Archive for the 'Blogging' Category

Some interesting banking stories

Some of the posts on the Bold Street blog attract much more conservation than others. Places like The Mardi Gras, the beautiful cafes and restaurants of Bold Street past (La Bussola, The Kardoma, Fullers and Reeces bringing up the most vivid memories) and of course, the Banks. Bold Street was a veritable who’s who of banking during the early part of the 20th century and right up until the 1970’s.

Liverpool Savings Bank (now Tesco) was once the place to go and get involved with your finances and has evoked many memories including these from Gordon below.

“Regarding the TSB `coin`, I believe I have one somewhere. I joined the Liverpool Savings Bank from school in 1953, and spent over 37 years in the TSB, latterly Lloyds TSB of course. I would think that the souvenir would be worth a few pounds to a banking ephemera collector. I have a recollection that they were issued in their thousands though to everyone who made a deposit in an account during the special week, being regarded more as a sort of medal than a coin.

Not sure if I can lay my hands on the medal, which from memory was about the size of a florin (2/- piece). They were issued I think to commemorate 150 years of Trustte Savings Banks, the first such bank being acknowledge as Rev. Henry Duncan`s in Ruthwell, Scotland, although I believe there is a case for the claims of an earlier bank in Edinburgh(?) which did however have a slightly different modus operandi and rules. Duncan`s model was perhaps nearer to the way the banks that followed were set up. The little medals/coins were neither silver or gold colour, but something between the two, sort of dull brass as I recall”

This bank was also the location of one of my most recent Bold Street experiences. Walking up the street I noticed that the door to the upstairs rooms of the old Liverpool Savings Bank was open and peering inside I noticed a rather impressive cast-iron staircase stretching some 40 feet up into the upstairs rooms. It turns out that these impressive rooms are now being renovated and turned into a short stay apartment.

I was shown round by the owner of the apartment Lawrence who had discovered some interesting artefacts whilst in the process of renovating the rooms upstairs, probably once offices and board rooms. The finds included a bank receipt for the withdrawal of £28,000 in 1918 and glass slides depicting child-like scenes probably used in a magic lantern as a toy.

It made me curious as to the origins of this building, its grandiose appearance and its now multi-use as Tesco and apartment. The apartment is actually called ‘The Masonic’ which alludes to its original use as a Masonic Lodge (and the reason the staircase bears a star motif?) which remains a popular members organisation in the city.

I am not sure when the building as transformed from a Masonic Lodge to a Bank but I have records showing it as a bank in 1875 so it must have been a pretty long-time ago, either way it now stands as a testament to a Bold Street that had a very diverse daytime activity and withdrawals of vast amounts of money.

Thank you to Gordon for sharing his pictures and memories with us and to Lawrence for letting us have a look inside the bank. You can see pics from this recent visit on our flickr here you can see more memories of the savings bank in other locations on the blog.

Contributions to the Bold Street Blog

Apologies for our blogging silence over the last couple of months, Boldstreet’s mother project tenantspin has taken up a lot of our time of late with some amazing projects which have helped us to spread our community TV wings into one of the cities most famous and influential gallery spaces (apart from FACT that is!!) Check out our other projects at and

So, for my first post in a while here is something sent to me recently, from Mark Shepard called Street People:

Street People March 1978

Come into the silence of the crowded street

There are some faces I’d like you to meet

The ones that look like locked doors

Concealing what’s inside

The ones who don’t reveal to you

The music of their minds

That man knows his beer glass

Like a jeweler knows his jewels

Another man knows his empty pockets

Like a school boy knows his rules

And the young man who just passed us now

Is searching for a friend

Who understands his solitude

And knows how to make it end…


Stand inside the echoes

Of this cold concrete

It’s like an ever moving photograph

Never to be complete

Hold the silence in your hand

Feel that it is wise

Assemble all your senses

and place them in your eyes

That girl knows the sidewalk

Like a songbird knows its cage

She’s a year from home and tired

Of lying about her age

The business men who know her best

Don’t know her very well

They’re too caught up inside themselves

With what she has to sell


Stand inside the echoes

Of this cold concrete

It’s like an ever moving photograph

Never to be complete

Hold the silence in your hand

Feel that it is wise

Assemble all your senses

and place them in your eyes

See the old man with the spaniel dog?

