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For over 150 years or more there has been a joke about wherever you went in the world you would, sooner rather than later, come across a citizen of this place we call Liverpool. I won't use the term 'scouser' on this thread because it's a relatively recent term and I want to emphasise that since the beginning of the 19th Century, Liverpool has been a place of passage. Countless numbers of slaves have passed through this city on the way to degradation in what is now called the US of A. Millions of people from the mainland of Europe passed through on their way to the New World. Hundreds of thousands from the countless Milltowns and industrial hell holes of Northern England and the Midlands passed through on their way to Australasia, Africa, South America and assorted places in the Empire of which we we're the Second City (Along with several other 'Second Cities'!) Thousands passing through stayed, or stayed for a time before moving on. Hundreds of thousands fleeing famine, persecution by the English, poverty in these islands, came and stayed and found a different kind of poverty and occasional wealth here. Between 1970 and 1990 tens of thousands left the city to find work or better opportunities elsewhere including my own parents.

Let me say at the outset that I don't consider Liverpool to be a geographical
location. It's a sense of place, a state of mind. I know I don't have to tell you this because you already know but others who are not from 'Liverpool' might, understandably, not appreciate the difference. It's not part of their experience.

Many of the people who contribute to this forum are people who, like my parents, no longer live here but continue to have 'Liverpool' on their mind. Their stories are part of our city's narrative and their stories about this place shape the perceptions others have of it. Their tales of other places mediate our experience of the world and what we can expect from it.

Let me start by telling part of my own story.

I can't remember a time when a member of my extended family has not lived in another country. These countries include: USA, Ireland, Hong Kong, Nigeria, India, Kuwait, Eygpt, Argentina, France, Germany, Canada, Japan & Israel.

I can't remember at time when members of my extended family have not lived in other cities and towns in this country. The main ones being London, Portsmouth and Sheffield.

My parents moved to Manhattan soon after I was born. Their intention was to escape the hell hole that was Liverpool in the 80s, stay with rellies until they could establish themselves and then send for me. I stayed with me nan and grandad. When they wanted me to join them, I didn't want to go so they reluctantly agreed that I should stay here. I have spent a lot of time in New York and along the East Coast and elsewhere. Apart from NYC, I really love Montréal. Sorry Sloyne, not Toronto - it sucks. Briefly thought of going to Columbia about a year ago, acheived the required level with my SAT test, thought about it really hard and decided against it. Mainly because I didn't want to leave Liverpool. I might try and force myself to go to postgrad school there but we'll see. Lots of rellies in Dublin and along with New York, these are the cities I know best after Liverpool. In this country (thanks to aunties and uncles), I know London, Portsmouth and the South coast (sorry Poli, prefer Hastings to Brighton - more 'real'). I also know Sheffield, and I like it! Through marriage within the extended family (legal and common law) there are bonds of affiliation with the Chinese diaspora, Japan, Nigeria, Jamacia and the Isle of Man, not to mention other parts of Liverpool, Southport, Wallasey, Chester, Amlwch, Parkgate,St Asaph, Llangollen and LLandudno.

Wherever I go, I find 'Liverpool'. Earlier this year, I was flying to New York from Gatwick (having spent some time in Portsmouth), minding my own business bitching with one of me cousins when this woman in late middle age, a complete stranger piped up, 'Australia, South America, America, South Africa, India. When I was a girl, I used to stand on the Landing Stage and watch the ships sailing away to all these places that I used to dream about...' She didn't have a scouse accent but we spent the rest of the flight talking about Liverpool in the 50s. She'd left to get married and never came back because she didn't want to see what it had become according to all the reports in the press in the 1980s. Anyway, we exchanged addresses and she's coming up later this year and we've agreed to show her a good time!

So...

What is your story? What corners of the earth or country have your family been scattered to?

Where are you now and how is it different from Liverpool?

When, if ever, are you coming home?
 

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The habit of recommending 'books to read' on here lately has been more than a little irritating, but a couple of books I have no hesitation in suggesting are 'My Liverpool' by Frank Shaw and 'Sailortown' by Stan Hugil.

Stan's especially illustrates how the sea has not only shaped us and differentiated us but helped us straddle the globe as a community. The depopulation of the last thirty years has continued the presence, though unlike old seadogs, most of this diaspora will not be coming home.

I always meet Liverpool people where ever I go but my favourites come from the first time I was in NYC. Of an age to begin realising that quite a lot of hyperbole rather than real substance lay behind much of what is claimed about the city I was struck immediately on landing that this particular aspect of the story is indeed true. From the entrance gates, on the buses, the shops and museums, whenever I opened my mouth or explained I was from Liverpool, warm enquiery and display of knowledge of Liverpool followed.

