A great day this last Friday, 6th November, celebrating fifteen of the places that are lighting up the ways we live now, Granby 4 Streets proudly amongst them. Ann, Hazel and me at The Academy of Urbanism Awards for 2016.
Coucillor Ann O’Byrne, of course, Deputy Mayor of Liverpool, Hazel Tilley of Cairns Street, and me and Hazel both both Board members of the Granby 4 Streets Community Land Trust.
Now normally I loathe and avoid Awards ceremonies for reasons too bitter to besmirch a generally celebratory blogpost. But this was different. During the daytime for a start, no pompous dress code in operation and much more of a celebration than a competition.
None of us fifteen places up for Great City, Town, Neighbourhood, Street and Place awards had nominated ourselves. We’d all been selected by The Academy of Urbanism as good examples of what people are doing with the places where they live and work. So we were all interested in each other and during the day there was much intermingling and curiosity as the room sparkled with conversations about ‘How did you do that? And what made you think of it?’
Let me list the places. Places with names like poetry:
The cities of Bologna, San Sebastián and Stockholm,
The towns Frome, Halifax and Margate,
The neighbourhoods Devonshire Quarter in Sheffield, Hulme in Manchester and Old Town Hastings,
The streets Cairns Street in Liverpool, Deptford High Street in Lewisham and Oliver Plunkett Street in Cork,
And the places Irvine Harbour in Ayrshire, Peace Bridge and Ebrington Square in Derry and Scale Lane Bridge in Hull.
With a poem for each of us. Yes, brilliant idea. And a framed copy of our poem was the prize each of us got. No gongs or awkward pieces of glass to worry about on the trains home. But the recognition and respect of all of us, and our urban poems. Here’s Ian McMillan’s poem for Cairns Street.
By the way, a word about why Cairns Street rather than all four of our streets? Because that’s what someone from the Academy nominated us for. Maybe because the Street Market’s mostly been there? The three of us though, obviously, talked all day about all four streets.
And did we win? No, or I would have told you by now.
On the train, looking through the pack of stuff we’d been given I discovered another treasure I’d not noticed during all the talking of the day.
Containing all of Ian McMillan’s poems for the day. And beautifully set out and illustrated, unless I’m very much mistaken, by the Academy’s Artist-in-Residence (yes, they’ve got one of them too) David Rudlin.
If you’ve been around this blog a while You’ll have come across David before in ‘Places by Design.’ It was great to see you again at this David.
Meanwhile back in Granby, the day before all of this, it had been our weekly site meeting.
So consecutive and contrasting days, both deeply rewarding in their different ways. Finally, a last look at David’s book and Ian’s poem about us. Thank you both.Meanwhile over in Cork? I think there might be a bit of a do going on along Oliver Plunkett Street.