Liverpool's Hope Street 'Suitcases': A Case History

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Hope Street Suitcases 214x113 The Hope Street 'Suitcases', installed by John King in 1998, are at the junction with Mount Street, by LIPA (the old 'Liverpool Institute') and Liverpool School of Art, opposite Blackburne House Centre for Women. The labelled suitcases 'belong' to many of Hope Street Quarter's most illustrious names and organisations.

Hope Street Suitcases, Liverpool: 'A Case History by John King'

This installation, entitled 'A Case History', was created by John King, and first on view in 1998. It is in the heart of Liverpool's Hope Street Quarter, an area with a wonderful cultural offer and many attractive restaurants and bars.

Its positioning was altered in 2006 in the course of the upgrade of Hope Street's public realm, when the area was levelled and seating and a tree were added. The view down Mount Street to the River Mersey is stunning.

There is a noticeboard (pictured in part below) alongside this public art installation with a numbered diagram which gives information about who or where the some of the suitcases and packages 'belong'. Those cases with 'owners' are demarked by labels which are explained on the noticeboard. Some further details and links follow:

Hope Street Suitcases (numbered)

1. Arthur Askey (1900-1982) comedian, who attended the Liverpool Institute for Boys.

2. Henry Booth (1788-1869) was a corn merchant and railway pioneer; he was born in Rodney Street and founded the Liverpool to Manchester Railway, opened in 1830 as the first railway line intended for passengers.

3. Josephine Butler (1828-1906), feminist pioneer in social welfare and the abolition of slavery.

4. Robert Cain (1826-1907), brewer, who built the Philharmonic Public House on Hope Street.

5. Anne Clough (women's rights champion, 1820-1892) and her brother Arthur Clough (poet, 1819-1861), who lived in Rodney Street.

6. Charles Dickens (1812-1870) the author, who lectured and gave readings in the Liverpool Institute.

7. Dr William Henry Duncan (1805-1863) Liverpool's first Medical Officer of Health, who was largely responsible for the 1845 Sanitary Act, and lived in Rodney Street.

8. Alan Durband (1927-1993), who taught English at the Liverpool Institute and was a founding mover for Hope Street's Liverpool Everyman Theatre.

9. Hahnemann Hospital*, an 1886 Queen Anne Revival building, and also the first Homeopathic Hospital in Britain, sited in Hope Street.

10. Kwok Fong, born in Canton in 1882 and a member of Liverpool's Chinese community, helped Chinese and Asian crews sailing from Liverpool.

11. E. Chambre Hardman (1898-1988), photographer, whose house and studio at 59 Rodney Street is now in the care of the National Trust.

12. George Harrison (1943-2001), musician and a member of The Beatles, who attended The Liverpool Institute.

13. June Henfrey (d.1992), the Liverpool University lecturer in Ethnic Studies in the Department of Sociology who came from Barbados and helped to establish Blackburne House Centre for Women.

14. Sir Robert Jones (1855-1933), introducer, with his friend Thurston Holland, of the medical X-ray at the Royal Southern Hospital and the Liverpool Radium Institute (now Josephine Butler House*) which in 1882 moved to 1 Myrtle Street, by the Hope Street junction.

15. John Lennon (1940-1980), musician and member of The Beatles, who attended Liverpool School of Art*.

16. The Liverpool Institue for Performing Art (LIPA), which opened in 1995/6 with strong support from Sir Paul McCartney, of which Mark Featherstone-Witty was (and is) Founding Principal.

17. The Liverpool Poets: Adrian Henri (1932-2000), who was a founding supporter and Patron of CAMPAM and HOPES: The Hope Street Association and who lived in Mount Street, Roger McGough (b.1937), and Brian Patten (b.1946)

18. R.J. Lloyd, linguist who attended Liverpool Institute and promoted Esperanto.

19. James Martineau (1802-1900), theologian who lived in Mount Street.

20. Sir Paul McCartney (b.1942), musician and member of The Beatles, who attended Liverpool Insitute and was co-founder of and still contributes substantially to the development of LIPA.

21. Brendan McDermott, who was a painter and print-maker and taught at the Liverpool School of Art.

22. Dr Malcolm Sargent (1895-1967), Principal Conductor of the (later, Royal) Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra between 1942 and 1963.

23. Sir Giles Gilbert Scott (1880-1960), the architect who designed Liverpool (Anglican) Cathedral.

24. (Lady) Margaret Simey (1906-2004), social and poltical activist who supported the founding of Blackburne House Centre for Women and for many years lived almost next door, in Blackburne Terrace.

25. Stuart Sutcliffe (1940-1962), musician and early member of The Beatles, who attended Liverpool School of Art.

26. Reverend HH Symonds (1885-1958), Headmaster of Liverpool Institute and countryside enthusiast who in 1934 founded the Friends of the Lake District.

27. Sam Walsh (1934-1989), Irish-born artist who taught at Liverpool School of Art.


See also
Hope Steet Quarter and the Suitcases
Liverpool's Two Cathedrals and
Camera & Calendar.

[* Please note that some of these buildings are to be - or when you read this may have already been - demolished or redeveloped for new use.]

Many of the people and places above are, as their weblinks reveal, inter-woven in fascinating ways. Liverpool's Hope Street area was self-evidently a knowledge quarter long before the term was coined.

Do you know more about any of these people and institutions and their history? Can you tell us more about how the 'Suitcases' were commissioned or installed? Or are there others also whom ideally you'd like to see celebrated via A Case History?

If so, please do share your information, recollections and ideas below. Thank you!

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