The Quiet Days

Version 2We’ll come back to this image in a bit and what it might imply, but first let’s get out walking. On my own today, Sarah’s back at her funeral celebrant work.

I love the quiet days when Christmas has gone and today begins so sunny it would be just wrong not to take my camera out for a look round.

Along Ullet Road.

Along Ullet Road.

Where they had their street party just a few weeks ago.

Me - and Cumberland Avenue.

Me – and Cumberland Avenue.

Hartington Road.

Hartington Road.

Looking along Sefton Park Drive to Lodge Lane.

Looking along Sefton Park Road to Lodge Lane.

Greenheys Road.

Greenheys Road.

All of them looking at their very best framed by a deep blue sky in the low winter sun.

On the corner of Princes Avenue, the late December springtime.

On the corner of Princes Avenue, the late December springtime.

(‘It’s called mallow’ Sarah tells me later. ‘It is a late summer flower, so in an ordinary year you might see it into October’.)

Into Granby Street to see how Granby 4 Streets are doing.

Into Granby Street to see how Granby 4 Streets are doing.

Ducie Street - hoping to see this on site before long.

Ducie Street – hoping to see this on site before long.

Thanks for the fly tipping. I suppose you're going to come and take it away whoever you are?

Thanks for the fly tipping. I suppose you’re going to come and take it away whoever you are?

(So you know – the rubbish was successfully re-homed to the guilty party who’d left their address in the suitcase!)

Jermyn Street - not all finished but well on the way.

Jermyn Street – not all finished but well on the way.

And Cairns Street?

And Cairns Street?

Well as you can see HMS builders are working on the Liverpool Mutual Homes houses today, just opposite the Community Land Trust houses we currently have on site. They’re nearly finished and we’ll be starting on some more in the next few weeks. Also the co-op, Terrace 21, should be on site with their five houses early this coming year.

As well as all that us and the City Council are dealing with one of the corner shops…

This one.

This one.

It was already partially collapsed when the storms in December brought some more of it down, so that what was left was so dangerous the City had to have it demolished. Carefully and in consultation with us. Because that’s the now exposed gable wall of our house at 19 Cairns Street next to it there.

The Community Land Trust does have plans for this being some sort of shop or community space once we can find the money for it.

The Community Land Trust does have plans for this being some sort of shop or community space once we can find the money for it.

For now we're left with this newly exposed piece of cosmic graffiti.

For now we’re left with this newly exposed collection of cosmic graffiti.

And a gable wall to see to.

And a gable wall to see to.

Which we will do in the next few weeks.

Which we will do in the next few weeks.

As we finish works on our current houses.

As we finish works on our current houses.

And Beaconsfield Street? This end's all done.

And in Beaconsfield Street? This end’s all done.

And Plus Dane are well on with the Princes Avenue end.

And Plus Dane are well on with the Princes Avenue end.

I'd imagine people would be moving into these soon?

I’d imagine people would be moving into these soon?

So there you are. A site visit even on the quiet days when I’m not working!

On the corner of Mulgrave Street and Arundel Street as was, a memory.

On the corner of Mulgrave Street and Arundel Street as was, a memory.

It’s a shop now but back in the early days when I worked around here in the 1970s and 80s this was the offices of Neighbourhood Housing Services who did great work with co-ops and house renovations back then.

More memories.

More memories.

A recently completed memorial.

Here’s what it’s about.

To remember the people of Liverpool 8 who lost their lives in both world wars.

“In January 2012 The L8 Law Centre Trustees (now called The L8 Legacy Projects) commissioned a public artwork to commemorate the people of Liverpool 8.

The work, a large metal figure ‘8’, symbolises the spirit and journeys of the people of the area. This is a special piece of work that everyone will relate to, many of our ancestors arrived in Liverpool by sea and the links of the 8 reflect this, everyone has connections with the past and with the future.”

Thank you Joe Farrag, as ever, for the explanation. An honour to be recording this with you.

Another quiet year for the 'Welsh Cathedral'

Across the road, another quiet year of quiet abandonment for the ‘Welsh Cathedral’. Any plans anyone knows of?

Many faiths gathered together. Greek Orthodox and Anglican.

Many faiths gathered together. Greek Orthodox and Anglican.

The Mosque's just along Mulgrave Street and of course there's the gorgeous Synagogue here.

The Mosque’s just along Mulgrave Street and of course there’s the gorgeous Synagogue here.

Across to Upper Parliament Street.

Across to Upper Parliament Street.

I stood up in the exposed roof beams of these houses while they were being renovated forty years ago, just after I’d started working for Liverpool Housing Trust. I didn’t thereafter make a habit of that sort of thing, I think it was a ‘new starter’ test in the days before health and safety had been invented!

