Love Lane Lives

The history of sugar in Liverpool and the effects of the closure of the Tate & Lyle sugar refinery, Love Lane

The Girls & Boys from the Whitestuff

The Blue Turban Ladies of the Tate closure protests

"The remarkable thing about this project was not just sugar, an extraordinary but much taken for granted commodity but the extraordinary lives of ordinary refinery workers... This project has lots of historical curiosity value but it has wider ramifications for ongoing debates on the politics of food and globalization. It's also a vital record of the people who struggled against a major multinational to protect not just their own livelihoods but a whole community."

Ron Noon


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From Ron Noon Site Coordinator

Hi to all who have used our LOVE LANE LIVES site and to any new visitors to a public history project rooted in the community just north of the City Centre where Henry Tate’s mother plant was located in 1872. The Chorley grocer had done very well in Liverpool and Birkenhead (where there is now a Blue Plaque dedicated to his legacy on one of his shops near Hamilton Square).

In 1981 his legacy was tainted by decisions taken by a board of directors which contained no Lyles or Tates, no emotional attachments to the City of Liverpool which had helped Henry become a British version of Rockefeller, the American oil tycoon, possessing fabulous wealth from white gold largely sugar cubes!

Love Lane was victim of MATRICIDE in 1981 and as my sugar mentor Albert E Sloane commented,  it left a big hole in the Vauxhall community.. Clearly there had been no room for sentiment when Merseyside was regarded as “The Bermuda Triangle of British Capitalism” and so many of the 1500 boys and girls from the whitestuff never got jobs again.

For the reasons I have explained in previous commentary, the site which was inspired by the Boys and Girls from the Whitestuff has been MORIBUND for the last four years but hopefully like Lazarus (and Mr Cube) will be brought back to active and useful life again. My darling wife Gail for whom I have been patient carer for over four years inspired me to set the site up and demands nothing less than continuity and revival after this four year HIATUS!

ANYWAY I thought I’d use t his comment channel until I get the hang again of the TECHNICALITIES OF THE BLOG AND PUTTING PICS ON IT to update viewers and encourage their comments and contributions. (Anybody out there good on web site design and helping me redesign and bring it up to date would be brilliant!)

The Blog I did on Sunday will be followed up on later on in the week but in the meantime have a look at this video put together in 2013 by an artist and lecturer at Cambridge School of Art, Rosanna Greaves.

She wrote to me a number of years back asking permission to use some of the excerpts from my writing and from the website as voice over for this film and I’m grateful that she has acknowledged my help. When I watched it before looking at the credits I thought “hey they are the words that I used!. Thanks Rosanna. Ours is indeed a public history project rooted in the community and in our wonderful Port City. See what you make of it.

https://rosannagreaves.com/videos/we-were-strongly-advised-2013/