Royal visit: tenants want Princess to call at slum homes

8 May 1969

This week’s issue of the Liverpool Weekly News has a front-page piece on the planned protest at the opening of Senate House. Strangely, it doesn’t mention that many of the slum properties referred to in the article are owned by the University:

Tenants from 36 streets near the city centre are planning to picket the forthcoming visit of Princess Alexandra to Liverpool.

Princess Alexandra is due in Liverpool on Thursday May 15th to attend the official opening of the Senate House at Liverpool University.

The Abercromby Tenants Association have sent a letter of protest to the Vice-Chancellor of Liverpool University, Dr W Barnes, deploring the fact that large sums of money have been spent for the occasion and urging that the overall cost should be cut to a minimum.

Another letter has been sent by the Association to Princess Alexandra asking her to add a visit to the tenants in the vicinity of the University to her itinerary.

Mrs Ethel Singleton, the Association Secretary, told the weekly News: “At present great efforts are being made to hide the squalor that surrounds the Senate House from the Princess’s view. If the princess does come and visit us, I’m sure that she will be made very welcome.  We are sure that she would not wish such large sums of money to be used on her behalf if she knew the appalling conditions of our people who live within the University precinct.”

Mrs Singleton pointed out that in their letter to the Vice-Chancellor, they had asked that expenditure for the visit should be cut and that whatever funds were left over could be used to alleviate “the misery of those families living in Vine Street who are waiting to be rehoused under future University development.”

She said: “Our fight is with the authorities, both civic and University, to bring to their attention the waste of public funds in this financially hard-pressed city whose slums are the worst in England.  If our requests fail, we the tenants are quite prepared to picket the Senate House on the afternoon in question.”

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Author: Gerry

Retired college teacher living in Liverpool, UK.

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