in ‘Best’ place
AN important Liverpool
sculpture has been returned to its home after nearly 70 years.
Dedicated to the memory of the city’s first organist, a bust of
William Thomas Best had taken pride of place in the Great Hall in St
George’s Hall for 44 years, but was removed from its location in
front of the organ when the Second World War broke out. Just 2
months after it was taken away, the Hall, in particular the area
around the organ, suffered severe bomb damage. In the 1950s
arrangements were made for the marble sculpture to return, but the
then city organist, Caleb Jarvis, objected as he felt the bust
blocked the audience’s view of those playing the instrument. The
bust was transferred to the Walker Art Gallery’s collection in 1972
where it remained in the gallery’s stores. Recently the team at the
Hall and the Friends of St George’s Hall have been working with
staff at the Walker Art Gallery to arrange for the bust to be put
back on display in its original home within the next few months. On
Wednesday, 16 November 2011, the city council’s cabinet member for
culture and Tourism, Councillor Wendy Simon, will join May Robinson
from the ‘Friends of’ group and Lottie Barnden
Sculpture Conservator at National Museums Liverpool made final
preparations for the bust’s return to the Hall.
Councillor Simon, said:- "The bust is a significant piece of
the Hall’s history and I’m delighted it is home. It is a tribute to
a man who, from a very early date, put Liverpool on the map in terms
of music and performing, something the city is still renowned for
today. Thanks to the hard work of staff at the Hall, the ‘Friends
of‘ group and the team at the Walker Art Gallery, we can now look
forward to seeing it take pride of place in the Great Hall once
William Best became Liverpool’s first organist in 1855, and his Hall
performances became famous across the country, with people
travelling hours to come and listen to him play the instrument. He
retired in 1894 and died in the city on May 10 1897.
The 56.5cm bust was created by artist Conrad Dressler who also made
all the other friezes in the Great Hall which make up “The
Progress of Justice” series. Reinstalling the bust means
that the Hall will now showcase the complete set of Conrad’s works.
Lottie Barnden said:- "The sculpture has been in the Walker
Art Gallery’s collection for almost 40 years. Whilst it’s been in
our care we used laser technology to clean the bust bringing the
marble back to its former glory and I’m sure it will look great
alongside the other friezes when it goes back to St George’s Hall on
long term loan."
The Willis Organ is the third largest in the UK. It was built in
1855 in Liverpool by 'Father' Henry Willis and within
months was acclaimed as the finest concert instrument in the world,
thanks in part to Best who was regarded as one of the world's
greatest concert virtuosi.
In its 156 year history, St. George’s Hall has had only 6 organists,
all local men with international reputations. The city’s current
organist is Professor Ian Tracey.
May Robinson, Chair of the Friends of St George’s Hall group, said:-
"The Friends are delighted to provide the funds for the
installation of the bust of W. T. Best. The association exists to
give support to our magnificent Hall; the people's building of which
we are so proud."
THE World Day of
Remembrance for road traffic victims on 20 November will be marked
in Liverpool with special services.
There will be a remembrance event at the Memorial to Road Crash
Victims in St John’s Gardens, William Brown Street, Liverpool L3
8EL. at 1pm, followed by refreshments and the opportunity to talk to
others in St George’s Hall. RoadPeace NorthWest invite those who
have been bereaved or injured, together with those who support them,
to this special remembrance of all road crash victims.
There will be a minute’s silence and the release of five doves in
memory of those who have died on our roads. On average, five people
die and many more are seriously injured each day on the roads of
The event will be attended by the Lord Mayor of Liverpool,
Councillor Frank Prendergast and other North West dignitaries as
well as representatives of the emergency services and others who
deal with road crashes and support road crash victims.
And at 3pm there will be a Service of Remembrance at the Parish
Church of Our Lady and St Nicholas, Chapel Street, Liverpool , L2
8TZ . During the service the names of loved ones who have died will
be read. The choir of St. Chad 's R.C. and C. of E. High School,
Runcorn, and St Nicholas Singers will be performing. Following the
service there will be refreshments and the opportunity for people to
talk to each other.
Councillor Prendergast said:- "This day will be an opportunity
for us to reflect on the lives of those lost on our roads and the
effect that has had on their families and friends. It will also
encourage us to do all we can to see that no more lives are lost in
Pauline Fielding of RoadPeace NorthWest said:- "During these
events, we will acknowledge the pain and suffering of the bereaved
and injured, remember the lives of our loved ones and give thanks
for the emergency services and all who care for the bereaved and
injured. By highlighting the need for change, we hope to help
prevent further death and injury."
The day provides a worldwide focus on both the overall scale and the
individual devastation caused by road deaths and injuries along with
the impact on families and communities. It originated in 1993 by
RoadPeace as a response to road crash victims’ need for public
recognition. It is also a day to commend the work of those involved
in the aftermath of a crash; including fire, police and ambulance
teams, doctors, nurses and counsellors.
In 2005, the United Nations called for all Member States to adopt
and recognise the third Sunday in November of every year as the
World Day of Remembrance for Road Traffic Victims. Road crashes are
a global epidemic and they are the leading cause of death to young
adults worldwide. WHO estimates they will double in low and middle
income countries by 2030.
Earlier this year the United Nations
launched a Decade of Action for Road Safety with the aim of
stabilising then reducing global road deaths by 2020. Major
economies of the G20, leading developing countries and public
institutions like the World Bank and WHO have all endorsed the
Decade of Action.
A statement about the World day of Remembrance by Dr Etienne Krug,
Chair of the UN Road Safety Collaboration, is available