Wandering About: Down to the River

Aimlessly 3 - 52

A day of reflections.

Having walked a fair bit of North Liverpool then South Liverpool in the last two days it didn’t take a genius or even me to work out today’s ‘Walking About’ route, the middle. Roughly from here in Wavertree, through L7 and L1 to the River. Let’s go.

Out across the Mystery.

Out across the Mystery.

Reflecting as I start out on a third walk in three days that there are some times when I need a lot of time on my own. Not in a melancholy way, but I don’t want to be inside and I have an elemental need to walk, alone.

The inbound London train crosses a 79D bus on Picton Road.

The inbound London train crosses a 79D bus on Picton Road.

Can you have a dead ghost sign? Because here's one.

Can you have a dead ghost sign? Because here’s one.

Lots of British Rail and industrial land along here.

Lots of British Rail and industrial land along here.

With occasional surprising survivals.

With occasional surprising survivals.

This is Edge Hill, where railways began.

This is Edge Hill, where railways began.

The long empty Littlewoods Building.

The long empty Littlewoods Building.

A Film Studios being the latest plan for it.

What committee of suit wearing go-getters came up with that for a road name?

What committee of suit wearing go-getters came up with that for a road name?

Let's take refuge.

Let’s take refuge.

In the 1830s William Roescoe and some friends moved Liverpool's Botanic Garden from Crown Street to here.

In the 1830s William Roscoe and some friends moved Liverpool’s Botanic Garden from Crown Street to here.

Full story in ‘The Jewel of Edge Lane’.

Though the great glasshouse is long gone from here now.

Though the great glasshouse is long gone from here now.

Though there are grace and memories in the ancient stones.

Though there are grace and memories in the ancient stones.

Even if they pretty much stand at the side of a motorway now.

Even if they pretty much stand at the side of a motorway now.

In the 1960s the Shankland Plan for Liverpool had the M62 coming into the city along here. That never happened then, but the demolitions and road building of these past few years now mean it sort of has.

Traffic pausing at this crossroads to admire, well what?

Traffic pausing at this crossroads to admire, well what?

It's an NHS health centre.

It’s an NHS health centre.

With lyrics by Gerry and the Pacemakers.

With lyrics by Gerry and the Pacemakers.

I suppose people either love it or hate it? Well at least good things go on inside.

Along the road, a little piece of Georgian.

Along the road, a little piece of Georgian.

In fact, though where we’re walking today isn’t talked up for its Georgian buildings to the same extent as not far away Canning, it does have a good number and was clearly once one of the wealthier parts of Liverpool. Up the hill of Mount Vernon and well away from overcrowding, port and industry. Oh and then they invented railways, right here.

Not long after they'd built lovely Clare Terrace.

Not long after they’d built lovely Clare Terrace.

We'll be seeing some serious engineering in a couple of minutes.

We’ll be seeing some serious engineering in a couple of minutes.

Before all these new and expanded roads...

Before all these new and expanded roads…

Low Hill here was one of the busiest permanent traffic jams in the city.

Low Hill here was one of the busiest permanent traffic jams in the city.

Now all is quiet and still.

Now all is quiet and still.

And children cross safely to their playground.

And children cross safely to their playground.

Seeing the goal painted on the wall over there reminds me to tell you about ‘Urban Goals’. A website by Michael Kirkham that makes me smile every time I look at it. Go and have a look.

Now we're coming to the heavy engineering I promised you.

Now we’re coming to the heavy engineering I promised you.

It’s the new Royal Liverpool Hospital. Being built, as you can see, behind and around the existing hospital. I’m going to walk right round the block now and make a record of its construction. Why? Because major building and engineering works fascinate me. How they’re done, certaily, but also how they change the look of a place so dramatically we quickly forget what it used to look like before. I remember Sarah and I doing a similar exercise while Liverpool One was being built early this century and those photos are fascinating, to me anyway. So here goes.

Establishing where we are.

Establishing where we are.

There’s a mosaic number like this on Park Road too. Though of course that one says ‘8’.

From Kensington, the existing hospital.

From Kensington, the existing hospital.

New one visible through the gap there.

New one visible through the gap there.

Pure 1960s architecture.

Pure 1960s architecture.

Brutal with the softened edge of the later added café.

Brutal with the softened edge of the later added café.

In its late days now.

In its late days now.

But brutal as it is it's been our hospital for all these years.

But brutal as it is it’s been our hospital for all these years.

And we’ve got used to it. I know I have. There are paths I could walk in that building with my eyes closed. Veer left at the entrance, through St Paul’s Eye Clinic, right past the lifts, sharp left into the back corridor, fifty yards or so along it, then just before the end, turn right through the double doors to the stairs, up them and across the bridge in the corridor to Linda McCartney.

