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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“Historian Ron Noon’s decade-long obsession with the Liverpool sugar industry led to the making of the film Love Lane Lives: The Boys and Girls from the White-stuff, which is to be screened tonight at the Tate.”

That was Vicky Anderson’s take on my “sugarcentricity” in an essay published in the Liverpool Daily Post on October 30th 2007.

That was a decade ago! Where have those ten years gone? Where has the Daily Post gone?

Why no blogs or development of LOVE LANE LIVES for two and a half years? The last blog “Vote for my Gail and the Defense of the NHS” on General Election day 2015 was reason enough. There was no sugar in that blog.

We could have lost our Gail, the Noon family lodestar but she’s an indomitable fighter and my darling wife and our four kids, (not sure about the 6 grandkids), want me to get back to “work” on a site inspired by Gail and dedicated to the wonderful friends that we made from the Lane, especially the wonderful Albert E Sloane who passed away last February at the age of 94. Important links with Tony McGann and the Eldonians and with Trinity school are too important to lose. (The school is behind where the GREEN MAN pub used to be before its demolition.) Just this year I was informed that the children did a project on the boys and girls from the whitestuff and the teachers asked me in May to talk to Year 6 about it all.

I think that was when I realised that Love Lane Lives and this website had to live on, had to be reactivated, and so my “comback” was hatched by Trinity School Year 6, the great children I had the privilege to teach.

Tonight is the 10th anniversary of the showing of our film at the TATE down on the Albert Dock. I remember it vividly. Once again thanks to Maggie Skilling one of my former students at LJMU and Leon Seth the wonderful (then) young filmaker, and above all else the wonderful people who worked down the Lane. 

Ron Noon 30/10/2017