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Found 4 results

  1. History “We’re excited at the opportunity to restore the Littlewoods Building and give it an exciting new lease of life that will put it on a national stage and finally give it the recognition that it deserves” Tim Heatley of Capital & Centric. The former art deco style Littlewoods Pools Building, which is rumoured to have been designed by Scottish architect Gerald de Courcey Fraser, was constructed in 1938. It was run by Sir John Moores and his brother Cecil as the headquarters of their retail and football betting company, Littlewoods, that was founded in Liverpool, and originally used to process betting slips from the Football Pools. At the time, with almost twenty thousand employees, the brothers possessed England’s largest family owned business empire. It was also the world’s largest football pools business. Following the outbreak of World War Two, the Littlewoods Pools Building, with its vast internal space, made a significant contribution to the war effort. When war initially broke out, the building’s enormous printing presses were used to print over seventeen million National Registration forms in just three days. The main workshop floors were later used to assemble Halifax Bombers and barrage balloons. The building also served as the nerve centre of MC5, the government agency that intercepted mail to break enemy codes. After the war, the Littlewoods Pools Building resumed its normal pools operations, and later became the headquarters for the Littlewoods Printing Division, JCM Media. However, Littlewoods huge success came to an abrupt end towards the end of the 1990s/beginning of the 2000s. Subsequently, as the various branches of the company were sold off, the former Littlewoods Pools Building was vacated in 2003, after the lease was sold to the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA). The building has since remained unoccupied. For many years, the threat of demolition hovered over the rapidly deteriorating site. However, as of April 2017, the iconic building has been sold and is due to be redeveloped into a major film and television studio hub, to make it ‘the heart of Liverpool’s film and media industry’. It is anticipated that thirty-five million pounds will go into regenerating the site. Our Version of Events The old Liverpool Pools Building has been on the cards for a very long time. Unfortunately, it seems we’ve never been in Liverpool long enough to get it done. It was time to change this though, since we’d heard the building has now been sold and is due to be refurbished. With no time to lose, then, we made our way over there pretty sharpish. Initially, we were rather worried that we’d missed out on our opportunity to explore this site, as several other explorers have recently reported that they had difficulty accessing it due to cameras and security guards. True to their word, when we arrived we immediately spotted a chap sitting in his car outside the site’s main entrance. He looked kind of like an authority figure, but we weren’t entirely sure. We also, inadvertently, found the camera with the speakers while we were scouting out the other side of the building, after a strange bloke walking his dog lobbed a stick at it. Needless to say, the speaker went mental and informed everyone nearby that the police had been alerted. It wasn’t a great start. Despite the first few problems, we found accessing the Littlewoods Pools Building a doddle. So much so, we popped back the next day because we ran out of daylight while exploring it the first time. So, given it might not be an explore for much longer, any local Liverpool lads and lasses might want to pop by now while they still have the chance. We’d say it’s well worth a visit. Anyway, once inside we set about photographing the main halls, then moved on to the front reception buildings. Once we’d finished with those, we made our way over to the clock tower. Although it’s mostly stripped, it still offers some nice views looking out over Liverpool. There’s also a very photogenic room at the top, just before you ascend the last staircase to the tippy top. It took a good few hours and two visits to cover the entire site – other than the underground bits. The underground section we did find was flooded, and we didn’t fancy getting wet. At the time, we weren’t that arsed we’d missed it out. However, in hindsight there’s a wee bit of regret that we didn’t venture down there, especially since none of us are local to Liverpool. Still, we’re glad we finally got the rest of the building under our belts. Explored with MKD. 1: 2: 3: 4: 5: 6: 7: 8: 9: 10: 11: 12: 13: 14: 15: 16: 17: 18: 19: 20: 21: 22: 23: 24: 25: 26: 27: 28: 29: 30: 31: 32: 33: 34: 35: 36: 37: 38: 39: 40:
