And here they are just off the Leeds train, today’s visitors to Liverpool.
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.
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.
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!
Next we cross Princes Avenue for a visit to the Welsh Streets.
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.
Now of course more famous as a film set for the BBC’s ‘Peaky Blinders’ than for being a street where people live.
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.
Pasta bakes and scouse – thanks for lunch Rob!
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.
I wander down the hill for my first close look at our new City Bikes.
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.