I’m sure if you’re from here you have your own routes and your own memories. The place being part of the geography of all of our lives.

How the people who've worked in here have kept their spirits up I don't know.

How the people who’ve worked in here have kept their spirits up I don’t know?

But they have in their tender caring for generations of us, and I only hope they’re now going to get the working conditions they’ve so long deserved.

As the dismantling begins.

As the dismantling begins.

Just opposite, another piece of surviving Georgian elegance.

Just opposite, another piece of surviving Georgian elegance.

Noticing in passing that this is now part of the University, not the Roy Castle Centre any more.

Noticing in passing that this is now part of the University, not the Roy Castle Centre any more.

Building works now nearly surround the existing hospital.

Building works now nearly surround the existing hospital.

While the original Royal looks down at the chaos in disdain.

While the original Royal looks down at the chaos in disdain.

Good light now to turn the corner and photograph the main building works.

Good light now to turn the corner and photograph the main building works.

As the old is replaced by the new.

As the old is replaced by the new.

Aimlessly 3 - 41

Even on a Sunday the site is in progress.

Even on a Sunday the site is in progress.

Working up there on that platform.

Working up there on that platform.

Aimlessly 3 - 43 Aimlessly 3 - 44

Aimlessly 3 - 47Aimlessly 3 - 48Aimlessly 3 - 49
Aimlessly 3 - 46Aimlessly 3 - 50

One day all of this will be part of the geography of our health as well.

One day all of this will be part of the geography of our health as well.

Reflecting in fact as I take all of these that I may very well be photographing the construction of the building where I will die. Many many of us do die in hospital, that’s a simple fact.

So I end on reflection.

So I end on reflection.

And walk on down Pembroke Place.

Past Galkoff's.

Past Galkoff’s.

The Museum of Liverpool, knowing of my affection for this place, have been in touch recently to see what I’d think of the idea of the shop front now being moved into their museum for safe keeping?

I told them I'd rather see it returned to being a butcher's serving Liverpool's oldest Jewish community.

I told them I’d rather see it returned to being a butcher’s serving Liverpool’s oldest Jewish community.

But I do understand that time has moved on now.

But I do understand that time has moved on now.

Further along, this is even called 'Little Georgians'

Further along, this is even called ‘The Little Georgian’

Next an architectural masterpiece, and I don't mean the cathedral.

Next an architectural masterpiece, and I don’t mean the cathedral.

St Andrew's Gardens. Liverpool's grandest surviving municipal tenement block.

St Andrew’s Gardens. Liverpool’s grandest surviving municipal tenement block.

Student housing these days.

Student housing these days.

Yet when I see how well it's looking.

Yet when I see how well it’s looking.

I weep for what we've lost. For Gerard Gardens and all the rest.

I weep for what we’ve lost. For Gerard Gardens and all the rest.

I won’t go on.

Cheered up as always by the sight of TJ's.

Cheered up as always by the sight of TJ’s.

Down the hill past the library.

Down the hill past the library.

For once I don't go in.

For once I don’t go in.

Under the flyover to Dale Street.

Under the flyover to Dale Street.

Dappled sunlight on the old fire station at Hatton Garden.

Dappled sunlight on the old fire station at Hatton Garden.

Sadly gone, supplier of many a mysterious bit of electrics for music, computers or both.

Sadly gone, supplier of many a mysterious bit of electrics for music, computers or both.

Over the road and surviving?

Over the road and surviving, the locksmiths?

Past Matin's Bank Building.

Past Matin’s Bank Building.

To the River.

To the River.

I can walk no further. Three happily solitary days of walking around so much of Liverpool now done.

But while I'm here there's something I want to see.

But while I’m here there’s something I want to see.

The new statues.

The new statues.

Oh.

Oh.

They’re not very good are they. They seem to have tried hard to make them really look like our beloved boys.

But they don't.

But they don’t. As we all know from regularly passing that photograph in Liverpool One.

Still, while I’m here, and since the light’s so good I might as well be a tourist with a camera in my own place.

Lovely, even if that black thing is still next to it.

Lovely, even if that black thing is still next to it.

Just gorgeous.

Just gorgeous.

And at least the black thing's good for reflection.

And at least the black thing’s good for reflection.

See the other parts of this one weekend ‘Wandering About’ trilogy:
“Wandering About: Walton and Orrell Park”
“Wandering About: Liverpool 8”

3 thoughts on “Wandering About: Down to the River

  1. Heyes Helen

    I lived just off Kensington, so my walk from the university took me down past the Cohen Library, down under the Royal and then up Kensington.
    My older sister was born at the Royal, I’m guessing it was the “old Royal”.
    It looks like you had a beautiful day for this walk.

    Reply

What do you think?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s