Thank you to everyone who came along to our Macmillan Coffee morning and baked, bought & cake. We had a lovely morning meeting old friends and new, plus we raised around £120 for a fantastic cause!
Right, what has fifteen legs and makes great videos? The answer, of course, is the six Community Journalists who, thanks to Lister Steps and Jon and Paul from Periscope Productions, have been transformed from ardent amateurs to, well, if not quite the Steven Spielbergs of this parish, to a group who have acquired the necessary skills to put together a series of short videos charting the progress of the Lister Steps Project to be uploaded to the likes of Facebook.
We were quite a diverse band, ranging from an A-Level student to a grey haired old codger whose refusal to enter the 21st century was evident by his initial enquiry as to where does the roll of film go in a digital camera (the Periscope lads knew they had a job on with this dinosaur – I’ll own up, it was me).
But, over six three-hour sessions in July and August (the first four at our very own Lister Steps and the remaining two at Periscope’s state of the art studios in Bootle) , we were taught how to interview people; camera techniques; lighting principles; video and audio editing; and how to upload the finished product to the relevant social media platform.
Special thanks must go to Jon and Paul from Periscope whose enthusiasm was so contagious that each three hour session flew by – and this from a man who hurls abuse at the inanimate objects such as traffic lights which have been on red for more than three seconds. Honestly, they could convert the world to a planet of Marmite lovers if they put their minds to it.
And thanks to the fabulous Lister Steps for facilitating this course. Seriously, we enjoyed every single minute of it and, from a personal perspective, I met a great bunch of people, so thanks to you as well.
So, we’ve got the journalists, all we need now is the community i.e. YOU! Happy to be filmed, giving your views, getting involved and helping us to record the rebirth of the library and the progress of the Project and the benefits it will bring to your community.
By the way I cheated – six people equals twelve legs I know; but I counted in the three legs of the camera tripod; an essential part of the team!
Steve Sneade, Community Journalist (yes, the grey haired dinosaur …)
Our theme for August was the Great British Summer Time and we were very impressed that none of the entries included any rain, given the somewhat soggy summer we've had! Our chosen winner this month is Niall Cullen with this dreamy summer shot - congratulations Niall! You can check out some of the other entries below. All winners will feature in our 2020 calendar and be in with the chance of winning our overall prize of a camera at the end of the year.
The theme for September is 'Liverpool's Heritage' which conveniently coincides with the 2019 Heritage Open Days Festival and The Old Library tours on 14th & 15th September (click here to book your free tickets). Why not make the most of this opportunity to get up close to some of the fabulous historic sites offering free entry across the city? Send your snaps to email@example.com by 25th September for the chance to be our next winner.
Throughout August, our Summer Holiday Playscheme children joined forces with our friends at Lister Drive Artists to create some inter-generational pieces of art. Lister Drive Artists are a talented bunch who meet every Monday at Stoneycroft Church, just next door to The Old Library, to paint and sketch in a range of different styles and mediums. You may have seen some of their work or even bought one of their prints at our Summer Fair!
Pat and Dot from Lister Drive Artists kindly offered to come and help run some group art sessions with the children at Lister Steps. During the first week, we thought about what community means and how it makes us feel, then everyone painted their own tile to express their feelings. We also ran this activity at our Summer Fair so that we can put all these tiles together into a lovely mosaic on the hoardings around the library.
In the second week, we all worked together to create one big piece of art based on nature and the environment. For inspiration, Pat showed us a 5ft canvas that she spent 6 months working on and told us all about the different plants and animals that she had rec-created. We then used paints, stamps, pens and pencils to recreate our own piece of nature art - we only had one afternoon but it turned out to be fantastic! Take a look at the photos below to see the group in action.
Thank you to Lister Drive Artists for getting involved, we're looking forward to more arty adventures together in the future!
Despite the rain, our Summer Fair on Saturday 10th August was a great success! We had over 225 visitors to Lister Steps who got involved with face-painting, flower arranging, cupcake decorating, heritage & local history activities, raffle, tombola, our community art project, BBQ and the world's wettest dog show (everyone was a winner!) We also had stands from a range of local businesses and interest groups, including Liverpool Model Boat Club and Lister Drive Artists, so it was a great day community spirit & networking.
We raised almost £900 to support our work with local children & families so we want to say a huge thank you to everyone who helped out, including all our Lister Steps staff & volunteers, Liz the Community Champion from ASDA Breck Road who match-funded everything we raised on our tombola and the staff from Liverpool Adult Learning Services who ran some fabulous activities for us.
As we come to the end of the summer season, we're busy planning our autumn/winter events so watch this space for more ways you can get involved with Lister Steps & The Old Library project very soon!
Congratulations to Billy-Jo Todd who is only 13 but took this fantastic photography in Doric Park which we chose as the winning shot for this month's theme of 'A Place to Escape' - well done! We loved finding out more about people's secret spots to relax around our amazing city and had loads of brilliant entries - check some of them out below.
Our theme for August is the 'Great British Summertime' and with our summer fair coming up this Saturday, it's the perfect opportunity to get snapping! Send your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org by Tuesday 27th August (we'll be nice and give you the bank holiday weekend too) for the chance to be our next winner.
