the view became obscured by various developments including the Criminal Records Bureau (CRB). You should also note the Inland Revenue buildings, and the Echo Arena that seems to have diminished the World Heritage Status.

Like most Everton fans, I would like the Port of Liverpool to have remained the biggest most important port in Europe employing thousands of local workers. Unfortunately successive governments mainly "Tory" enhanced its decline and stigmatised the former workforce.

Like with the Port of Bristol, unfortunately, the biggest legacy is one with slavery and merchant greed. Locally people's fond reminiscence of the docks is of those who worked there rather than their cruel master or employer's icons.

Therefore the greatest legacy for those former workers on the docks would be a stadium built for one of the founder members of the Football League.

The heritage of past mercantile greed needs to be consigned to history by hopefully what will be a more diverse and inclusive endeavour.

Alan J Thompson
11 Posted 24/02/2021 at 03:20:34
I wouldn't be surprised if they told Everton they have to stay at Goodison as it too may have World Heritage Status as the first purpose-built football ground, the first double-tier stands, where goal nets and numbered shirts were first used. And then be told that football couldn't be played there as it has fallen into dangerous disrepair. Oh, and then told to close Finch Farm as it is part of a green belt.
Derek Knox
12 Posted 24/02/2021 at 06:29:44
As I mentioned in the other thread, 'common sense has prevailed'. I can't see any argument in their favour of resisting or thwarting the plans, which can only be good for an area that is badly in need of bringing into the present century.

Don't get me wrong: I am all for History and it's preservation for generations to come, and to learn from, but what exactly is the 'history of Bramley-Moore Dock?' Like someone succinctly said, this was largely built by the use of slaves around the time of the Napoleonic Wars. Nothing to be proud of there, in a City that has an Anti-Slavery Museum section in it's Maritime Museum.

I also mentioned when all this started about my own experiences of Bramley-Moore Dock, some 30 years ago (wow where has that gone?) or so. A good friend of mine who sadly passed some time ago, bought a Morecambe Bay Shrimping Boat, in need of repair. These boats had a unique feature which may or may have not been realised when they were first designed.

Originally these boats were purely sail-powered only, but later adapted to incorporate a diesel engine for manoeuvrability in and out of harbour or for when the wind had dropped considerably. They had originally their own vast iron stoves, where the catch could be prepared, cleaned and cooked before getting back to port. They had accommodation for about three people too.

However, I am slightly digressing here; long after modern fishing vessels had replaced these, many still remained, until someone realised that, after removing the heavy equipment (stoves etc) from these vessels, they were hydrodynamically very good 'sailers' and able to develop a decent speed. These were then called 'Nobbys' and not long after there came Nobby Owners Clubs, which then progressed to National Nobby Racing.

Owners would come from all over the country to compete, and there were a few held on the Mersey. I actually crewed for my friend but unfortunately we were eliminated from the race early on due to capsizing in strong winds, and an inexperienced helmsman (not me, by the way).

Getting back to Bramley-Moore Dock, my friend had a berth there in order to repair the vessel and get it ready for the upcoming Nobby Races on the Mersey. I did all the mechanical and electrical work for him, and made regular trips to the dock in order to do so. It was in a terrible state of disrepair then and, like I say, that was 30 years ago, and I don't believe anything has been touched since then, so I know what the place is like.

Sorry if I have bored anyone but sometimes a bit of local history can be both enlightening and hopefully interesting too!

John Burns
13 Posted 24/02/2021 at 07:12:43
That wasn’t boring Derek (12). Living history is fascinating and your experiential link to BMD took us inside there.
Emma Day
14 Posted 24/02/2021 at 07:12:57
A prime example of a historical building near where I live in Atherstone, there is an old hat factory.

Atherstone used to be synonymous around the world for hat production, and there is one remaining factory left, it’s empty, abs falling apart now.

Over the years, developers have bought the buildings with a view to turn into apartments, with the latest plans retaining the front facade, each and every time the local conservation group have blocked that plans at every turn in the cause of “history”

The buildings are now in a state of disrepair, trees growing out of the roofs, and are now all fenced off, falling apart and won’t be long until they need knocking down.

These are a prime example of how these can go.

Martin Berry
15 Posted 24/02/2021 at 08:23:12
John #3
Spot on, also any rejection at national level would make a mockery of the "Northern Powerhouse" project.
Chris Hockenhull
16 Posted 24/02/2021 at 09:11:21
Derek (12). Excellent stuff. Thanks
Jimmy Salt
17 Posted 24/02/2021 at 09:37:57
As per Ian's comment @1 -

"would have a completely unacceptable major adverse impact on the authenticity, integrity and outstanding universal value"

You could literally apply this sentence to anything but without any robust tangible data it means nothing.

Someones been watching too much countdown me thinks.

