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VCBW Government of a City under seige


Besieged Liverpool is in principle directed by the Mayor’s office Walpole having been granted emergency powers by the City Council.  The Old Town Hall on Dale street has become the permanent residence and offices for his and his immediate staff.

Modern day Town Hall - Martins Bank building to left and Exchange Flags offices behind

The elected City Council meets every 6 months to vote on whether to continue to extend Walpole’s powers and for the purposes of these votes is expanded to include the non-Liverpool City boroughs ont he North bank of the Mersey (Knowsley, Crosby, Sefton tc;) These irregular expanded Council meetings are held outside in the Exchange Flags or  in St Georges Hall which also acts as a refugee & homeless clearing station, & emergency field hospital using volunteers of the Salvation Army and other charitable groups.

St Georges Hall sitting opposite Lime Street Station


St Georges Hall Interior

St The Councillors will all be involved in other activities whether in party militias or relevant Local Defence Volunteer commands, Emergency Relief Committees or some other quasi-automonous body concerned with running a portion of the City. Those boroughs with their own councils continue to meet and frequently contradict or confound pronouncements with the centre, but more on that later.Behind the Town hall is an area called Exchange Flags surrounded by art deco buildings forming a square.  Excellent architectural detail here http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/speel/place/lpoololdth.htm

These 1930s office buildings have been commandeered by the Naval Army and Militia  (NAM) committee. Essentially every force of say over battalion size is invited to send at least one representative to this unwieldy body.  Many smaller ones still send representatives who hang around exchange flags trying to catch the ear of someone influential in order to secure supplies, medical care for casualties or a significant place at the front. The Wirral militias are also not represented so send ‘ambassadors’ to try to secure aid.  The square of the Flags is sometimes used for General committee meetings which are unruly affairs but more generally the work of the committee is done through sub-committees.Formal subcommittes run specific areas of the war,  A few examples but essentially these are influx all the time so you can rotate and mix them up as the war continues.For instance the former Naval contingent pretty much controls the ‘Maritime Warfare and Supply Soviet’  (MWSS) in harness with various seamen & docker unions and pro-Liverpool shipping magnates from old Liverpool Anglican families.  Captain Lewis as Soviet Chairman, acting Admiral of the Free State Navy & Commodore of its Merchant Marine has a clear control at a strategic level. His problem comes when getting subordinate commands to act on his orders given the political divisions and collapse of discipline in the Navy.Former regular Army men, the various Irish contingents  and Spanish Civil War veterans dominate the Grand Strategy Committee (GSC) which is often deadlocked as a result.Public transport, docker and lorry driver unions dominate the Supply & Lolgistics Committee (SLC) and are sometimes short-sighted about their rights compared to wartime extingencies.An Aviation & Air Defence Council exists but the Peoples  Fleet Air Arm don’t report to it and only follow it’s orders when it suits them.It is little wonder that various recruitment posters for militias are often graffitised – for instance ‘Pick up a Rifle and Fight’ a Workers Defence Corps poster has ‘and report for your first committee session’ scrawled underneath it by some local wag.The plus side of all this inertia is that it gives player characters more freedom of action and that their actions and influence in the course of the game might change this chaotic state of affairs. A nice view  of some more exchange flag offices here


But it’s not all fighting.

Martins Bank

Martisn Bank hosts various ambassadorial and governments in exile offices as well as the Economic & Welfare Committee which does stirling work in ensuring supplies and aid reaches the civilian population through various faith and political charitable groups. The EWC is also in charge of wartime production – marshaling the various co-operatives, workers co-operatives and those privately owned businesses in production for the war effort. It’s an uphill struggle but due to the hard diligent work required and the unsexy nature of it the EWC does at least have a free run at it without the chaos and confusion of the NAMC. To assist it in its work and in the face of a wartime control economy.  

EWC has enlisted for Inland Revenue, Customs & Excisemen (as wellas Factory Inspectors) to act as Industrial Inspectors to give them up to date and accurate figures on production so they can place the right supplies in the right place. Of course cosy deals between militias and the sympathetic factories or overseas suppliers can upset this balancing act. It is then the EWC hits the chaos of the NAM in trying to get things rectified.  The Industrial Inspectors Office is actually based in the Liver Building handy for the docks, Due to the confrontational nature of their work Inspectors now go armed with sidearms and if possible elements of customs uniform http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HM_Customs_and_Excise.

Looking at the rest of the Pier Head .

Liver Building, Cunard Building & Port Authority Building the 'Three graces'

The Cunard building & Port Authority is used for the supervision of the unloading, bunkering, chandlering etc of merchant vessels through combined staff of the EWC,MWSS, SLC etc; The Cunard Building also hosts the local office of the American Relief Committee  (the so-called ‘Cunard Yanks’,) and the Irish Relief Body  while the Port Authority Buildings hosts the Comintern Assistance Office. The ALFIES – Liverpool’s cross militia spy/commando force who report directly to the Mayor’s office are based in the Liver Building under the cover of being Industrial Inspectors. As well as handy for the town hall this is also close enough to allow them to spy on the Comintern/Russians, Americans,  Irish, NAM etc;

Liverpool has put a lot of its governemnt eggs in one small basket. however the entire area is festooned with anti-aircraft fire and destroyers and merchantmen on the river add to the firepower. The various squadrons of the  City’s air forces are also spaced around the centre to scramble to its assistance. Any raids by the RAF,  BUF League of Airmen or the international  anti-Bolshevik ‘volunteers’ of the Falcon Legion will face a very tough job.


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