Realising I haven’t had a day off working for two weeks, when I get up on Good Friday and the sun’s out, I go out too. Walking to town on one of my circuitous routes. Beginning a few roads from where we live in Wavertree.
On Lidderdale Road.
From where a path runs alongside the railway.
All the way to Lawrence Road.
So just a couple of hundred yards away from always busy Smithdown is this peaceful stroll.
Past pieces of almost rural past.
A barn? A cowhouse? with a CCTV camera.
A secret place.
Emerging onto Lawrence Road.
Where life is looking buoyant at the moment.
Like any good high street buildings change their uses over time and as new populations arise. The cultural mix along here these days is very rich.
Caribbean Cuisine here.
Good settled terraced streets.
No empty homes off this end of Lawrence. Talton Road here.
Slovak shops, Asian and African.
Sad to see this isn’t a pub any more.
Piece of the original school kept here in Tabley Road.
Here’s the area in 1905, the school at the centre-right of the map.
A very grand but empty church here.
Only just built when that map was drawn.
The road now turns into Earle Road.
Reminding us this was once the estate of the notorious Earle family, slavers. Before they moved out to Allerton Tower.
I like a house with a date on it.
Now the curious case of the Health Centre.
Next to the Medical Centre?
Not sure what’s going on here?
Opposite is one of Liverpool’s largest collections of empty homes. Tastefully hidden mind.
So you can’t see them from the new school?
Looks like no architect was involved in that.
Emerging at the Lodge Lane crossroad.
Along Lodge Lane where the public baths used to be.
Turning along Grierson Street.
A few remaining terraced houses there. A hundred years ago there was a network of terraced streets along here, connecting Lodge Lane to Granby.
Bit of industrial or even rural past survived here.
Soon after this I get lost. Well not so much lost as bewildered.
Down a network of dead ends and cul de sacs that have me walking round in circles.
I know Kingsley Road is just through there but I can’t work out how to get to it.
The roads all seem settled enough, well cared for and no doubt a pleasure to live in. But a real problem to navigate.
Eventually I find a way through.
Emerging at last onto Kingsley Road.
Next along Eversley Street, one of the original tree-lined terraced streets of Granby.
Now only the trees remain from the street Eversley once was.
Top left, Granby triangle, 1908.
Along Granby Street. The school still standing, just some adult education happening here now.
The few shops that have miraculously survived along this end of Granby.
While all the roads around them have been demolished and years of waiting ’til the new houses and new customers arrived, these somehow held on.
Then I get lost again.
More cul de sacs.
Architectural writer Owen Hatherley has a theory that cul de sacs were deliberately introduced into urban areas in the post riots 1980s precisely because they’re difficult to get around and get out of. That the ‘secured by design one way in, one way out policy’ so much promoted by the police was more about control than security. Being consciously imported from military experiences in Northern Ireland. See Owen’s book, ‘The New Ruins of Great Britain’ for more on this.
Eventually I do, and find the faithful at prayer.
Alongside the Mosque here in Hatherley Street, one of the saddest sights in all Granby.
One side, not sad, is new houses, built and managed by my friends in Steve Biko Housing.
The other side is what’s left of the original Hatherley Street.
Two of the houses are still lived in, so the others can’t be too bad really.
And much of Granby 4 Streets looked like this not so long ago.
I’d love to be part of sorting these out one day.
Saddened by Hatherley Street I cross Princes Boulevard and walk down Upper Warwick Street. At this stage, although I’m not actually working I am scouting out a possible route for an urban walk I’ll be doing with a friend and a group of school children soon. I think it’s important young people learn about urban design and the kinds of things that make places work, and I love to take them walking through the things we older ones have done so they can form their own opinions by how places actually feel to them.
Approaching the new FireFit Hub (it’s a fire station round the back) I expect lots of activity on a public holiday such as this.
But it’s having an old style Good Friday from when everything used to be shut.
Along Windsor Street next, passing Toxteth TV.
Building designed by Architectural Emporium, who we’re working with at Homebaked in Anfield.
And standing roughly where a tower block stood until the 1980s, Windsor Heights?
When the tower block still stood I’d go in this pub sometimes. The Windsor?
Anyway I’m hungry now and I’ve nearly walked my legs off, so it’s time for lunch.
So I walk down to the Baltic.
Where I’m glad to find no such thing as a quiet Good Friday is happening.
Here in Unit 51.
Where a peaceful hour is whiled away.
Opposite there are these 3 statues.
This is ‘Lying, Reading & Sitting Figures’ by Carol Peace. And this exhibition space, where new work is shown every six months is dedicated to the memory of Claire McKeown and Paul Rice, founder members of Baltic Creative CIC, who did and do so much to bring this part of Liverpool back to life.
Loads of development going on round here now.
I try to buy some bread for the weekend but too late in the day now, all sold out.
Next I make a discovery.
Interesting display outside.
And fascinating to go in.
Hobo Kiosk, a treasure trove.
And yes, there are LPs. I buy one by Neneh Cherry. And Delia, who’s running the place, explains they’ve been open a little while but waiting for such a nice day to display stuff outside.
You should come and have a look if you’re passing.
Delia might even make this work for you!
I next have a sit in one of the breathing spaces I catalogued a couple of weeks ago.
A pleasant corner this.
And so close to Liverpool One.
Where I need no self persuading not to go. Instead I play my old ‘get on the first bus out’ game and leave the city centre on an 82.
Then walk along a busy holiday Lark Lane.
Where the Milo Lounge windows are invitingly open.
Then I cross the park.
Intending for the big finish to the walk and this blog post to be some gorgeous pictures of the magnolia tree on Sarah’s allotment in full flower against a deeply blue Good Friday sky.
But she texts me that she’s not here.
So all you get is this distant view of the magnolia from the allotment fence.
Finishing therefore with these new leaves by the side of the railway.
A very Good Friday walking round my beloved Liverpool, circuitously.