Great bus journeys of the world: the 27

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.

It's Saturday morning, a blue sky day.

It’s Saturday morning, a blue sky day.

As we leave the house on what will turn out to be the warmest and sunniest day of the year so far.

Off to Lodge Lane to catch the 27 on another 'Great bus journeys of the world' adventure.

Off to Lodge Lane to catch the 27 on another ‘Great bus journeys of the world’ adventure.

But before we get on the bus we have a look around Lodge Lane.

Feeling like we're on our holidays in a bustling marketplace.

Feeling like we’re on our holidays in a bustling marketplace.

On our holidays in Liverpool 8.

On our holidays in Liverpool 8.

On the 27.

On the 27.

Crossing Smithdown, the bus passes Edge Hill station where I went the other day. Then along Sheil Road, past Newsham Park and into Anfield.

The George on Breck Road.

The George on Breck Road.

We get off at Oakfield Road for lunch.

Many of the shops along here have closed during the years of decline and demolition.

Many of the shops along here have closed during the years of decline and demolition.

But the Sandon’s still doing well, and that football club have had a good season. As have our lunch venue.

Our beloved Homebaked.

Our beloved Homebaked.

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!

We tell everyone about the blog too. Here's Janice from Homebaked.

We tell everyone about the blog too. Here’s Janice from Homebaked.

After lunch we look around Anfield.

The ground's just across the road from Homebaked.

The ground’s just across the road from Homebaked.

The new kit's come out this week and even the smallest of children we see during the day are already wearing it.

The new kit’s come out this week and even the smallest of children we see during the day are already wearing it.

Here's our Bill. Bill Shankly, the once and forever manager of Liverpool Football Club.

Here’s our Bill. Bill Shankly, the once and forever manager of Liverpool Football Club.

An LFC supporter's pub? I'd say so.

An LFC supporter’s pub? I’d say so.

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.

Ripped apart streets.

Ripped apart streets.

'A community garden without a community, Sarah says.

‘A community garden without a community, Sarah says.

And here comes the housing market.

The steady advance of new houses you can buy with the mortgage you never expected to need again.

The steady advance of new houses you can buy with the mortgage you never expected to need again.

We get back on the bus. Along Everton Valley and onto Great Homer Street.

Where Greatie is in full swing.

Where Greatie is in full swing.

Though apparently in its late days.

Though apparently in its late days.

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.

Past St Anthony's we cross Scotland Road.

Past St Anthony’s we cross Scotland Road.

An impromptu playground on Silvester Street.

An impromptu playground on Silvester Street.

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.

Eldon Grove.

Eldon Grove.

First time back here since my North Docks walk last November.

Another winter has passed.

Another winter has passed.

And it's surviving, but only just.

And it’s surviving, but only just.

Signs around the site now call it a ‘Dangerous Structure’ rather than a site.

But it's barely a hundred years old.

But it’s barely a hundred years old.

Newer than the house we live in.

Newer than the house we live in.

Built in 1913 by a Council who believed working class people deserved only the best.

Built in 1913 by a Council who believed working class people deserved only the best.

And now look at it.

And now look at it.

Listed but lost?

Listed but lost?

Surely not? Liverpool's great treasure, Eldon Grove.

Surely not? Liverpool’s great treasure, Eldon Grove.

Turning around, Eldon Grove’s lovely contemporary, Summer Seat is still in fine shape.

Built in 1911.

Built in 1911.

Summer Seat.

Summer Seat.

Though the local pub hasn’t survived, so few people living round here now.

Non Pareil, indeed.

Non Pareil, indeed.

Just behind Summer Seat is a huge hole in the Earth.

It's the 'new' Mersey Tunnel.

It’s the ‘new’ Mersey Tunnel.

Constructed in the early 1970s, when I was working round here as a housing officer.

Constructed in the early 1970s, when I was working round here as a housing officer.

It changed Scotland Road forever.

It changed Scotland Road forever.

