From Leeds to Liverpool 8

DSC04089Out early this Saturday morning to welcome two visitors from Leeds.

Along Smithdown road. The streets hardly open yet.
Along Smithdown Road. The streets hardly open yet.
Into Smithdown Lane. The streets getting a good washing down.
Into Smithdown Lane. The streets getting a good washing down.

Through the University.
Through the University.
And past the Catholic Cathedral.
And past the Catholic Cathedral.
To the appointed meeting place next to Ken Dodd and Bessie Braddock in Lime Street Station.
To the appointed meeting place next to Ken Dodd and Bessie Braddock in Lime Street Station.

And here they are just off the Leeds train, today’s visitors to Liverpool.

Rob Greenland and son, Frank.
Rob Greenland and son, Frank.

Frank’s the one in the Barcelona away kit.

Rob and I have done work together in the past on social enterprises. And are both currently very interested in reducing the numbers of empty homes in our respective cities. Rob is in fact part of an organisation called Leeds Empties who run an ‘Empty Homes Doctor’ service which supports owners of empty properties to bring them back into use. So he’s here for a bit of comparing and contrasting on empty homes action. As well as for a delayed celebration of my birthday because he couldn’t make it to the surprise party back in January.

We walk through to Hardman Street, then take to the shelter of an 86 bus to Granby, as the rain is pouring again.

Rain's stopped by the time we get to the Granby 4 Streets.
Rain’s stopped by the time we get to the Granby 4 Streets.

About which you have seen and read a good deal on here lately. Including the joyous news that, after many years of campaigning and waiting, they are now going to be saved.

In Cairns Street we are welcomed by my friend Eleanor Lee, of the Granby 4 Streets Community Land Trust. And Rob and Eleanor swap experiences, ideas and contacts. Discussing the possible benefits of exchange visits for involved people from our two cities.

Meanwhile, Frank is up to something.

And not just attempting to flip over backwards on the floor, while all this talk of empty homes goes on around him.
And not just attempting to flip over backwards on the floor, while all this talk of empty homes goes on around him.

No, he also gets on with the more serious business of forecasting all of the scores in all of the matches for the coming World Cup in Brazil.

Frank busies himself filling in a big chart and then telling us his predictions. Football fans amongst you will be keen to know a few headlines. Here’s Frank:

“England, to their own surprise, will get to the quarter finals. There, to no one’s surprise, they will be beaten 1-0 by Brazil. Brazil will get to the final. But there they will lose 3-2 to Argentina. Lionel Messi scoring a hat trick.”

So there you have it. If you place any bets based on these predictions be sure to tell the bookmaker that Frank Greenland sent you!

One of these people is a noted football pundit. The other one's his Dad.
One of these people is a noted football pundit. The other one’s his Dad.

Next we cross Princes Avenue for a visit to the Welsh Streets.

Finally the sun breaks through.
Finally the sun breaks through.

Rob explains that there just aren’t swathes of empty homes like this in Leeds. Having somehow escaped the malign attentions of the Housing Market Renewal Initiative. Instead in Leeds, the many empty homes are spread around the city, in streets otherwise  occupied.

Here at the Welsh Streets, despite broad agreements and compromises being reached by all local parties, the much unwanted Government ordered Public Enquiry is about to begin. Ensuring further delays and doubts about the future here, whilst legions of lawyers and civil servants secure their incomes with detailed prevarications.

Frank gets in some running practice in case of a surprise call up for the World Cup.
Frank gets in some running practice in case of a surprise call up for the World Cup.
While Rob sorrowfully records the emptiness.
While Rob sorrowfully records the emptiness.
Father and son leave the Welsh Streets by walking along Powis Street.
Father and son leave the Welsh Streets, walking along Powis Street.

Now of course more famous as a film set for the BBC’s ‘Peaky Blinders’ than for being a street where people live.

On the way to lunch we walk through Canning.
On the way to lunch we walk through Canning.

Once as troubled as the other places in Liverpool 8 we’ve visited this morning. Now settled and thriving. It can be done.

We’re all hungry now.

So it's time for rob and Frank's first visit to our newly rebuilt and reopened Everyman.
So it’s time for Rob and Frank’s first visit to our newly rebuilt and reopened Everyman.
We eat at the street level café.
We eat at the street level café.

Pasta bakes and scouse – thanks for lunch Rob!

And of course we have a good look round.
And of course we have a good look round.

Then it’s time for my visitors to move on. Rob’s originally from Liverpool so they’re off to visit family in Old Swan.

Catching the bus into town to pick up their connection.
Catching the bus into town to pick up their connection.

I wander down the hill for my first close look at our new City Bikes.

Just started appearing on our streets this week.
Just started appearing on our streets this week.
Details of how to hire them here.
Details of how to hire them here.
Then it's into 69a to look through the second-hand records.
Then it’s into 69A to look through the second-hand records.

It is Saturday after all!

Enjoyed showing you round Rob and Frank. I’ll be over to Leeds for a look around before too long.

 

 

4 Replies to “From Leeds to Liverpool 8”

  1. I wouldn’t dare ask Frank’s view of Costa Rica’s chances…..
    Empty property is a disgrace when so many are in need….but it seems that the assistance goes to the established developer, not to individual owners who don’t have the money to upgrade.

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