Are our public places being made private by stealth? One of them is acting like it has.
It’s been the ‘new’ Greatie since it was moved into its compund a year ago. I came to visit on its opening day. Today will turn out to be my final visit here. You’ll find out why soon.
Noticing in passing that the building of the new stuff is proceeding very slowly, if at all, I walk along to see how Greatie is doing in its new home.
Today I’d have to say people seemed fairly content.
Not really. I always thought of Great Homer Street Market as a great swaggering beast of of a thing, something a little edgy. Well inevitably, in its compound, that’s gone and been replaced with something tame and a bit nervous. Nervous about being photographed for one thing.
As I’m walking around this public place taking these photos I’m twice approached about what I’m doing. The first, a stallholder, asks to see the photos. I show him and he seems happy enough. Not sure what he was expecting other than pictures of Greatie? Next I’m approached on behalf of ‘the management.’ Not the manager herself who stands a little way off, but a pleasant enough man who nevertheless tells me I can’t take photos ‘without the Council’s permission.’ That this is ‘private Council property.’ I quietly tell him my opinions about this nonsense, and how my photos are not for profit and are part of a blog I’ve been building about life in Liverpool for several years now – and give him my card so they can go and see the photos I’ve taken ‘without permission’ when they’re published.
I think markets are really important and I like them much more than corporate shops that are much the same wherever you go. Markets feel like and often sum up the places where they are. That magnificent market in the middle of Leeds for example. I photograph them all and love encouraging other people to go to them. And I’ve never been seen off before! So I doubt I’ll be back at this one.
Great Homer Street Market a private place? What absolute nonsense.