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Weekly Edition - Publication date:- 2017-02-17

-en Southport & Mersey Reporter

Local News Report  - Mobile Page


Liverpool's Penny Lane neighbourhood in 1960's looked at in new book

PENNY Lane and All That by Ann Carlton, published this week, is a celebration of growing up in Liverpool's Penny Lane neighbourhood, during the same era as the Beatles and Quarrymen.

Ann grew up at Penny Lane during the 1940's and 1950's. Her father, the late Sir Stanley Holmes, rose from poverty to become Liverpool's Town Clerk and later Chief Executive of the short lived Merseyside County Council. This background gave her unique insights into both poverty and affluence in the City at the time.

From 1st hand experience she describes the Penny Lane area itself, the squalor of the City's slums and attempts to clear them, the treatment of needy children and unmarried mothers, stays in early NHS hospitals including Alder Hey, the glamour of civic events and the cultural diversity of the City. "To be born and grow up in Liverpool is something special. It can provide you with a sense of humour as well as a dogged determination to fight for fairness and justice. I hope this book gives a sense of that and perhaps of the reasons why the City is so special." said Ann.

Ann also mentions the redevelopment that took place in central Liverpool during the 60's and her experience of eating in the revolving restaurant which was then at the top of St Johns Beacon.

She points out that:- "Liverpool was multicultural before that term was invented' and describes her own Welsh heritage which included visits to concerts given in the Philharmonic Hall by the Liverpool Welsh Choral and conducted by the great conductor Sir Malcolm Sargent. Another source of the City's strength comes from the local people's awareness of their togetherness. If you belong to Liverpool, you belong to Liverpool with other people' explained Ann, 'Liverpudlians tend to stick together and fight for justice. The Sun newspaper found this out in the wake of the 1989 Hillsborough disaster, when it made false allegations against Liverpool football supporters. Liverpool, as a City, showed what its people thought of that newspaper and its then editor Kelvin MacKenzie when, en masse, they refused to buy the paper."

After studying sociology at the London School of Economics, Ann had a career in politics and journalism. She was one of the 1st UK Government Special Advisers and, for a time, a Western Mail columnist. She lives with her husband, Denzil Davies, in Pembrey, Carmarthenshire; a seaside village in her husband's former constituency.

"It is not by chance that Liverpool Football Club has as its anthem the song:- 'You'll Never Walk Alone.' That song is a reflection of a City's sense of community and Liverpudlians' concern for 1 another. Laughter, compassion, a love for other human beings and a vibrant cultural life unite the City of Liverpool. This book is a reflection of that attitude, as I experienced it while growing up in that very special City, during and soon after the 2nd World War."
says Ann.

Penny Lane And All That by Ann Carlton (?9.99, Y Lolfa) is available now.


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