Billy Roberts
18 Posted 24/02/2021 at 10:11:28
Great post @12 Derek.
You are one of the very few to have been inside this universally appreciated integral historically important shit tip !!
I suppose 30 years ago you too walked around amazed at all its majesty in awe of its splendour, like being in the Vatican or the Taj Mahal on your own!!
Love the story about the boats Derek and some excellent points made.
Emma @14 makes the perfect example of how these idiots would rather see buildings crumble than redevelop them sympathetically, its almost comical that the people who they oppose ( Everton) will restore and celebrate? the history of the site more than any of these organisations could in a 100years.
Barry Rathbone
19 Posted 24/02/2021 at 10:38:17
Derek 12

Just looked up the "nobby" sail boat thanks to your piece, what a great looking vessel


Brent Stephens
20 Posted 24/02/2021 at 10:46:43
Derek #12 great post. What back stories people have on here!

When BMD was announced as the location for the new ground I parked up inside the gates and walked around the dock (some warehouses were still in use - they might still be?). Derelict is an understatement but it wasn't hard to imagine a new ground (though it did seem it would be a tight fit). Onwards to the design images and they just blow your mind away.

Nobby Knox, eh.

Bobby Mallon
21 Posted 24/02/2021 at 10:58:18
What actual benefits has being a UNESCO Site brought to the city of Liverpool. Do UNESCO get monetary funds given to them for up keep of the place? What do they do.
Brian Harrison
22 Posted 24/02/2021 at 11:00:37
I thought reading what councillor Joe Hansen said was very interesting especially as he is a self confessed red. He said that he thought Everton have done a magnificent job in liaising with the city council every step of the way. He also said it showed how a club should behave and his final thoughts were that Everton were indeed the peoples club.

I think he may be having a dig at his own club for the way they handled the sale of their training ground with little consultation with the local community, unlike Everton who consulted extensively with all sections of the community. I know a local resident who attended one of the meetings they had about the sale of the training ground, and he said the amount of Liverpool supporting residents who spoke at the meeting all said its a pity our club cant behave the way our neighbours have done in their consultations over their new stadium.

So Historic England and UNESCO can object all they like this project will go ahead and it will attract thousands of new visitors to the City. I think these organisations are so stuck in their ways, as a previous poster said part of the heritage of this site is the dock wall which was built by slave labour during the Napolionic wars and many died building those walls is that what UNESCO and Historic England are happy to endorse

Tony Everan
23 Posted 24/02/2021 at 11:32:57
Derek, I enjoyed reading about that history.

40 years ago when I was 15 me and my mates would go night fishing there off the dock wall. We were meant to be sleeping over at each other's houses but we regularly met up and spent the night at the docks. It was in a dilapidated state of decay then. Rotting cranes, warehouses and masonry everywhere. Nothing at all was in any way maintained. When we got bored used to inspect the warehouses on our fishing trips. We went into one and took the tarpaulin of a large trailer. There were six silver Deloreans in there on the way to to the US.

I suppose that Unesco would also object to the Sydney Opera house on similar grounds or other iconic landmarks. If UNESCO or Historic England were around when the docks and dock walls were getting built they would have objected to them too. They have to embrace progress and pragmatism and then come up with constructive criticism or they are defunct.

Colin Glassar
24 Posted 24/02/2021 at 11:33:51
I think most of us are all for conserving what's left of Olde Liverpool. What they did to large parts of the city in the 50's, 60, and 70's was nothing short of criminal.

My grandad had his business on Kempson St. I've got pictures of it with his sign outside. It was full of big, Victorian (I presume) houses. Nowadays, there's only a few left and the rest is empty spaces and a few cheap looking shops. Where was ‘Historic England' then?

City planners did even more damage then bloody Hitler and Thatcher did!!

Derek Knox
25 Posted 24/02/2021 at 12:02:23
Barry, @ 19, Glad you enjoyed the brief intro to the Nobby, they were way ahead of their time, in terms of design, especially with their intended purpose of being basically a coastal fishing boat, which specialised in seafood, cockles shrimps etc. I wasn't sure if anyone would be interested.

I/we had some laughs during the refurbishment of that vessel, I said in our first race we capsized, which we did, but I will expand on the reason a bit more. Neville my mate, had never had a boat before, so the only knowledge he picked up was either from books or whatever as there was no Internet then.

He knew it needed a new mast and rigging, so as I was doing the refurb work in my spare time or week-ends, he asked me as I was working in Scotland at the Baxter's Factory (Fochabers) on a temporary basis doing some Installation work. To try and befriend some Forestry Workers so he could order directly from them and get the mast made to his specifications. This I duly did and complied with his wishes.

Both myself and others who knew better said that the mast had to be a certain size for that type of boat, and proportionate to it's length and depth of keel. No, Neville would not hear of it, he insisted on it being at least 3 feet taller. His theory was, that as he had to get the sails custom made anyway, he may as well customise the mast too.

He erroneously thought the bigger mast and the bigger the sails, would mean a much faster vessel and he would win his "maiden race". Of course these things are worked out mathematically and not on the back of a Benson and Hedges fag packet.

On the day of the race there must have been about twenty or so similar Nobbys, all with the correct sized mast and sails, I must hasten to add, assembled in the Mersey for the start. It was a very windy day which is what you need for sailing of course, but this was a tad too strong and demanded the utmost of skills from the helmsman.