The best two: One was a woman on a bus who gave the cliched story of her great uncle being stuck in Liverpool with his brother when he took ill and stayed. The other was an old typical New York Jew who ran a small cafe on the Bowerey we visited. He came over and started saying "you're all from Liverpool. How do I know" over and over, thankfully smiling whilst doing so. Expecting him to say he was a fan of the Beatles, or was in the merch. He finally told us "I married one of you 50 years ago" and went and fetched her from the back!

I only ever got to one European Cup final, Paris in 81, but I was struck by the number of fans who came to Paris who no longer lived in the city, but coming from all over the world, including this reall smart Parisian on the metro we decided to ask directions from, "haven't got a clue lads" he replied in best scouse.

This familiarity, kinship and warmth many great cities have for Liverpool, due to historic ties that are much deeper than mere commercial links is a special and quite unique asset we have to build on in addition to the diaspora. This is at the heart of the links I wish to use in our exploration of Liverpool's revival as an international city. It is not so much about global power, but being a fully paid up and proactive member of the global community.

Funny enough I went back onto that Leeds world city thread last night as they were bickering over how famous Leeds or Manc are and helped the discussion along a little.
 

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L8,

Birthday presents and Christmas must cost a fortune for your lot.

Not to mention the stamps!

Excellent.

:cheers:

I`ll have to dig my brains out before I post on this topic but it would include a variety of places but not so numerous.
 

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Liverpool8 said:
Countless numbers of slaves have passed through this city on the way to degradation in what is now called the US of A.
No they didn't, in fact relatively few slaves "passed through" the Port of Liverpool. "Countless numbers" of Africans were carried into slavery in Liverpool bottoms but that is very well documented elsewhere.
 

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Liverpool8 said:
I really love Montréal. Sorry Sloyne, not Toronto - it sucks.
I too prefere Montreal over Toronto but must take issue with your conclusion that "Toronto sucks". I liken Montreal and Toronto to Liverpool and Manchester. Toronto is trying so hard to become a "World Class" city and, hopefully, may soon succeed. In fact today, in Barcelona, I was asked if I was from Toronto (wonders never cease). Montreal is, without doubt, the best know Canadian city, worldwide.
 

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Blabbernsmoke said:
No it's not. Toronto is.
When I am abroad (like now in Barcelona) I find it is Montreal that is better known than Toronto. I am asked, most, if I am from Montreal. You may have found it different, I cannot argue with that, only offer my experience as a Canadian travelling abroad.
 

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Sloyne said:
When I am abroad (like now in Barcelona) I find it is Montreal that is better known than Toronto. I am asked, most, if I am from Montreal. You may have found it different, I cannot argue with that, only offer my experience as a Canadian travelling abroad.
I am Canadian also. Toronto is more popular.
 

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Blabbernsmoke said:
I am Canadian also.
But not abroad at present? :)

Blabbersmoke said:
Toronto is more popular.
I wouldn't be able to judge whether or not TO is "more popular" than any other Canadian city so will take your word for it. I will, however, stand by my statement that Montreal is better known than Toronto.

PS: Where in Canada do you live? I live within the GTA.
 

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What a great thread!

I have been back in Liverpool for a year after living in Manchester for 5 years, I still travel to Manchester to work every day but it is worth it when I drive along Riverside Drive and see the river. It switches my work switch to the 'off' position, I can't explain it. Its a very powerful feeling.

Since I have been back I have been researching my family tree at the Liverpool Records Office. I discovered that my great, great, great grandfather arrived in Liverpool from Switzerland in 1851 and lived on South Castle Street, his son started a paper dealing business on Temple Street and he lived on Virginia Street, just off Old Hall Street which is disapearing fast under St Pauls Sq. My Great Grandather was sent to the Bluecoat School in 1880 but promptly ran away in 1881 to sea, he changed his name and was disowned by the familily.

My research has connected me powerfully with the City of Liverpool, the Census records for 1851 list my great, great, great grandfather's occupation as 'Gentleman' which at this time was a very significant title. I keep on conjuring up images of him in his Top Hat and tails going to the Exchange to conduct his business. For me this is what Liverpool is about, we have a rich and extraordinary history and we need to start viewing the last 30 years as a mere blip in our long history. Its an exciting and confident place to be and I'm proud to be part of it....
 

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metroscouse said:
What a great thread!

I have been back in Liverpool for a year after living in Manchester for 5 years, I still travel to Manchester to work every day but it is worth it when I drive along Riverside Drive and see the river. It switches my work switch to the 'off' position, I can't explain it. Its a very powerful feeling.

Since I have been back I have been researching my family tree at the Liverpool Records Office. I discovered that my great, great, great grandfather arrived in Liverpool from Switzerland in 1851
Quite a few Swiss ended up in Liverpool for some strange reason. You can understand seafaring nations like Norway, but Switzerland is way inland. George Melly, the top jazz musician is from Lark Lane of Swiss decent.
 
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