Cutting the area in two. So the far side, nearest to town, is now a quiet edgeland of a place.

Blackstock Street.

Blackstock Street.

Blackstock Gardens as was.

Blackstock Gardens as was.

Next and most curiously:

Bevington Bush.

Bevington Bush.

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.

Now, after years of neglect, and so close to the city, Bevington Bush is becoming almost rural again.

Now, after years of neglect, and so close to the city, Bevington Bush is becoming almost rural again.

Herb Robert at Bevington Bush.

Herb Robert at Bevington Bush.

Almost in town now, where another tenement block has gone. Fontenoy Gardens replaced by a street of suburban houses.

Just across the road from Liverpool Central Library.

Just across the road from Liverpool Central Library.

This flyover will soon be a park!

This flyover will soon be a park!

An imaginative crowd funding appeal has raised the money to give this piece of 1960s brutalism a gentle green future.

Passing our second tunnel of the day.

Passing our second tunnel of the day.

The wonder of the world that is the first Mersey road tunnel.

The wonder of the world that is the first Mersey road tunnel.

By now Sarah is grumbling mildly about the amount of walking involved in this so called ‘bus journey.’

But we fail to find any 27 stops along Dale Street.

But we fail to find any 27 stops along Dale Street.

And so stop for a sit in the church yard at St Nicholas.

And so stop for a sit in the church yard at St Nicholas.

All the new architecture crowding the sky around it.

Walking along by the Pier Head.

Walking along by the Pier Head.

Liverpool One is crowded, so we don't go in.

Liverpool One is crowded, so we don’t go in.

Finally getting back on the bus round at the Bus Station.

Next it's up the hill, past the Cathedral.

Next it’s up the hill, past the Cathedral.

Getting off at Upper Warwick Street for a look around Park Road and the Dingle.

The lovely Dickens Streets, Dombey Street here.

The lovely Dickens Streets, Dombey Street here.

Empty but magnificent.

Empty but magnificent.

Crumbling.

Crumbling.

But clearly grand in its time.

But clearly grand in its time.

Looking down the hill, past The Florrie, to the river.

Looking down the hill, past The Florrie, to the river.

A church here, turned into flats.

A church here, being turned into flats.

Though the back's never been quite finished off.

Though the back’s never been quite finished off.

Through from Park road to the Welsh Streets. South Street here.

Through from Park Road to the Welsh Streets. South Street here.

 -a cowhouse.

In Gwydir Street – a cowhouse.

The desolation of Powis Street. The Public Enquiry about to start.

The desolation of Powis Street. The Public Enquiry about to start.

Then across Princes Avenue to get back on the bus by Granby Four Streets.

Then across Princes Avenue to get back on the bus by Granby Four Streets.

And round to Lodge Lane again.

And round to Lodge Lane again.

Which is where we came in. A fantastic circular journey completed.27 route

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!

27 bus63By 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.

4 thoughts on “Great bus journeys of the world: the 27

  1. Gerry

    Yeah, I feel like crying, too. ‘Built by a Council who believed working class people deserved only the best’ (ironically – but this was the oddity of Liverpool politics in the old days – built by a Tory council). This website (http://municipaldreams.wordpress.com/2013/10/08/liverpool-first-council-houses-in-europe/) notes that they had ‘bay windows, half-timbered gables and balconies, internal toilets and running hot water with open space and a bandstand to the front’.

    As I’ve noted in my most recent blog post – about Nice rather than Liverpool – Liverpool City Council or its Mayor couldn’t do this now if they wanted to, so hollowed out and eroded are local council powers in England now. Yesterday, even, the Guardian reported that the coalition are planning to outsource even child protection services to the private sector. Complete madness. Thanks for posting this and reminding us (hah! another thought has just struck me – instead of all these new tower blocks they’re building at the top of Grove Street, couldn’t Liverpool Uni have refurbished Eldon Grove?

    Reply

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s