The People of Gibraltar
2019 - Patio Arengo - Gibraltar

During the 1936 Council elections the Unions didn’t hold back on candidates who they thought of as their enemies. One of them was Lionel Imossi a leading coal merchant who was criticised because of his refusal to allow the Republican flotilla to refuel in Gibraltar during the Spanish Civil War. He was, they argued, a man who would never do anything for the working people. 

In one Union meeting a member of the audience complained bitterly that his home at Patio Arengo - then owned by Imossi - had been under repair for half a year during which time his landlord had actually increased his rent. 

Photograph of Lionel’s wedding reception party taken on the balcony of Arengo’s Palace - Bishop Fitzgerald is flanked by - I think - Imossi on the right and his new wife Victoria nee Sacarello on the left - Curiously I am distantly related to Victoria since her father and my grandmother Memo Sacarello were siblings.  (Unknown)

The 1834 census identifies over 50 houses as “Arengo’s Buildings”. Most of these were almost certainly the homes of working class people. Many of them were clustered around the north eastern side of Bruce’s Gully and it is tempting to speculate that at least one of them was Patio Arengo with a few others lining Palace Gulley.

Arengo’s Palace in its heyday ( Early 20th century )

Arengo’s Palace middle right with distinctive statues on its roof - the clusters of houses bottom left are probably working class accommodation - The area within the photograph is flanked by a hidden Palace Gulley at the top and an equally hidden Bruce’s Gully at the very bottom of it  (Date unknown)

Plan showing Arengo’s Palace with Palace Gully on the left and Bruce’s on the right and the Police Barracks at the bottom   

Palace Gully - Top looking west towards the police barracks in Willis’s Road
  Bottom -  looking north     (2019 - with thanks to Anthony Aquilera)

Bruces Gully   
(2019 - with thanks to Anthony Aquilera)

Unfortunately I still don’t know the exact location of Patio Arengo. One suggestion is that it would have once been found somewhere at the very west end of Palace Gully facing the Police Barracks building in Willis’s Road. That would place it very near the western end of Arengo’s Palace Lane. 

Arengo’s Palace Lane   (2019- with thanks to Anthony Aquilera)

Arengo’s Palace Lane - From north to south to Bruce’s Gully and then south again towards Palace Gully 

Wherever it was, those that lived in it during the middle 20th century would have had an almost daily view of the shabby-chic structures that made up the entrance to Arengo’s Palace which would have been just next door.

Entrance to Arengo’s Palace - top painting by Gil Podesta    (20th Century)

2019 - Patios of Gibraltar - Introduction

2019 - Patios of Flat Bastion Road - Gibraltar
2019 - Patios of Lynch’s and Turnbull’s Lane - Gibraltar
2019 - Patio Arengo - Gibraltar
2019 - Downtown Patios - Gibraltar
2019 - Rosia Patios - Gibraltar
2019 - Patios de la Buena Vista - Gibraltar
2019 - Castle Steps Patios and Beyond - Gibraltar
2019 - Upper Town Patios - Gibraltar
2019 - Patio Schammarri - Gibraltar
2019 - The Patios of Fraser’s Ramp - Gibraltar
2019 - Other Patios - Gibraltar
2019 - Patio Schott 1 - Gibraltar
2019 - Patio Schott 2 - Gibraltar

2019 - Los Patios de Gibraltar - A Disappearing Way of Life