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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Right, there must be a lot of authentic scousers on these forums who can share their experiences, photos, memories, and tales about Liverpool's housing experiements. There were ambitious plans after the war; thousands of homes were destroyed and new projects created. Some of them worked, many did not.

Does anybody know about 'the piggeries'? Why were they given this nickname? What happened there, what were the people like, what was the area like, what was there before? I know this might be more applicable to the older forummers, but I think it is useful and interesting to all, especially on a forum like this one.

I've often enjoyed asking my family about their lives in 1960s/70s Liverpool. When my Mother was 12, she and her parents were moved out of their old terraced house in Wavertree and moved to a block of flats in Croxteth. They were on the 11th floor and my Mum recalls the feeling of isolation and lonliness living so high up. She could never tell if the other kids were out playing the way she could in the old streets. My aunt lived in a block in Cantril Farm; I remember watching it being demolished when I was about 11, from her new back yard. We all went for a party to watch and it was later turned into a swimming baths (I think.) My male elders recount tales of playing in the lift shafts as bored teenagers in these housing projects. They always retell the tales with a sense of dread at how wreckless they were and the thoughts of pals who sustained horrific injuries doing so.

It is fascinating to think about all of the people who experienced these massive experiments in town planning and architecture; many of them idealistic failures. The younger generations will never know what it was like.

Please share your tales - the more the better!
 

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the nickname 'piggeries' should be pretty obvious! :lol: I think they wher architecturally very interesting, but they where pig stys to actually live in!

Nice thread though Tim, will try and contribute some thoughts to it.

nuff to say now that Liverpool took the lead in many housing experiments, from system building (eldon St etc) to the massive tenements that you used to see all around the place!
 

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Im actually quite curious about 'pools council estates, but I'm talking about the very first ones, built just after the first world war (you know the ones, red brick usually no matter what part of the country), just wondering about them generally.
 

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Right, there must be a lot of authentic scousers on these forums who can share their experiences, photos, memories, and tales about Liverpool's housing experiements. There were ambitious plans after the war; thousands of homes were destroyed and new projects created. Some of them worked, many did not.

Does anybody know about 'the piggeries'? Why were they given this nickname? What happened there, what were the people like, what was the area like, what was there before? I know this might be more applicable to the older forummers, but I think it is useful and interesting to all, especially on a forum like this one.

I've often enjoyed asking my family about their lives in 1960s/70s Liverpool. When my Mother was 12, she and her parents were moved out of their old terraced house in Wavertree and moved to a block of flats in Croxteth. They were on the 11th floor and my Mum recalls the feeling of isolation and lonliness living so high up. She could never tell if the other kids were out playing the way she could in the old streets. My aunt lived in a block in Cantril Farm; I remember watching it being demolished when I was about 11, from her new back yard. We all went for a party to watch and it was later turned into a swimming baths (I think.) My male elders recount tales of playing in the lift shafts as bored teenagers in these housing projects. They always retell the tales with a sense of dread at how wreckless they were and the thoughts of pals who sustained horrific injuries doing so.

It is fascinating to think about all of the people who experienced these massive experiments in town planning and architecture; many of them idealistic failures. The younger generations will never know what it was like.

Please share your tales - the more the better!


I know all about the Piggeries Tim and my friends and relatives who lived in them,I grew up there,played there with my 4 Square mates,Bevvied in the Bents and the Clock,went to SFX on Shaw St which backed right onto the piggeries...great people,salt of the earth like,if you catch my drift,I've plenty of pics of the place as well..Sorry mate..I'm not showing them on here Tim to be slaughtered with all this "Low Density" rubbish from people who dont come from Liverpool and snobs who like putting the ordinary Liverpool man down..nothing personal Tim.
 

