'The Wheel of Fortune'

painting of men facing a wall

Detail of 'The Wheel of Fortune' by Yankel Feather

1 Feb 2014 - 10 Mar 2014
Free exhibition, no booking required

LGBT Month 2014

February is Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans (LGBT) History Month.

To help represent and celebrate the lives and achievements of Liverpool’s LGBT community we displayed this painting by locally born artist Yankel Feather for the first time during LGBT History Month 2014.

It depicts the interior of a men’s public convenience in Williamson Square, which was known locally as ‘The Wheel of Fortune’ and reflects the time, prior to 1967, when homosexuality was illegal.

One local man remembers -

"In Williamson Square there was a kiosk for the taxi drivers to get a cup of tea and what not. Just behind the hut was a public convenience for gentlemen only and it had two staircases going down each side of it. It was round inside so that’s why it was called the 'wheel of fortune'. A lot of people used to go in there looking to see if they could find a rich sugar daddy! And they’ll have got a fortune out of him, hopefully, but no-one ever did." Anonymous.

(Collected through Mapping Memory, a project where people who lived and worked in Liverpool’s central waterfront from the 1950s to the 1970s, contributed their memories.)

The painting was kindly donated to the Museum of Liverpool by Yankel’s partner, after his death in 2009.