Everton Village and the Birth of Everton Football Club

Hot on the heels of recent features about Everton’s first biographer, Thomas Keates, the Everton FC Heritage Society has released a new documentary film about the links between Everton village and the football club which adopted its name in 1879

Hot on the heels of recent features about Everton’s first biographer, Thomas Keates, the Everton FC Heritage Society has released a new documentary film about the links between Everton village and the football club which adopted its name in 1879. 

Produced in-house by father and son team Mike and Lewis Royden, the 25-minute film recounts the historic decision at the Queen's Head pub on Village Street to rename the St Domingo football team as Everton FC. Molly Bushell’s famous Everton Toffee, first developed just across the road from the Queen's Head and which gave the Blues their enduring nickname, is discussed by co-presenters Ken Rogers and Rob Sawyer.

The production team (l-r): Rob Sawyer, Lewis and Mike Royden, Jamie Yates and Ken Rogers

Society member Crawford Miles has contributed some wonderful archive footage of the early 1970s Toffee Lady mascot at Goodison Park to the film. The presenters go on to cover the inclusion of the lock-up tower on Everton brow in the club’s crest in 1938 – 40 years before it first featured on the royal blue shirt. 

Article continues below video content

Leaving the studio, Ken and Rob take a tour of the old village – much changed by the bulldozers in the 1960s and 1970s – and get rare access inside the famous lock-up, which is in sight of Everton’s new stadium on the waterfront.

The film can be viewed on the Heritage Society’s website, directly on their YouTube channel or below:


Reader Comments (15)

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Danny O’Neill
1 Posted 14/09/2023 at 00:15:21
What a fantastic watch. I recommend to all.

Thanks to Mike and Lewis for the production and the fascinating historical insights from Ken aided by Rob.

That shot of Bramley Moore Dock with Prince Rupert's Tower in the foreground looking over the new stadium could be iconic and should be used by the club.

Our history overlooking our future.

The badge debate is interesting. Some get emotive about it, but as the alluded to, we didn't really adopt it on the shirt until the late 70s / early 80s and even after that there were a few different interpretations of it. I actually quite like the new simplified version used on the grey kit. I'd like to go retro with the 70s diagonal EFC.

The crest will always be the crest, but we haven't always worn it on the shirt.

Not that anyone will listen, but if I had a say, I'd be naming those stands after our heritage rather than former players.

St Domingo
Prince Rupert
Not sure about the 4th. Can't think of one.

Just a few thoughts.

Great work. Great watch.

Rob Halligan
2 Posted 15/09/2023 at 08:28:12
Danny, a few weeks back I suggested St. Lukes, after the church in the corner.
Danny O’Neill
3 Posted 15/09/2023 at 08:32:48
That's the 4th grace Rob!

I'll give myself the cane and lines for not thinking of that!!

Hopefully see you Sunday.

Peter Mills
4 Posted 15/09/2023 at 09:17:28
Nice film, I enjoyed watching that.

Regarding the Toffee Lady at the top of the pink Echo, my recollection was that she was:-

A. Waving a rattle if we won.

B. Bursting a balloon if we drew - this baffled me for years, then I realised she was bursting it with a point (a point for a draw).

C. Crying into her handkerchief if we lost.

Can anyone confirm, or correct me, please?

Dave Abrahams
5 Posted 15/09/2023 at 10:18:57
I never knew that The Queens Head pub was where Everton FC was formed, I lived at the bottom of Everton Brow growing up then in Shaw St. just after I was married about a one minute walk to where the lock up was.

Looking at the door to the lock up when Ken Rogers opened it up it didn’t look as heavy as I remember it when I was about ten, it had been vandalised and the door was open and you could go inside and the door seemed to weigh a ton as you pushed it open one closed it over.

I was surprised Ken never mentioned the “ Forty Steps’ just to the left of the lock up as you looked up at it, it was a notable landmark to everyone who lived around there and Ken lived not far away along Netherfield Road, the Everton Palace picture house ( cinema) was at the top of the street.

The Toffee shop mentioned in London Road was later taken over by Sammy Lee’s dad and was a well known shop that sold cooked meats.