Of course with it being Neville's boat he insisted on being the Captain, his previous sailing experience had been gained on Southport Boating Lake. Where I must hasten to add he got a Certificate, a Badge and a lolly-ice for doing so. Of course with his limited skills being taxed to the maximum, and the boat being top heavy the extra volume of wind in the sails, just toppled it over.

This was before the race had officially started as you will have no doubt guessed by now. Because of the Lock system, employed to coincide with the tide levels, we had to stay out of the race contestants way, but were unable to return to the dock until the lock gates were re-opened 3 hours later.

At least we did provide the onlookers with an unexpected comedy act, though at the time myself and fellow crew member Terry who were submerged completely, trying to counter balance the Captains erratic yachtsmanship, were soaked to the skin.

I don't know why they depict Rivers on Maps as being blue, the Mersey then, as it is now is anything but sepia toned,( there were Garston Trout) and that's on a good day. There was a presentation later and a few drinks, but the good news to this story, is we actually won a prize, though hardly a coveted one, they called it a Booby!

Steve Guy
26 Posted 24/02/2021 at 12:08:17
We certainly need “brakes” on property developers, so we don't end up back in the '60s and '70s where some horrible buildings were erected with no regard for history and heritage.

As someone said, it's important to remember where you've come from to guide where you go (paraphrasing). I think Everton have done their best to incorporate the history of this historic dock into the design and have been commended for it. These unaccountable agencies, such as Historic England and Unesco should be applauding the Club's efforts and not putting blockers in.

Frankly I can't see what benefit being a World Heritage Site brings to a derelict area. It's not as if the tourists (and locals) are queuing up to look at an old brick wall. The regeneration of Liverpool City shouldn't be limited by quangos who are flexing their “muscle” at the expense of a major project that will be both transformative and inspirational.

I sincerely hope the clear benefits outweigh any objections at Central Government level. Hopefully, the politics of Brexit economics will have this pushed through quickly and Unesco etc will be put back in their box.

Paul McCoy
27 Posted 24/02/2021 at 12:16:19
I'm not from Liverpool, but what what tangible benefits does having UNESCO World Heritage site status actually bring to the city?
Brent Stephens
28 Posted 24/02/2021 at 12:20:30
Tony #23,

"We went into one and took the tarpaulin of a large trailer. There were six silver DeLoreans in there on the way to the US."

I assume only 5 were shipped out!

Derek Knox
29 Posted 24/02/2021 at 12:31:19
Brent, so that's what happened to the missing DeLorean, I often wondered. :-)
Billy Roberts
30 Posted 24/02/2021 at 13:37:07
Tony @23,

Another superb story, "Went night fishing and caught 6 Deloreans" – brilliant.
Derek @25 again, laugh out loud funny.

Mike Gaynes
31 Posted 24/02/2021 at 13:59:57
Derek, loved your sailing story. Local history is always best told with firsthand anecdotes, and yours is a beauty.

I like Brent's suggestion that hereafter you go by "Nobby" Knox. Has a certain ring to it.

Rob Halligan
32 Posted 24/02/2021 at 14:14:32
The Red Echo reporting that all details of the Bramley-Moore Dock project have been submitted to, and received by the Secretary of State, and he has until 17 March to make a decision. Three weeks today!!
Thomas Richards
33 Posted 24/02/2021 at 14:33:31
What a paddys day that will be Rob.
Henrik Lyngsie
34 Posted 24/02/2021 at 15:08:22
I have been visiting Liverpool as a tourist several times. However, I have missed the opportunity to visit the famous World Heritage Site and Bramley-Moore Dock. Next time, I will take my kids to this well known tourist site for a full-day excursion!

(But I can recommend the Slavery Museum in the Maritime.)

Bill Gall
35 Posted 24/02/2021 at 15:11:27
When this first came up with the historic societies I wondered if Fulham had any problems with them over their new stand. The problem with their new stand was I believe, that the Thames wall had to be moved out another 30ft into the river Thames for the new stand. I wonder how long that wall had been there and who gave them permission to move it.
Billy Roberts
36 Posted 24/02/2021 at 15:38:16

I'd leave it till around 2023-24!

Mike Hughes
37 Posted 24/02/2021 at 15:43:00
Q. How many Heritage Group staff does it take to change a light bulb?

A. 54. One to change the light bulb and 53 to talk about how good the old one was.

Brian Harrison
38 Posted 24/02/2021 at 15:48:22
At the presentation to the council yesterday, the club said that we have 17,000 on the waiting list for a season ticket. Now I am sure that waiting list will grow as the stadium build progresses, and if that is the case, I am sure the club would want to accommodate as many of those on the list as they can.

So, if when we leave Goodison, we have approx 31,000 season ticket holders and a further say 20,000 on the list which isn't a big increase from were the list is at present. But we won't be able to accommodate all those on the list as we have to allow a percentage for away fans, and in FA Cup games I think we have to guarantee 25% to away supporters.

Now I know that the club have said that, if safe standing is allowed, they have the ability to increase the attendance to 62,000. But doesn't this really say that, given we haven't been succesful for a long time and could attract up to 62,000 shouldn't we be thinking about increasing the seated number of fans to near that number? And, if safe standing is allowed, that gives us flexibility for away fans and home FA Cup allocations.

