In Granby: The Street Party!

Best Granby 4 Streets Market ever? People in the know seem to think so. And they ought to know.

Anyway, let’s go back to the beginning and get off the bus.

The 75 drops me on Princes.

The 75 drops me on Princes. Hoping that rain will hold off.

This one deeply matters. It’s the end of an era and the start of a new one, so everyone wants it to be good. Everywhere’s on site or about to be. And that will change things. In a good way, but change nonetheless.

Passing Jermyn Street, on site.

Passing Jermyn Street, on site.

There it is. Along the far end of Cairns Street.

There it is. Along the far end of Cairns Street.

This end a couple of the too fragile houses are going to have to be new build.

This end a couple of the too fragile houses are going to have to be new build.

Getting closer.

Getting closer.

Across Granby Street.

Across Granby Street.

And here we are.

And here we are.

The Street Market that this time is a Street Party. And as I arrive I’m greeted by a reader of this blog who I’ve never met before. She’s Liz who’s walking towards the camera there. She’s commented on a couple of posts and I’ve confused her by thanking her, in reply, for some recent jam she’s never made. This was me mistaking her for an entirely different Liz from Sarah’s allotment site. So, hello Liz from Gambier Terrace, lovely to meet you!

Christmas is in full swing here.

Christmas is in full swing here.

Gifts as well as costumes.

Gifts as well as Mother Christmas costumes.

Bikes are being repaired though, like always.

Bikes are being repaired though, like always.

And later on it looks like there will be fire.

And later on it looks like there will be fire.

Because today is a very special day in Cairns Street, Liverpool 8. And the street is being dressed up specially for the occasion.

Some art is always here.

Some art is always here.

And some has been put together specially. The Christmas Bunting.

And some has been put together specially. The Christmas Bunting.

And look! It's Erika, Chair of the 4 StreetsCommunity Land Trust and she's up to something.

And look! It’s Erika, Chair of the 4 StreetsCommunity Land Trust and she’s up to something.

Hanging tapestries from the Liverpool Mutual Homes scaffolding on this side of the street.

Hanging tapestries from the Liverpool Mutual Homes scaffolding on this side of the street.

I know they’re not actually embroidered tapestries but that seems a much better word for their beauty and significance than mere hangings or banners.

With our Gemma there, up at the top of the ladder.

With our Gemma there, up at the top of the ladder.

Gemma comes down and they work their way along the street.

Gemma comes down and they work their way along the street.

For one day only in the life of Cairns Street?

For one day only in the life of Cairns Street?

It looks so great.

It looks so great.

Maybe we'll always do this?

Maybe we’ll always do this?

Maybe when the new people all move in they’ll still want to have ‘The Cairns Street Tapestries’ hanging from their top windows during Street Markets?

Meanwhile over the road.

Meanwhile over the road.

Hannah and her Dad Barry have a new design for this year's 4 Streets bag.

Hannah and her Dad Barry have a new design Hannah’s done for this year’s 4 Streets bag.

So popular they will sell out by the end of the day.

So popular they will sell out by the end of the day. Well done you two.

Hundred of people arrive.

Hundreds of people arrive during the day.

The Party, the tapestries, the yellow mahonia.

The Party, the tapestries, the yellow mahonia.

Stallholder Diane. Never, to my knowledge missed a 4 Streets Market yet.

Stallholder Diane. Never, to my knowledge missed a 4 Streets Market yet.

And Anna from Plus Dane, another regular.  A stall of information and cakes!

And Anna from Plus Dane, another regular. A stall of information and cakes!

And all day there is music.

And all day there is music.

The Delta Blues of Toby Parker.

The Mersey Delta Blues of Toby Parker.

And all day there are conversations too. Nina, Stella and Martin here.

And all day there are conversations too. Nina, Stella and Martin here.

Nina’s from the Welsh Streets of course. And Stella and Martin it was, who four years ago now said to me one day in Sefton Park ‘Do you think you could come and help run a discussion with the rest of us in Granby to try and find a way forward for the 4 Streets?’ Well, four years later I’m still here and it has been one of the joys of my life. Thank you both.

Top quality people. Tommy Calderbank shows Mike Hogan the new issue of Nerve Magazine.

Top quality people. Tommy Calderbank shows Mike Hogan the new issue of Nerve Magazine.

