Public service at its best. One bus that takes you to Wavertree, Old Swan, Tuebrook, West Derby, Norris Green, Croxteth, Fazakerley, Aintree, Walton, Bootle, Seaforth, Litherland, Waterloo and Crosby? That’ll be the 62 then, let’s go!
Waiting at the Penny Lane bus terminus, the ‘Shelter in the middle of the roundabout’
Here’s our bus.
We both get on and we’re off across the top of Wavertree High Street on another blue sky day.
Into Lake Road and Mill Lane, past Picton Playground.
Through Old Swan, then along Green Lane.
Along to Muirhead Avenue.
Some of the loveliest housing the City Council ever constructed.
Then along past West Derby and Croxteth Hall, where we went a few Saturdays ago.
Past Norris Green.
And the Cobalt Housing office in Croxteth.
These lovely old houses on Lower House Lane.
Across the East Lancs Road, past the new Coronation Court.
We worked here in the very early days of ‘a sense of place’ when it looked like this. Liverpool’s first tower block.
Doing much of our work with the residents here, in the British Legion.
Into Fazakerley now, past the hospital.
Along Longmoor Lane Aintree, past Kirkdale Cemetery. Yes, I realise it’s not in Kirkdale. For Kirkdale then?
To The Black Bull, an area defined by the name of its pub.
Through Walton Vale.
When I was little we’d come here as a realistic alternative to going to town, as it was packed with thriving shops. Not so at the moment, sadly.
Along Rice Lane now, past the former Walton Hospital.
Looks like plans to turn the site into the usual ‘new concept’ in something or other have stalled. No blue plaques in evidence, but this is where I was born. Paul McCartney too.
And no border guards in evidence, but this is Stuart Road, the edge of Liverpool.
We’re in Bootle now.
A lot of people get off at the ‘New’ Strand Shopping Centre. We’ll be coming back here later.
Once again noticing the uncanny thriving of the pet care industry in all this ‘austerity’.
Along Knowsley Road towards Seaforth.
Coming out by the Container Port.
Along through Waterloo. No, I wouldn’t call this Crosby yet, even though that’s Crosby Library there.
Past Barrington’s. An independent Funeral Director Sarah often works with.
Turning left into College Road. Now it’s Crosby. And after a long and interesting ride we say farewell to the 62. We’ll be following the rest of its journey on foot.
Passing Marine AFC’s ground.
We soon arrive at our planned lunch destination. One we’ve found through Independent Liverpool’s wonderful Card.
It’s busy, but we get pretty much the last table. The place is as exquisite as Independent Liverpool had told us. Both of us taking care to have moderate first courses so we can get to the cake.
We have tea too, of course.
Served in exquisite crockery, as you’d expect.
After the cake we need a good walk!
Sad to pass this lovely but closed library.
Springtime crocuses in Alexandra Park.
In Coronation Park, examining this gypsum ‘erratic’ – a gift from the last Ice Age.
Now we’re approaching Crosby Town Centre. First, a pleasant surprise.
This independent baker’s with a chain of shops around here had closed a couple of years ago. But clearly someone’s now bought the business and is giving it another go. Well done and good luck.
But approaching the centre of town things aren’t looking too good.
Pretty but fairly blighted streets.
A sense of desolation where you might expect a busy early Saturday afternoon.
Local traders holding on.
But many gaps now in the streets.
Including this former Satterthwaite’s.
I’m saddened and surprised. Nice, solid, genteel Crosby, where many of the people have often voted for the Tories. And this is their reward. This is this what the government’s so called ‘austerity’ has done to their place?
It doesn’t seem to match the clearly well settled, reasonably prosperous roads around it.
Later on at home I find that Sainsbury’s are involved in the blighting too. More here from local group ‘A Better Crosby’.
We decide not to go back on the 62, which is only twice an hour on Saturdays. Instead getting on a ‘one every five minutes’ 53.
Past Waterloo Station.
Looking much like it did late in the 19th Century.
Past where the swing-bridge across the Leeds and Liverpool Canal used to be.
It looked like this. With Litherland on the other side of the bridge.
Next we arrive back at Bootle Town Centre.
Where grand plans were had in the 1970s. High rise offices full of local government and civil service jobs.
And the New Strand shopping centre would be so good local people wouldn’t even want to travel into Liverpool.
Here’s how it is now.
Or closed down.
Only the pound shops looking busy.
And the pawnbrokers.
Feels to me like the front line of the class war that is currently Britain’s economy. This is still one of the richest economies on Earth and yet whole communities of our people are left living their lives like this, while the bankers whose activities triggered off the ‘austerity’ queue up for their next bonus millions.
We cross the canal.
Along Stanley Road it’s almost deserted. 3o’clock on a Saturday afternoon.
Ahead of us, more empty office blocks. I once went to a school that stood where that block is now. Demolished in the 1960s to make way for the coming prosperity.
From the silent street we catch the 47 into Liverpool.
Where they’re clearly not aware we’re currently writing and photographing this series of bus articles. The windows are so dirty you can barely see Scotland Road through them.
Arriving in Liverpool, we cross town along Sir Thomas Street to get on the 86 for home.
An interesting day then, right the way round Liverpool by bus. A day full of thoughts and surprises. Not all of them good ones.
Yes, it’s 62 pictures from the 62 bus journey – in case you were counting!
See all of the ‘Great bus journeys of the world’ here.