Henrik Lyngsie
39 Posted 24/02/2021 at 15:50:18
Billy @36,

My kids are actually not behaving well. So a full day excursion next November will be an adequate punishment.

Rob Halligan
40 Posted 24/02/2021 at 15:53:16
So historic England don’t want us to drain a disused, slimy, green mouldy dock. What exactly are they hiding in there? Other than some shopping trolleys, shopping baskets, a few dozen rusted bikes and a few thousand dead fish, I doubt there’s nothing worth preserving!
Steve Ferns
41 Posted 24/02/2021 at 16:03:32
Brian, too late mate. The planning permission is granted for the specific number quoted. We can't just adjust the figures, and there would be a period of further delay and costs attached if we did. We just have to accept we're getting a 53k stadium, which is 13k more than Goodison Park.
Duncan McDine
42 Posted 24/02/2021 at 16:19:55
Probably didn't like the idea of the purpose-built gallows (for hanging kopites on the banks of the royal blue Mersey) either. Bloody killjoys.
Bill Watson
43 Posted 24/02/2021 at 16:36:12
Derek; I'm with Brent and Mike in that henceforth you shall be known as Nobby Knox.

The story of slaves building the dock wall is a a sort of historical fantasy/urban myth. Some of it may well have been built by French Napoleanic PoWs but they were hardly slaves.

The Liverpool slave traders used a triangular trade system. Manufactured goods and raw materials from Liverpool to Africa, human slave cargo from Africa to America and cotton from America to Liverpool. So, it certainly wasn't African slaves, either.

Derek Knox
44 Posted 24/02/2021 at 16:43:59
Bill, you can call me anything but not 'too early in the morning'!

Unfortunately the nickname does not imply I was well endowed from birth, which I wasn't. :-)

Thomas Richards
45 Posted 24/02/2021 at 16:55:05
One lad used to get called Fanny Ferry by a particular poster, Derek.

Consider yourself lucky. :-)

Jamie Crowley
46 Posted 24/02/2021 at 17:06:59
Historic Societies should be in the business of saving old landmarks that are in danger of being demolished and replaced with 24" on center stick framed drywall monstrosities.

They're worried about the look of a dock in a dilapidated area desperately in need of regeneration? They're willing to forgo thousands of jobs and economic revitalization because they want the dock walls to look authentic, despite the developer working to keep the look and feel of the exterior?

These Historic Societies have their place and purpose. This project is definably not one of them. It's an over-reach of immense proportions.

"Yo! Got this bazillionaire who wants to build this gigantic stadium in this shithole of water that's an eyesore and providing nothing to the community of value. It's like a bog that stinks and looks shite."

"But what about those walls? They've been there for hundreds of years?"

Fuck off.

This Joe Hanson, red or not, says it all and has his head screwed on straight. From a long, long distance, I hope more local politicians and influencers are singing from his hymn sheet.

"I find it a little bit insulting that you have Historic England who don't live in Liverpool, I don't even know where they live, but they can come in and pontificate and ask for a call-in that could place that project in jeopardy and delay what Everton are trying to do."

That little bit is brilliant. Frame it as the fringe outsiders come to take your jobs from your kids and tell you how to run your community. Great PR approach to the entire thing. Shrewd.

Darren Hind
47 Posted 24/02/2021 at 17:08:59
Always amusing to see people reveal who they really are.

Be interesting to see how large the waiting list will be when all obstacles are removed.

Paul Andrews and Sam have got this.

Barry Rathbone
48 Posted 24/02/2021 at 17:22:34
Derek 25

I was wondering how such a well proportioned boat tipped many thanks for the explanation. My missus will almost appear interested when I tell her of another case of wishful thinking about extra length causing trouble.

Ooo matron!!

Don Wright
49 Posted 24/02/2021 at 17:48:52
I might be a bit stupid here but, in this current climate of Black Lives Matter, history is being re-written, statues removed both forcefully and by consent, streets, college halls, even pop groups (Lady A) are changing their names, and here is a dock which probably saw its fair share of slaves arrive on these shores yet the goody goodies don't want it touched... What the fuck is that all about?
Colin Glassar
50 Posted 24/02/2021 at 18:24:54
Bill 43, I might be wrong but I think 1000s of slaves moved through Liverpool on their way to the West Indies. You can still see the chains, and other disgusting instruments used to keep them “under control”.

Don, everyone's gone mad!

Derek Knox
51 Posted 24/02/2021 at 19:01:58
Darren @47, you know who I am, but my new nickname of Nobby could be a bit confusing, to you ! :-)

Colin, I sincerely hope by 'disgusting instruments' you, weren't referring to the bagpipes, I could defend my heritage and argue they are a melodic, harmonious works of art, and that they are loved by many, even south of the Border, and not down Mexican Way ! :-)

Mark Smith
52 Posted 24/02/2021 at 19:06:38
Nobby Knox.

