George Garrett, Merchant Seaman, writer, playwright and founder member of Liverpool’s Unity Theatre, was a radical activist and a ‘militant advocate of tolerance’ who travelled the world and wrote a series of short stories and plays that led George Orwell, who he met and gave guidance and support to in his research for ‘The Road to Wigan Pier’, to say, 'I was very greatly impressed by Garrett. Had I known before that it is he who writes under the pseudonym of Matt Low in the Adelphi (a magazine published in the 1920's and 30's) and one or two other places, I would have taken steps to meet him earlier.'
This is a highly significant body of material relating to Liverpool's literary, cultural, social and labour history, which also carries important social and historical material about Liverpool's ocean-going, and radical political and syndicalist links to America and Latin America. Garrett’s work whose occupies a unique and significant position as the central point of a compass that links Liverpool's literary, cultural, social, political, theatrical and sea-going history.
We held a series of events in May during Liverpool’s Writing on the Wall festival to celebrate the launch of the George Garrett Archive exhibition at Liverpool’s Central Library: A launch at Central Library attended by over 100 people; published a small book – an Introduction to George Garrett; held a discussion on Garrett at War and peace by Tony Wailey; presented three public talks led by our volunteers ‘The Garretteers’; launched this website by Stephen from IVSO; created a beautiful installation designed by art and design students from Liverpool John Moores University, which has appeared in venues across the city and will be situated at Anchor Courtyard at The Albert Dock throughout the summer; produced and staged a superb performance of George’s first play, Two Tides, at Liverpool’s Unity Theatre, which George helped to found in 1936-37. It’s fair to say that George’s name, and knowledge of his life and work, is some way better known than ever before.