A Saturday Smithdown Stroll

dsc07535“Just off for a Saturday Smithdown Stroll” I say to Sarah as I’m leaving the house. “Oh that means records then” she perceptively replies. “It might?” I mutter, and as you can see it does. But more of that later.

We are in the days of dwindling light now.

We are in the days of dwindling light now.

When the sun is barely bothering to rise.

When the sun is barely bothering to rise.

And so I'm grateful for the Wavertree Christian Fellowship's twinkling tree.

And so I’m grateful for the Wavertree Christian Fellowship’s twinkling tree.

With Coming Home dominating my weeks, now I’ve stepped back from pretty much everything else I was involved in, I like to spend my weekends doing hardly anything beyond  walking around, reading, listening to music – and quietly observing life, as I will today. 

Under the railway bridge.

Under the railway bridge.

To the marvel that is Bob's Angling.

To the marvel that is Bob’s Angling.

Top Window Display of this or any other year.

Top Window Display of this or any other year.

A nod to Dafna's, timeless.

A nod to Dafna’s, timeless.

And to here, Handyman's Supermarket.

And to here, Handyman’s Supermarket.

Sad Retirement and Closure of the year.

Sad Retirement and Closure of the year.

I await its reopening and rebranding.

I await its reopening and rebranding.

As a ‘gastro social eatery experience’ called ‘Horse’ or perhaps ‘Equestria?’

Whatever, doubt it would be as straightforwardly good and friendly as Naked Lunch.

Whatever, doubt it would be as straightforwardly good and friendly as Naked Lunch.

Be back in a bit, not ready to eat yet.

Not sure what's happening over at Collectables. Seems to spend a lot of time with its shutters down?

Not sure what’s happening over at Collectables. Seems to spend a lot of time with its shutters down?

Evil Eye is highly recommended though, even if their food could work better served on plates than in tin foil. Just an idea.

'Kut-A-Bill' Smithdown veteran.

‘Kut-A-Bill’ Smithdown veteran.

I think everyone's in town buying Christmas presents.

I think everyone’s in town buying Christmas presents.

Here Dave at the second hand furniture shop with no name is cashing in on the festive frenzy.

Here Dave at the second hand furniture shop with no name is cashing in on the festive frenzy.

Meanwhile I've arrived at 'records' as Sarah was predicting.

Meanwhile I’ve arrived at ‘records’ as Sarah was predicting.

Defend Vinyl, Smithdown’s New Shop of the Year.

And Graham, the proprietor, is proudly holding up the Bill Withers album he's found for me.

And Graham, the proprietor, is proudly holding up the Bill Withers album he’s found for me.

He is even more proudly modelling his ‘Christmas Time’ jumper.

The stock of records is splendid today, so it’s hard to limit myself to just one other, the new Car Seat Headrest album.

And as I don’t want to go to the Asda, stroll around the cemetery or continue to Lodge Lane, that’s as far along Smithdown as I’ll go today.

So I turn back.

So I turn back.

And go to Naked Lunch, for my lunch.

And go to Naked Lunch, for my lunch.

A mug of tea and a grilled cheese toastie. Recommended.

A mug of tea and a grilled cheese toastie. Recommended.

In here I read in a newspaper about a row between Prince Someone-Orother And Prince Someone-Else about whether the men their daughters haven’t married yet will be called Earls of This or That. Or not. And wonder, not for the first time, about the brains and moralities of such self entitled creatures, whilst people are starving around them.

Then back along Smithdown.

Then I walk back along Smithdown.

Past The Mystery.

Past The Mystery.

And the shops on what I always think of as 'the quiet bit' of Smithdown.

And the shops on what I always think of as ‘the quiet bit’ of Smithdown.

Strong nod to Purple Carrot, looking particularly well stocked and useful last time I was in there.

Strong nod to Purple Carrot, looking particularly well stocked and useful last time I was in there.

And hi to Colette and Gemma.

And hi to Colette and Gemma.

Mooshy La La

Mooshy La La, ‘Bohemian Glamour From Opulent Decades Past.’

Never been in but it looks great!

Ha ha ha ha ha...

Ha ha ha ha ha…

For years this was a piece of cleared land where every December some people would come, set up and sell Christmas trees. Well now this falsely turreted disgrace to architecture has been built on the land, guess what? It’s made no difference. They can’t let the shop units so the corner one is being used for selling Christmas trees.

