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Stories from the Gangs of Victorian Liverpool brought to life again at St George’s Hall

6 years ago

By The Guide Liverpool

Stories from the Gangs of Victorian Liverpool brought to life again at St George’s Hall

The increasingly popular promenade theatre Catacombs tours of St George’s Hall Liverpool return by popular demand this month and Lovehistory can now reveal the four stories to be told in the latest series of the tours.

Following on from the success of Series 6, Lovehistory return later this month from 20 – 25 February to delve even further into Liverpool’s past and expose more of the savage and lawless Gangs of Victorian Liverpool, uncovering even more of the city’s history in these brand-new tales.

Last year Ellie went to check out the  tours as they debuted in the Catacmobs, come inside and hear about the Hall’s incredible history in our video below.

Liverpool in the nineteenth century was a place full of contradictions and duality; the rich and the poor, the lawful and the lawless, the civilised and the uncivilised, a city of prosperous merchants, powerful men and influential traders and a city of thieves, robbers and murders. Against the backdrop of the rich and the privileged a war was fought on the streets of Liverpool, a war which ended for many in the Courts of St George’s Hall and at the end of the hangman’s rope.

This new instalment will start by highlighting the ten years of gang violence which ensued in Liverpool following the horrific 1874 murder of Richard Morgan, known as the Tithebarn Street Outrage which saw Richard Morgan brutally murdered and his wife and brother attacked by members of the Cornermen Gang whilst walking home from the pub. The brutality of this murder brought to light to the public the gang warfare which then plagued the city.

Then discover all the grizzly details of the Blackstone Street Murder where in 1884 a Spanish sailor was set upon by a group of thugs from arguably the most infamous Liverpool gang, the High Rip gang, which saw one young man Michael McLean, hung for the heinous attack.

The evening will also shine a light on the rivalry between the notorious High Rip gang and the Logwood gang – set up by a group of working men in fear of the threat of attack from members of the High Rip gang. This group of vigilantes would ultimately became just as notorious, when a feud started between the two after the murder of a man called Patrick Heston by rival gang member Thomas Donlon in a pub in Scotland road.

Then learn all about the business of grave robbing as Lovehistory unearth the details of the Resurrection Men, a group of friends who would steal bodies from Liverpool graves for medical research. Including the story of William Stewart who would recruit Liverpool gang members to steal bodies from St Johns Gardens and the Church Clerk who caught them and put a nail in the coffin on the whole operation.

The new and powerful interpretations will once again uncover the tales of past criminals who were hanged for their crimes, those who were judged and sentenced by law, and those who carried out the sentence of the court – the executioner.

Previous Lovehistory Catacombs tours have sold-out seeing over 1,000 visitors descend on St George’s Hall in one week to hear the series of gruesome stories.

Judy McLean, Creative Director of Lovehistory, said:We are really excited to be delving in to the Gangs culture once again with this series of Catacombs Tours. Last years tours were really well received so this next instalment has an all new and darker selection of stories to enjoy. We will be uncovering some of the biggest and notorious groups of gangs and showing the rivalry that was rife in the city. The actors are all fantastic and have worked incredibly hard to recreate an accurate portrait of the brutality that was alive on the streets of Liverpool at that time.

The promenade performances will take you into the dark cells below the grandness of the Great Hall, where those waiting to be condemned would spend their final moments. In the dark shadows of Liverpool’s history, visitors will encounter characters telling their tormented tales. Behind every dark corner lies a hidden story which has not been heard for over 100 years.

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