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.
So just a couple of hundred yards away from always busy Smithdown is this peaceful stroll.
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.
Reminding us this was once the estate of the notorious Earle family, slavers. Before they moved out to Allerton Tower.
Not sure what’s going on here?
Looks like no architect was involved in that.
A few remaining terraced houses there. A hundred years ago there was a network of terraced streets along here, connecting Lodge Lane to Granby.
Soon after this I get lost. Well not so much lost as bewildered.
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.
Now only the trees remain from the street Eversley once was.
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.
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.
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.
And standing roughly where a tower block stood until the 1980s, Windsor Heights?
Anyway I’m hungry now and I’ve nearly walked my legs off, so it’s time for lunch.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A very Good Friday walking round my beloved Liverpool, circuitously.