He loves it like a son

And sometimes in his room at night

He dreams that he is young

Some “victim of society” just stole a lady’s purse

He eats the ground with his strong legs

And accelerates in bursts…


Stand inside the echoes

Of this cold concrete

It’s like an ever moving photograph

Never to be complete

Hold the silence in your hand

Feel that it is wise

Assemble all your senses

and place them in your eyes

See more of Marks work at Thanks to Mark for submitting this poem.

Maggie May’s and James William Carling


We recently attended the opening of a new gallery on Bold Street dedicated to the work of James William Carling in an upstairs room in our favourite Bold Street eatery, Maggie May’s.

The gallery has been months in the planning, the vision of dedicated people such as Ron Formby (Scottie Press) John Lea (owner of Maggie May’s cafe) and Michael Kelly (author of Liverpool’s Irish connection) and includes a selection of works on paper by the pauper artist now the property of The Poe Museum, Richmond, Virginia USA.

James was born in Addison Street Vauxhall 150 years ago and soon discovered he had a talent for painting and drawing, specifically street scenes and portraits of local places and characters which caught his imagination. The interesting thing about these images are that they capture the spirit and atmosphere of Liverpool during these years from the perspective of the ordinary working people.

Carling also cut a familia character particularly on Bold Street were he was seen most days in his childhood at work on chalk pavement representations of scenes around Liverpool and beyond begging for money from the wealthy patrons of the fashionable street.

After a 4 year spell in America Carling returned to England with a view to attending the Royal College of Art in London but this was not meant to be and he died at aged 29 from drinking related illnesses in poverty in Liverpool and was consequently buried in a paupers grave in Walton.

His work will be exhibited in this gallery above Maggie Mays cafe in Bold Street alongside other works throughout the year.

Click here to read more about Carling.

For more information about the gallery call into Maggie Mays or email and I will be glad to pass on your enquiries to Ron or John.

Maggie Mays serves a selection of traditional dishes as well as some very good scouse/Irish sausage from a local butcher which we were privaledged to taste at the opening morning on St. Patricks day.


Liverpool Savings Bank…a living memory.

Liverpool Savings Bank, at one time a prominent and familiar banking corporation in Liverpool once had branches spread all over the city. Bold Street was no exception, many of the Bold Street memories collected over the period of the project mention the bank once at 93, 95 & 97 (now Rapid Hardware Furniture Shop, coming down from the top on the right hand side) which was once the main bank for the depositing of wages by Bold Street workers. It was taken over in the 70’s by Lloyds TSB.

Lesley, a lady I met at The League of Welldoers (Lee Jones Centre) on Limekiln Lane mentioned to me that she had once worked at the Bank and kindly agreed to write a story about the experience.

“I went for my interview at Liverpool Savings Bank Head Office in January 1973 – the letter said to report to the side door – no front entrance for me!!

I was shown into a small office right at the back of the banking hall – the space was vast – high ceiling and so many staff, mostly men and all in suits. Voices echoed from the counter although from where I stood you couldn’t see it – there were so many screens and people.

It’s hard to explain the smell – but all traditional banking halls had the same smell – of marble, polish and money!!

After the interview I was taken through the busy banking hall, managing a quick look at the high wooden counters, and then through a door which opened into a large stairwell. A grand staircase swept up to a first floor boardroom and offices, the impact of such a grand sight immediately made you want to whisper if it hadn’t already struck you dumb!!

I passed my interview and was sent to work at Waterloo Branch but as ‘junior’ I would go to Bold Street one a week to pick up the branch ‘bag’ that would contain internal mail - a great way to meet all the other branch juniors! One day Bold Street’s manager called me to one side and asked where my suit jacket was – I explained I didn’t have one – he was appalled, his opinion was that a female in trousers should wear them as a part of a suit (similar to the male staff) – I made sure I was wearing a skirt on all my other visits!

Many years later I actually got the chance to work at the branch although by then it was called TSB plc with the head office in another part of the country. The impressive boardroom had become a staff lunch room but the high wooden counter was still there as were the wonderful staircase and that unforgettable smell!!

