Bombed Out Church and Memorial to 4,000 Dead in Liverpool To Be Turned Into a Wedding Venue?

Bombed Out Church and Memorial to 4,000 Dead in Liverpool To Be Turned Into a Wedding Venue?

Above Photo: Life During Wartime – Children in Liverpool in 1940, in gas masks.

UPDATE: For more articles on Punk, New Wave, 1980s Liverpool bands, music, personalities and much more, visit my new website dedicated to it at www.bombedoutpunk.com

The Bombed Out Church of St Luke in Liverpool - which gets a couple of mentions in Bombed Out!  (Graphics by Martin Why of Bombsite Magazine).

The Bombed Out Church of St Luke in Liverpool – which gets a couple of mentions in Bombed Out! (Graphics by Martin Why of Bombsite Magazine).

I recently read with outrage the plans of Liverpool city council to turn St Luke’s, a bombed out church in Liverpool city centre, into a hotel and wedding venue.

Built between 1811 and 1832, St Luke’s is close to my heart as it inspired the name for my soon-to-be-published 1980s Liverpool band, Eric’s and music memoir of the same name, reflecting the pounding the city took in World War 2 when it was flattened with bombs. The church was burned out when a German incendiary device hit it in May 1941.

A parachute mine dropped on Liverpool during the Blitz. This one failed to explode.

A parachute mine dropped on Liverpool during the Blitz. This one failed to explode.

After the war St Luke’s was left as it was, as a memorial to the 4,000 Merseysiders killed during the Blitz, in which a further 30,000 people were injured around the city. The church is also a Grade II Listed building, and it is well maintained and looked after by various civic groups, who use it to help the homeless and underprivileged in the city (see the short video at the end of this article).

How 4,000 people were killed and 30,000 injured in Liverpool - suburban bombing during the Blitz.

How 4,000 people were killed and 30,000 injured in Liverpool – suburban bombing during the Blitz.

In the summer it’s also used as a band venue, and as a place to sit and relax during the rest of the year. It is unquestionably an integral part of the city’s past and present.

Well before the bombing - St Luke's in a street scene in the early 1800s.

Well before the bombing – St Luke’s in a street scene in the early 1800s.

So, what can possibly be going through the minds of the dickheads who run Liverpool city council to even consider allowing the church, which is actually now a war memorial, to be desecrated by turning it into a hotel and wedding venue?

What about the fact the building already fulfills far more important functions in the city?

St Luke's today. (goruma.de)

St Luke’s today. (goruma.de)

Liverpool city councils, over the years, have been responsible for the destruction of many important buildings, usually in the brown envelope post-war years when roads and ugly buildings were built over demolished historical architectural sites, and “slums” were cleared away and eyesore tower blocks erected in their place.

The largest brick building in the world - the Tobacco Warehouse at Stanley Dock - it also gets a mention in Bombed Out!

The largest brick building in the world – the Tobacco Warehouse at Stanley Dock – it also gets a mention in Bombed Out!

They also tried to demolish the biggest brick warehouse in the world, the Tobacco Warehouse at Stanley Dock, so some eyesore could be built on the site. Luckily they were unsuccessful. They were less than robust in preventing the Cavern Club, the ‘birthplace’ of the Beatles, from getting knocked down and turned into a dust bowl car park, on the same street in Liverpool, Mathew Street, that Eric’s club was also situated on a few years later.

Imagine that – what would now have been the world’s biggest music-tourism site was flattened with barely a squeak from the council.

Looking up Mathew Street when it, and the whole area and the buildings used in the 1970s and 1980s Punk and New Wave scene in Liverpool, were used as fruit and vegetable warehouses. The Cavern Club was to the left, up Mathew Street, near the bend in the road. Eric's lay opposite the site, years later.

Looking up Mathew Street when it, and the whole area and the buildings used in the 1970s and 1980s Punk and New Wave scene in Liverpool, were used as fruit and vegetable warehouses. The Cavern Club was to the left, up Mathew Street, near the bend in the road. Eric’s lay opposite the site, years later.

My book, Bombed Out!, isn’t just about ’70s and ’80s Liverpool bands; it also places that unique period firmly in the urban, cultural, historical and architectural history of the city of Liverpool.

The regeneration of buildings had particular resonance for many of us, as the Punk and New Wave clubs of the time, the restaurants, bars, clothes shops, record shops and rehearsal spaces that catered to the music scene in and around Mathew Street were all located in old fruit and vegetable warehouses, built during Liverpool’s heyday as a port. Even the Cavern club was located in an old warehouse, as was Eric’s itself. So I am a huge fan of re-using Liverpool’s historical buildings – appropriately.

The symbol of Liverpool - recently discovered in a blown-out stained glass window in St Luke's Church.

The symbol of Liverpool – recently discovered in a blown-out stained glass window in St Luke’s Church.

It therefore disgusts me that local politicians could even think that allowing an extremely important piece of Liverpool’s built and bombed environment, and a war memorial to 4,000 dead souls who were blasted by bombs, entombed in air raid shelters and crushed to death in collapsing buildings during the Liverpool Blitz, could possibly be turned into a fucking hotel and wedding venue.

UPDATE: For more articles on Punk, New Wave, 1980s Liverpool bands, music, personalities and much more, visit my new website dedicated to it at www.bombedoutpunk.com

© Peter Alan Lloyd

  

 www.bombedoutpunk.com © Peter Alan Lloyd

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