I normally go past any longwinded email (from the pessimistic crew ) but I found your story gripping as my Dad worked almost opposite Bramley-Moore Dock as an Accountant with a whaling company (yes a few years ago)! A great story.

My dad took me to Goodison (following family tradition) as a 5-year-old in 1963 (with from memory) a win against Fulham under the lights 4-0.

I have until this day (having lived not far away from Craven Cottage) got a soft spot for the London team.

Anyway I have a simple plan on the final say for Bramley-Moore Dock. We have a poster on TW called Jimmy Salt. Forgive me, Jimmy, but this is straight out of The Godfather. Jimmy "the salt" can surely make the Government "an offer they cannot refuse!"

Bill Watson
53 Posted 24/02/2021 at 19:09:52

I believe some were brought to Liverpool and sold, by auction, to wealthy families, but it wasn't a trade involving 1000s (one is too many) but more of a sideline. It's decades since I looked but the LRO has the auction adverts from the local press of the time.

The metal hoops that were on The Strand (maybe still are?) were installed years after the slave trade ended. Contrary to urban myth, they appear to have been used to tether carter's horses.

Thomas Richards
54 Posted 24/02/2021 at 19:14:32
On the Goree, Bill?

Bill Watson
55 Posted 24/02/2021 at 19:42:05
Thanks, Thomas. That's where they were.
Thomas Richards
56 Posted 24/02/2021 at 19:52:12
That's one name that should be changed, Bill, imo.

Derek Cowell
57 Posted 24/02/2021 at 23:57:58
The dock wall spoken of by the historic society is not the outer perimeter wall to the dock estate. This was built, I think, partly by Napoleonic War prisoners in early 19th Century.

The dock wall in question is the actual wall of the dock itself, which is Grade II listed and was built by Jesse Hartley in 1848.

It was certainly not built by slaves as (1) Slavery was abolished for British participants in 1833 and (2) As pointed out, African slavery was a triangular operation with slaves being transported directly from West Africa to the Caribbean and America.

Original dock walls have been covered up and preserved in other filled-in docks along the waterfront and, as far as I am aware, the Everton plans seek to do this underneath the stadium.

Eric Myles
58 Posted 25/02/2021 at 06:29:12
"At the heart of the opposition to constructing a football ground on what has been designated by the latter organisation as a World Heritage Site are fears that the integrity of the historic dock walls will be compromised and Bramley-Moore Dock itself will need to be filled in to provide the footprint for the stadium."

So the preferred solution of Unesco would be to have a floating pitch in the dock basin itself, with the stadium built around the basin.

No problem, The Float

Allen Rodgers
59 Posted 25/02/2021 at 09:26:53
Derek @57,

You are correct about the wall, a great many people seem to think the Regent Road boundary wall is the area of dispute.

The internal dock wall (that cannot be seen) will be preserved in sand. Should we ever leave it will still be there waiting to be uncovered by future archaeologists! Surely that should satisfy Unesco?

Derek Cowell
60 Posted 25/02/2021 at 11:55:30
My daughter, as an archaeologist, worked on the identification of a similar dock wall a couple of years ago in the south docks area when the burnt-out multistory car park near the Echo Arena was being replaced. Archaeologists will, most likely, have to be brought in to examine and preserve the wall at Bramley-Moore Dock too, once it has been drained.

This is the process with large building projects on heritage sites and has happened in London with Crossrail and all along the HS2 rail line. It delays the actual building work but is factored into the planning, I'm sure.

The heritage is preserved, albeit out of view, and the future can progress. The City of London, for example, is built over ancient Roman structural remains which are preserved, some visible, beneath modern foundations.

Robert Jennrick should find no problems in passing this planning application.

Ray Carvin
61 Posted 25/02/2021 at 15:20:52
It keeps getting stated that the dock is within the World Heritage Site. It isn't: it is part of the buffer zone.

Also, a major point that seems to be constantly missed is the fact that the 'Jewel in the Crown' of the World Heritage Site, ie, The Pier Head, including the 'Three Rraces', is built on the site of former docks that were infilled to allow new development! Thus the dock estate evolved to meet changing demands. Which is exactly what is happening at Bramley-Moore Dock.

Jay Wood

62 Posted 25/02/2021 at 15:30:48
Liverpool City Council continue to do all they can to support the planning application.

Tricia O'Brien, who chaired Tuesday's meeting, has appended the following extremely supportive message to the submission sent to the Secretary of State, Robert Jenrick, charged with giving it the green light:

LCC Councillor Urges Swift Approval of Everton's Bramley-Moore Dock Stadium

Graham Mockford
63 Posted 25/02/2021 at 16:33:41
Ray 61,

The difference of course around the Pier Head is all the development and new usage has been done whilst maintaining the architectural integrity of the historic buildings.

The buffer zone point is really important because it does allow within the planning guidelines that if the benefit outweighs the harm then the application can be readily allowed.

It's a strange set of circumstances because I don't have a problem with the Unesco and Historic England positions, I just don't agree with it.

Normally I guess in most cases a lot of posters on here would support an organisation that seeks to temper big business and trying to preserve historical sites. I'm sure that most when the originally heard Liverpool waterfront was one of only 1200 sites in the world classed as a World Heritage Site, they would have been justifiably proud.

