The Pavilions Project

Imagine a competition with entries by architects from 52 African countries including Tanzania, Mali, Nigeria Senegal and Mozambique, all commissioned to design a Pavilion for Liverpool.

The Pavilions project is designed  to find solutions to the challenge of how to commemorate the contribution made by the people of the African diaspora to the history, culture and rich fabric of the city of Liverpool. How can genuine laughter and the potential for lasting togetherness be celebrated?  Can misunderstandings and ignorance be resolved?  How can what seems to be the permanent impact of exploitation be addressed?

ThJM_52.7332725_stde answers could be found through honest conversation, an exchange of memories and a sharing of creative achievements. Choose the Pavilion you would like to place in the best location, with the most beautiful vista, in which you might spend time with a valued companion to try to solve the challenge.

What are monuments for? 

The Jelly Moulds displayed are models for Pavilions in which the people of Liverpool might at last get the chance to quietly contemplate some possibilities for change, by talking about the potential for a joining together or even by singing about our international histories and how they are connected.

The decorated ceramic models are covered in brightly coloured patterns, familiar texts and everyday portraits. You will recognise symbols of the city itself and its history of links to the African continent.  Liverpool already has hundreds of monuments and memorial sculptures, many commemorative gardens, squares and contemporary artworks.

The city has heritage societies, local scholars, brilliant students  and recognised experts living and working on Merseyside, all of whom are able to inform us about the historical events, international personalities, fallen heroes and victims of conflict; some fondly remembered others completely forgotten . Why add to this?

The project  by Lubaina Himid asks how we can anticipate inevitable change in towns and cities and how we see the practicalities of these changes manifesting.

The displays identify and propose ideas around communication and celebration to create a visual representation of future harmony .

Can you devise a strategy for an architecture of Pleasure ?


Antique pocket guides JELLY MOULDS – Sally Kevill-Davies (Lutterworth Press 1983)

To most people today, the word ’jelly’ conjures up a lurid rubbery shape leering malevolently on a seaside landlady’s  table, a hospital plate, or slithering down little Tommy’s plastic tub.  It was not always like this. From the earliest days jelly was seen as a substance with with remarkable decorative qualities, and an ideal substance for culinary tromp l’oeil.  During the 18th century it became almost a symbol of metamorphosis – not quite a silk purse from a sow’s ear, but a glittering confection from a cow’s foot.    The jargon of the jelly-maker even entered the vernacular with terms such as things ‘turning out well’, or plans ‘refusing to gel’ and countless terrified legs have ‘turned to jelly’.


JP_web_41.6983245_stdBy 1899 Warne’s Model Cookery by Mary Jewry, listed under ‘Kitchen Utensils absolutely required by a Good Cook’:  3 Dariole moulds, 1 vegetable mould, 1 mushroom mould, 3 pudding moulds, 6 jelly moulds, 3 cake moulds and sugar moulds’.  Edwardian tables groaned under the weight of moulded boiled puddings, (even Christmas puddings were moulded, and the Queen Alexandra enjoyed ‘les viands froides a la gelee’ for breakfast at Windsor, while her husband tucked into tongue and ham jelly during intervals in his box at the opera.  The empire-building fervour of the nation was embodied in the patriotic.  Alexandra and Brunswick Star moulds (fig 6) and the quivering tiers of jelly and blancmange that rose ever higher on society tables,  and strictures on their consumption (with a fork) were set forth in Manners and Rules of Good Society, 1880, by ‘A Member of the Aristocracy’.



The Herculeaneum Pottery   Liverpool ’s Forgotten Glory      Peter Hyland  (Liverpool Museums Publisher)

Liverpool once had a pottery to rival the Staffordshire giants of Wedgwood, Minton and Spode.   I would go further and say that the finer products of Herculaneum should be given a place among the top artistic and cultural achievements of Liverpool, for they straddle the gap between the local fine art heritage on the one hand and Liverpool’s long tradition of manufacturing ingenuity on the other.  In recent years such historical accomplishments have tended to be overshadowed by more recent and ephemeral reputations.

It is worth noting that the Herculaneum Pottery was situated in Toxteth or, more correctly, Toxteth Park .  The area now known as Toxteth includes areas of old housing, new leisure and residential developments and handsome Victorian villas, churches and parks.  If any reader of this book in that locality is weary of its unfair reputation –take heart- nearly all the pieces shown in this book, including the stunningly elegant red jasper coffee-pot shown in Figure 55, were potted down on the South Shore. Made in Toxteth.

Design For Dessert  Robin Emmerson

Pyramids in the French fashion, from F. Massialiot, The Court and Country Cook, London, 1702 (By courtesy of the Brotherton Library, University of Leeds).

Pyramids in the French fashion, from F. Massialiot, The Court and Country Cook, London, 1702 (By courtesy of the Brotherton Library, University of Leeds).

The second requirement of the French system was pryamidal arrangements: preserved and candied fruit was stuck together with dishes of diminishing size set between the layers to stabilise them.  Soon smaller pyramids of jelly or flavoured ice were made to accompany them.

They are described in a book by Francois Massialot, translated in 1702  as The Court and Country’s Cook 12 and they are set out in quadrilateral symmetry.

