Community support

Funding level: £1,001 to £5,000


The George Garrett Archive Project is run by a team of volunteers, and is based on the life and work of George Garrett (1896-1966), merchant seaman, writer, anti-poverty campaigner, playwright and founder member of Liverpool’s Unity Theatre. Garrett, born in Liverpool, traveled the world and wrote a series of short stories, stage plays and documentary reports about poverty and struggle in the 1920’s and 30’s. He occupies a unique and significant position as the central point of a compass that links Liverpool's literary, cultural, and maritime history. Garrett's family brought to Writing on the Wall two suitcases of artifacts - original writing, including short stories poems and scripts, plus many items relating to his time on board ships. Ten volunteers have spent five years collecting and collating his archive, and bringing knowledge and awareness of his work to the general public. His archive is now saved for posterity and public viewing at Liverpool records office. In May 2017 Liverpool University Press published his autobiography 'Ten years On The Parish - The Life and Letters of George Garrett'.

George Orwell, who Garrett met and gave guidance and support to in his research for ‘The Road to Wigan Pier’, said, 'I was very greatly impressed by Garrett. Had I known before that it is he who writes under the pseudonym of Matt Low in the Adelphi (a magazine published in the 1920's and 30's) and one or two other places, I would have taken steps to meet him earlier.'

Due to the huge interest in his work we want to deliver an education programme for adults and children about this hugely significant figure and his role in the development of Liverpool's literary and social culture. The volunteer group will, with support from the editors of the of Garrett's autobiography, will research, prepare and deliver a ten-week evening education class, based at Liverpool's Central Library, which will make knowledge of his work accessible to the public.

The volunteer group will also research and develop a programme of education for school pupils. The Garrett Archive Group have already delivered two sessions in schools, which were very well received, and added significant knowledge to young people about key people from their local area. The school programme will deliver five sessions to each school. It will aim to develop pupil's literacy and creativity, and will encourage pupils to create short stories based on Garrett's travels, and will result in a publication of the pupil's work.

The key aspect of this group is the development of the skills of the volunteer group in being able to research and then structure, with professional support, an education programme for adults and young people. it will also develop their skills in public speaking and being able to work with learners to develop their understanding of the times Garrett lived through.

Writing on the Wall

Moment of Pride

The volunteer group who have done the work of preserving George Garrett's archive have demonstrated great civic and social pride in their work. The have ensured this key figure, who contributed so much to Liverpool's social and literary history, is rightly recognised as one of Liverpool's heroes.

Location: Toxteth Library, Windsor Street, Liverpool, United Kingdom