Thursday, 6 August 2009

Port Sunlight

And he thought of that time when their families, for ten years neighbours in Port Sunlight, had met in Christiania when he was a boy, and how their love for each other had never changed. Ultramarine

This is the second reference Lowry makes to Port Sunlight in Ultramarine and I have already explained the significance of the reference. For this post, I have found some video of Port Sunlight which gives an indication to why Lowry may have chosen the place to contrast to Liverpool in Ultramarine.

I also managed to find a video from the early 20th Century which shows the village nearer to Lowry's time.

I have a great affection for Port Sunlight Village. As a child, I spent many happy times there visiting my uncle and his family. My uncle used to work at Lever Brothers as a glassblower and this entitled him to rent a house in the village which was owned by the company.

We used to sail boats on the lake outside the Lady Leverhulme Art Gallery before buying ice creams from a man who carried them on a specially built bike. Then as teenager, I spent many afternoons admiring the exhibits at the Lady Leverhulme Art Gallery especially the Pre-Raphaelite collection.

Later, I worked 2 summers on the Lever Estates; first as a gardener, working all over the village as portrayed in the Youtube videos; and the second time I worked at Brombrough Dock unloading oils for the factory.

The best way to find out about the village is take a tour followed by going around the Visitor Centre.

I did come across 3 interesting books on line while researching this post:

Port Sunlight; A Model Village of England. A Collection of Photographs by Edward Beeson (1911.

Labour and Housing in Port Sunlight by Walter Lionel George 1909

Port Sunlight; a record of its artistic & pictorial aspect by Thomas Raffles Davison ([1916])

The above books demonstrate the international importance of the village and the impact that it had on town planning.

The village also doubled for a Dutch town in Powell and Pressburger's 1943 film The Silver Fleet. The main character of the film played by Ralph Richardson walks down King George's Drive in the village where my uncle lived and where I tended the gardens. In the next scenes, he walks towards the village school before calling in on his son who attends the school.

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