As I say, I don't agree with their viewpoint in this instance – it's far enough away and brings too much economic benefit – but that doesn't mean I don't support their overall ethos, because they provide as a useful check and balance in the overall planning system.

Thomas Richards
64 Posted 25/02/2021 at 17:16:25
Some of the modern buildings around the Three Graces surprised me when built.
How they got through planning.
Imo they are not sympathetic with the existing architecture.
Liverpool Museum looks industrial compared to the beauty surrounding it.
An ugly building.

Given the enhancement to the area a stadium will bring I believe the stadium will sail through the procedure.

Graham Mockford
65 Posted 25/02/2021 at 17:34:43

The Echo Arena I think is a better example. That sits in the buffer zone I suspect and achieved planning permission.

The Liverpool Museum will always divide opinion. I quite like neo-classicism myself but it’s hard to argue it’s not got architectural merit whereas the Arena is a bit of a cookie cutter modern stadium.

Bill Gall
66 Posted 25/02/2021 at 17:37:57
The mentioning of Liverpool being involved in the Slave trade, can be traced back to a number of streets that are named after people linked to or involved with the Slave trade.
The street's are. Rodney Street. Gladstone Road. Cunliffe Street. Tarleton Street. Exchange Flags. Parr Street. Sir Thomas Street. Blackburne Place. and Earle Street. A number of them were early prominent Liverpool citizens.
Thomas Richards
67 Posted 25/02/2021 at 17:47:27

My point was the close proximity of the Liverpool Museum to the Three Graces.
It is totally out of character to its surroundings.
But still allowed to be built,the brutalist architecture around the three graces, especially on the north side of the Liver Buildings has all been passed as fit to build despite the beauty of the area.

This wont get called in imo.

Graham Mockford
68 Posted 25/02/2021 at 18:03:00

There is no requirement for buildings to be of a similar character, after all the great cities of the world have always evolved and represent differing architectural styles. What they do have to have is architectural merit. That doesn’t mean you’ve got to like them, it does mean they have been built using design principles that stand for something.

You have more confidence than me, I hope you’re right.

Thomas Richards
69 Posted 25/02/2021 at 18:22:18
Stating the obvious there Graham but I take your point.
Jay Wood

70 Posted 25/02/2021 at 18:32:51
Bill @ 66 (now THAT's a great heritage number!), a street name not on your list is one that has been sung worldwide for 50 years: Penny Lane. Named after James Penny, an 18th century slave ship owner.

I wonder if Paul and John were aware of that when they penned it?

To his credit, Joe Anderson (before more recent events that have seen him take a back seat from office) a year ago in January 2020, even before the Black Lives Matter global movement took hold, proposed educating people more on Liverpool street, monument and place names associated with the slave trade.

Liverpool to use plaques to explain slave trade connections

It wasn't just talk. By August 2020 the council named 20 Liverpool streets that would be getting an explanatory plaque about their association to the slave trade.

20 Liverpool Streets to get Slavery Explanatory Plaques

The policy strikes me as mature and intelligent, rather than a wholesale changing of street names as a moral kneejerk to an unsavoury past. Use it as a vehicle to educate, rather than eradicate completely the past.

The articles mention that many of the streets form part of popular city walking tours, so guides have the opportunity to inform tourists more of the city's history.

It is also helped by having the wonderful International Slavery Museum in the city to reinforce that history.

And Graham @ 63. I agree with the thrust of your post. We do need bodies like Unesco and Historic England to protect and safeguard treasured heritage sites.

Without them, developers and local and central governments would do a Joni Mitchell and put up a parking lot on them for the quick buck.

On balance, I believe that Everton's Bramley-Moore Dock project helps protect, preserve and promote the city's dockland heritage, rather than concrete over it and should be granted.

Graham Mockford
71 Posted 25/02/2021 at 18:48:06

I grew up on Penny Lane. Grove Mount were the playing fields we used to play football. 20 a side games that didn’t finish until it went dark. These days whenever I visit Liverpool a visit to the Penny Lane Wine Bar and Fogartys is de riguer

The link to James Penny is disputed by historians. It first shows on a map as Pennies Lane sometime in the 19th century. That and the fact it is so far out of the city centre means the link to James Penny is probably circumstantial.

Jay Wood

72 Posted 25/02/2021 at 18:58:04
That's interesting on Penny Lane, Graham. Thanks.

It highlights how you need to tread carefully when attempting to engage in 'cancel culture' or revising the past.

Educate, not eradicate, as I wrote earlier.

Derek Cowell
73 Posted 25/02/2021 at 19:06:37
The James Penny link to Penny Lane has been well and truelly debunked now! This was brought up yet again last year after the Coulston statue was pulled down in Bristol. Research revealled that Penny Lane had nothing to do with a slave trader and such references were even removed from a street name exhibit at the Liverpool Slavery Museum. This was then put to bed once and for all here in Liverpool.

You may have missed this Jay, as you live in Brazil.

