School of the Arts student Dean Lockley uncovers the secrets of Liverpool’s Victorian criminal underworld at St George’s Hall catacombs tour.
“We were warned about what lay beneath Liverpool’s St George’s Hall. The Catacombs tour opens with a tour guide setting the scene of Victorian Liverpool, a place riddled with inequality and poor living conditions for the working classes. Actors dressed as Victorian youths descend the stairs fighting and shouting at each other, displaying their tattered clothes and poor beginnings.
This was a sign of the stories to follow, from beatings of female prostitutes, robbers on the streets, and poor working conditions of the dock workers, to youth crimes and gruesome murders heard in the courts of the Victorian hall.
Standing in the law courts we hear the description of a boy who was brutally killed, creating a vivid image of the past for the spectators. Our tour takes us through the life of the boy’s killer, only a boy himself, from his conviction and sentencing to his adult life. An outstanding performance from the actor displays the boy-killer’s psychosis, reminiscent of Health Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker in the Dark Knight!
Away from the cells and across an old bridge, we witness more of the female tale of Victorian Liverpool before crossing into the catacombs, which are dimly lit and rather unusual in design, where we witness a fight between two factions of Irish men that arrived in the city.
The tour was an interesting way of highlighting the plight of a poverty stricken community and a window into the past of Victorian crime. Although an expensive experience for most students, at £15 each, it is an informative and entertaining tale of bygone Liverpool.”
For more information on upcoming tours, please visit: www.lovehistory.co.uk