Streets of Liverpool

I read a great book yesterday, called ‘Streets of Liverpool’ by Liverpool photographer and publisher Colin Wilkinson. It’s not one of those ‘nostalgia’ books of old photos that seem to get churned out by machines these days. Rather, it’s a careful selection of significant images, all accompanied by informative and opinionated text. And actually, it turns out the book is a printed up first year of a blog really. So I thought I’d recommend it to you.

Old photographs and old maps have always been part of the basic work kit for a sense of place. We’ve used them in films, obviously, but we’ve also used them on loads of gigs. A key part of understanding a place and helping people to think about its possible futures has always been to look at its past, to see how people have changed the place over the years, go and look at what remains from the past and see how it can be part of the future.

Everywhere is special. Wherever you come from, or live or work, is special. And my special place is Liverpool. I have myself taken thousands of photographs of it over the years. So rather than nick any from Colin’s blog, here are a few of my own.

Liverpool waterfront, from West Float, Birkenhead docks, early 1990s.

Everton, tower block being demolished, 2002. I think this is Ellison Tower.

Also 2002, Saunby Street in Garston, awaiting demolition.

Gone but not missed. The monstrosity that was the Paradise Street bus station and car park. Seen here in 2005 just before it was demolished to make way for Liverpool One.

And finally, a charming picture of an urchin from a bygone age. It’s 1957 or early 1958 and my family have just moved from inner Liverpool to our new house in Maghull, to the north of the city. And here I am on my tricycle. Picture must have been taken by ‘Uncle’ Bob, i.e. not a real uncle. He was the only neighbour with a camera. I am three or four years old.

Ronnie in the 1950s.

So, do go and look at Streets of Liverpool. It’s a treasure trove and a top quality piece of public service. Thank you Colin.

4 thoughts on “Streets of Liverpool

  1. Jan Baird

    That books sounds absolutely lovely, Ronnie. And your pictures are beyond compare. I especially like the one of you on the trike. It reminds me of me at that age. I’m just a year or two older than you, so I can relate to the whole scene, except I was in Rochester, NY at the time. Go, Liverpool! xx

    1. Ronnie Hughes Post author

      Yes, it was a monochrome world at the time wasn’t it? But in the same year as the photo of me, and not very far away, John Lennon was meeting Paul McCartney for the first time, and beginning their plotting of how to turn the world into colour!

  2. Barry Ward

    Hi Ronnie, Loved the headgear. Leather or PVC ? Certainly more fashionable than the old school cap, which never really suited you. I’ll look out for Colin’s book next time I’m back in the old city.
    Cheers old pal, Barry.

    1. Ronnie Hughes Post author

      Leather, Barry – with a fleece lining. It was about keeping warm. Health and Safety and PVC hadn’t been invented in 1957 had they?

      Good to hear from you on here Barry.

      And for other readers – me and Barry have known each other since just after this photograph. Friends in infant school from 1960 or so. And Barry’s sister Hilary owned the first Beatles LP I ever actually held. These things, I think, over time, matter deeply.


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