Thursday, 25 September 2008

St George's Hall




St George’s Hall is one of the great buildings of Liverpool. More than that, it is one of the great buildings of Britain. It was admired by Queen Victoria, and by Dickens (who famously gave some of his readings there, attracting the sort of crowds we nowadays associate with film stars.)

The Hall was designed as a place where concerts and entertainments would take place, but it had a dual purpose, housing imposing panelled courtrooms, where cases were heard until 1984. If memory serves, Florence Maybrick was tried there, and found guilty of the murder of her husband James, whom some (but not me) believe was Jack the Ripper. In my early days as a solicitor, I appeared in the court myself a couple of times – a fascinating experience.

A little more recently, the Hall was the setting when I launched First Cut is the Deepest – a fairly glitzy event that I remember very fondly indeed. There is even some talk of launching my next book there, but I’m not sure whether it will come to fruition.

I mention the Hall now because I’ve had my first full tour of it, along with a group of Mensa members and visitors to Liverpool from all over the world. As so often happens with places on one’s own doorstep, I saw far more of it when I went into tourist mode than I’d ever seen before.

2 comments:

Mike Tooney said...

Martin:

Your pictorial tours of Liverpool and other locales are fascinating. The pictures and commentary strongly contradict the erroneous image of Liverpool as a squalid, soot-stained port city that I somehow formed over the years. (Too many Angry Young Man-type films, perhaps?) Please, keep publishing them.

Best regards,
Mike Tooney

Martin Edwards said...

Hi Mike. I'll be glad to oblige! Liverpool isn't perfect, but it's a fascinating and massively under-estimated city with a proud history and the possibility of a great future. The stereotypes are misleading - I truly believe it's one of the most interesting cities in Europe.