Round the corner into Huskisson Street.

Round the corner into Huskisson Street.

Looking back at the Cathedral.

Looking back at the Cathedral.

Into glorious Canning Street.

Into glorious Canning Street.

Also benignly overlooked by the Cathedral.

Also benignly overlooked by the Cathedral.

Just gorgeous. On the corner of Canning Street and Bedford Street South,

Just gorgeous. On the corner of Canning Street and Bedford Street South.

At the far end of Bedford Street South something new is rising where little Myrtle Street Precinct used to stand.

It was no one's idea of great architecture.

It was no one’s idea of great architecture.

Though it did contain the beloved Eureka.

Though it did contain the beloved Eureka.

Well here's its replacement.

Well here’s its replacement.

Only partially finished and clearly containing yet more student housing. And opinions? Well at least it’s matching the scale of the Canning neighbourhood around it, and anyway all buildings have to be new at first. Looks like there’s good use being made of the roof spaces up there. And if that had been there back in 1973 when I was starting my Sociology degree just across from it in the Eleanor Rathbone building, I’d have more than loved to live here.

Meanwhile the splendid Georgian terrace next door is still doing well.

Meanwhile the splendid Georgian terrace next door is still doing well.

Past the Cambridge where I spent a good deal of my University day.

Along past the Cambridge where I spent a good deal of my University days.

And through past Oxford Street Maternity Hospital, now part of a 'student village'

And through past Oxford Street Maternity Hospital, now part of a ‘student village’

John Lennon was born here. So, many years later was my daughter Clare. Probably why they’ve still got the bunting out!

John and Clare haven't got plaques up though.

John and Clare haven’t got plaques up though.

Round the corner I was part of the opening of this Cathedral in 1967.

Round the corner I was part of the opening of this Cathedral in 1967.

At The Everyman it's Panto time, lots of excited children on their way into the matinée performance.

At The Everyman it’s Panto time, lots of excited children on their way into the matinée performance.

Next door, the Pen Factory .

Next door, the Pen Factory. Highly recommended but I don’t feel like going inside anywhere today.

A public service announcement.

A public service announcement. Careful to get this one in focus.

A pub.

A pub.

A false ghost sign over the top of a real one?

A false ghost sign over the top of a real one?

Respectable and properly old ghost signs don’t exhort us to ‘drink responsibly’.

Into Bold Street.

Into Bold Street.

Always a pleasure to walk along.

But once I get to the pedestrianised bit?

But once I get to the pedestrianised bit?

It’s too crowded for my quiet day and I turn back. Having forgotten that while these are quiet days for me, for many others they’re the days of ‘taking the Christmas presents back to the shops to swap them for something they actually want’.

And while I’m here can I raise a question about ‘the pedestrianised bit?’ These days there are always cars there. Parked, as you can see and beeping their way past us pedestrians. And they’re not the cars of the traders. So can anyone enlighten me?

Grumbling, I walk on.

Back in the Georgian Streets, along Rodney.

Back in the Georgian Streets, along Rodney.

Missed this one in my William Roscoe walks.

Missed this one in my William Roscoe walks.

Then in 1809 William Ewart Gladstone was born here.

Then in 1809 William Ewart Gladstone was born here.

Top fact in the Wikipedia link there is that for all the times he was Prime Minister he never got on with Queen Victoria, who would complain:

“He always addresses me as if I were a public meeting.”

Time for a sit down.

So I turn up Mount Street.

So I turn up Mount Street.

Adrian Henri lived in one of these, not sure which.

Adrian Henri lived in one of these, not sure which.

Then I sit on one of the seats at the top of the street and eat my lunch looking down the hill.

Then I sit on one of the seats at the top of the street and eat my lunch looking down the hill.

There used to be a view of the river from here before that Hilton Hotel in Liverpool One blocked it.

Zooming in reveals you can still see a tiny bit of river though.

Zooming in reveals you can still see a tiny bit of river though.

Walking on along Gambier Terrace.

Walking on along Gambier Terrace.

And Cathedral Mansions Co-op at the end of Huskisson Street.

And Cathedral Mansions Co-op at the end of Huskisson Street.

Then across Parlaiment Street to Windsor Street.

Past the beautiful public library.

Past the beautiful public library.

This is a Carnegie Library, opened in 1902 by Andrew Carnegie himself

It is very precious.

It is very precious. And beautiful inside too, go and have a look.

Looking down Stanhope Street to the river.

Looking down Stanhope Street to the river.

