This year our society celebrates it’s 50th year. In our next newsletter we will hopefully be releasing further details of events being planned including our usual talks. In addition to our 50th anniversary, St Stephens Church will be celebrating its 150th year in Gateacre. St Stephen’s Church was designed by Cornelius Sherlock under the direction of Andrew Barclay Walker of Gateacre Grange, who in turn was responsible for a great deal of the visual scene of Gateacre today, including donating the land for a village green which is home to the Queen Victoria bust and Wilson memorial.

As part of our 50th anniversary, we will be selling two items designed and printed especially for this occasion.

The Wilson Memorial (7.5cm x 7.5cm x 11cm)

The memorial was erected in 1881 in honour of John Wilson who died after suffering a cold at the Tarbock races which complicated an old malarial attack he had suffered whilst travelling in Italy some years prior. He was particularly linked to the Vyrnwy Water scheme which brought pure water to Liverpool through his role as Chairman of the Water Committee, where others had not recommended the scheme but he discerned its advantages over its disadvantages.

John Wilson was buried at Halewood Church, where ‘never before seen here where such a multitude of people to pay their respects, special trains were run on the Cheshire Lines and from Central Station and Huskisson Dock station for the public and the large numbers of his working men. The men from the deceased works (350) lined the streets leading to the cemetery as the cortege passed.

The Airoh Prefab (11cm x 6cm x 9cm)

The prefabs were a common sight in Belle Vale after the war. The Second World War resulted in demolition, and a huge need for housing in cities like Liverpool. (It was estimated that 4 million new homes were needed in Great Britain in the late 1940s). Winston Churchill, and the Minister of Housing, started looking at the prefabs which were going up all over the world. On 25th March 1944 Winston Churchill announced the 1944 Temporary Housing Programme, a total of 200,000 prefabs (of 13 different types) were to be built all over Britain. In 1946 the job began.

In Liverpool, 3,500 prefabs were built on 40 different sites. The smallest was Larkhill (2), the largest was Belle Vale (1,159). 

Both items cost £7.50 each to purchase and are available via emailing or ordering at our meetings. Proceeds will go towards a society projector and microphone.

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