Author/Publisher: Graham Jones
Paperback: 448 pages, 800 photographs, maps, illustrations etc.
Size: 210mm x 265mm
Price: £49.95 (LHS Members – £39.95)
Many of our members will be familiar with the Walking on Water Street series of articles written by Graham Jones that appeared in various editions of the Journal from 2012 onwards. However, this book, published by him in summer 2022 and bearing the same title, is in a different league altogether.
This is a tramstopper of a book weighing in at a hefty 3lbs in old money. Its large format 448 pages are spread over 34 chapters. Printed in full colour throughout, it is enlivened with some 800 photographs, illustrations and maps.
The research that has gone into this book is breathtaking and he has obviously spent serious time in the Liverpool Record Office, the Athenaeum library and other institutions pouring over ancient maps and dusty tomes.As befits his scientific background, the level of detail is forensic: small wonder it took twelve years to complete what is surely his own personal ‘opus’.
Its value to historians is incalculable. He has brought to life what Water Street and other streets in that area looked like before the Luftwaffe, town planners and property developers began in ernest to erase our Georgian and Victorian architectural heritage, during and after the Second World War. And he has brought the stories of these buildings and streets right up to date.
Whilst the book is centered on its ‘Walking on Water Street’ title, he occasionally goes ‘off piste’ to the extent that his perambulations take him as far south as Redcross Street, a mean stump of a street that now abuts Liverpool One, and north to Princes Dock and Old Hall Street. And that’s a good thing.
This is not a book to be read ‘all in one go’ but rather one to be savoured over time, to be dipped into when the mood takes or to make use of its encyclopaedic content when you want to find out more than any other book will tell you, for example, about the Goree Piazzas.
Copies of the first edition, published in 2021 (which was not for sale) can be seen at the Athenaeum, the Liverpool Record Office and several Merseyside branch libraries.
This (very) limited edition reprint, with the addition of an enthusiastic foreword by Joseph Sharples (author of the Pevsner Architectural Guide to Liverpool), is now for sale (ISBN 9781915292483) at a cover price of £49.95, with a discount of £10 for LHS members – Click to download sample pages. Contact Graham at: email@example.com to indicate whether you wish to arrange to collect a copy in person for £39.95 cash in central Liverpool or to have one posted (for an additional £4.45 with Royal Mail 2nd Class Signed For) following your bank transfer.
Book Review by Ron Jones