I’ve got really happy memories of Bold Street branch even the cellars, which were a bit dank and spooky but held so many secrets. The floor was always a bit damp being below the water basin and much of the paper had water stains and smelt a bit funny but it was an amazing place to ferret around oops I mean tidy up!!”

Thank you to Lesley for this wonderful story.

Quentin Tarantino, FACT, Bold Street and Peter K’s…..


Tuesday 11th September saw Quentin Tarantino come to Liverpool to promote his new film Deathproof. Joan Burnett, the visitor services manager @ FACT was lucky enough to spend an evening in his charismatic company.

“What a guy! First, he wants to re-arrange his promotional trip to the UK to branch out from the usual round of London interviews to include Liverpool and Glasgow, as he said “to go somewhere working class”. Then when he gets here, he wants to sit in the audience to watch the film with them. He then announces he’s really fond of Cains 2008 ale and proceeds to drink a couple of bottles as the evening wears on. Quentin Tarantino, you’ve gone up in my estimation!

Death Proof is a pretty accurate rendering of seventies slasher movies, complete with in-yer-face girls and their not-so-happy endings. It falls into two distinct halves; in the first Stuntman Mike, played with impeccable cheesiness by Kurt Russell, gets his wicked way, while in the second half, it can only be said that girl-power wins out. If for nothing else, you should see this for the best car chase I have gasped at for a while - and as Mr T himself avowed, no CGI or special effects were used - Zoe Bell did all the work herself. Here we have a star turn. Ms Bell is a stuntwoman by trade and in Death Proof she certainly raises this speciality to an art-form. I was practically jumping out of my seat to cheer her on. No one has put a bit of scaff bar to such good use for a while even if I did have to look away…

Mr Tarantino took questions from the audience for over an hour, including some about his politics and his reaction to local protesters who had called him a mysogynist who glorifies violence against women for profit. He’s a great raconteur and obviously understands what makes an audience sit up and listen. It was a rare chance to see someone so lionised by the whole entertainment business talk openly and without pretension about their passion for creativity. he had some good pointers for up and coming creative people and a couple of good stories about his inspiration for the film.

A day later, the man was still in Liverpool and was seen whiling a mellow evening away with a few pints in Peter Kavanagh’s….he obviously meant what he said about wanting to see another side of the UK, away from the bright lights and corporate shindigs of the media world.”

While he was here Quentin was also seen wandering up and down Bold Street much to the shock and amusement of people on the street that day - it seems he was advised to do this by Samuel L Jackson who had the opportunity to explore the city during the filming of the 2001 film 51st State.

Thank You Bold Street (by Stuart Ian Burns)


As per Laura’s recent post about Bold Street tales, it seems so many people have stories to tell about this famous Liverpool thoroughfare.  However, we now have a growing community of Liverpool writers (and story tellers) online and you can find local blogger Stuart Ian Burns either at Liverpool Blogs or at his personal blog Feeling Listless. We wanted to get a blogger’s opinion of Bold Street so we asked Stuart to tell us what he thought…

“It’s only recently I’ve considered how indispensable the Bold Street area has become, at least to me. At present, each Thursday, I have a routine. Before the weekly shop at the Tesco Metro, I get off the bus outside of St. Luke’s Church then stroll or rush down Bold Street depending upon how late I am. I’ll pass through Forbidden Planet looking for Joss Whedon written comic books and magazines about a certain timelord who travels in a police box; to Oxfam next in case they’ve something new about Shakespeare; on then to The Works to see if there’s a sale and to the shop formerly known as Home & Bargain to check if they have anything worth buying too; new arrival HMV perhaps on the rare occasion that a decent record that been released and possibly Waterstones if I’m looking for something to read and through to Church Street for WH Smiths and …

I also usually end up passing through too if there’s a special day to prepare for, a birthday, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Christmas, Easter. It could be to find a card a Rennies or a bottle of red at Oddbins but sometimes I’ll be looking for something unusual which you simply can’t find anywhere else, in which case Utility is the place to go and when the recipient has told me what they want, there is Argos and the wait within for the opening of the hatch. But incredibly Bold Street also serves my entertainment and caffeine needs with the FACT Centre and its cinema and exhibition spaces and café and restaurant and further down the road Starbucks if I’m in a corporate coffee mood (with Costa Coffee opposite on the rare occasion when I want a change of place). I even booked my last holiday there, three days in Paris, at STA Travel.

