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Your Stories

A page for viewers of Liverpool Picturebook to share old photographs and the story that goes with them.

Email your story and photograph to Liverpoolpicturebook@ymail.com

Updated 22nd July 2018

Below are a selection of photographs sent to me by a Liverpool Picturebook viewer Lawrence...

He tells us..

While back at home in Huyton during my College holiday during the mid-1960s I was in the village and witnessed a minor car accident. The picture shows the damaged vehicle being collected by pick-up carrier. The car registration is clear and can help date the picture. In those days I always carried my camera and subsequently processed black-and-white negatives at home.  I must have paid for this colour image!

Glasses in the grotto

The boy is me and the girl is my sister visiting a shop 'grotto' and Santa Claus. This is around 1950 in Allerton, Liverpool.

Dog in the garden

This is me playing with our grandparents' dog (Kelpie) at their home in Melbreck Road, Allerton around 1951-2.

My grandfather:

My grandfather Cyril Hawkin disliked the name granddad so we had to call him Pop! (My grandsons call me granddad). This is Pop tending his sunflower at home at Melbreck Road, Allerton. Pop was very proud of his garden - and rightly so. He taught me how to grow tomatoes and other vegetables and I have continued to do so for decades.

Our arrival in Liverpool with baby Tim at  Melbreck Road, Allerton .

With thanks to Lawrence for his contribution to the site.


This story is brought to us courtesy of Mary Railton-Crowder, who originally posted this article on the 'Liverpool Picturebook' Facebook page, under the heading "a press cutting from when my Grandfather James Railton retired from Bibbys in Liverpool"....

(Click on the image to view full size in Lightbox TM

I read the story and found it so interesting that I contacted Mary and asked her for some additional information, she was kind enough to send me the following:-

James Railton
James Arthur Railton was born 11th July 1886 at 57, Creswick Street, Liverpool., the youngest child of Edward Railton and Sarah Ann Railton nee Brunt.  The family had moved only a few years earlier from one of Liverpool’s slum courts.  James attended Old Church Boys School.  His home life was not a happy one. His relationship with his parents was so bad that, in 1906, he left Liverpool and took a ship to South America. He was able to do this as his eldest sister, Francis, had lent him the money for his passage.   He disembarked at the Welsh trading settlement of Port Madryn in the Argentine where he worked as a clerk. He would later tell stories of how rough life was there and how he always slept with a pistol under his pillow. Eventually his sister wrote to tell him that his parents had died prompting him to immediately return home to Liverpool.

On his return home from South America James took lodgings with Sydney Jones, a dressmaker of Welsh descent at her home in Wheatland Lane, Seacombe.  He found employment at  J Bibby & Sons the cattle food manufacturer.  Bibbys was the company who employed most of James’s relations in Liverpool.    Three years later James married Sydney’s daughter, Caroline and over the next few years he had 3 sons and a daughter.

James Railton WW1
Life with family and children were to be interrupted by the outbreak of the First World War. James volunteered and joined the Cheshire Regiment.  Through all of his service, other than at times of action, he kept a diary of the routine of daily military life.  Action was in the, now largely forgotten, campaign in Mesopotamia, the modern day Iraq, against the German allies the Turks. Conditions in Mesopotamia defied description. Extremes of temperature of up to 120 degrees F were common which together with a desert that was alternatively arid and flooded, flies, mosquitoes and other vermin all led to appalling levels of sickness and death through disease. At night the temperature was below freezing with snow on the ground. Under these incredible conditions, units fell short of officers and men. Medical arrangements were minimal, with wounded men spending up to two weeks on boats before reaching any kind of hospital. As a result as many men died of sickness as from enemy action and James caught malaria.

On his return from the war James returned to Bibbys eventually becoming manager of their warehouse at Wellington Dock where he was to stay until his retirement in 1951.   James died  in December 1952 at the age of 66 years.  

James  and Caroline Railton

With grateful thanks to  Mary Railton-Crowder.


Do you have a family story you would like to share?
email Liverpoolpicturebook@ymail.com

The update today is not so much a story, as a story in photographs. Ian G Craig was a student in Liverpool in the early seventies and during his time here took some photographs. Ian was kind enough to send them to me and I was really grateful to him for this. There must be thousands of images out there in peoples private collections that we will never see, so it is fantastic when someone like Ian shares his photographs as they are sure to bring back memories for many others.

If you have photographs in your collection you would like to share email them to  Liverpoolpicturebook@ymail.com

Click on any image to view them all in 'Lightbox (TM)

Cafe Prescot Road, kensington, Liverpool 1972

F C Wilde, Prescot Road 1972

From the entrance to Gambier terrace 1971

Hope Street view from art college 1972

Low Hill 1971

Shop on Prescot Road 1972

Sunset view from  upper duke street sunset

View from Canning St 1972

View from Gladstone House chapel 1970

View from Upper Duke street

29 Upper Duke Street 1974

Anglican Cathedral 1972

Newsagent prescot road Kensington liverpool 1972

With thanks to Ian G Craig

Liverpool PALS

George Spencer Ferguson 
The men formed the Liverpool Pals battalions and were recruited by Lord Derby to answer Lord Kitchener's appeal for voluntary recruits. The battalions formed part of the King's Liverpool Regiment and came mostly from the commercial classes.

