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Liverpudlians

A Small Selection of People with a Liverpool Connection


Dixie Dean   (William Ralph) (1907-1980), footballer, born at 325 Laird Street, Birkenhead.

By the age of twelve, Dean had played center forward for Birkenhead Boys. At fourteen he was an apprentice fitter in the engine shop on the Wirral railway and playing with adults in the works' team in the Cheshire League, sometimes against the reserve teams of Football League clubs. A short spell at Pensby in the Wirral Combination led to his signing as an amateur for Tranmere Rovers and then as a professional once he turned sixteen. Tranmere had been founder members of the Third Division (Northern) in 1921. He only played two games in his first season (1923-4) but in 1924-5 he made the breakthrough to regular first team football. His twenty-seven goals in the same number of league games was noticed by several clubs and he was transferred to Everton for £ 3000, a record fee for an eighteen-year-old, in the spring of 1925.

The next ten years were a good time to be a center forward. In 1925 the offside law was changed, prior to then you had to have three players between you and the opponents' goal line. Initially the change produced more goals until more sophisticated defense techniques came into play.

It was in this context that Dixie Dean became the most potent goalscorer English football has ever seen. In his first full season for Everton (1925-6) he netted thirty-two goals in thirty-eight matches. A serious motor cycle accident in 1926 restricted his opportunities in 1926-7 but twenty-seven games still produced twenty-one goals. The 1927-8 season was his annus mirabilis. Everton won the championship in that year and of their 102 goals in 42 matches Dean scored 60. He actually played in only thirty-nine himself and even more astonishingly scored his goals in only twenty-nine games. The year before George Camsell of Middlesbrough had established a new record for league goals in a season with fifty-nine. With two games left in 1928 Dean had only scored fifty-three. But he scored seven in the last two matches, four at Burnley and a hat-trick at home to Arsenal in a 3-3 draw in the final game. He was still only twenty-one. For the next ten seasons no one scored goals like Dixie. His average of 0.867 per league game and 0.936 for all games is unlikely ever to be broken.

Twenty of the record sixty goals were headers. He was a physically robust player and perhaps he needed to be, as he suffered fifteen major football injuries. He often played when not fit and it was injury which brought his career to a premature end in 1939 after brief spells with Notts County and Sligo Rovers.

Off the field his pleasures included cigarettes, a glass of beer, and a bet. His honeymoon was spend on a tour of various racetracks.

Dean was never able to transfer his success as a footballer to the wider world. A sports shop he ran in Birkenhead in the 1930s failed, and after war service in the Royal Tank regiment, he became landlord of the Dublin Packet in Chester from 1946 to 1961. The new chairman of Everton, John Moores, head of Littlewoods pools, then found him a job as a security officer, from which he retired in 1972.

Unfortunately his right leg was amputated following a thrombosis in 1976. He collapsed and died at Goodison Park only a few minutes before the end of the match between Everton and Liverpool on 1 March 1980.

Jeremiah Horrocks astronomer

Henry Tate  (1819-1899), sugar refiner was born in Chorley, son of the Revd William Tate. To eke out a living as a Unitarian minister, William Tate opened a private school for poor children. It was here that Henry received his only formal education.

At the age of thirteen he was apprenticed to one of his older brothers, Caleb Ashworth Tate (d. 1846), who was a grocer in Liverpool. Seven years later Henry set up on his own, by buying the business of Aaron Wedgwood in Old Haymarket, Liverpool. By the time he was thirty-six, Henry Tate had six shops-four in Liverpool, one in Birkenhead, and one in Ormskirk. He also expanded into the wholesale trade in 1857.

Tate began a more significant commercial diversification in 1859, when he went into partnership with John Wright, a cane sugar refiner of Manesty Lane, Liverpool. This proved sufficiently successful for Tate to sell the six shops in 1861, and for the partners to establish their own refinery in the following year. A second refinery was built in 1864. Five years later Wright withdrew, and the company changed its name to Henry Tate & Sons. The subsequent years were difficult for British refiners, as imports of refined beet sugar, supported by state subsidies, entered the market from continental Europe, particularly Germany. Several businesses in Britain went bankrupt. Tate and other cane sugar refiners argued for some form of protection from such subsidized imports, but the chief response of his and other successful companies was to innovate and expand to meet competition.

In 1870 Tate built a new refinery in Love Lane, Liverpool. Here he incorporated the so-called 'Greenock method' of refining (Greenock then being one of the centres of refining), which included boiling the sugar in a partial vacuum, and at a low temperature, to reduce caramelizing. The refinery began operating in 1872, but before it did so Tate was introduced to another new method, developed in France by Bovin and Loiseau, using lime and carbonic acid to purify the sugar. Tate bought the rights to this, and introduced it to Love Lane. Much of Tate's commercial success was based on his ability to recognize an opportunity, and to his judgement in introducing new technologies from elsewhere. This was illustrated again in 1874-5, when he bought a derelict shipyard on the Thames at Silvertown. It was to be the site of his largest refinery, which began operating in 1878, under the control of his son, Edwin. The construction of a new refinery represented a significant risk for the company; the costs were such that Tate was forced to withdraw his daughter, Isolina, from boarding-school.

