Coming Home: We’re on our way home

DSC04373Since I announced our ideas about Coming Home on here three months ago there has been gratifyingly huge interest in what we’re about to do. And I can now announce that we’re ready to start work, having had confirmation that we’ve now got the loan finance we need.  £30,000 worth of investment in us from The Beautiful Ideas Co to add to some private investment we’ve already had.

Our board will be meeting in North Liverpool tomorrow to discuss the details of us starting work but, roughly, we’ll be setting things up during August, then finding our first home owners, empty properties and potential residents and, ideally, starting works on site during the autumn. Continue reading

At Brazilica: With Katumba

DSC04777“Get there early” Juliana had said “We’ll all be around Abercromby Square getting ready and that will be a great time for getting some good photographs.”

I’ve spent the day so far up in North Liverpool at the brilliant revival of the Walton Festival. Then early evening I get the bus into town, get off in London Road and walk across the top of the city centre to Brazilica.

Past the Bullring and the municipal housing around it.

Past the Bullring and the municipal housing around it.

On a perfect July evening.

On a perfect July evening.

Just perfect.

Just perfect.

Where Hope Street quietly waits for Brazilica.

Where Hope Street quietly waits for Brazilica.

Around the corner Brazilica is getting ready, as promised.

 

And here is Juliana.

And here is Juliana.

Continue reading

The Walton Festival 2016

DSC04533Mainly pictures in this post, to encourage you to go to the second day of the Walton Festival, today, Sunday 17th July. The first time this has run since the early 1990s and pulled together by local people and independent local businesses.

I get off the 68 in County Road.

I get off the 68 in County Road.

Close to Everton's ground.

Close to Everton’s ground.

Passing some of the local businesses who are supporting the Festival.

Passing some of the local businesses who are supporting the Festival.

Continue reading

The Swellies: Sea Kayaking with Sarah

In which our redoubtable Sarah Horton continues her marine adventures in pointy boats.

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It is with much enthusiasm that I take my second training course in sea kayaking in Anglesey. Having done my introduction course with Stuart Leslie at Sea Kayaking Anglesey in May, as posted here, I am now in Anglesey again to do my ‘IntrOmediate’ sea kayaking course with Roger Chandler of Coastal Spirit.

16.07 kayaking post_05

By coincidence I am in a similar kayak, and the same colour as last time – a Romany Surf designed by Nigel Dennis, made here in Anglesey. I am comfortable in this boat.

(Editor’s note: Those of us who remember the day Sarah went shopping for her basic kayaking kit can clearly see the inference here that a green Romany Surf boat is now very much in her shopping cart.)

We are going to be spending our weekend on the Menai Straits. The weather forecast is for windy and unsettled conditions, so Roger tells us we’ll be able to find shelter in this stretch of water. Continue reading

Liverpool: City of Sanctuary

DSC04387Today, Saturday there was a special City of Sanctuary event in Liverpool. I was there all day, live blogging to encourage people to come down. And loads did, For a special and welcoming reason.

“City of Sanctuary is a movement committed to building a culture of hospitality and welcome, especially for refugees seeking sanctuary from war and persecution. Our network of local groups includes boroughs, towns and cities across the UK and Ireland, all committed to building this culture of welcome across every sphere of society.

Wherever refugees go, we want them to feel safe and find people who will welcome them.”

This is what today was about and how it all went: Continue reading

The Welsh Streets: On Site Soon

DSC04324Yesterday evening I went to a gathering at Toxteth Town Hall. It was good humoured, relaxed, positive and felt very much like a new beginning, at last, for the Welsh Streets. There’s still a long way to go and a lot of work to do, but several hundred empty homes here look like they won’t be empty much longer.

This was mainly a look at a pilot scheme.

This was mainly a look at a pilot scheme.

A pilot scheme to test out the solutions most likely to work around here. Place First are the developers selected by Liverpool City Council to survey the area and start bringing proposals forward. They’re a company that specialize in private market rentals. When I first heard about this I went to the City Council Cabinet meeting, as anyone can, to express my doubts about this sort of single tenure approach. Preferring more of a mixture of ownership, renting and social lettings to balance places. Anyway, we’ll come back to that and the solution that might be emerging. Continue reading

The Small Matter of Democracy

DSC04262It’s been a confusing week in politics. The Referendum and its European aftermath that I’ve already written about on here. Followed by the spectacle of our two main political parties choosing consecutive days to appear to tear themselves apart. No one I know was very surprised to see the Tories behaving so badly, but when the majority of the Parliamentary Labour Party decided to turn on their own recently elected leader I was, to put it mildly, disappointed.

But we’ll come back to that after a bus ride to town.

Upstairs on the 80A.

Upstairs on the 80A.

A day of sunshine and showers.

A day of sunshine and showers.

Continue reading