The Littlewoods Heritage Project: working with students and the community to preserve John Moores’s legacy

  • Ruth Doughty Liverpool John Moores University, Faculty of Arts, Professional & Social Studies
  • Rhianna Arnold Liverpool John Moores University, Faculty of Arts, Professional & Social Studies
  • Martin Jones Liverpool John Moores University, Faculty of Arts, Professional & Social Studies

Abstract

The iconic Littlewoods building on Edge Lane, Liverpool, is often referred to as the ‘Gateway to the City’. However, in spite of its prominence as a striking landmark, many are unaware of its amazing history. Beneath the bricks and mortar, the building reveals a fascinating tale about working life in the 20th Century. Completed in 1938, the site was originally used to house the Littlewoods Pools.    

 

John Moores and his brother Cecil were ahead of their time employing a workforce of mainly women. Over 30,000 employees worked for the company at its peak. The building was commandeered during WWII to make barrage balloons and Halifax bombers and they were one of the first companies in the UK to introduce IBM computers.    

 

This panel comprising of staff and student interns, will discuss how the team is collectively working with the community of former Littlewoods employees to create a digital archive and website in time for the centenary celebrations of 2023.  We will discuss how student interns have been key in digitising and cataloguing the Littlewoods Archive held at National Football Museum (photographs, Pools coupons, letters and documents), along with vintage Mail Order catalogues donated to the project. We will also play clips from interviews with former employees that Film Studies students have recorded as part of the taught curriculum. Finally, we will discuss plans for forthcoming events involving the MA Immersive Media students creating content for the 100 year celebrations in the Anglican Cathedral and legacy artefact for the new Littlewoods Film Studios.  

Published
2022-11-09
Section
Presentations