The Pooley Gates are Coming Home!

Joe Anderson, Leader of Liverpool City Council. Image copyright

Councillor Joe Anderson, the Leader of Liverpool City Council will be unveiling the gates of the former Liverpool Sailors’ Home at 10.30am on Thursday, 18th August 2011 in Paradise Street, (adjacent to John Lewis). Please come along, all are welcome.
Image copyright


Pooley Gates, Smethwick, West MidlandsWelcome to the Historic Henry Pooley Gates Website

The website has just been launched and more news will follow. Originally situated at the Sailor’s Home, Liverpool, we are running a Facebook campaign to have these magnificent gates returned to the city and we need your support. Please sign up and join us. We welcome your comments and suggestions.
Thank you.

Thank You Mr Roger Burgess

The following is information provided by Roger Burgess, a Wallasyean, currently living in Kendal, Cumbria

My father, Arthur Burgess, was the Chief Clerk and Cashier of the LSH when it ceased to operate at Canning Place, and their office was moved to Water Street – Oriel Chambers, I think. Despite the closure of the home itself, they were still in charge of the Training Ship Indefatigable [then land-based near Menai] and also the King George V Fund for Sailors.

The LSH was closed down, not for lack of sailors, but because its open balconies could not be fire-proofed to current safety standards. You may like to know that the rooms were always called Cabins and each floor was called a Deck. This was to use familiar terminology for sailors, many of whom might speak little or no English.

I understand the original gates of LSH have been found, and it is hoped to bring them back to Liverpool. See:

When LSH closed, my father was given an early engraving of the building, and I attach three photographs. You may be able to date it from the bustles worn by the women in the pictures, and the beautiful gates are quite clear.

At the time of the closure, the Echo printed an article [see attached] and the man on the balcony, or correctly Deck, is my father. The date of the Echo article was Monday 19th January 1970.

I also have in my possession glass photographic negatives of the two training ships, each named Indefatigable in turn. You may like to see them. Scanned images attached.

Just before the closure a photograph was taken inside the LSH, featuring the cast of the television serial “Family At War”, which was current at that time, and was set in Liverpool. My son has a copy of this. You may have no professional interest in television, but the photograph shows a clear view inside the LSH. As far as I understand this publicity photograph was never used by Granada.

The news cutting has a piece missing, but it’s still an interesting read. Once again, many thanks to Roger Burgess for supplying the images and information.

Crunch talks on bringing historic sailors’ gates back to Liverpool

Home News
Liverpool Local News

Crunch talks on bringing historic sailors’ gates back to Liverpool
Oct 2 2010 by Marc Waddington, Liverpool Echo

THE return to Liverpool of a pair of historic gates featuring the earliest architectural example of the Liver bird moved a step closer when city bosses met with council leaders in the Black Country.

The “Henry Pooley gates”, which stood outside the demolished sailors home in Canning Place for 100 years, have been outside the Avery foundry Smethwick in the West Midlands since the 1940s.

This week city regeneration boss Malcolm Kennedy, Labour Cllr Sharon Sullivan, heritage officer John Hinchliffe and campaigner Gabriel Muies visited Sandwell council to renew the offer of £30,000 to bring the Grade II listed gates home.

At Liverpool’s cabinet meeting yesterday’s, Cllr Kennedy said the Black Country council ensured him it was “under no political pressure to keep the gates in Sandwell”.

If English Heritage and Sandwell’s planning department reach agreement the gates could be back in Liverpool within a year.

English Heritage said it was still assessing Liverpool’s application for the gates to be moved, but that once it makes its recommendations, “the final decision will not be made by us, it will then be up to Sandwell council”.

Sandwell cabinet member Cllr Ian Jones said: “Our position is that we will abide by any recommendation that is made by English Heritage, but it must be pointed out that the gates are not owned by the council. They are owned by Avery’s. Any decision that is made by English Heritage will still, as a matter of protocol, be formally approved by the planning committee.”

It is understood the foundry has no objections to the removal.

As yet there is no indication of what recommendations English Heritage will make, but Cllr Kennedy said he was still confident that “essentially, Sandwell are not putting any barriers in the way of us getting the gates back”.

The gates were moved to Sandwell when the Liverpool foundry which made them merged with the Avery foundry.

Sandwell Meeting, 27th September 2010

Facebook post by Malcolm Kennedy

“Gabriel Muies, Cllr Sharon Sullivan, John Hinchcliffe (World Heritage Officer) and myself travelled to Sandwell to meet with Cllr Ian Jones today. We were very warmly welcomed by Cllr Jones and explored the issues with him. We also had a chance to speak to the Leader of the Council, Cllr Darren Cooper in whose ward the Pooley Gates currently reside.

The meeting gave me great hope that we will be able to bring the gates home. There are key issues to discuss with English Heritage and our focus will now be on convincing them that delisting, removal and relisting should be allowed. My thanks to Cllr s Cooper and Jones for their welcome.

What a great thing it would be to welcome them to Liverpool for next year’s Labour Party Conference and for them to attend the unveiling ceremony at which we would be able to thank them properly for looking after our gates and allowing them to return home.”

Thank you Malcolm. Fingers crossed!

1962 – ‘Make Sure That We Save Them For Posterity’

A couple of years ago, I bought George Chandler’s Liverpool (1957) book off Ebay. I was leafing through the pages and a news cutting fell out. It was an article by the hugely respected Quentin Hughes who championed the preservation of Liverpool’s buildings. The article predates Hughes’ seminal work, Seaport by 2 years. It’s still relevant now. I wonder what Quentin Hughes would think of some our recent developments?
1962 – ‘Make Sure We Save Them For Posterity’


Malcolm Kennedy reports: The delegation from Liverpool will now be going down to Sandwell on the 27th to meet Councillor Jones.

UK Sailor’s Home Information 1867 (.pdf)

.pdf file – Requires Acrobat Reader
UK Sailors Home info

1851 Plan of Liverpool Sailor’s Home,

Liverpool Sailor's Home Plan, 1851

Sailor’s Home Liverpool, 1851

Plate from The Architect’s Journal, 1851

Sailor's Home Liverpool, 1851

Sailor's Home Liverpool, 1851


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