Great bus journeys of the world: the 62

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'

Waiting at the Penny Lane bus terminus, the ‘Shelter in the middle of the roundabout’

Here's our bus.

Here’s our bus.

Across the top of Wavertree High Street.

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.

Into Lake Road and Mill Lane, past Picton Playground.

Through Old Swan, then along Green Lane.

Through Old Swan, then along Green Lane.

Along to Muirhead Avenue.

Along to Muirhead Avenue.

Some of the loveliest housing the City Council ever constructed.

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.

Past Norris Green.

And the Cobalt Housing office in Croxteth.

And the Cobalt Housing office in Croxteth.

These lovely old houses on Lower House Lane.

These lovely old houses on Lower House Lane.

Across the East Lancs Road, past the new Coronation Court.

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.

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.

Doing much of our work with the residents here, in the British Legion.

Into Fazakerley now, past the hospital.

Into Fazakerley now, past the hospital.

The 6214

Along Longmoor Lane Aintree, past Kirkdale Cemetery. Yes, I realise it's not in Kirkdale.

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.

To The Black Bull, an area defined by the name of its pub.

Through Walton Vale.

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.

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.

And no border guards in evidence, but this is Stuart Road, the edge of Liverpool.

We're in Bootle now.

We’re in Bootle now.

A lot of people get off at the 'New' Strand Shopping Centre. We'll be coming back here later.

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'

Once again noticing the uncanny thriving of the pet care industry in all this ‘austerity’.

Along Knowsley Road towards Seaforth.

Along Knowsley Road towards Seaforth.

Coming out by the Container Port.

Coming out by the Container Port.

Along through Waterloo. No, I wouldn't call this Crosby yet.

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.

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 FC's ground.

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.

We have tea too, of course.

Served in exquisite crockery, as you'd expect.

Served in exquisite crockery, as you’d expect.

After the cake we need a good walk!

Sad to pass this lovely but closed library.

Sad to pass this lovely but closed library.

Springtime crocuses in Alexandra Park.

Springtime crocuses in Alexandra Park.

In Coronation Park, examining this gypsum 'erratic' - a gift from the last Ice Age.

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.

Satterthwaite's Bakehouse.

Satterthwaite’s Bakehouse.

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.

But approaching the centre of town things aren’t looking too good.

Pretty but blighted streets.

Pretty but fairly blighted streets.

A sense of desolation where you might expect a busy early Saturday afternoon.

A sense of desolation where you might expect a busy early Saturday afternoon.

Local traders holding on.

Local traders holding on.

Here too.

Here too.

But many gaps now in the streets.

But many gaps now in the streets.

Including this former Satterthwaite's.

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.

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.

Past Waterloo Station.

Looking much like it did late in the 19th Century.

Looking much like it did late in the 19th Century.

Through Seaforth.

Through Seaforth.

Past where the swing-bridge across the Leeds and Liverpool Canal used to be.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Here’s how it is now.

Half empty.

Holding on?

Or closed down.

Or closed down.

Only the pound shops looking busy.

Only the pound shops looking busy.

The 6252

And the pawnbrokers.

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.

We cross the canal.

Along Stanley Road it's almost deserted. 3o'clock on a Saturday afternoon.

Along Stanley Road it’s almost deserted. 3o’clock on a Saturday afternoon.

Ahead of us, more empty office blocks.

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.

We catch the 47 into Liverpool.

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

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.

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.

13 thoughts on “Great bus journeys of the world: the 62

  1. stan cotter

    I enjoyed that Ron. Haven’t been out all day so it was like a breath of fresh air. Crosby was part of my 90 mile round trip when I cycled from Stannes to home in the RAF.

    Reply
  2. Bornagainst

    As far as Crosby goes, I’m pretty sure the blight started very much under Labour, although nothing has improved under the Tories.
    But, I honestly don’t think this is a party politics issue. Crosby has plenty of shoppers, and plenty of those have cash to spend. They just spend it in Sainsburys. Go in. It’ll be busy. Busy tills and shoppers happily buying products they could buy from independent shops just outside, but they choose not to.

    I don’t understand it really, but we, the customers will get the shops we deserve in the end – and it won’t be pretty.

    Bootle.. Asda.. Litherland.. Tesco.. Crosby.. Sainsburys.. Formby.. Tesco.
    Supermarkets have far more immediate power and influence than tired old political parties.

    Shop Local. But who’s listening?

    Reply
    1. Ronnie Hughes Post author

      Good points, well put.

      I’m no supporter of the ‘new’ version of Labour, imitation Thatcherite Tories in much of what they did – but I do think party politics is contributing to what’s happening. It’s always, in my lifetime, been a Government role to put some limitations on the worst instincts of rampant capitalism. To do some looking after the best interests of the country’s people. Now they have both fawned and crawled to said worst aspects, like they are their representatives, not our’s.

      So yes, we’re getting the shops we deserve. But we’re also being served up to global capitalism as a captive market by the people we’re voting in to represent us.

      Reply
  3. Jimmy Mo

    Yeah, you’re probably right. Although I can’t remember any government or local MP putting any brakes on rampant expansion by companies carrying blank chequebooks. Claire Curtis-Thomas didn’t exactly come across as a hardcore leftist streetfighter!