And talking of disgraces to architecture?

And talking of disgraces to architecture?

On the corner of Smithdown and Penny Lane is this. ‘The Most Pathetically Slow Piece of Development on a Historically Significant Site in Liverpool This Century.’

I've been complaining about this for years now.

I’ve been complaining about this for years now.

It’s the ‘shelter in the middle of a roundabout’ from The Beatles ‘Penny Lane’ song. And more years ago than I could be bothered researching some developer got planning permission to put that extra storey on it and re-open it as a restaurant. But it never has opened and how the developer retains their planning permission is a  mystery to me? Every once in a very long while a couple of blokes will turn up and do a bit of plastering or painting, watched by the beamingly proud developer. Then they all go away again.

And the 'shelter in the middle of the roundabout' never opens.

So the ‘shelter in the middle of the roundabout’ never opens.

And every day coach loads of Beatles tourists drive by and wonder why?

And every day coach loads of Beatles tourists drive by and wonder why?

Anyway, by this stage the road called Smithdown has become Allerton Road.

This end of it featuring mainly estate agents and solicitors.

This end of it featuring mainly estate agents and solicitors.

Woolies having long turned into yet another Tesco.

Woolies having long turned into yet another Tesco.

WH Smith stepping into Woolies role as the road's 'general supplier of things you don't want all that often.'

WH Smith stepping into Woolies role as the road’s ‘general supplier of things you don’t want all that often.’

Staplers, file dividers, that sort of thing.

Allerton Road part two. Two branches of the Home & Bargain Liverpool empire.

Allerton Road part two. Two branches of the Home & Bargain Liverpool empire.

This row of shops containing, classically, a butcher and baker and a greengrocer.

This row of shops containing, classically, a butcher and baker and a greengrocer.

Many charity shops along here. Jospice always has the best window display though.

Many charity shops along here. Jospice always has the best window display though.

Maybe offer a few kindly words of advice to Bob’s Angling?

Furrow of course. Top café, top bread supplier.

Furrow of course. Top café, top bread supplier.

A row of bars and restaurants at the top end of the road.

A row of bars and restaurants at the top end of the road.

Co-Op 'giving back to the community?' Good luck to the brand re-energisers with that one.

Co-Op ‘giving back to the community?’ Good luck to the brand re-energisers with that one.

A pet shop that definitely doesn't sell elephants, lions or rhinos.

A pet shop that definitely doesn’t sell elephants, lions or rhinos.

The road ending with the library. Second most visited in Liverpool after Central.

The road ending with the library. Second most visited in Liverpool after Central.

But about to close now until Monday.

But about to close now until Monday.

And beyond here? The road that was Smithdown and Allerton becones Mather avenue, the road to the suburbs.

And beyond here? The road that was Smithdown and Allerton becomes Mather Avenue, the road to the suburbs.

So I turn round and walk home. With records, as predicted. A peaceful Saturday Stroll in the dwindling light.

See also the companion piece from the following day “A Sunday Circular Stroll”

 

8 thoughts on “A Saturday Smithdown Stroll

  1. tom george

    Hey Ronnie, great little stroll with you down a road I know well. I don’t know if you know but the guy in the vinyl shop used to front a great band called V. I don’t know if they’re still going but I used to see them quite a lot when I was playing on the scene. .

    Reply
  2. jbaird

    Love the photos and especially the round- abouts. We have them here, too, and they are called the same thing, at least where I live. Wonderful tableau!

    Reply
  3. Helen

    I used to have my “Astronomy” magazine on hold in that W H Smith. It wasn’t until I saw the photo that I remembered.

    It was rather baffling to me that libraries didn’t open when most people could visit them, the one in Banbury closed at 17:30 and only opened every other Saturday.

    I loved going down to the central library but I didn’t go that often. The post you did about the black poppies was fascinating. I would love to see more about the libraries.

    Reply
  4. Jan

    I love the Xmas tree sellers use of that empty building, at least it was good for something. On your next stroll down that neck of the woods I can recommend the Tavern ( great brekkies), Oxfam furniture shop also good for vinyl and the Emporium upstairs from the fireplaces.

    Reply

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