Street, Alexandre Promio, 1897.
Binns is Radio Merseyside's local historian. He does a bi-weekly
feature on the lunchtime programme every Wednesday.
Street was set out in 1790, named after William Harvey’s lime kilns.
In 1804 the doctors at the local infirmary complained about the
smell, so they were moved.
But of course, the street kept its name.
must have had a very frontier atmosphere in the 19th century. It
was beyond the edge of the old town boundary.
that changed with two arrivals.
The railway first
in 1851, then in 1856 and St
George’s Hall, which opened in 1854.
George’s Hall turned Liverpool from a provincial north of England
town, to the second city of Empire.
Its nearness to the station is of great significance. It was Liverpool’s
message to the world.
you looked out of St George’s Hall on the day of opening, you would
have seen thousands of houses. They couldn’t leave it "stuck
out there like a sore thumb" as one person said, they had to
connect it to the old town. William Brown Street was that connection.
The library and museum of the 1860s; the Walker Art Gallery, now
refurbished, of the 1870s; the good old Empire
Theatre, of another name in 1871, then under its modern
name in 1925 and the North Western Hotel - all of these buildings
turned Lime Street into a dramatic quarter.
arrival place for those people coming from all over the country
and indeed, all over the world. The plateau has been the scene for
some of the most dramatic events in our history:
- Crowds gathered there after the death of Gladstone, the death
of Queen Victoria, the assassination of John Lennon.
people awaiting the verdict in the Maybrick or Wallace trial.
The famous strikes of 1911 and 1919.
The return of football teams, the Beatles, the declarations of
governments and elections.
of these have brought people onto that sometimes rather breezy open
of its most famous features was Professor
Codman and his Punch and Judy show. This was such an institution
in the city, that when it was threatened with removal it created
the kind of public campaign that we are more used to nowadays then
we were in the 1950s.
Street was full of atmosphere, pubs and people. Some
guide books will tell you of the ladies of the night.
famous pubs were of the early 20th century. The
Crown, The Vines,
otherwise known around here as the Big House. The
American Bar, which is older than both of those.
the beginning of the 20th century it also became a Mecca for the
new entertainment - the cinema.
Several cinemas including very famous ones like the Forum, have
occupied this ground since before the first world war.
was "England’s front door", as they called the Adelphi.
The present hotel was opened in 1912, but it is the second hotel
on that site."