Liverpool’s City Historian retires 

Liverpool’s City Historian has been presented with a unique 3D model of the Town Hall at a special retirement presentation. 

Steve Binns – who has been blind since birth – has run guided tours of the Town Hall and St George’s Hall since 1990 – explaining in vivid descriptive detail the history of buildings that he has never actually seen.

He relies on memory and a precise knowledge of a building’s positioning, layout and design features when doing his tours.

His work led to him receiving an MBE from HRH Prince Charles in 2004, and an honorary degree from Liverpool John Moores University for History in 2007.

Lord Mayor, Councillor Malcolm Kennedy, gave him a model of the original Town Hall in a surprise presentation at the Town Hall this afternoon.

He said: “Steve is as much a Liverpool institution as any of the famous buildings that he gives tours of, and we are very sad to see him retire.

“He has entertained thousands of visitors and tourists over many years, giving them an in depth picture of the history of our amazing city.

“What is so remarkable is that he has done all of that without actually seeing any of the buildings that he knows every inch of.

“He has been a fantastic servant to the city and I am delighted to have been able to present him with a unique momento of the original Town Hall on the occasion of his retirement.”

The model that has been created is of the Town Hall that preceded the current building and was built in the late 1600s.

It was sited where the Royal Bank of Scotland is now located at the junction of Dale Street and Exchange Street East.

It was known as the Exchange, because the ground floor had an open Colonnade for merchants and market traders to carry out their business.

The model has been created by architectural firm Arup, Senior Technician Chris Jackson, said: “We’ve been pleased to use our 3D print technology at Arup to create the model presented to Steve today.

“We used photogrammetry to create the 3D mesh, which allowed us to develop a digital recreation of the original model without removing it from its enclosure.

“It is so accurate that the print even includes the same imperfections of the original building – allowing Steve to not only better understand the form of the old Town Hall building, but also allowing him to feel the history of the model created by J.R. Cafferata in 1851.”