Carl Bernard Bartels

Carl Bernard Bartels was born in 1866 in Stuttgart, Germany. He was a german protestant and mastercarver, the son of Carl Julius Bartels, also a woodcarver, from the Black Forest (4) region in Germany, who lived from 1841-1911.
Carl Bernard Bartels in his gargen with a Liver Bird on a plinth

He came to Britain on his honeymoon at 21 years of age, and loved it so much he stayed.

Bartels entered and won a competition to design the Liver Birds which stand on the top of Walter Aubrey Thomas's Royal Liver Building on the Pier Head in central Liverpool.

He was interned in POW Camp Knockaloe (5), Isle of Man, 10743, Hut 5.6 from 1914-1918.

At the end of WWI he was forcibly repatriated to Germany without his wife, and could not return unless an employer asked for his services. His nephews' employer did and he returned, he lived in Harringay, London until his death in 1955.

Further commissions include:- the chapel inside Durham Cathedral (6), the old "Mauretania" (7) (Cunard Liner) and various stately homes. He exhibited at The Royal Academy in 1951.
To view or download my booklet on Carl Bernard Bartels click here

The Liver Birds Centenary

The mythical Liver Birds celebrated their centennial in 2011 and we acknowledge two men for giving them to us, Walter Aubrey Thomas (1), designer of the Royal Liver Buildings, without whom the Liver Birds would have nowhere to nest, and Carl Bernard Bartels (2) (see right), the designer of the Liver Birds, who was erased from the history of our city. However this has changed, in July 2011, when the Liver Building Birds were one hundred years old, and Carl Bartels was proclaimed a Citizen of Honour.

The Liver Birds have spawned many myths and legends (see my PDF booklet opposite for a more in-depth history) and they stand proud looking over the Mersey and Liverpool, however for Liverpudlians and tourists alike, we cannot appreciate their majesty up close and this leads me nicely to a topic close to my heart - The Third "Liver Bird" Project.

This was started in the year 2000, and its aim was to persuade the City to provide a Third "Liver Building Bird", full-size, at ground level, standing on a Liver Clock dial. This would serve as a focus of civic pride, a piece of public art, a memorial to our 800th Birthday as a city in 2007, to our year as European Capital of Culture in 2008, and the centenary of these birds in 2011, as well as a tourist attraction per excellence. Unfortunately, those who had the power to move it forward failed to do so, and to this day, it languishes.

However, the Liver Birds as a concept are coming into high profile in a few ways at present. The new Museum of Liverpool already has a relief image, full size, in a main gallery, while Councillor Bob Anderson is hoping that a giant Bird, similar in scale to the "Angel of the North" (3), can be built on Everton Heights. These two laudable projects must not be allowed to replace the need for a third Liver Building Bird, down at ground level.

Also, the Liver Bird image has found its way onto the delicious Liverpool Tarts (edible version) (q.v.) and on top of cups of frothy coffee known as "Lyverchinos."

These are external links to Wikipedia articles (1,2,3,4,6,7),external link to Isle of Man Guide (5)