The Liverpool Awards: What do you reckon?

The next ‘a sense of place Iive’ happens Tuesday 2nd December. Next week at the Everyman Bistro.

I hate awards shows and ceremonies with all their exploitation, false bonhomie and raging competitiveness. So, being contrary, I’ve decided to give some awards out in a cheaper and much more cheerful way than the usual dickie-bowed bonanza.

And if you want you can come and discuss who might get these awards at the next ‘a sense of place live’ event next Tuesday at the Everyman Bistro.DSC02682

Unlike most Awards events you won’t have to ‘buy’ a table to be there or be in the running for an award. You just have to turn up. Tables at The Ev are free, so you just walk in and sit down. Imagine that?

So what’s my thinking here? Well, I’m still working it out, but here goes.

Towards the end of the year newspapers and magazines fill up with ‘best of the year’ lists. Best books, best records and so on. And I’ve always found these lists mildly useful, reminding me of things I’d forgotten to get round to. So I’ve decided to join in. A blog these days being a sort of magazine anyway. So like the NME ‘best of’ list which would remind you of the poorly reviewed third album that’s actually turned out to be a bit of a gem, I’d like these ‘Liverpool: a sense of place’ awards to shine a light on some of the best things about living around Liverpool that people might not have noticed, or could do with a lot more of.

It’ll also allow us to actually create a blog post, live on the night, rather than just sit around talking about something I’ve already written. Are you up for it?

So what might the categories be? Well I’d like us to be free to make up some on the night, but here are a few possibilities (with the occasional linked blogpost) to get us all thinking.

The Liverpool ‘a sense of place’ awards 2014

The best bit of Liverpool

Yes, let’s face it, this blog’s about Liverpool and if you read it you’re likely to be very interested in Liverpool and know it fairly well. But what, for you, is the best bit? ‘Home’ isn’t allowed to count and big bits like ‘Anfield’ or ‘Wavertree are too big, too wide to count. What I’m looking for are favourite little corners. Places where you might go to read, or sit and think or talk to friends. A small corner where you glow inside and think ‘Yes, this is my Liverpool!’ Where is it?

Could well be Sarah's favourite bit, her allotment.
Could well be Sarah’s favourite bit, her allotment.
Or somewhere everyone can get to, like Granby 4 Streets?
Or somewhere everyone can get to, like Granby 4 Streets?

The best bit of Liverpool that’s not actually in Liverpool

We’re all scousers but unfortunately, due to accidents of history and politics, not all of Liverpool is actually in Liverpool. I’m talking about the place that includes all of Merseyside plus Halton and is currently and cumbersomely being called a ‘City Region.’ I prefer the snappier ‘city’ and think of it all as Greater Liverpool. So, as in the previous category, what’s your favourite bit?

The Dee Estuary, the Shining Shore.
The Dee Estuary, the Shining Shore?

Note: Both of these categories are open to suggestions from everyone. There’ll be no bickering like ‘Runcorn’s for Runcorn people’ allowed!

Walk of the year

Obviously a favoured activity of myself but I’m sure I’m not alone. Even by its wider definition Liverpool is a reasonably compact place, full of coastal and urban circular or there and back again walks to delight us all. So what’s your favourite?

Favourite runs and bike rides can also qualify for this category. As long as it’s not the sort of Triathlon level 50 mile bike riding some blog readers of my acquaintance get up to. What the judges (i.e. me) will be looking for are running or riding routes that could work as walks as well.

Bus route of the year

They’re too expensive and we really should be allowed to use Stagecoach tickets on Arriva buses and vice-versa – but we do have very good bus services and routes here in Liverpool. So what’s the top one? I’ve been reporting on them all year from both sides of the river, so this Award will be hotly disputed, if only with myself.

Do you prefer the 27 to the 26? These things matter.
Do you prefer the 27 to the 26? These things matter.

Our day out of the year

Obviously you could live the whole of your life within the boundaries of wider Liverpool and be perfectly content. I more or less do. But even I like a day out now and then. Not too far away though. So we can be back in our own beds by the night time. So where have you been that we might all enjoy?

Sarah at Chatsworth, on her birthday day out.
Sarah at Chatsworth, on her birthday day out.

Café of the year

By which I mean, places to sit down and eat food. I make no distinction between apparent restaurants or cafés – though preferring the humbler and more practical café myself. Your best eating place of the year?

And a word about ‘the year’. It doesn’t, in any of the categories, have to be something that’s new this year. It might be something or somewhere that’s been good for ages, or has had a particularly good 2014 or that you’ve only discovered this year.

Or somewhere that's sadly left us this year? The magnificent Mello Mello.
Or somewhere that’s sadly left us this year? The magnificent Mello Mello.

Shop of the year

I include this for general interest, though only frequenting record shops and occasional book shops myself. And I can imagine there being some discussion about whether internet shops are allowed? A discussion I’m happy to allow, though I do have a strong preference for actual shops, with doors you open and real people inside to talk to.

Eccentric idea of the year

I think we’re good at this around here and think ‘eccentric’ should be viewed as a compliment. As in ‘That Flyover idea is seriously and brilliantly eccentric!’ So, things, places, ideas that make you smile inside. As well as admiring the creativity and nerve  of whoever’s gone public with whatever it is.

Kate, Sarah and the owl all have hopes in this one.
Kate, Sarah and the owl all have hopes in this category.

