16 Things We All Remember from 90s Liverpool

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90's liverpool

Somebody lash on some Cast or Lightning Seeds, we’re going back to 90s Liverpool!

For anyone who was around back then, you probably remember that 90s Liverpool was a pretty grim place. Going past the end of North John Street was like falling off the edge of the world. Chavasse Park was just a massive hill full of goths with pentagrams shaved into their heads.

But it wasn’t all doom and gloom. There were loads of amazing, fun things to do, see and… well, drink… in 90s Liverpool. Let’s take a trip down memory lane…

1. Wade Smith

90s Liverpool
Photo credit: Liverpool Echo

Getting the bus into town to buy yourself a shiny new Nike hoodie from Wade Smith was like a rite of passage. Fighting through swarms of school kids to revel in (what felt like) abar 13 floors of scouse approved designer wear, just to be first out of your mates to get the new Reebok trabs. Am I off my head or do I remember there being a climbing wall in there too?

2. Rockport

90s Liverpool

Scousers take a lot of pride in their appearance, so bankrupting your ma into buying you a pair of Rockport for school was the norm in 1995, probs cause they were the closest things to trainers you could get away with wearing without being fumed at by your teacher.

3. Vibrant waterproof coats

90s Liverpool
Photo credit: Daily Express

The current scally uniform consists of all black waterproof jackets and pants (even when it’s cracking the flags) finished off nicely with a ket wig, but 90s Liverpool was all about bright Helly Hansen and North Face coats in a rainbow of colours. I imagine they adopted a black uniform later so they could FTM more discretely – it’s hard losing the plod in a hi-vis vest after all…

4. Kickers

90s Liverpool

90s fashion loved big fuck off clumpy shoes, and if your Mum couldn’t afford a second mortgage for those Rockports, there was always Kickers (or if they were really skint, POD). These clumpy bad boys were another school favourite- and you had to leave the massive red or green suede tag on them too, just so no one thought they were blag.

5. Bon Bleu

90s Liverpool

Bon Bleu trackies were like the Juicy trackies of 90’s Liverpool. You’d have each trackie in every single colour they made it in- one for every day of the week, and paired it with some blindingly white Ellesse trabs- fit. If you didn’t get a new Bon Bleu track and a Morgan De Tai school bag then you were no one, and I mean fucking NO ONE.

6. Heritage Market

90s Liverpool
Photo credit: Liverpool Echo

Ahh the Heritage Market. A massive disused dock warehouse where you could buy pretty much anything- Knock off clothes, sweets, video games, the lot. Not forgetting the fella outside who used to auction off meat wearing a microphone out the back of a lorry.

7. Old school Liverpool pubs

On a night out in 90’s Liverpool, you used to be able to go out with £20 in your purse and come home bevvied, with change. Liverpool still boasts a number of boss pubs, but I reckon there’ll be a McCooley’s on every street by 2020. Who remembers The Norwegian Blue on Bold Street, or The Old Monk on Hanover Street? If you only remember that place as the Barracuda, or Varsity, you’re too young.

8. 90s Liverpool clubs

90s Liverpool
Photo credit: Liverpool Echo

Clubbing culture in Liverpool peaked in the 90s- no club in town today could rival Cream. 90’s babies still mourn The 051, and who could forget The Paradox in the middle of Aintree? A boss little night out that didn’t mean trekking into town and you’d probs get in without getting ID’d. It closed sadly in 2001 after the locals finally spat their dummy out about the noise (rude).

9. Wacky Warehouse

90s Liverpool
Photo credit: Pinterest

The biggest worry of every kid growing up in 90’s Liverpool was the day they were too tall to get in the Wacky Warehouse. Soft play just isn’t what it used to be– the Wacky was the lawless land that health and safety forgot. It was the only place worthy of holding your 8th birthday party, while our parents got smashed next door in the Rocking Horse.

10. Brookside

90s Liverpool
Photo credit: Metro

90s Liverpool’s favourite TV show. There was never a dull moment on Brookie- from bodies buried under the patio to that weird storyline about the Ebola epidemic. As well as the dramatic storylines, Brookside marked a massive turning point in British telly, being the first British soap to feature an openly gay character, and the first of UK television to feature a pre-watershed lesbian kiss.

11. Quiggins

90s Liverpool
Photo credit: Liverpool Echo

Yeah, Quiggins kind of lives on, in Grand Central on Renshaw Street- local haunt to all those kids with various coloured fringes that hang round Chavasse Park. But the REAL Quiggins was on School Lane in the 90s. You could get a tattoo (underage) for about £15. You’d lash Nirvana on the juke box and then spend hours mooching round the moody stalls, coming out with 4 Grin bags full of offensive slogan T-shirts and a red hair streak.

