Liverpool Codman

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Liverpool Codman

Postby Nick Jackson » 08 Jun 2014, 00:05

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Herewith, beneath the lamppost, the frame of the Liverpool Codman show which, I believe, was a permanent structure. This would have been one of the best pitches in the city - hundreds of people were arriving in Liverpool by train and passing this spot as they made their way down to the pier head to sail to Europe and America.
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Re: Liverpool Codman

Postby Chris » 08 Jun 2014, 12:07

Yes, that was the site the Codmans were granted "in perpetuity". But perpetuity doesn't last for ever(?) for when the crowds round the booth became too much of a hazard the booth was eventually moved to St. Georges plateau. It was there when I was performing in Liverpool at TJ Hughes - so that would be the mid 1960s. It was just the skeleton frame - I never saw it covered or them performing there.
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Re: Liverpool Codman

Postby Nick Jackson » 08 Jun 2014, 16:16

Here's the show on the same site but dressed.

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That proscenium is now in the Museum of Liverpool and is pictured below with my youngest nephew, Luke.

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Re: Liverpool Codman

Postby Chris » 08 Jun 2014, 18:08

Quite a wide booth isn't it? Come to think of it, it needed to be because it could accomodate two men. Bert used to tell me about when he and his brother worked with their father one would go into the booth at the end of a sequence and take over for the next. In that way they could keep the show going non-stop, all day if necessary. With a constantly changing audience, as this site offered, there was no need of a beginning and an end since nobody stayed for the full show. People would stop and watch a few minutes or until their bus was due, then move on. As long as they dropped that was all that mattered. While one was in the booth it was the job of the other two to make sure that nobody escaped with contributing. Actually the best bottlers I have seen were both ladies - old Mrs (Jack) Codman in her wheelchair at Llandudno and Ted Green's wife at Rhyl.
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Re: Liverpool Codman

Postby Nick Jackson » 08 Jun 2014, 18:25

And here is a pic of the first of those old ladies, Ann Codman, with me – in the days when I had a waist!
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Mrs Codman died in November 1994. Her funeral was at the Catholic church in Llandudno. As her cortege made it's way up to St Tudno's on the Great Orme, we stopped for a minute's silence at her pitch on the prom.

I only met Mrs Green once and she mistook me for someone else and was quite fierce. She thought I was another Punchman who'd been getting some rather bad press!
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Re: Liverpool Codman

Postby martin@no10 » 10 Jun 2014, 21:54

Is this the Codman frame you mention Chris? Looks like these kids were having some fun with it.
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Re: Liverpool Codman

Postby Nick Jackson » 10 Jun 2014, 23:14

That's near the newer pitch at the side of St George's Hall.
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Re: Liverpool Codman

Postby Chris » 12 Jun 2014, 12:50

I can't quite place that picture Martin. Firstly judging by the kids' trousers it appears to be early 1950s or earlier whereas I thought the pitch was on the Lime Street traffic island until the mid 50s. Also the booth I remember was not against a wall but was on top of the steps of St. George's Hall, very lonely, exposed and skeletal. I don't remember the proscenium top being left on. Of course I was viewing it in the winter.
Actually when the Codmans were told they had to move they were given the choice of the windy St. George's plateau or the busy Pier Head. They chose the former, perhaps because it was so close to the original location. Had they decided differently they might have been performing still.

Here's an earlier picture of the original Lime Street site, with St.Georges Hall steps just edging in on the left.

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Re: Liverpool Codman

Postby Nick Jackson » 12 Jun 2014, 23:06

There are several pics of Dick performing on that very site.
Can't find them right now but, herewith, a couple of rather rare ones:
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The lower one shows early days at No1 Lime Street. Above is, I'm fairly sure, the show built for the Codmans by craftsmen from Liverpool's Sandon Statues and gifted by the city.
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Re: Liverpool Codman

Postby Chris » 12 Jun 2014, 23:54

The Sandon booth is rather splendid isn't it?
I like the porthole on the front.
I remember when I first saw the Llandudno booth it had a similar circular hole on the front, covered in perforated zinc (readily available for making "meat safes" in those pre-refrigerated days) which served the dual purpose of peep hole and sound vent.
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Re: Liverpool Codman

Postby Nick Jackson » 13 Jun 2014, 00:20

And have since discovered that's Richard Codman II on the left and Richard Codman III on the right. Wonder if the other one is Bert.
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Re: Liverpool Codman

Postby Chris » 13 Jun 2014, 09:07

I can't tell - they are much younger men than the Bert I remember. But even if so, which Bert? Herbert or Albert?
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Re: Liverpool Codman

Postby James » 13 Jun 2014, 09:27

Stunning photos Nick, thanks for sharing. I wonder what happened to that booth! Really impressive.
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Re: Liverpool Codman

Postby Chris » 13 Jun 2014, 21:42

Here's the booth on the plateau - in use!

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And here are pictures of the two Richard's and Bert

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Richard Mortimer being Bert's Dad.
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Re: Liverpool Codman

Postby martin@no10 » 14 Jun 2014, 14:10

Great photos!
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