At the time of the move to London, Tate learned of a process for making sugar into small cubes, patented by Eugen Langen of Cologne. Hitherto sugar had been sold in blocks or 'loaves', which needed to be broken or chopped into smaller usable pieces. Tate (jointly with another refiner in Liverpool, David Martineau) bought the rights to the Langen cube-making process in 1875, with an agreement not to pay royalties until his refinery was producing them successfully. In 1892 Tate bought outright, for 12,000, the exclusive British rights to a superior cube-making process, which had been patented by Gustav Adant of Brussels. Tate's refinery began to use this process in 1894. The family firm became a private limited company two years later, when Henry retired and his eldest son, William Henry, was made its first chairman. It was said by some contemporaries that Tate was much guided by his first wife, Jane. She was the daughter of John Wignall of Aughton, Lancashire. They married on 1 March 1841 and had seven sons (one of whom died in infancy) and three daughters. Tate outlived his first wife and married for a second time, on 8 October 1885; his new wife was Jane Amy Fanny, daughter of Charles Hislop of Brixton Hill. Tate's family life was always private-indeed, he was a very private man. He was guided by the religious beliefs and values of his Unitarian upbringing, though he was attracted to the Congregational church at the time of his second marriage. He never sought public or political office except for serving briefly on Liverpool city council in the 1860s as a Liberal. He was also a JP in Liverpool and Surrey.

He took a great interest in art, sought to encourage young artists, and built up an extensive collection of contemporary paintings at his home in Park Hill, Streatham Common, London. He was a close friend of Sir John Everett Millais, director of the Royal Academy. It had been Tate's intention to donate his collection to the National Gallery, but the trustees were prepared to accept only a sample. Thus, after some difficulty in finding a site, he endowed a new gallery at Millbank in London. This became the National Gallery of British Art, but has always been far better known as the Tate Gallery. He donated sixty-five of his own pictures, and three sculptures to the gallery. They included many which reflected his conservative taste, such as Orchardson's Her First Dance and The First Cloud; Waterhouse's Lady of Shallot; Millais' Ophelia, Vale of Rest, and North-West Passage; and several by Tindeman, Reid, and-Queen Victoria's own favourite-Sir Edwin Landseer.

The building for the new gallery was designed by Sydney R. J. Smith, and opened by the prince of Wales on 21 July 1897. On this occasion Tate broke his self-imposed public silence and made a speech presenting the gallery to the people. The initial cost of the gallery had been 190,000 but later additions brought the total close to half a million pounds. In recognition of this, and other benefactions, Tate was made a baronet in 1898. He had twice declined this honour, but was eventually persuaded to accept by Lord Salisbury, who told him that a refusal would be a snub to the royal family. For twenty years the new gallery was administered by the National Gallery, of which Tate had been made a trustee.

Tate made many other donations, often anonymously, and always discreetly. They included 42,500 for Liverpool University, 3500 for Bedford College for Women, and 5000 for building a free library in Streatham; additional provisions were made for libraries in Balham, Lambeth, and Brixton. There was 10,000 for the library of Manchester College, Oxford, and, also to Manchester College, 5000 to promote the 'theory and art of preaching'. In addition he gave 20,000 to the (homoeopathic) Hahnemann Hospital in Liverpool in 1885, 8000 to the Liverpool Royal Infirmary, and 5000 to the Queen Victoria Jubilee Institute, which became the Queen's Institute for District Nurses. In 1887 he gave 5000 to the Tate Institute in Silvertown, to serve as a non-sectarian, and apolitical meeting-place for working people. It had a large hall and several meeting rooms, a reading room, billiard room, and nine bathrooms.

Andrew Barclay Walker  (1824-1893), brewer, was born at Auchinflower, Ayrshire, son of Peter Walker of the Fort brewery, Ayr. He was educated at Ayr Academy and at the Liverpool Institute. On completion of his education Walker was taken into partnership in the brewing business by his father, who had established a small brewery in Ray Street, near St Paul's Square in Liverpool. The business expanded rapidly and in 1846 a new brewery was opened in Warrington, where the family already had two breweries. In 1877 another brewery was opened in Burton upon Trent to specialize in the brewing of high-quality bitter ales under the title of A. B. Walker & Sons. On the death of his father in 1879 Walker became sole proprietor of the Warrington breweries and in 1890 the firm converted to a limited liability company, 'Peter Walker & Son Warrington & Burton Ltd', with Walker as the first chairman. Walker also acquired a number of colliery properties in Ayrshire and south Wales from which he derived a large income.

Walker entered the Liverpool city council in 1867. He was elected alderman in 1871, served the office of mayor in 1873-4 and 1876-7, and was high sheriff of Lancashire in 1886. At a cost in excess of 50,000 he built the Walker Art Gallery which was opened and presented to the town in September 1877. In 1886 he provided 20,000 for the building of engineering laboratories in connection with the Liverpool University College which was opened in 1889. He also contributed other large sums to charity and art and literature in Liverpool throughout his life. To the village of Gateacre, near Liverpool, he gave a village green and an institute, library, and reading-room. In recognition of his public services he was knighted on 12 December 1877, and created baronet on 12 February 1886. In 1884, for approximately 250,000, he purchased Osmaston Manor in Derbyshire, with furniture, model village, and estate. As a mariner he owned a famous steam yacht called the Cuhona on which he entertained several members of the royal family, including the prince of Wales.

In November 1889 Walker resigned from his position as alderman on the city council because of ill health. In recognition of his service to the city, Liverpool made him its first honorary freeman in January 1890, and in December the same year he was presented with his portrait by W. Q. Orchardson RA.

Walker was twice married. His first wife, whom he married in 1853, was Eliza, daughter of John Reid of Limekilns, Fife; they had six sons and two daughters. She died on 20 March 1882, and on 11 October 1887 he married the Hon. Maude (b. 1861/2), second daughter of Haughton Charles Okeover of Okeover Hall, Staffordshire, whose title derived from her having been a maid of honour to Queen Victoria. Walker died at his residence, Gateacre Grange, Little Woolton, Lancashire, on 27 February 1893, leaving personalty valued at 2,876,781 18s. 10d., besides much freehold property. He was survived by his second wife and was succeeded in the baronetcy by his eldest son, Peter Carlaw Walker (1854-1915), who also took over control of the family firm and lived at Osmaston.