Showing posts with label Penny Lane (place). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Penny Lane (place). Show all posts

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Origins of Liverpool's Penny Lane not racist, report finds


A newly released historical reports shows that Penny Lane, the Liverpool street that inspired the classic Beatles song, is not named after an infamous slave trader.

The origins of the street's name have long been a topic of debate, which has grown more heated since the May 20 murder of George Floyd by police in Minneapolis. Demonstrators in Liverpool defaced Penny Lane street signs, labeling them "racist" in spray paint.

But the street isn't named for local slave trader James Penny, researchers say.
...“comprehensive research” has shown it was wrongly linked to the history of slavery, the Liverpool-based International Slavery Museum explained.
Researchers have found “no historical evidence linking Penny Lane to James Penny,” the executive director of National Museums Liverpool, Janet Dugdale, said in a statement. Dugdale also promised to ensure the sign was removed from display.
The origins of the street’s name are still unclear, but it was likely related to a toll requiring the payment of a penny if a vehicle wished to pass. 
Liverpool Mayor Steve Rotherdam earlier this week called for a study of the street name's origins and said that if Penny Lane was named for a slave trader the street should be renamed.



Monday, June 15, 2020

Controversy sweeps Liverpool's Penny Lane

Vandals recently defaced signs for Liverpool's Penny Lane due to the street name's alleged racist connotations.

Many people believe the street is named after James Penny, a famed local who made his fortune in the slave trade. But others say that's not the case at all, reports Sky News.

Liverpool Mayor Steve Rotherham said, "If it is as a direct consequence of that road being called Penny Lane because of James Penny, then that needs to be investigated...Something needs to happen and I would say that sign and that road may well be in danger of being renamed. But, of course, there is no evidence that is the fact."

"I don't believe it is associated with James Penny," he said.
Mr Rotherham, who described himself as a "massive" Beatles fan who has "done a bit of reading on this", suggested that Penny Lane was instead associated with a toll that was once paid in that area - in pennies - to cross the road. 
But he added, as a "58-year-old white middle-aged man", he can "see things through my eyes and I can't see through the eyes of somebody who every single day has faced prejudice, has faced racism."
"It's for other people to decide whether they think it's appropriate that road sign is taken down, if indeed there is any link to either slavery or other incidences," the mayor added.
Liverpool's International Slavery Museum has said evidence linking Penny Lane to James Penny is "not conclusive."
The museum is "actively carrying out research on this particular question", a spokeswoman added. 
Until the abolishment of the British slave trade in 1807, ships from Liverpool carried around 1.5m enslaved Africans on approximately 5,000 voyages, the vast majority going to the Caribbean.

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.