The Independent Liverpool Card comes out for a walk.
This was a beautiful day. Cold and sharp with low, glancing, winter sunlight. The sort of day when no self-respecting camera would allow itself to be left in a bag.
Up to this point there have been pubs along the road, notably the Brookhouse and the Willowbank. After here the housing thins out, and so do the pubs.
Just along the road we find out why the pubs are closing.
The beginning of the Desolation of Smithdown. Formerly settled streets laid waste by the failed Housing Market Renewal Initiative.
Empty now for what? Seven years or more? Still, better than the emptiness opposite.
Here’s the thing, right? How would it be if local councils couldn’t approve housing projects unless and until they could show proof of the money to complete them? Standing aside from the argument about whether the houses in these streets had come to the end of their useful lives or not, this is a public sector strategy that’s decimated this place by starting what it has failed to finish. So not really a strategy at all then.
Aware that I’m starting to have an argument with a load of empty fields I walk on.
In its time this has been a Tesco and a Kwik-Save. Now it’s something much more independent.
Along Upper Parliament and into the Canning area of Georgian houses.
You almost wonder if, when they were building these in the 1820s one builder turned to another and said ‘You know these are going to look cracking in photographs taken on sunny days early in the winter – whatever photographs are?’
Remembering that this post is entitled ‘Walking to Mello Mello’ Liverpool residents may be getting a bit uncomfortable by now, knowing I should have turned left half way down Bold Street. Don’t worry, I know what I’m doing. And anyway, it’s my blog.
Near the top of what used to be a Yates’s Wine Lodge is a depiction of Conwy Castle. Curious, as just along the road is a pub called the Carnarvon Castle (I know that’s not the way to spell it any more, but that’s how the pub spells it).
Yes, I’ve come to meet them before going to Mello Mello, another of the 50 or more places covered by their Card. They’re here promoting and selling the Card, as well as meeting many of us who already have it, up until 22nd December. They explain:
“Obviously you can buy the Card online, but we’ve found a lot of people keen to get their hands on one even more quickly than that. So they come down here, have a chat with us, and go off, with their own card straight to one of the independent cafés, shops, bars and restaurants covered by it.”
So if you’re around Williamson Square go and say hello to them and get your own Card. As I’ve said before, it’s a ridiculously good idea and for £10 you not only get yourself a year’s worth of discounts in some of Liverpool’s best places, you also support the independent traders who are so big a part of what makes Liverpool special. And no, they’re not paying me to say this. The only thing wrong with their idea is that I didn’t have it first!
I’m getting hungry now, time for lunch.
Who are or were Hastie & Patterson of the splendid old looking sign then? Electrical engineers, and they’re still going.
“Free bar snacks with a pint of guest tap;
Two meals and a bottle of wine for £20;
Whiskey chasers £2 with a pint of guest tap.”
All aimed at the evening market then, I’d say. So I wasn’t here for a discount, I was here for my lunch, already knowing how splendid the food is these days. In fact I’m not even going to review the food, read Independent Liverpool’s own review and story of the place for that.
‘Life’ by Keith Richards, in case you’re interested. Scurrilous, surprisingly likeable, passionately musical and highly recommended.
After that, me and The Card and the camera got the bus home.