Reading a lovely book on the original Liverpool Botanic Garden and the influence of Roscoe. The location of the gardens within spitting distance of Abecromby Square, with the main route being up Oxford Street and past the houses, was one of the contributing factors to making the location so desirable in the early 1800s.
Not only would the Square be a desirable location for your house in itself, but all the great and the good of Liverpool would have to pass and admire your home ( hopefully with jealous eyes) on their evening trips to the concerts in the Gardens.
Not exactly Square related, but as you are do doubt fascinated in the subject of me, you'll be enthralled to learn that I'll be moving to a new job, still within the University, in September. It will be less related to the Square itself, but more related to research, and specifically research impact, so should be interesting in its own right.
And with my 'writing a blog about researching and writing a book' hat on ( it is a lovely hat, pale lemon with a peacock feather on the side and a velcro chinstrap) this will hopefully lead to more thoughts about how to progress and present my own work too.
And now, a very occasional series called 'patents taken out by occupants of Abercromby Square'.
No 1: Alfred Chapman - A process for removing the tinfoil from the necks of bottles.
Whether this need to pick the foil away was a case of an early drive for recycling or simply a case of sexual frustration is unrecorded.
Just going through some Melly history ( inspired by my recent post). I'd recommend Jazz George's autobiographies as a great read, though as a raconteur, a pinch of salt may be required with any facts. Other research area of the week is the original Botanic Garden at the top of Mount Pleasant, where the current Melville Grove begins.
Well, happy to report I've started actually writing some text for the book. A couple of short sections of sources and the history of Mosslake pre Square, but a start none the less. I'm thinking I may include a FAQ section of short snippets near the beginning as well.
There are a lot of interesting gobbetts, many of which have a bearing on any Liverpool history ( a few examples have dotted here already) which will enhance undersatinding as a whole, but would distract form the main narrative I think. Do let me know if there are any half relevant facts I should think about including.
Oh I love this one... that Senate House was considered by Hitler as the future home of the British Reichstag, as he loved it from his time in Liverpool as an art student.
Errr... where do I begin? Shall we put aside the fact that it wasn't built until the late 1960s for now? And the fact that Hitler never actually lived in Liverpool? That Reichstag is 'parliament' so wouldn't be in Liverpool anyway? Or shall we just be kind and say its a misunderstanding?
Where did the rumour come from? Well, Beryl Bainbridge's fictional novel Young Adolf has a lot to answer for ( in my time I've seen Hitler's own ice skates at the old ice rink shop, and over the years had four different locations pointed out to me by taxi drivers or friends as Hitler's flat when he was an art student). Ian Kershaw's Hitler:Hubris book is an excellent biography of Hitler's early years by the way, and strangely enough doesn't find any time that young Adolf spent here. We did have a music teacher called Goering ( no relation) on Chatham Street though.
This rumour seemed to gain strength in the eighties and to be kind, seems to have transferred from earlier rumours of the same sort about the Harold Cohen Library being the Reich's favoured new home. Which also seem to have no traceable justification or logic. Damn you and your popular fiction Bainbridge!
I'm happy to report the old listed pillar box has now been returned to Abercromby Square.
It was accidentally damaged by a reversing truck a couple of years ago but has now been rebuilt. It is in a slightly different location to previously, but to those concerned over P.O. Box locations it is worth noting that over the last hundred years it has occupied several different spots all around the Square.
Being unlikely to be damaged in its current resting spot it is in the best place. Welcome home old friend.
ps. No, it isn't useable.