Splendid, opinionated, great and historical photographs – and it’s a calendar too! Available widely in Liverpool I have no doubt.

Top quality non-humans too. Bob Lambanana joins in.

Top quality non-humans too. Bob Lambanana joins in.

Christmas trees are decorated while listening to the music.

Christmas trees are decorated while listening to the music.

Splendidly powerful music it is too.

Splendidly powerful music it is too.

Carla Ambrosius and the Failed Career!

Carla Ambrosius and the Failed Career!

Didn’t sound like failure to me Carla. Magnificent stuff.

The streets are alive with the sound of human happiness.

The streets are alive with the sound of human happiness.

None more so than Eleanor Lee. Long time resident and CLT Board Member. This is one special day for Eleanor and for us all.

None more so than Eleanor Lee. Long time resident and CLT Board Member. This is one special day for Eleanor and for us all.

And there is wonderful food from lots of people. Which keeps lots of people warm enough to stay around as the afternoon gets colder.

And there is wonderful food from lots of people. Which keeps lots of people warm enough to stay around as the afternoon gets colder.

Stilton and Broccoli soup?

Stilton and Broccoli soup?

Meanwhile what's Joe up to?

Meanwhile what’s Joe up to?

Joe Farrag, one of the Party organisers, think the street needs just a bit more decorating.

Joe Farrag, one of the Party organisers, think the street needs just a bit more decorating.

Within the mix though, is the sound of drilling and hammering.

Within the mix though, is the sound of drilling and hammering.

We didn't realise one of the £1 houses was up this end of the street.

We didn’t realise one of the £1 houses was up this end of the street.

Welcome!

Welcome!

But Erika’s just been talking to the lucky new owner who’s in there working on the house and he’s delighted the Street Market’s here. ‘It’s one of the reasons I wanted to move in round here. It’s great!’ Welcome in.

Marianne is introduced to Gemma's new dog Sampson.

Marianne is introduced to Gemma’s new dog Sampson.

And then I go all quiet. Some music starts that always makes me go all quiet. His own and his brother Michael’s music plus some Nick Drake. Gently quiet but in my view some of the very greatest music that has ever come out of Liverpool. And you know who I’m saying it’s as good as.

Here is John Head from Shack.

Here is John Head from Shack.

Singing in Cairns Street.

Singing in Cairns Street.

If you’ve never heard the music of Shack do yourself and the rest of your life a favour and investigate.

Hannah and her Dad are impressed.

Hannah and her Dad are impressed.

Me, I'm off to Jonathan, not for a head Massage though.

Me, I’m off to Jonathon, not for a head and shoulder massage though.

But for his mulled fruit juice.

But for his mulled fruit juice.

And I keep photographing the street.

And I keep photographing the street.

As it changes forever.

As it changes forever.

Conversations continue.

Conversations continue.

All through the afternoon.

All through the afternoon.

Celebrating Granby out on the 4 Streets.

Celebrating Granby out on the 4 Streets.

Until the daylight ended and it was time to put the Party away.

Until the daylight ends and it’s time to put the Party away.

But come next Spring?

But come next Spring?

The Street Market will be back. In a new era. With all of us. Plus all the new people? We hope so.

The people and their Street Markets and Guerrilla Gardening, as much as anything else, kept these 4 Streets alive when it seemed like nothing else could. Now the Markets are deep in the weave of the place’s culture, deep in how things are done round here. And this one today was as good as there’s ever been.

Well done Theresa, Joe, Rosa Jimi, Gemma and all the other organisers, stall holders, cooks, planners, plotters, gardeners and musicians. Truly you are the angels in the architecture.

6 thoughts on “In Granby: The Street Party!

  1. robertday154

    Give yourself a small pat on the back as well, Ronnie. You helped spread the word and I’m sure there are those who were there who wouldn’t have been if they hadn’t read about it in your blog.

    Reply
  2. Emma Long

    This looks fantastic Ronnie, I’m so sad I missed it! Unfortunately exams had to take priority, there was little else that could have stopped me. I wonder if something similar could help kick start the Welsh Streets again…maybe it’s time for me to switch from questions to actions and see what is possible.

    Reply
    1. Ronnie Hughes Post author

      Well the Welsh Streets mainly needs to be put back into the hands of the people of Liverpool, rather than held up by the public enquiry as they have been for so long now. I believe the ‘result’ of the enquiry is expected before too long.

      Reply

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