A brief history of The Florrie

The Florence Institute for Boys or ‘The Florrie’ as it’s known to most was built in 1889 by local philanthropist, Magistrate and Mayor of Liverpool, Bernard Hall. He wanted to create ‘an acceptable place of recreation and instruction for the poor and working boys of this district of the city’ and named the building in memory of his daughter, Florence, who died at the untimely age of just 22.
As a Magistrate Bernard was aware of the links between poverty and anti-social behaviour and he saw The Florrie as a way of keeping idle hands constructively occupied but its popularity spread further than the immediate community.
It became a hub for nurturing Liverpool’s sporting heritage with many championship teams including gymnastics, baseball, basketball and of course, football with Florence Albion FC. Many boxing greats also trained at The Florrie including Billy Williams, Dick Tiger, Larry Paul and Alan Rudkin MBE. 
As you would expect music was also a big part of The Florrie’s appeal. A young Gerry Marsden learnt to play the guitar here and held his very first skiffle gig in The Grand Hall before his band ‘Gerry and the Pacemakers’ became a global sensation with hits including ‘Ferry Cross the Mersey’, ‘I Like It’ and legendary Liverpool FC anthem ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’. 
The Florrie continued to serve the community for almost a century before closing in the late 1980’s and falling into a state of disrepair. After several building fires the future of The Florrie looked uncertain until a dedicated group of trustees and friends (along with a little help from The Prince of Wales) managed to raise the funds for restoration and The Florrie once again opened its doors for the people of Liverpool in 2012.

The Florrie Archive

If you’re interested in finding out more about the history of The Florrie head over to our dedicated historical archive website at theflorriearchive.org.

Within this digital archive you can find out more about the history of The Florrie. Take a glimpse into what life was like for Florrie boys and the young people of Toxteth and Dingle, understand the financial constraints and obstacles faced by the management committees, celebrate the achievements and share the laughs before being be moved by stories of hardship faced by Florrie boys and their families over the last 130 years.

The Florrie Archive project was funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund. 

The Florrie's Restoration

The story of the restoration of our magnificent grade II listed building takes place over 25 years from it’s closure in 1988 & its swift fall into disrepair, to its official re-opening by The Prince of Wales in 2013.  To find out more about our restoration head over to Our Restoration page.