Now the light nights are here and summer’s arriving the tourist buses are busy ferrying visitors around. But not many of those visitors probably know that the best of the tourist buses runs all day, every ten minutes, and can take them to the places most tourists want to go – but also to the real Liverpool that the rest of us treasure. Welcome to another great bus journey. Let’s go and get on the 27.
As we leave the house on what will turn out to be the warmest and sunniest day of the year so far.
But before we get on the bus we have a look around Lodge Lane.
Crossing Smithdown, the bus passes Edge Hill station where I went the other day. Then along Sheil Road, past Newsham Park and into Anfield.
We get off at Oakfield Road for lunch.
But the Sandon’s still doing well, and that football club have had a good season. As have our lunch venue.
Open all week now, not just on match days. For bread, rolls, pies, cakes and friendship. Today there are a group of poets baking in the kitchen before a ‘Writing on the wall’ poetry session later. They tell us we look like tourists with our cameras, but don’t sound like it. We tell them about ‘Great bus journeys of the world’ to general hilarity!
After lunch we look around Anfield.
The land around the ground is still devastated though. Partly by the club’s expansion plans. But mainly, as elsewhere in Liverpool, by the dreadful Housing Market Renewal Initiative from a few years back.
And here comes the housing market.
We get back on the bus. Along Everton Valley and onto Great Homer Street.
Hard to believe this swaggering and assured beast of a street market will soon allow itself to be tucked neatly away into a tame corner while Sainsbury’s open up a corporate ‘Centre’ on its site.
For a while now we follow the route of the 27, roughly, but on foot. There are things we want to see up close.
Then, round the corner and along past all the new housing we get to it. The most beautiful example of municipal housing anywhere on Earth. And I feel like crying.
First time back here since my North Docks walk last November.
Signs around the site now call it a ‘Dangerous Structure’ rather than a site.
Turning around, Eldon Grove’s lovely contemporary, Summer Seat is still in fine shape.
Though the local pub hasn’t survived, so few people living round here now.
Just behind Summer Seat is a huge hole in the Earth.
Cutting the area in two. So the far side, nearest to town, is now a quiet edgeland of a place.
Next and most curiously:
I’d always wondered about its curious name, assuming it might have been the name of a pub. Well it turns out it was, but was also the name of a little village, first village outside of Liverpool, on the Preston, indeed the Scotland Road. Information courtesy of a splendid piece of research by fellow Liverpool devotees, SevenStreets.
Almost in town now, where another tenement block has gone. Fontenoy Gardens replaced by a street of suburban houses.
An imaginative crowd funding appeal has raised the money to give this piece of 1960s brutalism a gentle green future.
By now Sarah is grumbling mildly about the amount of walking involved in this so called ‘bus journey.’
All the new architecture crowding the sky around it.
Finally getting back on the bus round at the Bus Station.
Getting off at Upper Warwick Street for a look around Park Road and the Dingle.
And yes, the journey can also be done the other way around and no doubt will be one day, on the 26. Looking forward to it already!
By the way, I’d always credited Liverpool 1980s magazine ‘The End’ for the original idea behind these ‘Great Bus Journeys.’ So when we got to Homebaked I was delighted to find they have a book containing every issue of the magazine. So I looked through it for the bus journey articles – but couldn’t find any. Maybe I just didn’t look hard enough?
See all of the ‘Great bus journeys of the world’ here.