Pauline Hadaway

  • Practical Utopias

    Published 1 March 2023
    At the Atheneaum, Liverpool on Thursday 2 March 2023 at 6.30 pm

    Join Kevin Bean, Heather Alcock and Mick Owens to talk about three idiosyncratic practical utopias: the Chartists’ Land Plan, Port Sunlight and the 2012 Olympic Park.

    The discussion begins in the nineteenth century, a particularly fertile time for social experimentation in England, with a look at two very different attempts at improving the lives of working men and women in a rapidly industrialising economy: the Chartist Land Plan, with its vision for extending democratic rights to working men and Port Sunlight, one man’s vision for an ideal factory town built in an arcadian and utilitarian form. Coming right up to date, we look at the Olympic Park regeneration as a promised transformation in East London from post-industrial dystopia to family friendly utopia.

    Can practical development and planning bear the weight of political visions and dreams of perfection? What compromises have to be made between pragmatism and utopianism or between freedom and social engineering? Are utopian dreams suitable mechanisms for political transformation or distractions from ‘real politics’? Can they deliver all the benefits that they promise or are they always doomed to disappoint? Or  is the desire to create something new a necessary starting point for future progress? 

    Want to continue the conversation over a post-event dinner? The Athenaeum’s Dining Room is taking pre-bookings. To find out more and make a booking, please contact [email protected] or phone 0151 709 7770


    Kevin Bean

    Kevin worked as a lecturer in Irish Politics at the Institute of Irish Studies, University of Liverpool for eighteen years and continues to work as a writer and researcher. His interests include the history of British Labour movement and he is the author of The New Politics of Sinn Féin (2007). He writes on British and Irish politics in a variety of magazines, newspapers, and books as well contributing to radio and television discussions on these issues.

    Heather Alcock

    Heather is a PhD researcher at University of Liverpool, studying the global value of Port Sunlight as a heritage site and influential utopian settlement. Heather has twenty years’ experience in the research, analysis, adaptive use, restoration and sustainable management of listed buildings and conservation areas in the USA and UK. Her current research has supported Port Sunlight’s bid to the United Kingdom’s Tentative List for World Heritage Site inscription.

    Mick Owens

    Born and bred on the Wirral, Mick worked for the Mayor of London, where he played a senior role in planning and development, including in the preparation for the 2012 London Olympic bid. Now a researcher, writer and lecturer, his new book, Play the Game, captures the drama of the Olympic bid and tells the story of the regeneration in the words of those involved.

    The Liverpool Salon has been hosting public discussions around philosophical, political and cultural topics on Merseyside for over seven years. Join us at Liverpool’s historic Athenaeum club for Practical Utopias, the second in a new series of public conversations that take utopia and dystopia as themes for exploring the possibilities of building other, and better, societies, while reflecting on the shortcomings of our own.


Women Co-operators in the years following The Great War

November 4, 2015 Comments Off on Women Co-operators in the years following The Great War

Event Title: Days of Hope: Women Co-operators in the years following the First World War.
Venue: The Learning Loft, Rochdale Pioneers Museum, Toad Lane, Rochdale, Lancs.
Time: Thursday 12 November at 3-5 pm.

Policing the Public Gaze

December 3, 2012 Comments Off on Policing the Public Gaze

Policing the Public Gaze: The Assault on Citizen Photography, by Pauline Hadaway, director of Belfast Exposed gallery, reveals the growing restriction of citizen photography – by community safety wardens, private security guards, and self-appointed ‘jobsworths’.

Recent Publications

May 21, 2011 Comments Off on Recent Publications

Relaunching Titanic: Memory and Marketing in the New Belfast

Relaunching Titanic critically considers the invocation of Titanic heritage in Belfast in contributing to a new ‘post-conflict’ understanding of the city. The authors address how the memory of Titanic is being and should be represented in the place of its origin, from where it was launched into the collective consciousness and unconscious of western civilization.

Click here to view the book on Amazon

Policing the Public Gaze: The Assault on Citizen Photography

March 10, 2011 Comments Off on Policing the Public Gaze: The Assault on Citizen Photography

Pauline Hadaway reveals the growing restriction of citizen photography – by community safety wardens, private security guards, and self-appointed ‘jobsworths’.

This ranges from children being told that they can only take photos of particular parts of the body, to sports clubs told they should remove all photos of kids from their websites.

Hadaway argues that it is important that people are able to take spontaneous photographs of public life, whether of children or any other contemporary touchy subjects: ‘We need to stop this self-censorship.’