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I know all about the Piggeries Tim and my friends and relatives who lived in them,I grew up there,played there with my 4 Square mates,Bevvied in the Bents and the Clock,went to SFX on Shaw St which backed right onto the piggeries...great people,salt of the earth like,if you catch my drift,I've plenty of pics of the place as well..Sorry mate..I'm not showing them on here Tim to be slaughtered with all this "Low Density" rubbish from people who dont come from Liverpool and snobs who like putting the ordinary Liverpool man down..nothing personal Tim.
I know were you're coming from Ged but you and couple of others like Keayman and Sloyne must have some great memories of growing up in the city centre.Even if you don't post any photos,what about some info:) For example a tenement block called Victoria Square,off Scotland rd ,is extremely hard to find any info on.I know it was built in the 1880's but i've only ever see two photos of it.Any info?
 

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I really like that photo yoshef, good find.
The Harry Ainscough pic of the Piggeries immortalised on the front of Shack's ''Here's Tom With The Weather' is mighty fine, too.
It says on the EH site that the T Perry photo was taken in 1998. Can't have done. The photo is taken from the top of Haigh Street towards Langsade St, and in the late 80s they built semis and bungalows to the left of the photograph, so it must pre-date then.

Does anybody know which year they came down? The JFK Heights behind them survived until the late 90s, but I don't have a memory of the Piggeries coming down.
 

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I've just stumbled into this great post and can reiterate everything Ged says about it being a great place to grow up and be taught by your elders. Bonfire nights in the middle of the square, the 50 a side footy matches until dusk etc which i'll come back to.

For lots of high rise pics including a link to a court case regarding the piggeries please see this: http://inacityliving.piczo.com/?g=33776503&cr=7

The high rise of course were a way of limiting the land footprint required and so in essence - cost. Someone contacted me to say they were ushered from their council house off Netherfield Road under the pretence of land subsidence only for the starting of St. Georges Heights to be built on the very same spot only a couple of months later. Ironically, when the corpy were laying the foundations for the Braddocks, there was a real pit problem and the foundations wouldn't take which is why one of the blocks was set back from the other.

In the late 1920s the Corpy looked at housing in Berlin and Vienna - the babbelhof, the Karl Marx Hof and the Britz horseshoe estates with a view to similar projects city wide. You can see the resemblence in the KMH and Gerard Gardens with its sweeping arch, elevated statues, rounded turrets.

For more on the walk up tenements, please see here:
http://inacityliving.piczo.com/?g=30679502&cr=7 though the homepage has certain pages dedicated to certain tenement blocks of their own.

My dad was born in a court called St. Anne's terrace off St. Anne street in 1920 (a sub-station stands there now by the police station) , his childhood sweetheart, my mam at 33 Richmond Row two years later. My dad was away in the RN serving in the med around N. Africa in WWII when her family of 10 were bombed out and had to move into nearby 10 Kilin St. Despite the poverty at the time, (my nan was a WWI widow with 6 kids and worked 2 jobs to make ends meet), my dad claimed a fantastic childhood.

Whilst I was growing up in those tenements there was a great sense of community, everyone knew everyone, you daren't give cheek as other mothers knew your mother. General respect was better then overall but that was just the way of society was back then rather than cos it was the tenement way. New years eves were special as all the doors along the landings were open house parties, lots of relatives lived nearby, lots of pubs thriving. Lots of sharing (why - when Ged lived in 25d, they drilled a hole in the floor to 25c to scab his mam's lecky)

If old Mrs so and so along the landing hadn't been seen for a few days, your mam, anyone's mam would send you along to check on her and you did, it was classed as normal. Sure there were scallies who robbed the flatbed, sheeted lorries on the oller behind Arden House but if someone shouted 'oy' - they'd be off like a flash, not stand and stab you. The hardest thing we done was to get a legged off the cocky watchman in St. John's gardens.

There's more...i'm thinking. ;)
 

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I've just stumbled into this great post and can reiterate everything Ged says about it being a great place to grow up and be taught by your elders. Bonfire nights in the middle of the square, the 50 a side footy matches until dusk etc which i'll come back to.