We're right on the border of Old Swan & Tuebrook so we decided to take part in Old Swan in Bloom, a fantastic initiative from our local community magazine Old Swan Alive. On Saturday 13th July, we held a community planting session to plant up our lovely new pots and hanging baskets. Thanks to everyone who came along to help, we had a great morning getting stuck in and Lister Steps has never looked so good! Thanks also to B & Q Edge Lane for the kind donation of plants - all still alive so far!
The theme for our June photography competition winner was 'Childhood memories' and we had a really interesting mix of photographs from the past, as well as more recent shots. However, as always, there can only be one winner and this month we chose Barry Mackenzie for this summery shot of a rope swing in our local Newsham Park. Congratulations Barry! You can check out some of the other great entries we received below.
Our theme for July is 'A place to escape' so send your entries to email@example.com by 25th July for your chance to be our next winner! All winning photographs will feature in our 2020 calendar and be in with the chance of being crowned our overall winner and being awarded a camera as top prize!
After 12 months of research and planning with the Community Archaeology Team from Museum of Liverpool, we were finally ready to carry out our archaeological excavations in the grounds of The Old Library. From looking at historic maps, the land that the library is built on appears to have just been fields until the 19th century when Brook Cottage, along with a number of outhouses, seems to have been built on what is now The Old Library site. Armed with this information and having recruited a lovely group of volunteers to help out, we were ready to get started to see what we could find...
But we should have known not to trust the great British summer! We arrived on site to find our trenches filled with water, making it totally impossible to dig. However, that didn’t stop our fabulous volunteers who got on with washing the initial finds from the trenches and excavating the back path which leads to the original Ladies entrance. With the weather not looking any better for the rest of the week, we had to make the decision to postpone digging for a few days and cross our fingers that the site dried up!
Fortunately, the rain held off for our open day at The Old Library and we were able to welcome over 180 visitors to site to have a look at the initial archaeological discoveries made by the Museum of Liverpool team and volunteers. We also opened up the ground floor of the building, allowing visitors to step inside the ground floor of the building for the first time since 2006, and hear about our plans for the future. It was great to meet so many people with fond memories of the library who are looking forward to following the build and enjoying the facilities once it’s complete. If you weren't able to come along, check out the video below!
Thankfully, with the break in the rain, our volunteers were able to come back after the open day and get stuck in. Once the real digging began, there were some very interesting finds. The team discovered various bits of pottery that looked like they might date back to the early 20th century or Victorian period, as well as lots of oyster shells – a common snack for the working class is days gone by. All these finds have been taken back to the Museum to be processed and investigated further so we hope to be able to share more information with you over the next few months.
Most exciting of all was the discovery that the team made on the final afternoon of digging – the walls of what we believe is Brook Cottage, as shown on maps from the 1800s. It may not look much in the photographs but after all the challenges and everyone’s hard work, this was really exciting! Further exploration within the trench also revealed a section of brick floor which could have been a path or part of an outbuilding.
In such a short space of time – and right in the middle of an on-going construction project – this was an amazing find and confirms that the historic maps are pretty accurate. Although we were unable to do any further exploration on this occasion, now that we've confirmed the rough location of Brook Cottage and its outbuildings, we can continue to carry out further about the individuals who lived there and see if any of the archaeological finds we discovered can help us tell this story in The Old Library.
Despite the rain, we were thrilled to also be able to work with four local primary schools– Lister Infants, Lister Juniors, St Anne Stanley & Broadgreen Primary – running in-school workshops to learn about the role of archaeologists and the tools they use, as well as welcoming 90 local children to site to get hands on with The Big Dig. The children had a chance to dig for finds and look for clues to help explain what the items might be, as well as helping us wash some of the finds that came out of our trenches. We’re really pleased that with the help of the Museum of Liverpool, we were able to offer this unique experience to local children in our area and hope it has inspired them about both archaeology and The Old Library project.
Thank you so much to all our fantastic volunteers who braved the mud and gave up their time to help us dig, as well as our on-site team from H.H. Smith’s who were so flexible and kept everyone safe. Finally, huge thanks must go to the team at Museum of Liverpool for helping us bring real archaeology into our community, inspiring us all, teaching us new skills and uncovering more about the heritage of our local area.
The theme for May was 'The street where I live' and we were really pleased to see some entries from our local area. Congratulations to our chosen winner Matthew Pinnington, who lives locally, for his atmospheric shot of a backlit tree in front of what is now Lister Fisheries. This building used to be the old Lister Drive Baths which, like The Old Library and the original Lister Drive School which once stood next door, was designed by architect Thomas Shelmerdine. What an impressive road Lister Drive would have been 100 years ago! Look out for Shelmerdine's distinctive style in other libraries across the city, including Everton, Toxteth and Wavertree. Thanks to Matthew for capturing this piece of history - check out his winning photo and some of the other entries below.
The theme for June is 'Childhood memories'. As always, all entries are welcome but we'd love to see some from L13 and surrounding areas. Send your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org by 25th June for the chance to be our next winner, featured in our 2020 calendar and in with the chance to win our overall prize of a camera.