Liverpool is a city of story tellers. Some might say we don’t know when to stop. But our tales shape us more than our grand civic schemes, our Shanghai pavilions or our imported football teams.

New BrightonNo-one’s looking forward to next year’s Museum of Liverpool opening more than us, but it too is – largely – a storehouse of things. Preserving our memories of school sports days, street parties and sweaty nights at Cream, however, doesn’t need a team of architects and endless squabbles with English Heritage, it requires a repository of an altogether more intimate nature.

If you really want to get to know us, spend time in the nail salons of Kirkdale, a Clubmoor pub or, for that matter, an hour or two listening to the Roger Philips phone-in. A gleamingly reconstructed carriage from the overhead railway is one thing. The stories of what our parents got up to underneath the railway arches is quite another…

People’s Stories is a new venture by Hurricane Films – the people who brought us that most singular of Liverpool Histories, Terence Davies’ Of Time And The City.

“We’d set up a community page on the film’s website, and it was getting so much traffic, from exiled Scousers around the world telling their tales of bygone Liverpool, that we thought there was a need for a permanent online resource to capture these stories,” Hurricane Film’s director, Sol Papadopoulos told SevenStreets

And so the site, People’s Stories: Liverpool Lives, was born.

“It’s a pilot,” Sol says. “We think this could work in other cities, but there’s nowhere better to start it than Liverpool.”

Calling the site an ‘archival facebook’, Sol knows that, to succeed, People’s Stories depends on the constant rotation of memories, images, grainy super8 footage: everyday ephemera offering a conduit into the minutiae of Merseyside life.

“We find that once someone posts a new story, it kick starts thousands of other, related memories in the minds of those who read it, and they, in turn, add their own,” he says.

And so it goes on. And on…with stories and images capturing moments great and small: the destruction of Scotland Road’s communities, a parent taking their daughter on the Mersey Ferries for the first time, Natasha Hamilton’s musical childhood, illegal abortions and wartime evictions… this is as unflinching and honest document of place, people, time and city.

To help launch the project, Terence Davies and several Liverpool actors contributed to the site. Their stories aren’t those you’ll hear on Graham Norton’s sofa, they’re too intimate even for that. They’re our stories. They connect us all. And we’re all invited to add our own chapter, along with Jonathan Pryce, Alexei Sayle, Joe McGann and co.

Terence Davies said: “The film I made with Hurricane seems to have pricked peoples’ own memories and I never thought that would happen. I’m astounded that it’s had this kind of response and that this project has been borne of it.”

“People’s Stories – Liverpool Lives’ is free to register, uploade and share your stories on, and we encourge everyone to get involved,” Sol says.

“When we launched, both our football teams were at the bottom of the league. Now they’re doing a bit better, we might see if they’re in the mood to talk now, too…”

www.peoples-stories.com

Main image, Bernard Rose

  • John

    I have been to the site myself and think it is excellent. I am enjoying reading and watching the many memories other people have of Liverpool. I will be adding my own, as it is so easy. Great idea!