Thomas Richards
74 Posted 25/02/2021 at 19:07:40
Brazil – one of the late guests to the party re abolishment of slavery, if I recall correctly.
Abhorent trade. Young people should be constantly reminded. Keep most of the street names but place information plaques on them. Giving a warts-and-all account of the slaver the street was named in "honour" of.

Rob Halligan
75 Posted 25/02/2021 at 19:08:51
Graham, talking of Penny Lane, I wish something would happen to the Sergeant Pepper bistro, the old bus shelter. It seems to have been left totally empty for years. There seemed be some kind of movement with regards working to open it a few years back, but was never followed through. Pity as I think it would do cracking business given its location, and another landmark mentioned in the Penny Lane song.

When I say landmark, back in the day of the song it was just mentioned as "A Shelter", but I'm sure you get my drift!

Graham Mockford
76 Posted 25/02/2021 at 19:19:10

I think the guy who’s got it is a bit of a chancer. Lots of promises, little action.

I used to use that shelter as a kid. Used to get the 99 to Old Swan on my way to school or the 46 to Walton on match days.

Thomas Richards
77 Posted 25/02/2021 at 19:21:25
Public toilets formerly if I recall correctly Graham?
Jay Wood

78 Posted 25/02/2021 at 19:23:22
Derek @ 73.

Penny Lane had nothing to do with a slave trader and such references were even removed from a street name exhibit at the Liverpool Slavery Museum.

Interesting again, Derek. In the two articles I linked, one makes the reference to Penny Lane being named after the slave ship owner, showing a photo of the street plaque. The other has a photo of (presumably) the exhibition you reference at the Slave Museum in which again Penny Lane features.

Is that quite recent knowledge, or the museum photo taken from old stock as the referenced articles are also quite recent, from January and August 2020.

Graham Mockford
79 Posted 25/02/2021 at 19:28:59

It consisted of two toilet blocks either side of a waiting room.

As kids when we were knocking around at night in winter time, it provided a welcome place you could get a bit of warmth.

In the mornings waiting for the bus sometimes you couldn't see the people at the opposite side due to the ciggy smoke. Happy days!

Rob Halligan
80 Posted 25/02/2021 at 19:30:45
There were, Thomas. Just googled the premises, and didn't realise it had been left empty for 17 years. It is owned by an Iraqi businessman who wants to sell it to a coffee chain like Starbucks or Costa coffee.
Thomas Richards
81 Posted 25/02/2021 at 19:34:38
The memory fog is lifting, lads....

Was there also a bus conductor's office /brew room? Woolies around the corner?

Graham Mockford
82 Posted 25/02/2021 at 19:36:22

This was the article I read


Graham Mockford
83 Posted 25/02/2021 at 19:37:23

Correct. The Woolies was around the corner on Allerton Road.

Rob Halligan
84 Posted 25/02/2021 at 19:39:37
There was indeed a Woolies just along from Sergeant Pepper's, Thomas. Did you also know Paul McCartney's brother, Mike of The Scaffold fame, got married in the church opposite Sergeant Pepper's?
Thomas Richards
85 Posted 25/02/2021 at 19:40:21
Memories of playing on the Penny Lane fields what seemed like a hundred years ago.
Liverpool Schoolboys played there, good pitch if I recall correctly.

Rob Halligan
86 Posted 25/02/2021 at 19:42:28
Yep. I went to Dovedale School and we used Grove Mount playing fields. Happy days.
Thomas Richards
87 Posted 25/02/2021 at 19:44:34
Didn't know that, Rob.

I know the church though.

Next to a betting shop?

Graham Mockford
88 Posted 25/02/2021 at 19:46:22

I lived on Ashdale Road that ran onto Dovedale school. Being a left-footer, I went to St Anthony of Padua.

Of course it was always 'Grovie' – not Grove Mount.

Rob Halligan
89 Posted 25/02/2021 at 19:47:07
I think there i,s Thomas. Seems to be more estate agents than anything else!
Graham Mockford
90 Posted 25/02/2021 at 19:49:10

It was William Hills. As a student, I used to mark the boards in there.

Thomas Richards
91 Posted 25/02/2021 at 19:51:00
The bookies probably own them Rob 😁

Good little hour there lads down memory lane.
Enjoyed that.

Neil Copeland
92 Posted 25/02/2021 at 19:51:01
I used to go to Woolies on Allerton Road too. Loads of people at Quarry Bank went to Dovedale primary school, I went to Duncombe Road in Garston and Kingsthorne in Hunts Cross before then.

Does anyone remember the name of the sports shop in Garston? I would spend all my paper round money there.

Tony Everan
93 Posted 25/02/2021 at 19:51:01
Interesting comments about Penny Lane.

Reading an article that says there is no historical evidence that Penny Lane is named after the slave trader. James Penny. The first records of it are in the 1840s and it was called Pennies Lane, in a rural area of Liverpool back then. This was about 50 years after James Penny's death.

The historian, and one from the Maritime museum, concluded there wasn't any evidence of a link and that it would be odd to name a rural country road, way out from the city centre, in that way.