Reader generated awards of the year

On the night I’d like us to generate a few of these, plus blog readers could suggest some for us in advance. The only guiding rule is they have to be something about the geographical area this blog is calling ‘Liverpool’ and not about things that could be anywhere. That’s why we’re not having ‘Sweets of the Year’ or even ‘Record of the Year’. Those things apply to everyone everywhere.

Could do better of the year

A land flowing with milk and (Post Code) honey though it is, not everything here is as good as it could be. So this award is intended as a bit of encouragement for something who’s heart might be in the right place but needs to do a fair bit better to be, well, any good.

I’ll make no prior suggestions here, so the discussion on this one can be more of a laugh on the night.

Thing of the year

The top one. The one the winners of all the other categories (apart from ‘Could do better’ obviously) will be hoping to get. The most glittering of all of these glittering prizes. Something the whole City is proud of, is reduced to emotional Celtic tears by, wants to run out and dance in the street about. Again, I’ll make no suggestions, because it’s going to be something that emerges from the other categories. But, for example, if I’d have thought of doing this two years ago ‘The Homebaked Oven’ would have walked away with this one. All of us anxiously and then joyously checking their Kickstarter appeal as they reached and then far exceeded what they needed to get going. A thoroughly good thing the whole of Liverpool fell in love with and felt good about.

So what’ll the ‘Thing of the Year’ be this time around?

'a sense of place live' at the Everyman Bistro, Tuesday 2nd December.
‘a sense of place live’ at the Everyman Bistro, Tuesday 2nd December.

Suggestions on here in advance of the night. All to be discussed ‘live’ at the Everyman Bistro, next Tuesday 2nd December. Arrive at 6:00 for a 6:30 start.

And dress code for the event? You will need to wear some clothes, it’s getting very cold outside now.

Published by Ronnie

Writing about life, Liverpool and anything else that interests me. As well as working with others to make the world a fairer and kinder place:

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  1. I would like to make a few suggestions for the “A sense of place” awards night….

    The best bit of Liverpool that’s not actually in Liverpool?
    I propose a person for this award:
    Sir Ken Robinson.
    Famous for his Tedtalk “Do Schools Kill Creativity”
    A great Liverpudlian.
    If not familiar with Ken it’s well worth researching his achievements in the fields of education (especially passionate about the Arts) & human capacity.
    His Tedtalk is brilliant & funny too as are all his talks.
    He returns home often & recently gave a talk at TedxLiverpool (@homebaked gave a fantastic presentation that day too).
    He is also patron of the Everton Free School

    Walk of the year?
    A walk around Calderstones park. Enter the park at any point & turn right (I prefer this walk anti-clockwise ha), staying as close as possible to perimeter of the park. A magical walk of some 30 minutes. Especially beautiful in spring or autumn and immediately after or during rainfall.

    Shop of the year?
    Although not a shop as such but I have to nominate the council run Lifestyles Leisure Centre, Garston. My wife & two sons have used this facility for several years. I believe the staff here are second to none. In my opinion the staff are as good as any in the city. From the reception staff through to those managing the swimming pools & the gym nothing is too much trouble. Extremely high standards of customer care.

    Could do better of the year?
    The “Pub in the Park” at Allerton. This is a glorious pub both in terms of it’s architecture and the magnificent grounds it sits in. However, I always feel it lacks atmosphere & does not make the most of itself. I have no idea what it needs either but it could do better…


    1. Thanks for these thoughts Stephen. Be interesting to see where other people take them.

      The Pub in the Park is a particularly good but sad suggestion for ‘Could do better’. As William Roscoe’s house at the time of the Trans Atlantic Slave Trade Abolition movement it should be revered as one of Liverpool’s most sacred places, rather than a fairly average pub that just happens to be in a profitable location.

      1. I did not know William Roscoe lived there. Now why on earth do they not promote this somewhere in the pub or on the grounds? Maybe they do?

        Only recently been reading about Edward Rushton of Liverpool & his great work especially in terms of standing against some powerful people involved in slave trade at that time.

        I agree, the “Pub in the Park” should be revered as a special and sacred place.

  2. Sorry, Ronnie, not going to make it tonight after all. I’m laid up with bad tum, but at am enjoying a beatiful sunset from my chair! However, that minor inconvenience isn’t going to stop me having my say. Why would it indeed.

    So here goes-
    Best bit of Liverpool – has to be Hope Street. I seem to live there sometimes, and often drive intp town that way even when I’m not stopping there. There’s always been a magical feel to the strip between The Philharmonic Halls and the catholic cathedral- I’d live there if I could manage stairs.

    1. Really sorry about that Miranda. We’ll be blogging the nominees and winners ‘live’ from the Everyman Bistro from around 7ish. So you can keep in touch with how Hope Street is doing on its home patch! Hope it’ll help with your recovery. See you soon x

      1. Thanks – and sorry about the typos, I was typing on my phone, very unwise. Of course, that strip includes the new Everyman itself, the new Philharmonic Halls, and my own personal haven on the top floor of the Annexe where our zen sangha meets (5/6 times a week for the really hardcore zen folk (to pinch a book title)). And ssshhh the new competition in the basement of the said Annexe, but that’ll wait for another day soon when all is revealed. Pens come to mind for some strange reason.

        Another suggestion for the best bit of Liverpool not in Liverpool – but it is in Liverpool really, just feels as if it’s in its own world – has to be the Iron Men (Another Place by Anthony Gormley) – it doesn’t matter how many times I go, it always feels new. And the men are still ‘trying to keep standing, trying to breathe’ which is a good idea I try to follow.

        I’ll be watching out for posts this evening and hope it goes off with panache, or maybe a snack and a drink.

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