Here is a story, with photographs from ‘Liverpool Picturebook’ viewer, Peter Ferguson…

The photographs that follow, from 1914-15 are taken from an album belonging to my great uncle, George Spencer Ferguson from West Derby. George appears in most of the pictures:

They show his training with the first of the Liverpool Pals (the 17th Battalion Kings (Liverpool) Regiment). “This should be a battalion of Pals, a battalion in which friends from the same office will fight shoulder to shoulder for the honour of Britain and the credit of Liverpool” (from Lord Derby’s recruiting speech).

George enlisted in September 1914.  The numbers enlisting outstripped the resources to train them, and accommodation was found for the 17th at the old watch factory in Prescot (currently being demolished) where some of the group photos were taken.  From here, they marched daily to their training ground at Knowsley Hall, seat of their sponsor Lord Derby. With few weapons (100 old fashioned rifles per 1000 men for the first few months), they practiced digging trenches (helping to landscape Knowsley by improving the sightlines from the house to the lake). 

Eventually, on April 30th 1915 the Pals battalions were transferred to Belton Camp in Grantham to complete their training. Pathé filmed the march to Prescot Railway station (available on the web via the Prescot Role of Honourwebsite: . The current Lord Derby is unveiling a memorial at the station on April 25th 2015.

However, George left the Pals in September, before their eventual arrival in France. As a trained chemist, he was transferred to one of the chemical weapons battalions of the Royal Engineers where he served for the remainder of the war.  More photos on Flickr.  

George Spencer Ferguson 

Also from Peter

This photograph of a group of nurses is believed to be a photo of a hospital/orphanage that a nurse in the family was with before or after she served with an army hospital in Egypt in 1917 as part of the Voluntary Aid Detachment

With thanks to Peter Ferguson for his contribution to the website:

Dennis and Margaret Francis wedding 1966 at St John the Baptist church

One of the great pleasures of running a site like Liverpool Picturebook is not only being able to share past memories but encouraging others to share their past. Some time ago I added a ‘Your Stories’ section to the website to encourage people to share their photographs and memories. Today I am very pleased to be able to add a video sent to me by Clare Fofana (Nee Francis). Clare says:
“I have attached a family video that I think you may be interested in for your site.

Dennis & Margaret Francis wedding 1966 at St John the Baptist church, The Dingle, Liverpool (Steble Street).

My great grandma (Ganny), Mary Jane Clare and Grandad, Charles Francis are in the film. They are the small Indian guy in the flat cap and the small white haired lady with the fur collar (58 seconds in). They were the aunt and uncle of the groom.

When growing up, Ganny lived at 37 Pitt Street and Grandad at 20 Frederick Street. They were married at St. Peter's church (now Alma de Cuba) on 27th October 1917.

Constable John Arrowsmith Storey

I have said many times that one of the great things about running a local history website, is the information that comes from the people who use the site.

A lady recently posted a photograph on my ‘Liverpool Picturebook, Facebook page of her Great Grandfather, who was a Police Officer with both Lancashire Constabulary and Liverpool City Police, I contacted her to see what further information she could supply and was delighted to find that, not only did she have more photographs, but also the discharge certificates issued to her Great Grandfather, by both the forces he served with.

She says:

“My grandfather was John Arrowsmith Storey, born 1860 in Shildon, County Durham.

He was a police constable (1090) with the Lancashire Constabulary between 1881 and 1883.

At the time of his marriage at Holy Trinity, Wavertree in March 1883, his profession was a tram conductor. However, he then served with the Liverpool constabulary from 1883 to 1909, when he retired.

Perhaps, the tram conductor role was to fill in between the different police forces. John died in 1922 in Liverpool and is buried in Allerton cemetery”.

This story is from Lyn Matthews.....

This is a picture of my great, great, great uncle David Johnson. He was one of four children born to Emma and John Johnson who moved to Waterloo in the mid 1800's from Renshaw Street, Liverpool when they married. John Johnson had taken up a position as head coachman for Squire Houghton and they were given a lodge house on his estate, N Sandheys Lodge, Crosby Road. Their children, Emma, Margret Anne, David & George, all were born in Sandheys Lodge. My great Grandmother, Emma Camden, lived with her grandparents in the lodge after being sent there when her mother Margret was having her second child. She refused to go back to her parents and remained with her grandparents until she married. The family remained in the lodge house following the death of John but were later forced to move out for it to be demolished to make way for Victoria Park. David and George Johnson eventually went to live with my great grandmother in Corona Road Waterloo. 

I found this picture of Sandheys. 

This is the house my great grandmother used to peer through the window of when they had balls there. She told me of the long drive, and there it is.

Adam Costello sent this photograph

My Great-great Uncle John T Costello
The Kings (Liverpool Regiment)
There were eight John Costello's in The Kings during the time this was taken - only one had a rank - he was a Corporal:
John T Costello.
He sailed to France on the 12th of March 1915.
He was later transferred to the Labour Corps - this was made up of those declared "unfit for front-line service", often due to being wounded.
He was discharged on 24th of February 1919.

Thanks to Paul McCormick, archivist of The Loyal Regiment (North Lancashire) for finding this out for me.

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