The famous south Liverpool road was rumoured to have been named after slave ship owner James Penny
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson has responded to a call for Penny Lane to be be renamed.
But now the mayor has said that there is no evidence to support this and the street got its name for a different reason when a Twitter user asked him to “do the right thing” and rename it.
Chatting this week with his online followers about the ongoing campaign to highlighting Liverpool’s slavery links Joe confirmed that plaques will go ahead later this year.
New information with be prominently displayed on Liverpool roads with names linked to slavery to explain the history and to educate others on Liverpool’s past.
Responding to a member of the public on Twitter yesterday, Mayor Anderson said the city still planned to proceed with plans to fix signs describing Liverpool’s role in slavery to roads named after slave owners.
The proposals, which could affect city centre roads like Rodney Street, Parr Street and Earle Street. have come under renewed focus as protests over racial inequality sweep the UK.
Continuing the discussion, one follower brought up Penny Lane and said: “Why don’t you do the bold step Joe, change Penny Lane’s name. “#dotherightthing”
Penny Lane became famous after The Beatles released a song of the same name and now the road has become a place where many fans visit to commemorate the band.
But Mayor Anderson has responded to the call for the lane to be renamed, as there is no evidence that it was named after James Penny.
He replied: “My understanding John is that there is no evidence that “Penny Lane” is named after slave trader James Penny.”It is debated and said that there was a toll bridge that cost a penny there hence its name.”We are working with BAME community and historians to look at this and what we should do.”
James Penny was a merchant, slave ship owner and infamous opposed the abolition of slavery.
He even defended the slave trade to the British Parliament.
The Twitter exchange came just after the University of Liverpool announced that they had agreed to change the name of its halls of residence after a group of students called on it to remove former Prime Minister William Gladstone’s name due to “his views on slavery”.
In an open letter addressed to Vice Chancellor Professor Dame Janet Beer, a group of students at the university called for Gladstone Hall, on the Greenbank Student Village site, to be renamed due to William Gladstone’s family connections to slaveholding.William Ewart Gladstone, born in Liverpool’s Rodney Street, served as Prime Minister for 12 years across four terms between 1868 and 1894, and is viewed as one of Britain’s most prominent former statesmen.
In a statement the University of Liverpool said that it wanted to send a clear message to its BAME students and staff and that it would work with them to “agree an appropriate alternative name for the hall.”