Neil Copeland
94 Posted 25/02/2021 at 19:53:00
Graham, we would go to the disco (monthly?) at St Anthony's.
Thomas Richards
95 Posted 25/02/2021 at 19:53:40
A mispent youth, Graham.

There's another memory. The board marker. Always handy if you kept in with him while looking to take a price on a well-backed horse.

Graham Mockford
96 Posted 25/02/2021 at 19:54:48

Friday nights in the 70s that will have probably been?

Graham Mockford
97 Posted 25/02/2021 at 19:58:04

It's an occupation that many now wouldn't understand. A bit like being a lamplighter!

Learnt the trade at Stanley Racing in Halewood. Hills on Allerton Road had the advantage it didn't get held up nearly as much.

Bill Gall
98 Posted 25/02/2021 at 20:00:29
Penny Lane was well known in Liverpool long before the Beatles. From 1887-2018 it was the home of Liverpool Schoolboys. Their under 15 won the English Trophy known as the Schoolboy FA Cup 19 times and over the years produced 82 International Players.

For anyone in Liverpool who is interested, Tim Johnson, who worked for the Echo, has written a book called. Penny Lane. A Celebration of Liverpool Schools Football 1887-2018.

Neil Copeland
99 Posted 25/02/2021 at 20:00:34
Graham, yes mate, spot on. 1976-77 I think.
Thomas Richards
100 Posted 25/02/2021 at 20:01:01
Someone fell out of the Leather Bottle rotten and spotted the piggy bank Graham.

Loved the board markers. Very difficult time for them after 3pm boozer closing on a Saturda.y

Graham Mockford
101 Posted 25/02/2021 at 20:06:18

It was just a bit early for me. But I do remember walking home from Cubs on a Friday night down Queens Drive watching the hordes of teenagers who looked impossibly cool to a 10-year-old on their way there.

Neil Copeland
102 Posted 25/02/2021 at 20:08:09
Thomas, ha the Leather Bottle on Leathers Lane. My older brother and his mate used to jump over their back wall, nick the empties then go round the front and sell back to the pub for the bottle deposit! Very lucrative for a while until they got caught and almost skinned by the manager.
Graham Mockford
103 Posted 25/02/2021 at 20:10:20

I lived on the back on Grove Mount and used to watch all the schoolboy matches. I even had schoolboy trials there once upon a time.

I remember seeing Cliff Marshall, our first ever black player, score a hat-trick there in the schoolboy team.

Graham Mockford
104 Posted 25/02/2021 at 20:12:08
Although that obviously does a massive disservice to Mike Trebilcock!!!
Neil Copeland
105 Posted 25/02/2021 at 20:12:18
Graham, ha ha. 3 star jumpers, parallels, wide collar shirts and stacked sole shoes.
Dave Abrahams
106 Posted 25/02/2021 at 20:15:08
Graham (90),

Board markers, cash in hand, never had the pleasure to do that job, but a mate of mine was the board marker in Hills, London Road. A Chinese gentleman came in one Friday afternoon with a briefcase; he got called into the manager's office, obviously putting a big cash bet on.

My mate was on to it, he harassed the manager for the name of the horse. The manager said it was worth more than his job to tell him. My mate wouldn't give in... Every 20 minutes, he was down his ear. In the end, the manager told him the Chinaman had £7,000 on the horse, it was running the next day. He swore my mate to secrecy, my mate crossed his heart and hoped to die etc, etc.

Anyway, the next day, everyone in The Goblin, local pub, was on the horse, cheering it home in the 2:30 pm race... except the bastard finished second, not even close! And my mate, instead of getting “dropsies”, got dog's abuse for the next few weeks.

Don Alexander
107 Posted 25/02/2021 at 20:19:33
I was a lad in Halewood and saw the Leather Bottle open in 1966. It was immaculate, with plush leatherette settees. It was next to Elsinore Heights too, the massive brand-new tower blocks in the new town of extended Halewood (the original small village was quite charming). Anyway, within months of opening the settees were slashed, there were ciggy burns all over the place and the windows were going in. Much the same thing happened to the brand new shopping concourse it was part of too.

We won the cup though, so everything was alright!

Graham Mockford
108 Posted 25/02/2021 at 20:22:19

Great story. It was a tough school marking the boards. You'd get some dog's abuse at times... Character-building, I think they call it.

I graduated to bingo calling which was a lot less stressful and had the advantage of being a predominantly female environment. Happy days indeed.

Bill Gall
109 Posted 25/02/2021 at 21:53:49
That's how I remembered it, I went there I think it was 1954 the following week I broke a bone in my foot, and the only other time I went was with a friend of mine who had a trial the next year.
Derek Cowell
110 Posted 25/02/2021 at 23:51:55
Rob, you and I played for the same very successful Dovedale Primary School teams at Grove Mount.

I also used to watch Liverpool Schoolboys there and I too remember Cliff Marshall plus George Telfer star for them.

Rob Halligan
111 Posted 26/02/2021 at 00:06:48
Derek, I remember it well. I’ve even still got a team photo of our team. It’s in black and white! 😀😀😀
Derek Cowell
112 Posted 26/02/2021 at 00:36:21
Rob, so have I. Both years, one after the cup win!

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