Rise, taken in 1921.
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development of Wavertree Garden Suburb - just west of the
new Queens Drive - began in 1910.
A total of 360 houses had been completed when the First
World War brought building work to a halt.
estate was planned as a community and developed by a 'co-partnership'
company in which the tenants of the houses were shareholders.
early residents - with their gardens, allotments and wide
range of social events - were thought eccentric by some;
but they regarded themselves as pioneers of a new healthy
is what one of those residents wrote about the Suburb in
the summer of 1912:
"Before the Estate had been inhabited three months the little
plant of organised social life began to thrust itself into
view. The occupants of the score of finished houses met
and re-met and met again, and at the third time of asking
came forth with a brand new constitution upon the foundations
of which the social life of this community is destined to
grow and thrive.
Nook Road in 1912.
each fresh family arrived and established a new home in
this little colony it found a welcome awaiting. A little
circular letter from the Council of Tenants entrusted with
the administration of this new Constitution; a brief note
intimating that as Tenants and Co-partners the pioneers
already established here greeted the new comers and asked
them to join the guild of those bent on the quest of a more
first the new comers felt surprised at this collective welcome
and invitation from their neighbours; it was a new experience
and unexpected, an undeveloped imagination characterised
it as rudeness, but this objection soon vanished when a
friendly call followed the little note and explained the
new Constitution, the new ideals, the new hopes that exist
in the bosom of the citizens of this Garden Village.
this little lead the imagination of the new comer soon begins
to grow and the very members who as prospective tenants
have most ridiculed these phases of changed conditions of
city life, and most loudly declared that they would not
be identified with them, soon are found among the most enthusiastic
members of the new community.
selfish side of human nature plays a part in attracting
residents to this new estate, for it is soon realised that
a Co-partnership Garden Village affords to many an opportunity
of securing at least a share in the advantages which as
a rule are obtainable only by the few wealthy enough to
be the individual owners of lawns and gardens sufficiently
extensive to secure to their homes healthy open surroundings
and pleasant views.
But in these improved surroundings this selfish side grows
less, and the better nature soon becomes anxious to contribute
something towards the welfare of the community.
at the garden suburb's first Summer Festival.
efforts first of one resident and then of another lead to
the foundation of many societies of largely varied interests
so that at the end of the first year these healthy desires
have resulted in the existence of a Choral Society with
a senior and junior section; a Magazine Club; a Ladies'
Guild; a Horticultural Society; a Thrift Committee; an Adult
School, for all of which the Tenants' Club House provides
a meeting place either in its commodious hall or in one
of the two Committee rooms.
Club House forms a link with the past. The skilful reconstruction
of a pair of ancient cottages has preserved the outward
appearance of the thick red sandstone walls and the slated
roof so beautifully mellowed with years of sunshine and
storm. Many are the evenings that have and will be profitably
and enjoyably spent in this new Club House in social intercourse;
a Whist drive, or a dance, a lecture or a concert, a debate
or a gymnastic display, provides varieties for all ages
and all tastes: times of merriment and enlightenment.
True, our vocalists and our instrumentalists may not be
so renowned as the artistes at the Philharmonic Hall; our
lecturers may not be so distinguished and so brilliant as
those at the University; but there is a charm in seeing
and hearing them in our own hall, where we feel at home,
at our ease among our neighbours and our friends.
Spared the fatigue and expense of a journey to town, the
rush and crush of a public assembly hall, the tedious journey
back again late at night, we are able to remain by the fireside
or in the garden, according to the season of the year, until
a few minutes before the hour of commencement. At the conclusion,
quickly and easily home again and to bed, so that early
risers though perforce we may be, we awake refreshed by
sufficient hours of sleep in an atmosphere that rests and
braces both body and mind.
Clubhouse or Wavertree Garden Suburb Institute on Thingwall
summer is with us again, such time as can be spared from
our gardens may be spent in games of bowls and tennis on
our own lawns, and after dusk on warm evenings we look forward
to joining the group of open-air debaters or swelling the
attendance at the al fresco concerts. Surely under conditions
such as these we may rightly look forward to a sturdier
race of citizens, a race that will produce men who will
see that the cities of the future shall no longer be populated
by people disabled and unfitted for life by want of fresh
air and healthy homes, both of which may be provided on
an economic basis when the land is no longer allowed to
be overcrowded with buildings."
from 'Life in a Garden Suburb' by Bryce Leicester, an article
in 'Garden Suburbs, Villages & Homes' No.2 (Summer 1912):
Co-partnership Publishers Ltd, London