A lovely film that brought great memories from my childhood, by the way Peter (4) I know Rob is your relation he resembles you as well.

Peter Mills
6 Posted 15/09/2023 at 15:39:42
Dave#5. Poor Rob - first you lump him into the Mills clan, then say he resembles me !

I suspect you are confusing Rob with another Everton historian, James Corbett, who is my nephew.

I hope you are well, and that you might let me buy you a pint when Mike G is over.

John McFarlane Snr
7 Posted 15/09/2023 at 15:44:11
Hi Rob & friends, this thread has brought back many memories of my younger days, born in Mill Road Hospital in July 1938, and living at 79 Everton Road, approximately three hundred yards from the lockup, at the bottom of Rupert Lane.
We played 'Cowboys and Indians' on the right of the descending steps, on the left the lockup was surrounded by plants and flowers, it was probably smaller than I recall but it was big enough to stage a war against 'Baddies' and 'Red-Skins'
Dave Abrahams
8 Posted 15/09/2023 at 15:51:56
Peter (6),

Yes I made the same mistake a few months ago when there was a discussion about an Everton book coming into print, but it's not poor Rob, I did him a favour by saying he resembled you.

Yes it will great to see you and Mike when he comes over, it's pretty soon isn't it?

Peter Mills
9 Posted 15/09/2023 at 16:27:59

Mike is due over on 27 September and will be going to the 2 home games against Luton and Bournemouth. If we don't meet elsewhere, I'll make sure he gets to the Harlech before one or both of the matches.

Rob Sawyer
10 Posted 15/09/2023 at 21:43:45
It's nice to be adopted by several other Evertonian families, chaps!

Peter M – you are correct about how the Toffee Lady marked a win, draw and loss in the Football Echo (I said it incorrectly in the video – mixing up the draw with the loss depiction).

Jeff Armstrong
11 Posted 15/09/2023 at 22:20:15
I have a big affinity with St Domingo's church, top of St Domingo Vale, off Robson Street, Everton L5.

I was born 3 streets away, top of (Hartnup Street), moved later to the next street to the Vale (Salisbury Road). Anyway, I played football for St Domingo's in the Anfield Junior Soccer League in the '70s so basically I played for Everton (in my head).

My elder sister got married in St Domingo's in 1970, all the family (including in-laws) were massive Blues so big deal having a family wedding at the birthplace of EFC. Also, I remember a fantastic garden next to the church where they had annual garden parties (the only garden in the area).

Demolished in the mid-70s to make way for an OAP centre, much like Everton Village, The Cavern etc. Nobody in Liverpool had any foresight about heritage in this city, it seems even in the '70s the Aldermen and Mayors and councillors were as corrupt then as their children and grandchildren are today.

Kev Jones
12 Posted 19/09/2023 at 09:32:05
The video gave some fascinating background to the name change from St Domingo's FC to Everton FC. In the interests of knowing our history, did the filmmakers consider mentioning the connection of St Domingo's with the slave trade?

The island of St Domingo was a major staging post in the conquest of the Americas and to the slave trade in the Caribbean. On that picturesque landscape in Everton, the St Domingo estate and St Domingo Hall were built by George Campbell on the proceeds of privateering from the island and from slavery.

Campbell went on to be a mayor of Liverpool and St Domingo Hall was later rebuilt by John Sparling, who also made money from the proceeds of slavery. The original St Domingo chapel, which subsequently became the Methodist church, was built between two streets named after Campbell's estate.

Although the club's name change did not reflect the awareness of the slave trade that we in hindsight have, the link is part of our club history. How we acknowledge these connections is part of a wider conversation about how our links to slavery in the past relate to the present.

Dave Abrahams
13 Posted 19/09/2023 at 10:37:27
Jeff (11),

Are you related to Freddie Armstrong?

There was no bigger Blue than Freddie and a crackin' fella as well. Gone but not forgotten, Freddie!

Jeff Armstrong
14 Posted 19/09/2023 at 18:10:36
Hi Dave, no not related to Freddie, sounds a good’un though.
Dave Abrahams
15 Posted 19/09/2023 at 18:19:58
Jeff (14), It was just that Freddie lived in the area you mentioned and lived for Everton.

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