I can’t remember when I first visited Bold Street, but I know I must have been young. I was brought up in Speke through the seventies and eighties and in those days a trip to the city centre was a special treat, let alone Bold Street. When you’re very young geography doesn’t mean much to you — there’s just shapes and colour and then toys and games. So whilst I remember visiting the Medici Gallery to buy a birthday card and the 50p shop for a colouring book or Star Wars toys it’s only now that I realise they were on Bold Street (especially since they’re both gone now). Something I definitely have memories of is Penny Lane Records, an outpost of a shop actually on the street from which is took its name; that was were I fanned the flames of many a teenage pop star crush but also discovered that Louis Armstrong recorded more than just ‘Wonderful World’.

But the time when I was most grateful for Bold Street just being there, was when I was working in the city centre and wanted somewhere to disappear to at lunch time. Even after all these years, the place has a strange mystique particularly at the ’top end’ — it’s really not like anywhere else in Liverpool which means that after you’ve passed the Rapid Hardware Furniture shop you could be anywhere, which in that empty daily hour helped to drag me out of the mess I was in even if it was for a few brief minutes and could pretend I was somewhere else, which was good therapy in the job I was doing in which I had to greet the people of my own city hard-on. Popping into Café Tabac for some soup, buying a sandwich in the Soul Café, a drink in that newsagents just down the way from Mattas or …

Thank you Bold Street. For everything, it turns out.”

Thank you indeed Bold Street, and thank you Stuart!

- Oh, and thanks also to Pete Carr for this amazing Bold Street image recently uploaded to the Bold Street Flickr Group!

Finished! (And this is just the beginning)


We uploaded a new set of images to Flickr. Not the best photography but hopefully some sneak preview/ behind the scenes / work in progress shots of pulling together an exhibtion in install week. The install week shots and a few of the best from the Private View (which we all thoroughly enjoyed) are on Flickr. We’d love to see your shots there too!

So after months of preparation The Bold Street Project is live and ready for visitors. Initial feedback was great - and I think Laura will be writing more about that soon. If you’ve seen it, please share you thoughts here on the blog and your photos online and help us make it even better.

Thank you Flickr!


My last Flickr related post was singing the praises of Flickr the photosharing website. But it is so much more than that. On Flickr we have found a community of local photographers all taking amazing photos of Liverpool. We set up a group and invited some of them. Word soon spread and more people joined our group and more and more submitted photos. The photography is so good we wanted to include the images submitted by Flickr users to the exhibition and have them playing in the exhibit.

We now have many images in our photo sections which have been contributed by Flickr users. This is a great example of online communities in action - having a direct impact on creative practice; helping to create an exhibition. We’d like to thank:  The Badger Revolution, Andy O’Hare, transvox, Dradny, Philip G Mayer, Andy Sunley, David J Colbran,  Alyn Smith, James West, Maddie Digital, Pixel Fixer, New Folder, Liverpool Suburbia

Bold Street on the TV on Flickr

We’re uploaded more of our 15 minutes of fame pictures to Flickr. As Patrick blogged a few days ago, the Bold Street Project Private View Invitations made it all the way to the Hollyoaks set. So if you’re a Hollyoaks fan you might spot the Bold Street Project on the TV in a few weeks’ time. More of our Hollyoaks pics are now on Flickr, where we’ll be adding more of our amazing news stories!

“When you walk around dressed as priests, people respond differently to you”


We were checking up on our online activities recently and found film maker Alex Cox’ blog. Alex has recently acted in Kim Ryan’s new film for, and made in, Bold Street ‘The Bolder They Walk”. On Alex’s blog he tells tales of what it’s like to walk up and down Bold Street dressed as a priest.

