The Skyroad: Imagining the Flyover

Here is where we all tried out the wonderful Flyover idea, then in May 2015 comes the news that Friends of the Flyover are the winner of  England’s Epic Awards 2015. Closer now to reality? Let’s hope so.

An owl has arrived with a message for Kate Stewart.

Kate is surprised. Everyone's surprised at the moment their owl arrives.
Kate is surprised. Everyone’s surprised at the moment their owl arrives.

Here is the message:

“Kate,
All of you from Friends of the Flyover have done brilliantly well. An idea’s just an idea until you can show that it works. Well today you have. Today you have shown that if these two spurs of an unloved and unwanted flyover can be given as a gift to the people of Liverpool, instead of being demolished, then the people will cherish them and turn them into things of beauty. Today Kate your ideas have taken wing and nothing now can stop them from coming true.

I know this with the wisdom of an owl and I give you the gift of my certainty.

All my good wishes,

Lunar the Owl”

Here’s the place Lunar is talking about.

Down at the Old Haymarket in Liverpool.
Down at the Old Haymarket in Liverpool.
By the older of the Mersey Tunnels.
By the older of the Mersey Tunnels.
1960s remnants of Liverpool City's then 'Streets in the sky' policy.
1960s remnants of Liverpool City’s then ‘Streets in the sky’ policy.
Ramps, stairs and walkways.
Ramps, stairs and walkways.
Two spurs of flyover.
Two spurs of flyover.
Going from Islington and the Museums Quarter, down to Dale Street and Tithebarn Street in town.
Going from Islington and the Museums Quarter, down to Dale Street and Tithebarn Street in town.
Built to last forver.
Built to last forver.
But now past their time as roads.
But now past their time as roads.
And due to be demolished before too very long.
And due to be demolished before too very long.
Until Friends of the Flyover had their idea...
Until Friends of the Flyover had their idea…

Here’s the idea.

"instead of demolishing the Flyover why don't we do something beautiful and useful with it?'
“Instead of demolishing the Flyover why don’t we do something beautiful and useful with it?”

Next the Friends raised enough money through crowd-sourcing to fund the technical works needed to start making their idea happen. And today we’re all here to try the idea out.

The City have closed one of the roads.
The City have closed one of the roads.
And Friends of the Flyover have set the place up as if the future of it has already arrived.
And Friends of the Flyover have set the place up as if the future of it has already arrived.
And we all start arriving too.
And we all start arriving too.
To look at the plans.
To look at the plans.
And share the moments.
And share the moments.
It feels very special to be here.
It feels very special to be here.

And particularly special once Kate’s owl arrives with her message.

'Thank you Lunar, you have made my day. Now go and get yourself a drink and something to eat before you fly home. Thank you so much.'
‘Thank you Lunar, you have made my day. Now go and get yourself a drink and something to eat before you fly home. Thank you so much.’
It's not every day you get to see an owl in a queue.
It’s not every day you get to see an owl in a queue.
By now loads of people are arriving.
By now loads of people are arriving.
Enjoying the thrill of walking up the flyover.
Enjoying the thrill of walking up the flyover.
Imagining when it's a safe place for bikes and for all of us.
Imagining when it’s a safe place for bikes and for all of us.

And, as always happens when excitement breaks out, me and Sarah are hungry.

And very glad there's plenty of food to choose from up here.
And very glad there’s plenty of food to choose from up here.
Here is the 'Little Furnace' itself.
And here is the ‘Little Furnace’.
Run by two people from Liverpool.
Run by two people from Liverpool.
Cooked in 90 seconds and wonderful.
Cooked in 90 seconds and wonderful.
And causing scenes that can only be described as surreal.
And causing scenes that can only be described as surreal.

It’s not all about eating though. The future’s being fully imagined here.

A place for children.
A place for children.
For art.
For art.
For music.
For music.
And for all of us, however odd!
And for all of us, however odd!

Meet Impropriety here – improvisers extraordinaire.

And the bands played on…

Folk...
Folk…
Ukuleles...
Ukuleles…
And funk...
And funk…
'We the Undersigned'
‘We the Undersigned’

And all of the time the sheer oddness and thrill of where this is all happening.

Imagine if it could be like this all the time.
Imagine if it could be like this all the time.
An urban oasis - with hydroponics.
An urban oasis – with hydroponics.
And constant new views of beloved places. Our tunnel.
And constant new views of beloved places. Our tunnel.
Our library.
Our library.
Our wise ones.
Our wise ones.
Our beloved Liverpool.
Our beloved Liverpool.
Imagine if we could come up here anytime we liked?
Imagine if we could come up here anytime we liked?
To read and think and dream the day away.
To read and think and dream the day away.
As our good friend SevenStreets says 'It would be Heaven up here'
As our good friend SevenStreets says ‘It would be Heaven up here’

And me and Sarah? We keep sitting down or crouching in the middle of the road. For the pictures – and because just for today we can.

Ground level.
Ground level.
Right in the middle.
Right in the middle.
Photographing a dream.
Photographing a dream.
A dream coming true before our lenses, before our eyes.
A dream coming true before our lenses, before our eyes.
Imagine if it all comes true...
Imagine if it all comes true…
All afternoon opinions are sought.
All afternoon opinions are sought.
And conversations are had.
And conversations are had.

Brilliantly facilitated, filmed and recorded in ‘Talkaoke’ by ‘The People Speak’.

And Sarah speaks 'No corporates!'
And Sarah speaks ‘No corporates!’
A wonderful day.
A wonderful day.
A day the shoed the idea works.
A day that showed the idea works.
A people claiming their place.
A people claiming their place.
And when it was time to leave we didn't want to.
And when it was time to leave we didn’t want to.
So what do you make of it all?
So what do you make of it all?

As you can probably tell, me and Sarah think it’s a fantastic idea and we had a lovely day helping to try it out.

Send me your owl with your thoughts.
So send us an owl with your thoughts.

Or get in touch directly with Friends of the Flyover. Maybe you’d like to be a Friend yourself?

2 Replies to “The Skyroad: Imagining the Flyover”

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