12. Lewis’s and George Henry Lee’s

90s Liverpool
Photo credit: Liverpool Echo

Two massive department stores from 90s Liverpool that are no more. I’d go to George Henry Lee’s after shopping with my nan for a cuppa at their little cafe that served those fit teacakes, and a Christmas shopping trip wasn’t complete without visiting their fab Grotto. George Henrys Lee’s became part of John Lewis and moved to Liverpool one- and as for Lewis’s, Dickie Lewis and his big willy still haunt the corner of Ranelagh Street with that statue as a weird little memorial – you can even buy a coaster of him from our shop yano.

13. Pleasure Island

90s Liverpool
Photo credit: Liverpool Echo

Pleasure Island on Otterspool was the destination of about 70% of our school trips. It always felt like it took YEARS to get there by coach even though it was only down the road. Your teacher would encourage you to have a go at some of the mad scientific experiment activities, but all you’d be interested in was conquering the “death slide”- that big fuck off blue one in the indoor play area- or getting to the Quasar for a laser battle with your mates.

14. C&A

90s Liverpool
Photo credit: Liverpool Echo

90s Liverpool was all about Saturday shopping trips- it’s mad to think that nowhere used to trade on a Sunday. The C&A on Church Street was a favourite of Liverpool shoppers during the 90s- Clockhouse for the younger generations. You can still shop at C&A- if you’re willing to go to the Netherlands. It’s still massive over there

15. Woolies

90s Liverpool
Photo credit: Liverpool Echo

It was a sad day when Woolies went- it was the place to go for all your back to school stationery, CDs (or LPs if you’re that old), and their boss pick and mix- it’s just not the same from B&M or Wilkos. Pick and mix theft was probably one of the main contributing factors to its financial decline and eventual closure in 2009. Soz.

16. Quarters

Quarters still has a little shop in Clayton square, but I doubt it still stocks these bad boys…

90s Liverpool
Photo credit: Amazon

You could go to Quarters and blow your £2 pocket money and come out with 3 carrier bags full of glitzy girly essentials – hair bands, tattoo chokers, and that god awful tooth gem trend. To be fair, if Britney says tooth gems are a thing, then they’re a thing.

Which of these 90s Liverpool moments do you remember most fondly? Let me know with a comment, and tell me any that I’ve missed!

You can of course buy all the Liverpool gifts you could ever want from the Scouse Bird Shop

11 COMMENTS

  1. I miss the real Quiggins. That abomination they have in Grand Central is a poor imitation.

    I also miss Dodo’s and that shop in St John’s that was upstairs on the corner by the escalators that sold clothes. I used to go there with my nan and spend all my birthday money on amazing items like lace dresses and boot cut pants with gold chain belts. Dead classy.
    It wasn’t Storm, I can’t remember it’s name but it is driving me mad…

    • Sarah, the shop you’re thinking of is Smartell I believe!

      PS 90s Liverpool was Rat and Parrot, it became Norwegian Blue in around 2002!

  2. Remember Rio over the road from the Adelphi! Sold combination outfits in all different colours (usually seen worn in the paradox!) boob tube tops, tie up the back tops, mini skirts, asymmetrical skirts. Loved it in there!!!

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  4. Oh my god I love this! I was a teenager in 90s Liverpool and cannot think of a better time! I can relate to so much of this, I hadn’t thought about Quiggans for years until I read this, I always went there for mood rings and joss sticks! Was a big fan of lightning seeds, cast but also Space! George Henry Lees was THE place to go for tights, especially the super shiney expensive Jonathan Aston tights with the seam up the back of the legs! Anyone who was anyone had a pair of Jonathan Aston tights! St Johns market was the place to go for a Spliffy coat or Eclipse coat, before heading to “the palace” to pick up a set of happy hardcore tapes for my Walkman and nightclub flyers for my bedroom walls. Shopping as a teenage girl in 90s Liverpool, Bay Trading was good for a cheap dress and a lot of the school girl brats boasted of Oil Lily. I was lucky enough to get a Benetton jumper…..but it was knock off from the dock market! I swear 90s Liverpool was the best era in the entire history of fashion, from rainbow jeans to jelly shoes, I had the lot, dolly shoes in every colour and millions upon millions of bath pearls from the body shop! I was always doused in Dewberry perfume from the body shop too! Then came Sunflowers perfume from Elizabeth Arden and lashings of Charlie red or So body spray! Weekends (& most school nights) were all about friends and cheap cider, who can we blag to get us some ale from the offy tonight?! School was all about writing secret letters to your mates even though they sat behind you and who had the best pencil case & most rubbers! 90s Liverpool for me was the best and I wish I could go back in time just for a day and talk about the fit lads, go shopping, get a pasty from Sayers and some pink frosted number 17 lippy. I used to think life was a bit crap but the truth is, it was boss!

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