In Granby: On site

This blog hasn’t done a site visit to Granby 4 Streets since early February, so I thought it was about time we did. Because things have been moving on.In Granby: On site01Three weeks ago now, at the beginning of March I come here late on in an afternoon.

In Beaconsfield Street Plus Dane were still at work.

In Beaconsfield Street Plus Dane are still at work.

Up high on the roof.

Up high on the roof.

While round in Cairns Street work had finished for the day.

While round in Cairns Street work has finished for the day.

Still soft-stripping the Community Land Trust houses at this stage, so this side of the mostly empty street relatively undisturbed.

In the site house though, work has not finished. The drop in session for local residents trailered in the February CLT newsletter being in full flow.

Drinks and even a ginger cake (thanks Hazel) being on offer as I join in the conversation.

Drinks and even a ginger cake (thanks Hazel) being on offer as I join in the conversation.

A couple of the CLT's funders, from Nationwide have also dropped in.

A couple of the CLT’s funders, from Nationwide Foundation have also dropped in.

If you  call getting on a train from Head Office in Swindon ‘dropping in!’ Great to see you anyway.

Time passes and things move on. I call in briefly on Tuesday this week to photograph some of the young people who are now joining in on site.

And Cairns Street is looking very different.

And Cairns Street is looking very different.

Scaffolding is now up on the CLT house.

Scaffolding is now up on the CLT houses.

Heavy works are now taking place.

Heavy works are now taking place.

The street is swarming with activity. The CLT on one side, Liverpool Mutual Homes on the other.

The street is swarming with activity. The CLT on one side, Liverpool Mutual Homes on the other.

But the young people are back at College for the afternoon.

But the young people are back at College for the afternoon.

Doing the mix of practical and class based learning that will get them their City and Guilds Construction qualification.

Undaunted I return to Granby this morning, Thursday and a lovely spring morning too, for a longer look at what’s happening.

In Jermyn Street Liverpool Mutual Homes are well busy.

In Jermyn Street Liverpool Mutual Homes are well busy all down the street.

Not at all distracted by the Biennial Pigeons.

Not at all distracted by the Biennial Pigeons.

And doing, well, what it says.

And doing, well, what it says.

Hence this side of the street full of scaffolding.

Hence this side of the street full of scaffolding.

Between the streets, on Kingsley Road, the community gardens are in full spring flower.

Between the streets, on Kingsley Road, the community gardens are in full spring flower.

And round in Cairns Street?

Even more activity than yesterday.

Even more activity than on Tuesday.

But let’s pause to reflect on how life is at the moment in the three houses that are actually occupied on that side of the road. Two of them are in the photograph above, squeezed in between the CLT houses that are clearly on site. From inside the sounds of generators, drilling and assorted heavy works can be heard from eight each morning until four each afternoon. A welcome sound in many ways, and one much wished for over many years. But nevertheless a shock to experience after decades of near silence.

Chutes outside the front doors where the old roof tiles come crashing down into the skips.

Chutes outside the front doors where the old roof tiles come crashing down into the skips. New tiles ready and waiting on the street here.

As the roof next to an occupied house is carefully stripped of its slates.

As the roof next to an occupied house is carefully stripped of its slates.

Carefully supervised by Roy.

Carefully supervised by Roy here.

But how is the famous Granby street planting getting on through all of this, I hear you asking? Well it’s having to be moved. On the LMH side of the road the utilities companies now need access to the pavements to start putting services into the nearly completed houses.

These nearly completed houses.

These nearly completed houses.

So yesterday Gemma from the yet to start on their bit of the site Terrace 21 Co-op, nevertheless turned up with some friends to begin the temporary decanting of the now flowering spring bulbs and other plants, including a few trees!

And miracles are being collectively achieved.

And miracles are being collectively achieved.

Big thanks here also due to the LMH construction workers who are helping Gemma and the residents with the careful moving of the plants and their soil. They’re also going to build new planting boxes for the street for them all to move back into. Well done all, a splendid example of  genuine community co-operation.

And it won't be long before it'll have to happen on the other side of the road too.

And it won’t be long before it’ll have to happen on the other side of the road too.

Where RSJs are now in evidence.

Where RSJs are now in evidence.

And some bays are being partially deconstructed for structural repairs.

And some bays are being partially deconstructed for structural repairs.

So a day of furious and purposeful activity on Cairns Street.

So a day of furious and purposeful activity on Cairns Street.

Judged too busy and simply too hazardous for the young people in fact. Who’ll be back on gentler days to learn construction in a guaranteed safe environment. So I’ll be back for the photos then.

Moving on then to see how Plus Dane are doing round in Beaconsfield Street?

A quieter but no less dramatic site.

A quieter but no less dramatic sight, or should I say site?

The upper floor they were working on so carefully from that platform three weeks ago, now beginning its reconstruction.

The upper floor they were working on so carefully from that platform three weeks ago, now beginning its reconstruction.

The careful and painstaking business of making new homes from almost abandoned streets.

The careful and painstaking business of making new homes from almost abandoned streets.

Except they were never abandoned by the comparatively few people living here.

Except they were never abandoned by the comparatively few people living here.

Each spring as they campaigned relentlessly for restoration and renewal their flowers would bloom and their street markets would begin again for the year. And this year, despite all the building works you’ve now seen, there will still be no interruption to these natural forces of nature. The flowers are blooming, even if many of them are having to be moved.

And the first Street Market of 2015 is two weeks away.

And the first Street Market of 2015 is two weeks away.

It will be held in Ducie Street, the only one of the 4 Streets not yet being worked on. And will take place on Saturday 4th April, Easter Saturday.

There will be games.

There will be games.

I’m sure I’ll be reminding you about the Street Market before then. And this blog will of course be back on the Four Streets whenever it needs to be. Granby 4 Streets, for so many reasons, being one of the most important things going on in Liverpool at the moment.

And one more thing?In Granby: On site07Next week, on Tuesday evening, 24th March is ‘What’s Your Granby Story?’ First of a series of discussions being run by local organisation ‘Writing on the Wall’ to gather up local stories and also start working on possibilities for the Community Land Trust’s next job, working out what would be the best uses for the four empty shop premises on the ‘Four Corners’ of Granby and Cairns Streets. Full details, times and place to meet here on the CLT website.

2 thoughts on “In Granby: On site

  1. Teresa morris

    After reading the piece in the Guardian yesterday I wanted to know more. Your blog is fascinating and your photos very helpful. In fact
    the whole enterprise is very impressive. More power to your elbow! I shall come up to Liverpool sometime in the future and visit the area to see how it is getting on.

    Reply

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