For lots of high rise pics including a link to a court case regarding the piggeries please see this: http://inacityliving.piczo.com/?g=33776503&cr=7

The high rise of course were a way of limiting the land footprint required and so in essence - cost. Someone contacted me to say they were ushered from their council house off Netherfield Road under the pretence of land subsidence only for the starting of St. Georges Heights to be built on the very same spot only a couple of months later. Ironically, when the corpy were laying the foundations for the Braddocks, there was a real pit problem and the foundations wouldn't take which is why one of the blocks was set back from the other.

In the late 1920s the Corpy looked at housing in Berlin and Vienna - the babbelhof, the Karl Marx Hof and the Britz horseshoe estates with a view to similar projects city wide. You can see the resemblence in the KMH and Gerard Gardens with its sweeping arch, elevated statues, rounded turrets.

For more on the walk up tenements, please see here:
http://inacityliving.piczo.com/?g=30679502&cr=7 though the homepage has certain pages dedicated to certain tenement blocks of their own.

My dad was born in a court called St. Anne's terrace off St. Anne street in 1920 (a sub-station stands there now by the police station) , his childhood sweetheart, my mam at 33 Richmond Row two years later. My dad was away in the RN serving in the med around N. Africa in WWII when her family of 10 were bombed out and had to move into nearby 10 Kilin St. Despite the poverty at the time, (my nan was a WWI widow with 6 kids and worked 2 jobs to make ends meet), my dad claimed a fantastic childhood.

Whilst I was growing up in those tenements there was a great sense of community, everyone knew everyone, you daren't give cheek as other mothers knew your mother. General respect was better then overall but that was just the way of society was back then rather than cos it was the tenement way. New years eves were special as all the doors along the landings were open house parties, lots of relatives lived nearby, lots of pubs thriving. Lots of sharing (why - when Ged lived in 25d, they drilled a hole in the floor to 25c to scab his mam's lecky)

If old Mrs so and so along the landing hadn't been seen for a few days, your mam, anyone's mam would send you along to check on her and you did, it was classed as normal. Sure there were scallies who robbed the flatbed, sheeted lorries on the oller behind Arden House but if someone shouted 'oy' - they'd be off like a flash, not stand and stab you. The hardest thing we done was to get a legged off the cocky watchman in St. John's gardens.

There's more...i'm thinking. ;)


Happy days eh mate...:)...
Shhhhhhhhhhhhh about the lecky..

(It was rubbing Ha'penny's down actually on the landing to make them the same size as shillings...thats what I'm told went on like...:shifty: )
 

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;)

I often thought that if the lecky and gas man gave our mam's a rebate out of that pile of shillings, they must've been charging too much in the first place.

It was lovely coming from a place whereby if you fell out with a mate, there were 50 more to choose from. Women would have full blown conversations from landing to landing in the days before mobile phones ' Did you go out last night Lily', 'Yeah, went down to Tiffany's and saw our Julie' etc etc...

We'd also play 'housey'. Sitting in the square you'd look up at the landings and if 5 bog lights came on in a row from top to bottom, it was housey - no playstations or wii boxes back then.

Oh and of course town was our local whether it be shopping or traipsing around St. John's precinct in the night (before the security doors) - window shopping and watching the smellies going down into the moonstone pub. We all raced down there when the precinct caught fire, Habitat it was. The same with the Shaky on Frazer st when that went up in 76 - can you see a trend here - no, it wasn't me. And of course it was near too when we started drinking, I never used a taxi until the late 1980s - I think....
 

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I really like that photo yoshef, good find.
The Harry Ainscough pic of the Piggeries immortalised on the front of Shack's ''Here's Tom With The Weather' is mighty fine, too.
It says on the EH site that the T Perry photo was taken in 1998. Can't have done. The photo is taken from the top of Haigh Street towards Langsade St, and in the late 80s they built semis and bungalows to the left of the photograph, so it must pre-date then.