Further along Windsor Street, the L8 Community Hub.

Further along Windsor Street, the L8 Community Hub.

Turning into High Park Street, and the Welsh Streets.

Turning into High Park Street, and the Welsh Streets.

Kinmel Street.

Kinmel Street.

Madryn Street. The taxi, as ever, is outside where Ringo Starr was born.

Madryn Street. The taxi, as ever, is outside where Ringo Starr was born.

Powis Street. Left blighted by two series of Peaky Blinders.

Powis Street. Left blighted by two series of Peaky Blinders.

Street after street of 400 empty homes.

Street after street of 400 empty homes.

Which I’ve written about many times on here before. Particularly bemoaning the fact that the future of them was taken out of our Liverpool hands for a while.

Well in 2016, if we all work together I think we might be able to sort things round here.

Well in 2016, if we all work together I think we might be able to sort things round here.

It will take lots of discussion, by Liverpool people about Liverpool streets. And it won’t be easy in so many ways. But I think we have the will and the creativity between us all to come up with something that will work for all concerned. So let’s see?

The bright day dwindling now I walk on through Princes Park.

The bright day dwindling now I walk on through Princes Park.

Nearly home.

Nearly home.

A good quiet day, full of reflections and possibilities.

 

 

14 thoughts on “The Quiet Days

  1. stephen

    Enjoyable to read as always Ronnie.
    The Bold St “pedestrianised” bit gets me too. I read recently that Bold St and Prescot St (outside the Royal Liverpool hospital) are the main hot spots in the city for parking fines.

    Reply
  2. Joe

    Great photo’s and read ta. Just to explain what the Statue is actually about…

    Eight in Eight

    In January 2012 The L8 Law Centre Trustees (now called The L8 Legacy Projects) commissioned a public artwork to commemorate the people of Liverpool 8.

    The work, a large metal figure ‘8’, symbolises the spirit and journeys of the people of the area. This is a special piece of work that everyone will relate to, many of our ancestors arrived in Liverpool by sea and the links of the 8 reflect this, everyone has connections with the past and with the future.

    Reply
    1. Ronnie Hughes Post author

      Good to hear from you Robert. I’m sure he was, as Sarah here will say, no day at the beach, but he didn’t half stick to his principles. Perhaps attempting to atone for the fact that the family became rich in his father’s day through the slave trade?

      Reply
  3. J. C. Greenway

    Was struck by seeing some of the most beautiful streets in the city and some of the most unloved, side by side in your photos.
    Hope that there’s more love to go around in the New Year!

    Reply
      1. J. C. Greenway

        Of course, sorry, think I meant to say ‘unloved by officialdom’, not the campaigners and residents. Hope 2016 brings more good things to Granby4streeets, Homebaked, the Junk Food café and everyone else who’s involved.

  4. David Sakho

    Wonderful post.

    Photos are great, some of the streets and buildings you’ve snapped have very special memories for me, particularly Canning Street, where I lived as a teenager from 1969 – 1973 and the Catholic Cathedral; I was absolutely fascinated by it as a boy after it opened in May 1967. I used to love to see its bells ringing, for some reason – the four bells in the modern concrete bell tower fascinated me – and I remember sunny Sunday mornings in the autumn of 1967 when I would wait until I heard the bells ring to call the faithful to Mass, and I would ask Mum to let me go to the sweet shop in Myrtle Street to buy a bar of chocolate or something so that I could take a diversion to watch those bells!

    I was sad to see the old Myrtle Street Shopping Precinct go, I remember it being built in 1970 – 1971, and I remember the grand opening – a sort of local community event, in about October 1971. Hmm, 1971, T Rex, Hot Pants, The Postal Worker’s strike, the back end of the Vietnam War years, it all seems like a different planet now.

    On a more serious note, I find it amazing, sad, disgusting even, that there are so many empty homes when there are people – an increasing number of them due to capitalist oriented policies – sleeping out rough.

    Finally, regarding Ringo Starr’s old home, I suggested two or three years ago that the council blue plaque it, renovate it, and furnish it in the manner it would have been in when Mr. Starr was growing up there, and make it into a local museum. Apart from an acknowledgement from the Council, I never heard a dickie bird more.

    Anyway Ronnie, thank you for all of your posts over the last year, and all the best for 2016.

    David Sakho

    Reply
    1. Ronnie Hughes Post author

      Thank you David. As for the empty homes, what we still have of Granby, the remaining 4 streets, is well on its way now. So next we as a city need to seriously consider what we’ll do about all of our other empty homes. The Welsh Streets and everywhere else. And I’ll be doing my best to help with that in 2016.

      Reply

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