The Great Escape

The Great Escape Mersey Police HQ, Liver Street, Liverpool
The Great Escape
Mersey Police HQ, Liver Street, Liverpool

The Great Escape

Mersey Police HQ, Liver Street, Liverpool

 

Life-size and anatomically correct, this statue in bronze weighs four tons, and at its highest point is 15ft. Before it was cast in bronze, the statue was made from rope, which explains why it is sometimes called the Rope Horse. But it’s the rope that’s holding this horse back, that’s stopping him from making his great escape. The man behind him is standing on the rope from which the horse is made, forcing the horse to rear up to his great 15ft height, and potentially unravel himself in the process. It’s the same situation that many thousands of human beings found themselves in when Liverpool was the busiest slave port in the country. And in the whole of Europe. Liverpool’s slave ships would sail first to Africa, loaded with guns, tobacco, alcohol…goods that were traded upon arrival for human beings. The ships would then navigate across the ocean bound for the West Indies or for America where those human beings would be exchanged for cold, hard cash. The first slave ship to set sail from Liverpool was in 1700. It transported 220 people into grindlingly hard lives of labour and humiliation. By 1792, 131 slave ships were leaving Liverpool every year. It’s estimated that 40, 000 African slaves were traded through ships that had come out of Liverpool. By 1807, the wicked practice had been abolished, thanks to the efforts of men and women like Charles Fox, and to the many slave revolt leaders who reared up against the ropes that bound them. At that moment, slavery should have been confined to history. But it’s happening to this day. And that’s the greatest tragedy of all.

Alex Written by:

There are stories all around us.

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