BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

24 September 2014
BBC Liverpool - Local History

BBC Homepage
Local History

Get into History
Living History
Mersey Times
My Merseyside Memory
Contact info

Contact Us

Ladies of the Night

Corner of Duke Street
Corner of Duke Street - supposed residence of Maggie May.
Image courtesy of Liverpool Record Office and Liverpool Libraries.
Maggie May's Song
Played by Stan Ambrose on a penny whistle.
RealPlayer Required: More Info

"Lime Street had a world wide reputation for "ladies of the night", with one name particularly associated with that trade, but as the opening line of the famous song "Maggie May" tells us … "she’ll never walk down Lime Street anymore".

"Prostitution was rife in the 1800s, especially during the so called 'naughty nineties', when Maggie and her contemporaries offered their services to seaman, and others, on Lime Street and in the public houses which lined that famous thoroughfare.

"Maggie herself is alleged to have plied her trade in the American Bar. Some other famous "ladies" associated with that period are Mary Ellen, the "Battleship", Jumping Jenny and Cast Iron Kitty, although how and why they acquired those names is not clear.

A Policeman from the 1940s recalls Liverpool's prositute problem:

"When you see films with regards to prostitution, you get the impression it was a tremendous problem. Well that didn’t apply to Liverpool. The poor girls in Liverpool were just poor girls. In my day, a lot of them were just married women who were just bloody hard up."

This Section
Ladies of the night
Harlots & Courtesans
Maggie May
Current Journey
Lime Street History
Empire Theatre
St George's Hall
Punch & Judy
Lime St Station
Maggie May
Pubs & Bars
Adelphi Hotel
How To Do History
Local Links
Trace your family tree
My Merseyside Memory
Contact Us
If you have anything to contribute to this page, or any others, then please get in touch:
Tel: 0151 794 0980
BBC Liverpool, 55 Paradise Street, Liverpool, L1 3BP

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy