Friday, January 10, 2020

Proposed plaque would detail controversial history of Liverpool's Penny Lane

Penny Lane street sign in Liverpool
"Penny Lane" is synonymous with the Beatles. But the Liverpool street that inspired the song has a sinister history: It was reportedly named after a Liverpool slave merchant.

Liverpool was once a world center of trade due to its busy port, and that trade, sadly, included human cargo. James Penny was among those who profited from the slave trade. Penny owned a slave ship and campaigned against the abolition of slavery.

A proposed plaque in the area would detail Penny's history and his connection to the slave trade, the Daily Mail reports.
Liverpool's economy prospered from the slave trade and the city has retained many street signs and paintings which are linked to its past.

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson argued that paintings, street names and buildings should not be concealed as they are 'important parts of the historical record'.

He is instead calling for the new signs to give people an 'honest account' of the city's links to slavery.

The proposed plaques would explain the street name or painting's origin and its history within the context of the slave trade.

...The motion will be put before Liverpool City Council next week.
It's important to note that not everyone agrees that the street is named after Penny. This article, shared to us by a Liverpool tour guide, offers a great deal of historical detail and dismisses the idea.

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