Thursday, 2 August 2012


Birkenhead is a town within the Metropolitan Borough of Wirral in Merseyside, England on the west bank of the River Mersey, opposite the city of Liverpool. The town was a Borough Council in the 1920’s/1930’s having rapidly expanded due the growth of the port in the 19th Century and associated industries such as ship building. The town’s significance for Lowry is that he sailed from the port in May 1927 for the Far East. Lowry appears to have frequented the theatres, cinemas, cafes and bars in this once thriving and busy town featuring as much as Liverpool, it’s larger neighbour, in Lowry's work; "His whole being was drowning in memories, the smells of Birkenhead... were again heavily about him." (Ultramarine Pg. 27)

Click map to enlarge
The town features in ‘Goya The Obscure’, Ultramarine, ‘Enter One In Sumptuous Armour’, the poem ‘Freighter 1940’ and Under The Volcano. Lowry references several roads, buildings, etc in the town including; Anchor HotelArgyle Theatre, Bidston, Birkenhead Docks, Birkenhead Park Railway Station, Board of Trade Mercantile Office, Cammell Laird, Cathcart StreetCentral Railway Station, Cleveland Street, Crosville Bus StopDock-road, Dolphin Hotel, Grange Road, Great Float, Hall Line Sheds, Hamilton Square, Hippodrome Theatre, Hubbard & Martin's Tea Rooms, Liverpool Victoria Rowing ClubMutual Aid Society Booth, Queensway Tunnel, Rock Ferry, Rock Ferry Railway Station, Scala TheatreSeaman's Temperance Restaurant, Tranmere Rovers Football ClubWest Cheshire Golf Links, Woodside Ferries.

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