"Dr Poggi's Shelter" stands on the corner of the promenade and Magazine Lane next to Vale Park. The shelter is named after a Dr Poggi who owned the New Brighton College which stood on the site of the present shelter. It was originally built as a hotel which was known as the Liscard Hotel. Around 1850, the hotel's name was altered to New Brighton Hotel as New Brighton developed into a seaside resort though sometime after that it changed again to the Stanley Arms.
A Victorian painting of the building shows that the former hotel was a large 3-storey building and faced out towards river and had its own sea wall with railings and steps down to the beach. The hotel closed sometime in the 1850's and was opened by Dr Poggi an Italian who had fled his country during the war for independence. He was a close friend of Garibaldi who was the leader of the Italian nationalists fighting to reunite their country. It is known that Poggi came to England sometime around 1850 and had run a college for young gentleman in Seacombe before transferring to New Brighton. Poggi more than likely came to England as a refugee following the collapse of the Italian nationalist forces which were defeated by the French in 1849.
Garibaldi actually sent his 2 sons Menotti (b.1840) and Ricciotti (b.1847) to Poggi's college. Originally, Ricciotti had gone with his father to Nice, France and attended college there around 1850 before being placed in the care of an English woman called Emma Roberts. Emma Roberts must have been trusted by Garibaldi because she took the young disabled Ricciotti back to England for orthopaedic treatment and education.
It has been recorded that they were in residence when the school caught fire in 1864. However, Ricciotti and Menotti would have been 17 and 24 respectively which puts in doubt whether both were there at the time of the fire. It has been claimed that Menotti's diary was discovered in 1880 and he mentions the fire. Recent research shows that by around 1858, he was fighting with his father back in Italy which casts doubt on whether he went back to the college. The same research states that Ricciotti spent his childhood and adolescence in England but was back in Italy for the Italian Unification celebrations in 1870. Therefore, the reference to the fire in Menotti's diary may refer to his brother's presence at the school in 1864 or Poggi kept in touch with the family after their return to Italy.
The fire led to the subsequent closure of the college due to the damage caused by the fire. Poggi then moved the school to Victoria Road, across from the Trocadero Cinema in New Brighton, but there is little evidence that it existed for too long.
The former school in Magazine Lane was used as a baker's shop and a warehouse before it was demolished in 1899. This probably occurred following or during the building of Egremont Promenade or the development of the former estates of the Woodlands and Liscard Vale Hall into Vale Park.
I was wondering if anybody could shed a little more light on this subject? Has anybody got any info about, or pictures of, Dr Poggi's New Brighton College or the Liscard Hotel/New Brighton Hotel/Stanley Arms?