Thursday, November 8, 2012

Ladies Cafe at Exchange Station

Exchange Station - Liverpool, England (1892)
Ladies Cafe at Exchange Station

Location: Liverpool, England

Opened: 1889

Closed: ?

Exchange Station was the former railroad station in Liverpool. The original station structure dated back to 1850, and after an extensive renovation and expansion it was renamed the Liverpool Exchange in 1888.

Although the Ladies Cafe opened about a year later, notice that it was still an afterthought following the "very extensive premises" constructed for the men. Nevertheless, this sounds like this was a very pleasant combination of a ladies cafe and ladies reading/writing salon. Even though no women--at least that we know of--were involved in the planning, creation, or management of this space. But hey, too often that's still the case over 100 years later.

The Exchange Station was closed in 1977, and mostly demolished shortly thereafter. However, I seriously doubt the ladies cafe survived that long.

As is often the case, I can find no reference to the ladies cafe in any of the standard histories of the Exchange Station.

From the Temperance Carrier, November 2, 1889:


Liverpool is well catered for. What with private venture, the Clerks' Cafe Company, and last, but not least the British Workman's Public House Company, which has no less than sixty-two houses, no town in England is better provided for. Not content to let "well" alone, Mr. Peskett, the energetic secretary of the British Workman Public House Company, is ever on the alert for "fresh fields," so far as Liverpool in concerned. The new venture is a ladies cafe, in connection with the very extensive premises occupied by the company in the Exchange Station. This will prove an immense boon to ladies coming into town to shop, either by rail or from the Cheshire side of the Mersey. The new cafe is fitted up with every requisite, and is furnished in luxuriant style. Writing materials may be obtained, and every accommodation is found for those desiring to write letters or other communications. This is a very great convenience, and one which would be acceptable in many cafes and coffee taverns patronised by the sterner sex.


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