Between 1972 and 1975 Eric Midwinter, Principal of the Liverpool Teachers’ Centre, established a unified organisational structure responsible for delivering continuing professional development (CPD) to Liverpool schools. His ambition was to embed community education practices across the city’s entire teaching force. However, during a seven-week period crossing Christmas and New Year 1976, the concept of a unified teachers’ centre was abandoned. Historical analysis of these events raises levels of historical awareness amongst educationists in order to open their eyes to ‘the real nature of their work’. Taking a long view of the relationship between serving teachers and the professionals who provide their CPD offers a new perspective on the potential of ‘in-service’ training to embed an educational philosophy, organisationally and ideologically, within the practice of teachers on a macro scale. Events in Liverpool suggest that the vested interests of professional groups outweigh the impetus for radical change.