    But joking aside, it’s disheartening to see Marine FC thinking of selling off the very car park in your picture to some supermarket chain, so they can build yet another mini-mart.. whilst the fruit & veg and food shop over the road wonder why Marine are sticking the knife in.

    It’s not as if people aren’t keen to start new businesses. The bike shop just a few doors down from Crosby Tea Rooms recently expanded and does a very healthy business selling what the internet can’t undercut – Knowledge.. Hands on.

    They just need a chance, an even playing field and customers.. And it’s sad to see both the government and local people not really being arsed about it at all.

    Reply
    1. Jimmy Mo

      If I might have 1 small grumble against local businesses.. My local Fruit & Veg place opens after I leave for work and closes before I get home. Understandable, but I can’t spend money if they’re shut. So on a rainy Tuesday night? I go to the Co-op or Sainsburys. Convenience makes money.

      Reply
    2. Ronnie Hughes Post author

      Sorry to hear about Marine’s plans. Local businesses should be supporting each other better than that.

      Lovely image of Claire Curtis-Thomas as a streetfighter. Seems the not arsed people you speak about get the ‘arsed mainly about themselves’ politicians they deserve.

      And yes, as I’ve seen over and over with Liverpool independents, the chain’s can be beaten off with constant intelligence, hands on knowledge and knowing your customer’s names. Together with altering opening hours to allow you to buy your veg on a Tuesday night – not working longer, just more intelligently.

      Reply
  4. Barry Ward

    An enjoyable report, Ronnie. Many of the places you mentioned brought back memories for me, although it’s sad to see how deserted the streets and shops were …and on a Saturday afternoon too. Your comment about Walton Vale being an alternative to going in to Liverpool was absolutely true. As a child I always got my shoes from the Timpson’s shop, and enjoyed having my feet measured there. My dad would take us to the butcher’s shop to buy his tripe and pig’s trotters (as well as normal meat !) and do you remember Walvale’s…..a great shop, specialising in toys, bicycles and general hardware, as well as selling records. Last stop before the journey home was Sayers, for some cakes for ‘after tea’ on a Saturday. My dad lived in Chapel Avenue, the other end of Walton Vale to the Black Bull, near the Windsor Castle Pub which was bombed during WW2, and got married at the Blessed Sacrament Church halfway along Walton Vale.

    The school in Bootle you mentioned attending was our first year at ‘big school’ and was a temporary home for the school before the one in Netherton was finished getting built. Was it 2 or 3 buses we had to get from Maghull to get there ? It was previously called St Martin’s school. A cold, smelly building as I recall, no wonder they knocked it down. I was also born at Walton Hospital, so I agree with you….. where are the blue plaques !!
    Cheers, Barry.

    Reply
    1. Ronnie Hughes Post author

      Thanks Barry. I remember our last visit before getting the bus home was a café by the Black Bull bus stop. Where the main excitement for me was that they had the first jukebox I’d ever seen. I mainly loved to watch the way it worked, though when our mum was feeling generous we’d treat the clientele to a howling belt of Little Richard!

      By the way, I noticed when we passed the pub that the ‘Windsor’ had lost its ‘Castle’. Then in Marsh Lane the ‘Jolly Farmers’ is now merely ‘The Jolly’. See? Times are so hard in Sefton even the pub names are on short time!

      Reply
  5. John V

    I am really enjoying these pieces ‘on the buses’ & hope to follow your routes in 2016 when I’m rewarded with my pass.Having spent my first 33 years in Litherland (transferring to the other end of the M57 at marriage!), it was nice to see you visiting some of my old haunts (schooled in Waterloo & drank in Crosby) I don’t recall the No. 62? I can remember having to travel to Bootle to pick up the 61 or 81 to do the ‘safari’ to the other side of the city which seemed to take for ever as a teenager!
    My how things seem to have changed around Crosby over the past few years. It’s sad to see places like the red brick & sandstone ‘Carnegie’ library are closing their doors. This place was funded by charitable donations from the USA originally. We could do with a few more philanthropists like him to help us out !
    Keep ’em coming Ron, Monday’s need to be brightened up.

    Reply
    1. Ronnie Hughes Post author

      Maybe the 62 is a recent invention then, an amalgamation of previous routes. I certainly remember the 46 being the main bus that started from Penny Lane. Now the 62 is the only one.

      Agree with you about the Carnegie Library. As you’ll know from this and other posts I think this ‘austerity’ stuff is more a political attack than an economic necessity. I simply don’t believe that an economy like our’s can’t afford its libraries and nurseries any more.

      Reply
      1. Dav

        The 62 used to be the 92, which was re-numbered when Arriva took over the route. I think it was because the buses used would be based at the Bootle Depot (along with 60, 61, 68 etc)

        Though the numbers are different, the routes they take are exactly the same, from Penny Lane to Crosby.

        Nice seeing some of the route that I know well on the blog.

  6. Peter David Leyland

    My dad was born here in 1909. Left before the war. I would love to go there someday. I like looking at the old pictures and imagine how it used to be.

    Reply

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