As you’ll know if you’ve read the previous post this has been, in some ways, a bit of a week. So on a day that promised sunny intervals I felt I could do with a good gentle walk. Starting at the top of Princes Boulevard, then a circular route through Liverpools 8 and 1, back to the beginning.
Often on urban walks I’ll focus on side streets and hidden gems. Today I decide to stick mainly to main roads and maybe see things I’d normally walk or drive past.
Across Princes is Granby. Saved from demolition now. Should be some more news soon.
This side’s called Princes Road, the other side’s Princes Avenue.
This C of E church is known as the ‘Welsh Cathedral’ – built by Welsh builders you see.
Taken over by some other Christian group a few years ago, things are looking pretty desperate in there.
- Next along is the lovely Greek Orthodox church.
On the corner of Princes and Upper Parliament the Cathedral looms.
Looking across Catharine Street to lovely Egerton Street. The line of the street entirely spoiled by its 1980s additions along there. The City Planning Department must have been asleep that day.
Also on Catharine Street, the lovely Italian Garden at St Philip Neri.
And one of Liverpool’s favourite independent pubs and gig venues, The Caledonia.
Opposite, in this building that’s been empty for years a furniture shop has now opened.
Obviously betting on the gentrification of Canning to see them through.
Around the corner, the former Oxford Street Maternity Hospital. Now student housing, inevitably.
It’s the place where our John was born. So was my daughter Clare.
Round the corner is somewhere that’s also very special.
And nearly ready to open.
This means a great deal to so many of us who miss the old Everyman and its Bistro so much. Here’s our short film of its last day in 2011.
And now it’s nearly back.
- A new Everyman for all of us.
And I understand from people who’ve been inside that it looks great and feels ‘oddly familiar’. Can’t wait.
Next it’s the Catholic Cathedral.
A piece of 60s architecture I think works perfectly.
I begin looking up from my life.
Though I have no religious beliefs I find this building inspirational.
And always have.
Since I was an altar boy here, at its opening celebrations in 1967.
Leaving the Cathedral, looking along Hope Street at the new Everyman.
- Around in Rodney Street, the tomb of William Mackenzie, Victorian civil engineer and gambler. Urban myth says he was buried sitting up at a card table, yeah.
Arriving at town now, time for some serious looking up.
But before we do, a word about this place on Bold Street.
I never pass here without a fond smile. The woman on the mic in the shop announcing today’s bargains is a gem and her demonstrations of a Scouse accent in full flow are peerless. Today’s particular treat was ‘Come on ladies, get yer cupcake dresses(?) – supposed to be £19 but today we’re giving them away for a fiver!’ A while back someone was sniffy about her on Twitter. I immediately stopped following them.
Anyway, looking up. If you’ve been around this blog for a while you’ll be more than familiar with Liverpool city centre by now. But even if you live here you might not have done much looking up at the buildings above the shops. Here they are.
Bold Street – the promised sunny interval has now arrived.
More Church Street.
Lord Street. British Home Stores letting the side down here.
Paradise Street. Pretty much everyone letting the side down here, it’s Liverpool One.
Coming briefly back to earth, at the end of Paradise Street.
Just next to Liverpool’s original dock.
How they looked.
Next it’s round to the Bluecoat for lunch.
Along School Lane. That’s Herbert’s Hairdressers up there.
Along Wood Street.
Top corner of Duke Street. This buildings been empty for years.
Now it’s becoming, yes, student housing.
What will we do, in the end, with all these places full of tiny rooms? Squeeze whole families fleeing the Tories’ Bedroom Tax into them?
Tory government is temporary, class is permanent. The Chinese Arch.
Street art along Great George’s Street.
The hopes people arrived here with.
At the corner of Great George’s and Parliament Streets, a curiosity.
I’ve heard that these trees twirl around, though I’ve never seen them doing it.
But yes, they’re on turntables.
And they’ve got ‘Emergency Stop’ buttons!
Next Mill Street. Used to be one of the main roads through the Dingle and into town. Then this end was blocked off, with predictable results.
At least they’ve got a Titanic model as an end feature, so that’s all right then.
Along Park Road then. The lovely speckled brick houses of Dombey Street behind the chapel there.
Then this curiosity. What some call the Fireproof Suppository.
Yes, we’re in Liverpool 8.
Approaching the end of the walk. Springtime arrives in the churchyard of the Ancient Chapel of Toxteth.
Then it’s down the dip in Ullet Road.
And across Princes Park to where we started.
A good walk then and a reminder of the power of looking up and looking out from your life. As I write the rain is bucketing down, but that was a good sunny interval we had today.
And remember during 2012 we catalogued a whole year of Friday Walks.