As mentioned in Newsletter 189, the former Lamb pub in Wavertree High Street has a new owner. Local solicitor Bernadette McDonald has made it the headquarters of her practice, BMD Law. We asked her to write about her intentions for the building.

"I was born in Wavertree and have always lived here. I attended Our Lady of Good Help School in South Drive and even as a child was obsessed with the area's history. My mother was born in Laburnum Grove and aged 18 months moved to Frederick Grove, where her parents lived until they passed away in 1979. My maternal grandmother lived in Ash Grove and my maternal grandfather was originally from Southdale Road. My great-grandmother lived in Laburnum Grove until her death in 1980 and her mother originally lived in Ashfield. We have traced back to my mother's grandmother's father, who was a trader who donated the stained glass windows in St Thomas Church, Ashfield. My family have had various businesses in the Wavertree area, from builders to estate agents.

"I graduated from law school in Liverpool and trained in Manchester whilst still a resident of Wavertree. Once I was able to start my own practice I did so, and my first office was in Sandown Lane (what is now the IMAP Business Centre, a former chapel). Then, 3½ years ago, I moved to 194 Picton Road, which had formerly been a GP surgery (mine, my mother's and my grandmother's). Now I am here in The Lamb, a former public house also frequented by me in the past.

"I am a general lawyer and want my practice to be traditional in the sense of the old family solicitor, who can help with everything. I build relationships with my clients and they return to me for other things and I hope this will continue through the years. My intention is to serve the people of Wavertree in a different way from other 'local' solicitors, in that I am indeed a local and want to break down the boundaries/barriers of what people consider solicitors to be.

"Inside The Lamb, I have undone some of the 'modernisation' undertaken by the various breweries who have owned this fabulous building, and have started to lovingly restore the building to its former glory, carefully respecting its enormous history. I know people have been concerned that as a solicitor, presumably a heartless solicitor, I would rip out the wood (God forbid) and bar (over my dead body) and put in a rabbit-warren of offices to pack in fee-earners like battery hens. If I wanted such a horrible environment I would have bought a new build!

"As well as being the local solicitors' office for the next 30 years I hope The Lamb will continue to be a meeting place of the local people. I hope to re-establish the Wavertree Business Association and have the business people of Wavertree meet under 'The sign of The Lamb'. I am also mindful that Our Lady's parish social club has closed, and that the various pensioners' groups that used to meet there may now not have anywhere to go. The function room has been badly affected by neglect and various leaks, but I hope that this will be restored to glory in the next couple of months, so that I can invite the people of Wavertree in. We also hope to hold regular open days in the gardens for the local residents and children, and to invite the local schools (Our Lady's and Wavertree C. of E.) into the building. I hope to encourage them to look at the other buildings up and down the High Street, and I hope to instil in them the same love of local history that I have."

Bernadette - who has recently become a member of the Wavertree Society's Committee - has kindly offered to open the building to the public on Sunday 9th September 2012 as part of Wavertree's Heritage Open Day. She looks forward to welcoming visitors between 2 and 4 pm.

Photo of The Lamb at top of page © COPYRIGHT Bernadette McDonald 2012

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