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The Laz Word: “Memories” chip

What's in a name? As City Records Office gets a trendy new moniker, Larry Neild goes into rebranding frenzy

Published on December 8th 2008.


The Laz Word: “Memories” chip

OUR wonderful records library – a true gem of Liverpool – is to be re-invented, it seems, with a trendy new name, “Memories”. Somebody pass me the sick bag, quickly.

I trust they’ll have gentle background music, perhaps Elaine Paige singing that old, moanful ditty about, er, memories.

But it could be the start of something big. Why don’t we start a revolution and change names all over the place, finally shaking off any shackles from the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries.

We could call the Town Hall “Steve’s Place,” though that would have to change in May, at least as things stand, to “Mike’s Den”. The Town Hall is, after all, the official residence of the Lord Mayor, currently Steve Rotheram, who hands over to current deputy Lord Mayor Mike Storey in 2009.

We could change the name of the City Treasury to Minted and the Royal Liverpool University Hospital to Scalpels. How about calling the police headquarters, in Canning Place, Nickers, twinned with Walton jail which would be known as Nicked.

Liverpool One could become Gerry’s Corner as a tribute to Gerald Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster. We could even change the name of Paddy’s Wigwam to the Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King, though I prefer In the Godhouse. The Anglican Cathedral could become Woolton Quarry in Exile.

The proposed change of name of our cherished Liverpool Record Library to Memories has earned the wrath of one

of Liverpool’s unsung heroes, Florence Gersten. Florence is the passion behind a little known organisation in Liverpool known as the Save Our City campaign, a pressure group that is a thorn in the side of developers, planners, architects, landscape managers and politicians.

When the city council planning committee is in session, the arrival of Miss Gersten, occupying one of the leather-covered back benches in the council chamber, is a signal yet another piece of the city’s heritage is under threat.

Cities are dynamic and things can never stay the same, but you have to admit we have, in the past few decades, erased some masterpieces from our streetscene.

Some of the buildings Florence has attempted to rescue have been neglected, forgotten and uncared for, yet beneath the grime and the flaking plasterwork, she sees structures that have helped shape the city’s very soul. Some of those Cinderella buildings are crying out to be given a chance, to go to the ball, but even Florence does not have the power of a Fairy Godmother.

I like to think when Florence addresses the planning committee on one of her often-sadly-futile rescue missions she pricks the consciences of many in the council chamber.

We can’t stand in the way of progress: I like the Unity Building and I’m sure I’ll get to like the new museum at the Per Head, though for other reasons don’t get me started just yet on that one.

Liverpool is a World Heritage City, a title I have to say we are lucky to possess. But seeing as we struck gold and earned the accolade we should at least play a part into clinging onto our heritage.

Memories? I think we should go for something far more trendy. How does Liverpool Records Office sound? It does it for me.

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17 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

TonyDecember 8th 2008.

Personally speaking, I think the rottweiller McElhinney's Liverpool Direct Headquarters (complete with his private shower) have been extremely aptly re-named (Misad)Venture Place.

wavyjellyDecember 8th 2008.

Spot on, Larry. And pass the sick bag. This is a ludicrous idea from a set of ridiculous people. It'd be funny if I wasn't paying for it.

Too busy getting a lifeDecember 8th 2008.

(yawns)Whatever...

Rusty SpikeDecember 8th 2008.

Apropos St John's Gardens - Lord Street and Dig - what about the Hanging Gardens of Babble On....?And dearet Laz, you are losing the plot a bit dear boy, if I can be so impertinent, as seemingly is everyone else ranting at the change in name of the Record Office. Get a grip folks, its clearly all fine and dandy as its part of the Final Plan for the introduction of ID cards and total control of everyone by the Gordo's Mind Peelers, taken in both senses of the word, and Memories is just about feck all we'll have of our own original private records, mateys, as they'll be freely available to every loon in a uniform or wielding a clipboard or a black ink Bic. There's no point whining about the change of name as we should all be cowering in the corner as it wont be long before the Ministry of Forward Thoughts unveils its plans to keep us locked up in splendid isolation in giant tin foil stir fry take-away cartons. Memories it is, folks...we are all doomed - doomed I tell ye.....

maggaDecember 8th 2008.

My choice will be a picture of any of the many prisons and criminally insane hospitals on merseyside.why is it so apt that Liverpool is crammed full of prisons and mental hospitals?(oh and dont forget to mention how Mrs Thatcher destroyed the docks and.......oh yes the beatles were only 50 years ago too.

DigDecember 8th 2008.

That was the point Benny my friend.

DigDecember 8th 2008.

Oops yeah my mistake St.John's Gardens sorry. Well I was having a rant about renaming things after all.

Professor Ann NeeshaDecember 8th 2008.

I think you are mistaken, Sir.They are not changing the name of the Records Office to Memories because it is full of records. They are changing the name of the Town Hall to Mammories because it is full of...oh I've forgotten now. Ask Warren Berlei, he could do with some support.

DigDecember 8th 2008.

I think it's a great idea but only if they rename William Brown Street and everything on it. The Walker could just be 'Art'. The Library obviously 'Books' with its 'Memories Dept'. The museum could be 'Old Stuff' and all these buildings can be conveniently situated on Memory Lane. Are St.Georges Gardens on William Brown Street? They can be 'Homeless alcoholics Summer shouting space'.

Benny Fitt-cheetDecember 8th 2008.

Ohh Dig, suggesting the Liverpool Landmark of their choice is an open invitation to more cliches.

BookwormDecember 8th 2008.

I read a letter from Miss Gersten in the paper and she stated the 'improvements' to the Central Library are to be funded by way of a PFI (Private Finance Initiative. It's not exactly a case of the council flogging off the family silver, but virtually pawning it for years to come. Somehow you wonder whether this council can be trusted to take care of our beautiful Central Library and the dedicated staff who work there. It is one of the true gems of Liverpool and needs to be carefully cared for. I suppose in a year or so we'll be seeing posters: borrow two books, get one free.

London RoadDecember 8th 2008.

What would you call Liverpool Direct then? Fleeced?

silver TiaraDecember 8th 2008.

OMG WHAT GOING ON IN LIVERPOOL NOW! bLIMEY DO THEY WANT THE PLACE TO BE MADE THE LAUGHING STOCK OF THE COUNTRY !? MEMORIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!WTF!at first i thought it was the naming of a new tea dance club for OAPS! for goodness sake sack the lot of em who are coming up with theses ridiculous ideas and leave well alone! what is it at moment everyone seems to want to change the name of well known established places! i know 'a rose by any other name' etc but this is going too far! STOP IT NOW!!!!

DigDecember 8th 2008.

What's with the recent influx of the anti Scouse brigade on here trying to wind us up? Their insults are so cliched and witless I'm sure they're not even intelligent enough to realise how amusing their rants are to Scousers! Keep those insults coming people. I'll choose the funniest at the end of the year. The winner gets a picture of the Liverpool landmark of their choice.

maggaDecember 8th 2008.

Rebrand Liverpool.What about city of scroungers? Realm of rapists? City of crims? Crooks kingdom?The whole place is an anachronism. Modern Europe does not need this city of bloated teenage mums and benefit chiselling losers.

AnonymousDecember 8th 2008.

Maybe the Municipal Buildings could be renamed the Liverpool "Hilton". But what a load of bollocks. How much public money was wasted on this rebranding exercise?

KrisDecember 8th 2008.

Isn't the Culture Company HQ, Millennium House, already called the Fun Palace? Obviously where they got the idea.

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