An ordinary Liverpool Saturday?

Sun out, camera in my hands, off out to photograph an ordinary Liverpool Saturday, conscious that it’s been ages since I did this. Having said last week that in future I’d only write about things I’d write about if I only had a year to live this is definitely one of them. Walking around where I live and seeing how it’s doing on an ordinary day. Something that’s very special to me.

Out into our street in Wavertree.

And down the hill onto Smithdown.

Yes, it’s very ordinary photograph of a bus at a bus stop. But will Arriva always run the buses here and will looking like this bus one day date it as ‘how buses looked in the years just before 2020?

Time changes everything, even the things we only notice when we look back at old photographs. Today I’m out taking old photographs.

Shops, for example, change owners and uses frequently.

Though not ‘Bob’s Angling’ of course.

Not so long ago I was sad to see the Handymans Supermarket close down due to its owner’s retirement, but predicted it would soon be back as a micro-brewery called ‘The Horse.’

I was wrong about the name.

The Ullet Road crossroads.

A nod to the Doll’s House and Teddy Bear Hospital on the left corner there that’s just shut down. Trusting Naked Lunch will grace the opposite corner for many years to come.

Along the road towards town.

Café Oro which used to be Oomoo.

Sefton General Hospital, now known as ‘The Asda.’

In fact there is still a tiny bit of hospital seeming to have been accidentally left behind at the back end of The Asda’s car park. I was there earlier this week repeating my blood test after being ill these past few weeks. Telling me the results my doctor’s receptionist was pleased to tell me I was ‘well within normal.’ For once this was a great relief.

A bus stop full of information.

Including a hand-written little note at the top left there telling us that the Earth is about to be obliterated by an out of control planet that is hurtling through space towards us. Always handy to be pre-warned about these things.

Death and life in the cemetery.

I’m sure All Kinds used to be in both of those shop units? Hope it hasn’t closed down.

Like most of the shops along here.

Since all of the people got moved out years ago and replaced by a big blue fence.

Still new housing in the former cemetery yard?

These sort of wise sayings are all over the place like proper graffiti, but I think they’re actually t-shirt adverts?

I remember when this was a Kwik Save and before that a Tesco.

I don’t remember when this was a church, always as a second hand furniture place run by my friend Maria.

The former Charles Wooton College.

Named after a 24-year-old black man, a ship’s fireman who was murdered by racists in Liverpool in 1919.

There has been talk and protests about the Women’s Hospital possibly closing.

Even though it hasn’t been here this long. Opened by Diana Spencer in 1991.

Same day she officially opened these Liverpool Housing Trust homes along the road.

Here she is, with the tenants and Max Steinberg, then of the Housing Corporation.

Into Canning Street.

I used to work for Liverpool Housing Trust in the building on the left there. It’s long been done up and sold off.

On the corner of Bedford Street South.

Opposite is this new development.

Where existing social housing tenants are worried about their parking spaces.

See.

Myrtle Parade as was.

Looks like no architect was involved here?

Myrtle Parade was a small, concrete, mildly brutalist shopping precinct from the 1960s.

Now it’s just brutal and the shops don’t seem to be arriving.

Getting close to town.

Myrtle Street Children’s Hospital as was.

“We don’t do halls, we do homes.” Also known as The Sheltering Home for Destitute Children.

There’s considerable competition these days but this, by some way, is the worst building in Liverpool.

Woefully bad. Bits falling off.

Two hours to kick-off.

We’re playing Burnley today.

All of these people turn out to be visitors to Liverpool. Welcome.

The former Leece Street Post Office. No more.

At least some places don’t change, Zorba’s.

Though everything’s changing around it.

 

Into Bold Street.

Thinking about a cup of tea in Leaf’s café in FACT. But I fancy being outside.

So carry on walking down Bold Street.

Past our most precious bookshop.

Rennie’s, also precious.

Both of these having been where they are so long I can’t tell you what their premises used to be.

People tell me a lot of these people on the streets are ‘professional beggars’ and aren’t to be trusted.

I’m not so sure. It never looks like much of a lifestyle choice to me.

Looking up, the former British Gas building.

In which the recently opened OrganicSupermarket looks like it might have gone?

The notices say it’s being refurbished. But it’s only just been ‘furbished,’ so?

Opposite the Lyceum, former gentleman’s library, Post Office, bank, Reece’s, and all kinds of cafés – doing not much at all other than being an elegant backdrop.

Traffic lights to Church Street.

Littlewoods.

The Littlewoods founders.

Top Shop and Burton’s.

Only dress suit I ever hired in my life was from here.

Woolies.

And before that St Peter’s Church.

WH Smith’s.

Quiggin’s.

Ok, I’ll stop that now. But do you see? One day these will be old photos and someone will look back fondly and say “Remember when that was a Bravissimo?” True.

Into The Bluecoat for that cup of tea.

And a sit in the garden.

Liverpool City Centre’s finest breathing space.

Walking on.

Through Liverpool One.

We are drawing 1-1 with Burnley.

Even this will change shop uses and may become beloved early 21st century architecture.

But that’s the end of the walk for today.

It’s ‘Pirate Day’ over at the Albert Dock and I’m not going.

So it’s into the bus station then.

Here’s the 86, let’s go home.

An ordinary Liverpool Saturday then? Of course not, there’s no such thing.

12 thoughts on “An ordinary Liverpool Saturday?

  1. Graham Heyes

    Ronnie, many thanks for your posts I have been lurking here thoroughly enjoying them and it’s about time I let you know that you are appreciated!

    I grew up not far from Liverpool, in UpHolland, near Skelmersdale. In 1978 I went to Liverpool as a student and spent ten years living and working in the city. It has a special place in my life as it covered the transition from the end of childhood into adulthood and is the place where my wife and I met. Many of the places that you show in photographs and talk about are my old haunts. So many places have changed or are gone forever but that is the way of the world. I spent a lot of time and money in Rennie’s on Bold st and I’m glad to see it still there. When I lived in Liverpool it was worn and tired but loveable, with spirit and character by the bucket. I went back most recently in 2015 (I live in the USA now) and it had an odd feel, very changed with a mix of seeming prosperity and run down areas. I wasn’t sure what to think. Your picture of the “new” building with the crumbling fake brick sums it up maybe. New construction, but why when so much seems to be left to rot?

    I also love the Liverpool to Leeds canal walk. As I child we’d walk a long way to the canal to play. I had grandparents who lived either side of the canal where it enters Wigan. So all of that is familiar too.

    So, many thanks Ronnie!

    Reply
    1. Ronnie Hughes Post author

      Thanks Graham, glad you’ve emerged from ‘lurking!’

      Yes Liverpool is a conundrum. A continuing argument between what’s best for the people, the economy, the structure, the environment and the future? Like all cities, they’re never a finished thing. Which is the fascination, the frustration and the reason for me to keep walking around and wondering why?

      Reply
  2. Mike Hogan

    You capture what is extraordinary in the “well normal” so well Ronnie -love the pic of Max looking shady- bit like the vinnie jones and gazza one- gazza being the sally army geezer at the door!

    Reply
  3. BillS

    “LIV”. the recently opened OrganicSupermarket,was open and the cafe part was busy at 2PM,today.
    Was the red door at the side of “News from Nowhere” the entrance to the old Virgin Records shop?

    Reply
  4. Ella

    Love ‘The Asda’ photo. Love your photography style, I live nearby and recognise these places, never properly considering their history. Thank-you for sharing!

    Reply

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