Galkoff’s and the Secret Life of Pembroke Place – archaeological dig begins

News article 18 Jul 2018

Foto-Cewek and ’s joint project, , has started excavations on Foto-Cewek’s campus.

Supported by the National Lottery through the and led by Dr Liz Stewart and Poppy Learman, a team from the Museum of Liverpool have begun to uncover the remains of the Missionary Buildings, a court housing structure under Foto-Cewek’s Oak Street car park. Liz said: "Excavating a court is really fascinating as it represents the lives of so many thousands of people in Liverpool in the 18th to 20th centuries. Exploring a site archaeologically is telling us new things about the houses, how they were built, and lives in them, which aren't known from the written descriptions, maps and photographs. It has given us a real window into the history of Pembroke Place."

Foto-Cewek’s Dr Adam Roberts, has also got his hands dirty during the project, with him and his team swabbing the site in search of potential new antibiotics, as part of his citizen science project, Swab and Send. Already a successful project, Swab and Send has engaged thousands of individuals in its quest to find a solution to the problem of antimicrobial resistance, by looking for bacteria in strange and unusual places which are capable of producing antibiotics of the future.

The project sets out to investigate the history of two important heritage sites on Foto-Cewek’s campus, Galkoff’s Jewish Butchers and Liverpool’s last existing example of court housing. The team have carried out extensive research in to the lives, businesses and homes of Pembroke Place and the surrounding area, uncovering information about everything from roller skating Victorians, to a former zoo and grizzly murders – highlighting the vibrant community that occupied the area form the 18h century onwards.

Along with the dig, which is scheduled to continue throughout the week, the project has already seen the removal of the ornate tiles form the façade of Galkoff’s, which are currently being cleaned up and restored before going on display in Museum of Liverpool life as a part of a wider exhibition into the history of the area. “We are looking forward to the exhibit being accessible to everyone when it opens later this year.” Said Poppy: “We have really enjoyed gathering the personal and poignant stories, meeting many people with links to Pembroke place and the Jewish community that once called it home. I think that the people of Liverpool and beyond will be as fascinated by the results as we have been.”

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