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Welcome to the George Garrett Archive Project

The project, run by Writing on the Wall with the backing of the Heritage Lottery Fund, is designed to celebrate and preserve the legacy of the Liverpool born writer, George Garrett (1896-1966)

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.

Special thanks to all our sponsors and supporters, and particularly our volunteers for helping us make this possible. However, we’re a long way from finished and have already started on the next stage of our work. If you are interested in getting involved in working with us please get in touch by emailing Mike – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Course Workshops

The George Garrett Archive Project launched a series of workshops in September 2013 that explored George Garrett’s writings – short stories and plays, his involvement in Liverpool’s radical social and upheavals and his life as a Merchant Seaman, with a particular focus on his time spent in America and his involvement with the International Workers of the World (The Wobblies). Course participants gained skills in archiving and conserving Garrett’s work, and have played an active role in researching his life and bringing his work back to Liverpool for display in the newly refurbished Central Library and Records Office.

Course documents can be accessed from the main menu or links to the right.
Module 1 Module 2 Module 3 Module 4