They remind us of a baroque garden design, with its pyramids of topiary, as seen on the Stoke Edith hangings in the V & A.  The parterres of different shapes also had their equivalent on the table.


A ‘parterre’ of varied geometrical shapes, from J.Gilliers, Le Cannameliste Francais, Nancy , 1751 (By courtesy of the Brotherton Library, University of Leeds).

A ‘parterre’ of varied geometrical shapes, from J.Gilliers, Le Cannameliste Francais, Nancy , 1751 (By courtesy of the Brotherton Library, University of Leeds).


Liverpool George Chandler    (BT Batsford Ltd Publisher 1957)

Sugar refining  was another new industry which was established in Liverpool in the 17th century.  As early as 1667-8, Sir Edward Moore recorded in his Rental that “one Mr Smith, a great sugar baker at London, a man, as report goes, with forty thousand pounds”, was interested in a site for a sugar house in Liverpool- one result of the Great Plague and the Fire of London.  Sir Edward prophesised that sugar would “bring a trade of at least forty thousand pounds a year from Barbadoes, which formerly this town never knew”  –  and in this respect he was guilty of an understatement.

In the following year we hear of a Liverpool ship laden with sugar which was taken by pirates.  The first sugar house was, however, built by Richard Cleaveland and Dan Danvers from 1670 to 1673.  This was a five storey building rated at £174 per annum, but the rate was only 3d. in the pound.  Later Danvers’ house and sugar house were rated at £450.  He was then the largest rate-payer in Liverpool.  Danvers was a dissenter who was several times fined for non-attendance at church.

The earliest illustration of a Liverpool sugar house is contained in “Buck’s South West  Prospect of Liverpool  1728”, which confirms that it lay south of the Old Dock.

Later,  Samuel Derrick, the Master of ceremonies at Bath, noted eight sugar houses on his visit to Liverpool.  Two of the sugar bakers were members of the Liverpool Ye Ugly Face Clubb.  The importance of sugar refining in the town is illustrated by the fact that some of the early sugar bakers became mayors, one Richard Gildart serving twice.

Of all the new industries established in Liverpool in the 17th century, pottery was the most distinctive.  As early as the 14th century, there was reference to a potter in Liverpool, and the codified bye-laws of 1540-1 provided for the fining of persons leaving clay hills in the streets, evidence that local clay was already being extensively applied for practical purposes, but there is no proof of extensive pottery manufacture before the 18th century.  It is true that Robert Lyon, clay potter, was elected a freeman of Liverpool 1643, and there are several references in the Town Books of the late 17th century to the sale of pots, but it was not until later that potters like Richard Chaffers, and Philip Christian were produced.

Both potter and pipemaking were centred mainly on the east side of the town beyond the stream and Pool of Liverpool,  so that the manufacturers could get easy access to the clay on the waste or common.  Pottery and pipe works were established eventually in Shaw’s Brow (now William Brown Street),  Folly lane, Richmand Row, Dale Street, Brownlow Hill, Duke Street and later at Toxteth Park and other places.



Selected books:

Patio and Pavilion   The Place of Sculpture in Modern Architecture   Penelope Curtis     Oxford University Press    ISBN13: 9780892369157ISBN10: 0892369159

Made Up 2008: The Liverpool Biennial Visitors’ Guide (Paperback) Edited by Paul Domela  Liverpool University Press  ISBN 13: 9781846311857

The Back Road  Pubs and Churches   Book Clearance Centre

Hidden in a Public Place  Ingrid Pollard   IMP Press ISBN  0955967201

Walks Through History Liverpool   David Lewis   Breedon Books Publishing Co Ltd   isbn13: 9781859835500

Black Liverpool The Early History of Britains Oldest Black Community  1730-1918   Ray Costello   City of Liverpool Press,  Picton Press ISBN 13: 9781873245071  ISBN 10: 1873245076

Liverpool Black Pioneers  Ray Costello   The Bluecoat Press  ISBN 13: 9781904438526  ISBN 10: 1904438520

There Are Places I’ll Remember   Ray O Brien  Bluecoat   ISBN-10: 0954447328   ISBN-13: 978-0954447328

Greetings From Olde Liverpool   Cliff hayes  Book Cleareance centre

Liverpools Suburbs    David lewis  Breedon Books Publishing Co Ltd   isbn13: 9781859833537

Echoes of Liverpool   Alistair Machray (ed)  Trinity Mirror Nov

African Textiles  John Gillow Chronicle Books USA    ISBN-10: 0811841669   ISBN-13: 978-0811841665

The Art of African Textiles – Technology, tradition and lurex.   (ed) Picton  Barbican Catalogue  Lund Humphries   ISBN-10: 0853316821  I SBN-13: 978-0853316824

Encyclopedia of Batik Designs  Donahue pub  Art Alliance Press and Cornwall Books  ISBN-10: 0845347292     ISBN-13: 978-0845347294

Staying Power: The History of Black People in Britain   Peter Fryer Pluto Press ISBN 13: 9780861047499 | ISBN 10: 0861047494


Also visit 

Historic Foods web site

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