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Love Activists continue to occupy former Bank of England Building in Liverpool

Liverpool, UK. 29th Apr, 2015. Despite a court eviction order passing, the Love Activists, remain inside and announced their demands via PA system at 3pm today. At various times thoughout the afternoon the police tried to enter and communicate with the activists and homeless inside the Grade 1 listed Building, with little success. They have been occupying the old Bank of England on Castle Street since April 18th, and have used the building to house homeless and street people, giving them shelter and food. The building previously had been empty for 11 years. 

At time of posting the occupation continues !

Photos by David J Colbran, Liverpool photographer. Please contact me via the link for usage and licencing. Do not use without permission !

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Giant Spectacular - Liverpool, July 2014.

A flash mob, street theatre piece preludes the Giant Spectacular. Unexpectedly a period car & bicycles arrive in various locations around the city. And an actor playing Lord Kitchener, gives a speech to the men of Liverpool to take up arms. The show over the forthcoming weekend is by French street theatre experts Royal De Luxe. Formed in 1979 and led by writer and director Jean-Luc Courcoult.

Image by Liverpool photographer David J Colbran, please contact for licencing or to use outside Tumblr

The Liverpool Seamen’s Orphan Institution
I visited a really interesting building - the Liverpool Seamen’s Orphan Institution in Newsham Park. The doors were open for the Liverpool Arts Festival on the 8th and 9th of November 2014 and featured loads of artists and performers. But for me, it was an opportunity to have a look inside the building and discover a little about it’s past.

The Liverpool Seamen’s Orphan Institution was built in the 1870s by benefactor Ralf Brocklebank, as there were a large number children orphened during maritime disasters. The Orphanage opened in 1873 and housed 182 children. Designed by the top Victorian Liverpool-born architect Alfred Waterhouse, it was built to an incredible standard, ensuring its survival in spite of being derelict for nearly 20 years. Other buildings then opened and in 1879 the Sanatorium opened. By the end of the First World War it was estimated there was nearly 1000 children in the orphanage. New facilities, including classrooms were added in the 1930’s before the orphanage closed in 1939 at the outbreak of the Second World War and fear of the building being bombed. It reopend in 1946, however due to financial difficulties it was forced to close in 1949. Two years later the Government bought the building and converted it into a Psychiatric facility called Newsham Park Hospital.

The hospital officially stopped taking new patients in 1988 and in 1992 all remaining patients and staff were relocated. Later in 1992, Rainhill Lunatic Asylum inmates were moved to Newsham Park Hospital taking up 90% of its space and some £1.6 million was spent on the hospital so it could house its new patients. But by 1997, the building closed its doors one final time to residents.

Apparently a few parts of the building are haunted and the buildings new owners make the most of this with ghost tours and hiring the place out to film and movie-makers.

Photography copyrighted to David J Colbran - please do not use my work without permission. More photos over the next few days or check them here on a blog post Liverpool Seamen’s Orphan Institution

Tony Benn RIP. Tony was a British Labour Party politician who was a
Member of Parliament (MP) for 50 years and a Cabinet Minister under Harold Wilson and James Callaghan. Speaking at Anglican Cathedral, Liverpool to a rally against public sector cuts 5th February 2011. Protesters have demonstrated against public sector cuts at a rally. About 700 demonstrators marched from Exchange Flags to the Anglican Cathedral, at 11:30 GMT. Former Labour MP Tony Benn and union officials addressed a 2,000-strong rally at the cathedral.

Photo by David J Colbran - to use or licence this image please contact me via my Liverpool photography website.

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Smash benefit sanctions - protest outside job centre in Merseyside

Demonstration outside the job centre in Bootle, Merseyside. Protestors argue that benefit sanctions cause hardship, moving jobseekers away from the job market. Grassroots campaigners gave out leaflets and advice to people going in and out of the centre.

In the Autumn of 2012 a new harsher sanctions regime introduced by the Welfare Reform Act was implemented by the UK government. The new regime set out fixed periods of sanction for particular claimant ‘failures’ raising the minimum sanction for Jobseekers from one week to four weeks. The Citizen Advice Bureau (CAB) saw a 40% rise in advice about sanctions and hardship payments (3,000 problems) compared to the same period a year ago. CAB is reporting that sanctions are helping to fuel a rise in demand for food banks – last April a local provider in London gave out 130 boxes, this April it was 500.

Indeed the DWP’s own figures show that since May 2010 an astonishing 2,257,000 claimants on Jobseeker’s Allowance have had their benefits referred for a decision on whether to cut their benefits for a fixed length period.

Campaigners were advising people to appeal against any sanction decisions, complain about procedures, contact local councillors and MPs and finally to make sure that anyone who has sanctions against them, ensure that they make a ‘nil income’ declaration at any council one stop shop.

Monday 28th October 2013

Images by David J Colbran, for usage outside Tumblr contact me via my Liverpool photography website.