“When you walk around dressed as priests, people respond differently to you. Drunks are more likely to be attracted. A middle-eastern man shouted at Father Chris for setting a bad example by smoking. Another guy confessed something that was on his mind…” 

The image also clearly shows Patrick, Ed and Laura of the Bold Street Project.  More wonderful tales on Alex’s blog here:

Bold Street Video Podcast Now Live

We are very pleased to announce that our Video Podcast is now live. The Podcast episodes (of which there are four already with many more coming soon) offer an insight into the inner workings of tenantspin, the Bold Street research and the work involved in creating this exhibition. The Podcast follows the progress of the team; current episodes include John and Laura’s video diaries and interviews with Bold Street personalities. Future episodes will include interviews with more Bold Street people, with the artists and project team.


Bold Street Podcast in iTunes

You can play the podcast on your video iPod, or on your computer using iTunes. You can even play it on your TV.

Laura on the Podcast on my TV
To subscribe you will need iTunes running on your Mac or PC. For more information on iTunes and to download and install the software if you don’t already have it, click here.

The podcast is available as a Video Podcast - with an audio version coming soon. The podcast is listed in iTunes click the link to subscribe.

We love Flickr! (and your Bold Street pictures)


We have been using an amazing photo sharing website to share our photos of Bold Street. Visitors to our Flickr page have been in for a treat as we have been adding Chambre Hardman images amongst our own contemporary Bold Street pics. For anyone who isn’t already a Flickr user, I recommend getting signed up.

Through spending a lot of time using Flickr, I have come to know the photographs of a range of talented Liverpool photographers, many of whom have also been using Flickr to share their images of Liverpool, and of Bold Street. Today I set up a Flickr Group all about Bold Street and invited my contacts to join.


I am pleased to say that we already have 16 members many of whom have contributed their images of Bold Street to the Group Pool! We would like to include images added to the group in the exhibition itself, so this is a great way, not only to contribute, but to get your work shown in FACT! The photos will be shown on screens within Michelle’s model. (All very top secret at the moment but a sneak preview of that coming soon).

If you have images of Bold Street, or you’d like to make some for the exhibition, please get signed up to Flickr, and add them to the group.

Online History: An Anomaly


As we create a new history of Bold Street online, we’re using a variety of tools to help us create a mesh of content, tags, references and data. And sometimes, the unexpected happens….

Today I noticed a comment posted on one of the ‘History of Bold Street‘ images we have posted on Flickr. The comment, quite rightly points out that Flickr states the image was taken in 2007, but clearly the image is from (sometime around) 1974. Thanks or the tip ‘abnsinoan’ and we will now make sure we set the right ‘Date Taken’ on our Bold Street images. Corrections on those pictures coming soon!

This simple data error highlights the issues around creating online content “retrospectively”. Online spaces are designed around a continual content evolution, rather than archiving of past work, and as such a few things don’t quite fit. Of course we can manipulate Flickr to display the right date ‘after the event’, but this anomaly shows how the online space is geared to the process of continually archiving as we go along, creating an evolving history that writes itself. It is as if these online spaces we participate in, do not need to be archived, as they create an ever-evolving, self-referential archive just by existing and collecting and tracking every single interaction that takes place within them. This made me realise how important it is we keep the Bold Street content online for many people to write, share and enjoy.

Reader Feedback

The Bold Street Project Blog has not been launched long and already we’re getting brilliant feedback from our readers in Liverpool and further afield. Visitor levels are on the up and are set to rise dramatically next week as we start to promote the project. Feedback so far is helping us gather new content and improve the blog in general.

One reader from outside Liverpool suggested we added better ‘Contact’ information, and suggested we add a page of team profiles so we can see who’s who! Nice idea; we are hopefully going to add pictures of the team next week, and the new contacts page is live already. Another reader, inspired by the photo of Cafe Berlin wanted to see what was at No77 today; we aim to please, so Laura and Patrick went out to see; Yums!

Send us your feedback and we’ll be sure to include it!

Blogging Bold Street


We have developed this blog to offer a growing snapshot of our research into Bold Street, and the creation of our project and exhibition “The Bold Street”, launching June 29th. This week we’ve been getting the whole project team blogging, so watch out for a variety of new posts from Alan, Patrick, Michelle, Laura, Ed and Joan. Having sung the praises of Wordpress for may blog projects we’ll soon see it in action for multi-author blogs.

Get the Flash Player to see the wordTube Media Player.