The Liverpool Sailors Home [Sailors' Home], records.



The idea that seafarers should have special low cost accommodation separate from that available in boarding houses, was expressed publicly by the Reverend G.C. Smith of the Mariner's Club, London, in the early 1820s. Smith wished to found an establishment which would provide accommodation, banking and employment services for seafarers between voyages. The first Sailors' Home, in Well Street, London, opened in 1835. It was at Liverpool that the first efforts to emulate the Sailors' Home in London were made. A number of shipowners, merchants and inhabitants held a meeting on the 25 February 1837, in the Underwriters committee room, but the provisional committee lapsed when the Corporation and Dock Trustees declined assistance. A reformed committee achieved subscriptions for £1,800 by the 14 April 1841, but it was not until 10 May 1844, when the Council allocated land, that the plan proceeded. Temporary premises were opened in Bath Street in 1845, and the Liverpool Sailors' Home in Canning Place, was opened in 1850. The Home provided much needed relief to seafarers in Liverpool, especially during the depression years and the two World Wars. Unfortunately, by the 1960s, the Home was unable to cater for the modern sailor, its accommodation being too basic, and with dwindling numbers, it was closed in 1969 and the Canning Place premises were demolished. However, the residential work of the Home continued in premises at Aigburth until 1975. In 1976 the Trustees formed the Liverpool Sailors' Home Trust, which continues to support seafaring organisations on board ship and retired Liverpool seafarers in their own homes. Railings, other ironwork and a cabin from the Home are preserved in the object collections of the Merseyside Maritime Museum. Objects from the Home are also held in the collections of the Museum of Liverpool and the Decorative Arts department of the Walker Art Gallery. The collection includes records presented by the Charity Commissions (P/CC/LH). For further details see the attached catalogue or contact The Archives Centre for a copy of the catalogue.