08 Dec 2015 183 views
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comments (10)

  • Ray
  • Thailand
  • 8 Dec 2015, 03:44
Unusual to see graffiti on a town planner's model, Chris.
Chris: He obviously knew Liverpool Ray
  • Lisl
  • England
  • 8 Dec 2015, 05:34
Perhaps they modelled from a photograph, and couldn't resist the graffiti
Chris: That is what I think Lisl
WHILE our future enemies were plotting war, Liverpool’s city planners were visiting their countries to glean ideas for homes that would replace cramped and disease-ridden slum housing.

It was to Germany and Austria that a delegation went to admire the facilities of projects including Vienna’s Karl-Marx-Hof blocks, which as well as decent-sized flats included a kindergarten, public laundry, library, surgery and even an office and business section.

Back in Liverpool, city architect Sir Lancelot Keay (1883-1974) transformed these foreign ideas into tenements that would become a source of deep Scouse pride – homes that would become so important to the people living in them that they would campaign fiercely against their eventual demolition.

Entire communities were moved together into individual blocks to maintain their closeness. Gerard Gardens and its surrounding dwellings replaced the Little Italy area off Scotland Road in 1935.

Away from the slum housing and back-to-back terraces, residents enjoyed baths, electricity, warmth provided by coal fires, and reasonably spacious rooms.

In 1958, the tenement’s reputation took a bashing when the film Violent Playground, starring Stanley Baker, Peter Cushing, Anne Heywood and David McCallum, was shot in Gerard Gardens.

The movie dealt with street gangs and youth crime and its makers embellished the real-life location by replacing the clean, white washing hanging from the balconies with ragged, grey clothing.

It was again used as a film set in 1987, for Coast To Coast starring Lenny Henry, John Shea and Pete Postlethwaite.

By that decade, the developments were no longer seen – by council planners at least – as comfortable homes, although those living there disagreed.

In 1986, 11 families won a battle against Liverpool City Council when a judge threw out its application to force them to leave their flats and flatten the tenement.

Their victory was short-lived however, as in 1987 the families moved out and the wrecker’s ball moved in as part of plans to improve access to the Kingsway Tunnel.

But Gerard Gardens lives on in the memories of those who lived there, played under its arches and gossiped over its washing lines.
Chris: When I think of Sir Lancelot I think of Sir Lancelot Spratt in Carry On Doctor
  • Alan
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 8 Dec 2015, 08:08
I'm pleased to see that you have already added the graffiti. What;s missing are the puddles of urine and the McDonald's wrappings. Oh.. and thousands of satellite dishes.
Chris: In that case I will add them, perhaps with a scattering of syringes too..
  • Alan
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 8 Dec 2015, 08:09
Bill is very well informed.
Chris: That's what you think..
This is proud housing for working types Tiff.
Chris: In that case Bill is excluded
My smile for the day, Chris. An important part of the series.
Chris: Thank you Mary
Interesting post along with the commentary from Bill, Chris
Chris: He aught to be renamed Willian Wikipedia Phillips..
I wonder if bill's somewhat lengthy, but interesting, comment is a good explanation of what this model is all about.
Chris: In all probability it is just that Brian
Looks like it would fit Osborn's style smile
Chris: I thought it was a sort of homes for working heroes type structure Tom. But it's all gone now of course..

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