Does anybody know which year they came down? The JFK Heights behind them survived until the late 90s, but I don't have a memory of the Piggeries coming down.
1987 according to a paragraph about them in this BDOnline article :cheers:
 

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Good stuff lads. Ged,i've seen photos of the old Christian st.It had an a wrought iron arch at the entrance to the court,with Chrstian st or the number of the court in the iron work. What about St Martin's Cottages? the first corporation flats in Europe,1869.Anyone remember them? i seen an old film once from the 1940's which they featured in,can't remember the name of it now.
 

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Hiya GV. That arched court - No.8 court was Kyffon Square and can be found on this page of my site: http://inacityliving.piczo.com/?g=44922707&cr=7 as you can St. Martin's cottages and Victoria Square. St. Martin's appear in the film 'Us and them' - this was aired at a special gathering in the Tate just last week in the presence of the film maker Peter Leeson. It was shot around Scotland Road in 1969/70 though the bomb sites make it look more like 1945 which is how he remarked it.

The Scottie area has a lot of housing firsts as in St. Martins being the first municipal housing in Europe when opened in 1869 following the Liverpool sanitary amendment act of 1864. The 2nd development over the road on what is now the loop site were Victoria Square, built in 1885 which won an architectural award for their advanced design. Juvenal buildings nearby were the 3rd development in 1890. In 1904/05 the first pre-fabricated dwellings were built on Eldon Street, using clinker from the Cobbs quarry refuse destructer on St. Domingo road. Under the direction of John Alexander Brodie who was also famous for inventing the goal net.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Wow, I'm astonished by the great response to this, thanks guys.

Ged, please tell us more about the "Piggeries" and other post war housing in the area. You have some fantastic and very interesting memories and info inside your head, prey tell! We are all ears. Thanks also to Keayman, it is facinating to read about.

The English Heritage website says of the piggeries:

"Three 14-storey slab blocks were built in the Everton area of Liverpool as part of a drive by the council to replace houses with new estates. Haigh Heights, Canterbury Heights and Crosbie Heights, each containing 70 maisonettes, were so plagued by vandalism they were nicknamed the Piggeries. Residents complained about useless lifts, long periods without water and electricity, and grossly inadequate social facilities. The estate was demolished in 1987."

Would you agree with this description, and did you notice that things went down hill? Did it happen around a particular time? Why, and who was responsible for the problems, what were the problems? Did you enjoy living there, or, looking back, do you think the housing and environments were flawed? Do you have other info, like when they were built etc?

I found this picture of the blocks, in addition to what yoshef posted. I think they looked dark and terrifying. (courtesy of Nancy, Flickr, c.1983)



Thanks again!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Keayman,

That inacity website is brilliant! What a photographic record that is. Entwhistle Heights looks amazing, like no other block of flats I've ever seen from that era. Not in this country anyway.

My Aunt lived in one of those in Cantril Farm - I'm not sure whether it was one of the Cliffes or the Craigs. Does anybody know which of these was later turned into a swimming baths?
 

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You must remember also that part of Liverpool's housing experiment involved the biggest decanting of population from the inner core out to new developments and new towns. Runcorn, Newton, Skem, Kirkby, Netherly and Netherton. Then there are the planned communities from between the wars, the likes of wavertree garden suburb, Huyton, Norris Green and Speke as well as developments like fazakerly and St John's from the 50s', these where all experiments in social engineering through housing and new community building.
 

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Thank you Tim. The 3 cliffs and the 3 Craigs are still there as can be seen on the website. However, some blocks in Canny Farm were demolished.

Check out the 'Who cares' links halfway down this page Tim;

http://inacityliving.piczo.com/?g=41897456&cr=7#

They were posted up on youtube by Tony, whose Leverpoole site is also linked. Chapter 4 features some high rise blocks.


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