As part of a wider study of Liverpool’s celebrated architectural history, I completed this reconstruction watercolour of the Bluecoat as it would have looked in 1921, from the tower of St Peter’s Church, Church Street, with which it shared a space at that time (for one more year anyway). The Bluecoat has always been a part of my family life in its various forms, from the early seventies. Aside from its uniquely superb architecture, it has always fascinated me that this oldest secular building in central Liverpool survived the ups and downs of its 300 years and I wanted to recreate a view of the building and its surroundings that would give a new perspective on a previous time in its heritage. And so, this picture visits The Bluecoat at a time in its history when the surrounding 19th century environment was still intact but when, in reality, it was struggling for a future in an unsettled post-war Liverpool. Much worse was to come of course.

Thankfully, as Liverpool fell and rose around it, it survived to become the vibrant cultural space and art centre it is today.