Have you ever looked at the grids in your street, really looked at them? Thought not, so we’ve had a look for you. At least we have if you happen to live in any of four roads in New Brighton or a few more back over in Liverpool. And what’s more our inspection was carried out on Sarah’s birthday, showing that we know how to do a celebration.
The way it happened was that on the midweek day itself we’d come for an afternoon out in New Brighton. Had lunch at the café in Vale Park, always a pleasure, and showed Sarah the pirate treasures nearby that she hadn’t seen yet.
So, proper birthday afternoon out sort of stuff. As was going down to the beach once the rain stopped, having a sit on the Black Pearl, then Sarah doing the beach thing she most delights in of bending over double inspecting the tiny creatures and their habitats that most of us can’t even see. As the tide began to come in she took the lovely photographs of waiting oyster catchers that you’ll see somewhere on this blog post, and we both watched the several ships that were also coming in on the rising tide. Particularly delighting in the two little tugboats that turned one of them round (probably not the correct nautical term) so it could point the right way for getting into Seaforth Dock.
So already an interesting birthday by anyone’s standards before we set off to walk back to Sarah’s car, still parked at the back of our lunchtime venue. Which was when I suggested that grids might be of interest to us both. And I was right. So we started taking these photographs. Along Victoria Road, Seabank Road, Magazine Lane and Vale Drive in New Brighton. Then the next day I continued our task along Hope Street, Mount Pleasant, Clarence Street and Rodney Street back in Liverpool.
All of which means it would be possible to start cataloguing what follows in street order. But we don’t want to and we’re not going to. Instead what we’re doing here is celebrating the beauty of grids, the everyday art, history and engineering stories beneath our feet. In rough shape and function order, beginning with water.
Nice Europen touch at the end there, we think you’ll agree. ‘Hands across the water’ and all that. Next? Well, we did talk about whether all the things we’re showing you here are actually grids, or the lids of grids, or indeed the entrances to grids of various services beneath our roads and pavements? And we decided to call them all grids, so that’s that. Those that follow now, though, are clearly the most grid-like of grids.
As well as their functions we particularly like it when a grid contains the name of its manufacturer and their place of origin. Noticing the Cooper Clarke up there we wondered whether it was made in Salford by the punk bard’s family?
The one that doesn’t say ‘Gas’ up there is particularly lovely and we’ve gone with its shape to assume it’s a gas grid.
A grid it you could climb down, if you wanted. And a nod to Wallasey Corporation here, as well as to Stockport, clearly a leading school in the Art of Grids.
More shapes next.
So many stories under our feet, thoughtlessly walked on every day but telling of what time and people’s skills have done. Like of when we had a General Post Office and its workers laid down all of the country’s telephone cables.
Next, an interlude, a welcome alley of iron bollards.
Still street art and recalling an earlier pair of posts on here that celebrated the ‘Bollards of Liverpool 8.’
Returning to grids and completing our celebration with a collection of circles.
One of them not even a grid at all but, we like to think, celebrating and representing all grids and their beauty and usefulness over time.
We think they’re lovely.
But just to show we’re not completely obsessed by grids, and for those of you who might have noticed the ‘New Brighton’ tag and so come here with some expectations, here’s what else we did on Sarah’s birthday.
So now you know. Grids are a good thing, we think.