All Together NOW! editor TOM DOWLING reports on a very special day for his family …
IT WAS great to be part of a really uplifting event this week that highlighted some of the magnificent things being done in the city.
It was also an occasion that filled my family with pride – the naming of a food and clothes bank as the Adele Dowling Food Union, in recognition of the support my late sister-in-law gave to the community.
Liverpool Six Community Association had kindly invited us all to the event in Queens Road – the area where Adele lived and served for eight years as a city councillor, the area where we played as kids, and, tragically, the area that now ranks among the poorest in Europe.
Last year, the L6 charity gave food and clothes to more than 1,100 people – 60% of whom were in low-paid work.
Lord Mayor Cllr Mary Rasmussen said: “The L6 Association is doing a terrific job, helping people faced with serious financial problems. Adele was always there to help. She came into politics for all the rights reasons – to help people. That’s all she wanted to do. It is only fitting that she will be remembered this way.”
Cllr Gerard Woodhouse, who is also CEO at the charity, added: “Adele did so much for our community. She was always helping us here, always trying to fix people’s problems – right up until the day she died. Through the Adele Dowling Food Union we’ve made sure that she will be remembered every day.”
FOOTNOTE: Just before attending the L6 Community event I’d been reading about the Liverpool Bread Riots that took place in the coldest of winters in 1855.
Thousands of Irish immigrants (including my great great grandad), who’d fled their small farms during the Great Potato Famine, were starving in ‘Little Ireland”, in the Great Howard Street area of the city.
Frost and ice had blocked the canals and port, preventing fleets of ships from entering or leaving the docks and causing massive unemployment.
For weeks, my family, and hundreds like them, had been totally reliant upon the goodwill of charities for a few handfuls of bread and biscuits.
Fast forward almost 170 years and how moving it is that our family name is now linked to a charity doing the same vital work …
Her first job was at the now long-gone Mecanno toy factory, before spending more than a decade at the city’s famous George Henry Lee store.
Then it was helping husband Brian on their Great Homer Street market stall, then in their Chanamie fancy goods shop in Kirkby, and later in their shops in Ormskirk and Southport.
“But without doubt her main work and enjoyment came from being a city councillor,” said Brian. “She considered it to be a real honour and a privilege, and she loved every day of the eight years she served.”
Hugely disappointed at being deselected in 2019 when the Momentum group took controlof a number of wards, Adele accepted the situation with great dignity and continued, unabated, with all her community work.
Adele died in April 2020.