  2. Info taken from Wikipedia... Littlewoods Business Empire. John, Colin Askham and Bill Hughes were friends who had worked together as Post Office messenger boys in Manchester. It was whilst looking for a new money-making idea that Moores came across John Jervis Barnard, a Birmingham man who had latched onto the public's growing passion for two things: football and betting. Moores had always been an avid football fan from when he was very young. Sports of all kinds had always interested him, He played amateur football himself until retiring at the age of 40. Barnard had devised a 'football pool', where punters would bet on the outcome of football matches. The payouts to winners came from the 'pool' of money that was bet, less 10 per cent to cover "management costs". It had not been particularly successful. Clearly, Barnard was struggling to make a profit, Moores got hold of a Barnard pools coupon and the three Manchester friends decided they could – and would – do it better. They could not let their employers, the Commercial Cable Company know what they were doing or they would be fired, No outside employment was allowed. That ruled out calling it the John Moores Football Pool or anything like it. Moores recalled years later: "Calling it the John Smith's football pool sounded a bit dodgy", the solution to that particular problem came from Colin Askham, He had been orphaned as a baby and been brought up by an aunt whose surname was Askham, but he had been born Colin Henry Littlewood And so, in 1923, the Littlewood Football Pool – as it was called originally – was started. Each of the three partners invested £50 of their own money into the venture and with the help of a small discreet and cheap printer they got to work. In 1923, £50 was a huge sum to invest in what – based on Barnard's experience – was a precarious venture and as Moores himself remembered: "As I signed my own cheque at the bank, my hands were damp, it seemed such a lot of money to be risking". A small office in Church Street, Liverpool, was rented and the first 4,000 coupons were distributed outside Manchester United's Old Trafford ground before one Saturday match that winter, Moores handed the coupons out himself, helped by some young boys eager to earn a few pennies. It was not an instant success & only 35 coupons came back & Bets totalled £4 7s 6d and the 10 per cent deducted did not even cover the three men’s expenses, they needed to take the idea to another level and quickly. So they decided to print 10,000 coupons and took them to Hull, where they were handed out before a big game, this time, only one coupon was returned. Their venture was about to collapse almost as soon as it had begun. In the canteen of the Commercial Cable Company the three partners had a hushed conversation, It was a crisis meeting. They had kept pumping money into the fledgling business but midway through the 1924-25 football season it was still losing money. The three young men were each £200 lighter in the pocket with no prospect of things improving. Bill Hughes suggested they cut their losses and forget the whole thing, Colin Askham agreed. They could see why John Jervis Barnard's idea of a football pool had failed in Birmingham, they expected Moores to concur but instead he said: "I'll pay each of you the £200 you've invested, if you'll sell me your shares", Moores admitted that he considered giving up on the business himself but was encouraged by his wife who told him "I would rather be married to a man who is haunted by failure rather than one haunted by regret". Moores kept faith and he paid Askham and Hughes £200 each. In 1928 Moores' younger brother Cecil devised a security system to prevent cheating, eventually the pools took off & become one of the best-known names in Britain. In January 1932, Moores by now a millionaire & was able to disengage himself sufficiently from the pools to start up Littlewoods Mail Order Store. This was followed on 6 July 1937 by the opening of the first Littlewoods department store in Blackpool. By the time World War II started there were 25 Littlewoods stores across the UK and over 50 by 1952. Later years Moores retired as chairman in October 1977 of Littlewoods and was succeeded by his son Peter, however, as profits fell (Moores remained on the board) he resumed the chairmanship in October 1980. He gave up this role again in May 1982 and was made life president of the organisation even though Moores remained involved until 1986. His family carried on running Littlewoods but John Clement succeeded Moores as chairman, Moore had two operations straight after each other on his achilles tendon and then for an enlarged prostate during the summer of 1986 but he never was quite the same again. At the 1987 League Cup final sponsored by Littlewoods, Moores was the guest of honour. In early 1988, by now mainly in a wheelchair, he was still visiting Littlewoods stores across the UK but he began to lose his speech shortly afterwards and gave that role up., Moores attended Everton football matches up to a few years before his death. On 25 September 1993, Sir John died at his home "Fairways" at Shireburn Road, Freshfield, Formby, where he had lived since 1930. He was cremated six days later at Southport. Two months after his death his estate was valued as being worth more than 10 million pounds. The Littlewoods businesses were sold to the Barclay Brothers nine years later in October 2002. More Pictures here.. http://www.flickr.com/photos/59183113@N05/sets/72157627501865884/ Thanks
  3. As Hitler's bombs rained down, thousands of people were forced underground for shelter,about 1,200ft of shelter was built to protect them. The murals were first discovered back in 2005.. Splored in 2011 Thanks....
  4. Jimmy has done a history somewhere, and in the style of most lazy explorers, you can find it there. This is a massive white Art Deco building that sits a few miles from the city centre, and has laid derelict for a good number of years. There is a proposal to redevelop it, but I think that is on hold. Like most things. So a white edifice is sitting in surprisingly good condition. Interiors A view from the Tower... Top fucking day, thanks to Jimmy (WIMR) for a top day
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