The morning of Thursday 22nd May dawned with light rain but even so we had a good turnout for the Village Guided walk around Port Sunlight. There were 7 of us in total and we all got the train over to Bebington and found ourselves in the Lady Lever Art Gallery Café having tea/coffee and cake. After our refreshments and as the rain had eased Diane Jennings decided to do the guided walk.
The houses total 900 and had housed all the employees of Lever Brothers. The village was first founded in 1888 by William Hesketh Lever after replacing the Warrington factory. The village is set in 130 acres of parkland and as well as 900 houses there are 12 public buildings and various monuments and memorials. The whole village is designated Conservation Area and nearly every building is Grade II listed. We saw Bridge Cottage where Lever and his family lived for 2 years while work was carried out on their home in Thornton Hough. The house is one of the largest in the village and was used for the film ”Chariots of Fire”. The most impressive monument is Port Sunlight War Memorial erected in 1921. It is one of the largest in the UK and designed by Sir William Goscombe John. Lever Brothers employees, killed in both World Wars are listed on it and we were all amazed at the huge list from such a small village.
After our walk we all went back to the Lady Lever Art Gallery and looked at the Turner Exhibition which was most impressive. The rain stayed away and only really started again just before completing the walk.