Love Lane Lives

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

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“Save Our Sugar” and Hillside Secondary School

Written by Warren at 15:27 on Thursday, February 17th 2011

The text below is from Ron Noon:

“Here’s a great new video for our website, as fresh and vital now as it was when filmed during the specialist Sugar Week held at Hillside School back in September 2009. I’d invited one of my former LJMU history students and lead singer with the critically acclaimed rock band AMSTERDAM, to come into school and help with the composition of a protest song to SAVE OUR SUGAR, albeit 28 and a half years after the historic Love Lane refinery was closed down! The wonderful pupils at Hillside were very conscious of what the closure of the refinery had meant for their own community and in that week of different subject based and “inter-disciplinary” projects centred around the world of sugar and Tate & Lyle, they were able to imaginatively re-create the spirit of those challenging times and respond in words and music to the S.O.S. caused by the issuing of the 90 day redundancy notices on January 22nd 1981. School children “if” they are imaginatively taught the real poetry of history have no problems dealing with time shifts and as Leon Seth and I discovered back in 2008 with the primary school children at Trinity R.C. are best placed of all to ensure that Love Lane Lives do genuinely live on.

The former Liverpool John Moores University History student Ian Prowse, then studying for an MA “up the hill” at Liverpool University was delighted to apply his musical talents and stagecraft to work with the children and with a mutual friend, Christine Chellhew of Chellhew Productions, to assist in the making of a Hillside “protest song”. (Ian told the interviewer “I did n’t expect it to be as good as it was…It was brilliant. It was an honour to do it.”) The music along with the numerous essays and letters addressed to “Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher” represented Liverpool youth’s creative opposition to “yet another closure” on what in the early 1980s was caricatured as “Merseyslide”! Watching and listening to the video as the coordinator of the Love Lane Lives project makes me well up with pride and admiration at the sensitivity and passion of the Hillside school children, and their talent for bringing history alive and making it relevant to everyone committed to fairness and decent community values. It was after all their community that was blighted by the decision of a former sugar giant to sever its links with Henry Tate’s mother plant. Enjoy the new kid on our website block and test your emotions watching the making of “Save Our Sugar”.”

On the PROJECT page of our site you can listen to the classic Ian Prowse song “Does This Train Stop on Merseyside?”.

http://www.lovelanelives.com/index.php/project/

You can then go to page 13 of the blogs (it is page 13 at the moment but the more additional blogs…) and read all about what inspired him to write the song.

http://www.lovelanelives.com/index.php/blog/entry/welcome_to_chicago_and_a_song_by_the_lead_singer_of_amsterdam/
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PROJECT page. Amsterdam - “Does This Train Stop on Merseyside?”
This is a track written by Ian Prowse, a history student of Ron Noon’s at Liverpool John Moores University.
Click on the arrow below to play the track.
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BLOG page:
Welcome to Chicago and a song by the lead singer of AMSTERDAM
Posted by Ron Noon in Beyond The Lane on Thursday, May 28th 2009