Then and Now
Written by Daniel K. Longman
The History Press, paperback, £12.99
Sometimes you've just got to bring something to the party to get the
best out of a book. Daniel K. Longman has come up with a simple but effective
format which ad me laughing then crying with nostalgia for places I have
been to and others long gone and demolished fifty years before I was born.
Photographs of Williamson Square (1921) show a couple of horses and carters
getting over another late night at the Star Variety Hall, now the Liverpool
Rose-tinted imaginings of packed houses then give way to Williamson Square
today in a run of the mill polaroid and ploddding text listing - Pronuptia
Bridalware, Shikers cafe, and BetFred "founded by Salford Brothers
Fred and Peter Done."
Williamson Square to me, mid 199s, is hotfooting it from the Adelphi
Hotel (manning a Cuba Solidarity stall at a banking union ho-down) to
hook up with Doddy (side-kick who only came along for the banker's bin-lid
cakes) and the Cuban ambassador. Yeah, Carlos had come up from London,
and when his eyes started glazing over talking shop, I gave Doddy the
nod to show him around town. I caught up with them in Ladbrokes, Williamson
Square. Then we advised Carlos, buying a pair of shoes in Clarks on the
The photographs are all there - tram railed London Road, Church Street,
St John's Gardens, and the Children's Infirmary on Myrtle Street.
The book lacks the details - whether it's Daniel K's or not - to bring
it alive. That's where you come in.