62 Falkner Street, Liverpool 8

History and music of Liverpool

62 Falkner Street, Liverpool 8

Postby (hamilton_square) » Fri Jan 26, 2018 5:27 am

62 Falkner Street is a four-storey terraced townhouse located in the inner-city ‘Georgian Quarter’ that is part of the Liverpool 8 postal district. Built in the 1840s to house Liverpool’s burgeoning and prosperous merchant class, Falkner Street is less than 2 miles from what remains of the city’s once thriving dockside wharfs and quays. A House Through Time: 62 Falkner Street is a four-part BBC television documentary that traces the history of one house, and its assorted occupants, over the course of some 180 years. Through the ups, downs and up again times that have mirrored the declining fortunes of a flourishing international seaport, to that of a neglected and socially deprived North-West of England city left behind as Britain’s industrial manufacturing base diminished, to the regenerated inner-city Liverpool of today.

While the opening two instalments of the documentary covering the period leading up to World War I (1914 – 1918) come across as rather academically dry, loaded as they are with detailed record-driven histories of long since deceased tenants. The final two instalments come alive thanks to archive newsreel footage of Liverpool supported by verbalised accounts from those who were alive at the time.

Even though I myself left the area in the mid-1980s for the better paid greener pastures of London, England, the Liverpool of the 20th Century still remains of special interest to me because of not only how it relates to my own personal experiences of the city but to that experienced by my parents before I was born. Also, having watched all four parts of the documentary, it’s both a social and cultural visual representation of the turbulent rollercoaster ride that the city of Liverpool has gone through over the course of more than 100 years. While there have been other filmed documentaries made that have focused on specific periods in the history of Liverpool, not many have ambitiously attempted to trace such an extended storyline arc told from the perspective of the occupants of a single house. So, being the sharing person that I am (and on condition that it only costs me time and not money) then, using a screen-capture piece of software installed on my PC, I’ve recorded the last two instalments of the documentary as MP4 files and uploaded them to Google Drive for those interested enough to want to watch for themselves at …


Hopefully, after watching the first, covering the period 1891 to 1945, of the two uploads one will get some sense of the battering the strategic North Atlantic Ports of Liverpool and Birkenhead took from the German Luftwaffe during World War II that cost the lives of near 4,000 civilians. Known as the Liverpool Blitz, the first bombing raids took place during August 1940 and continued until May 1941 when the German High Command finally gave up and decided to focus the attention and resources of its air power elsewhere. See …


Also featured in this first upload, the often precarious and gruelling lives of working-class Liverpool ‘Dockers’ whose job it was to manually unload and load cargo ships moored at the nearby wharfs. Many of whom, along with their families, were forced to live in inner-city, multi-occupied, sub-standard housing, such was the fate that awaited Falkner Street and Liverpool 8’s ‘Georgian Quarter’ given the city’s declining economic fortunes that accelerated after World War II.

The second upload, covering the end of World War II to the present day encompasses my own living memory of the city, looks at …
• The acute housing shortage that greeted servicemen returning to a peacetime Liverpool of the late 1940s.
• The vibrant West Indies Caribbean club scene of the 1960s that became established along nearby Upper Parliament Street.
• The global economic oil shock of the mid-1970s resulting in high rates of unemployment that brought Liverpool 8 to its knees and culminated in the ‘Toxteth Riots’.
• The rescue of a derelict Falkner Street when the powers that be decided the importance of the street’s historic Georgian architecture was too valuable a feature to be bulldozed.
• The establishment by local activists of the Liverpool Housing Trust, a non-profit organisation formed to provide affordable social housing for rent to low-income families that still exists to this day, who took on the mammoth task of making number 62 and other Falkner Street houses habitable again.
• The cultural evolution that took place throughout the 1980s and 1990s that saw the Liverpool 8 district as the place to be for those of artistic and alternative lifestyle persuasions.
• And, finally the completion of the circle at the beginning of the millennium with the ‘gentrification’ of Falkner Street that has seen the houses return to what they once were, some of inner-city Liverpool’s most desirable and sought after family homes.

Footnotes #

Re: Falkner Street and its place in the history of the Beatles.
The ground-floor flat of 36 Falkner Street was for a while the home of John and Cynthia Lennon immediately following the couple’s marriage. Initially rented by Brian Epstein for the purpose of illicitly entertaining his male acquaintances, the flat was made available to the newlyweds during Cynthia Lennon’s pregnancy.

Re: June Furlong, one of documentary’s featured interviewees
Long-time Falkner Street resident June Furlong, now aged 87, is a Liverpool character well-known for her past willingness to take her clothes off in the cause of art. In 1947, at the age of 17, she started as a part-time nude model in life classes at the then Liverpool College of Art and Design. And, together with the eight years she spent in London during the 1950s modelling at the prestigious Slade School of Fine Art, Royal College and Goldsmith’s art schools before returning to Liverpool, continued taking her clothes off for near 50 years for the benefit of line drawing art students – John Lennon and Stu Sutcliffe being just two of the many. See the recollections of June Furlong (recorded 2008) below …

Re: The present owners of 62 Falkner Street
Due to the interest generated by the documentary, it seems the owners of 62 Falkner Street, Liverpool 8 are looking to cash in and have put the house up for sale with an eye-watering asking price of £600,000 (some 840,000 U$D) according to this report in the Liverpool Echo …

Liverpool city centre house featured in BBC's A House Through Time goes on the market

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