Ed’s Place: Coming Soon to George Henry Lee

Today I want to tell you about something else that’s going to be happening in the former Georg Henry Lee building in the middle of Liverpool. Along with the now open Independents Biennial that I told you about the other day, in a few weeks time the much beloved building will also become Ed’s Place.

‘What’s that then?’ I can already hear you wondering.

Well that’s what the bulk of this blog post is about if you’d like to read on.

But in short it’s going to be one great big room in the former George Henry’s, the old Gifts Department in fact, where a whole load of us – including you if you want – will be able to dream, discuss, plan and debate what a greener and more vibrant future for our city centre would look like. Design sessions, talk sessions, displays, thoughts and stories of what might be possible, over the several weeks that we’ll have the use of part of the grand old building.

Fancy it? I do and that’s why I’m going to be one of the people taking part it it all.

 

But for now I’ll shut up while my friend Jo Harrop of PLACED, the main organiser of Ed’s Place, tells you more about it all and invites you to get involved. Continue reading “Ed’s Place: Coming Soon to George Henry Lee”

Walking Through Time

I’m thinking a lot about time at the moment. How we made it up, how it works, how we see it in what people once did and in what we’re doing next.

Much more talk of time and places coming as my university work, reading and thinking at Sociology Liverpool gets going from now on.

Meanwhile I think of time as I’m walking around. The joy and the beauty of here and now. My feet on the ground of Liverpool as I walk. Like the early morning, earlier this week, as I walked from town to the North Docks, recognising the beauty of the place – hardly for the first time – and how happy I am to be here. In my time and in my place. Here in these few photographs of a sunny July morning, walking from the Town Hall and out through the business district to the Dock Road.

Continue reading “Walking Through Time”

Stacks and Skerries

 

In her second sea kayaking post of June 2018 Sarah sea kayaks through the place that first inspired her to want do this, South Stack off Anglesey:

‘In June 2013 I looked down from these cliffs to see a group of kayaks in the sea and said, ‘I want to do that.

Many adventures have followed, and the frustrations of learning something new too…. but I knew that one day I would like to be in a kayak, paddling under the bridge past South Stack lighthouse. And – five years later – I am.’

Here then is the story of Sarah, paddling through and beyond her dreams and then out to the far islands where that beautiful red and white lighthouse is waiting.       

*

I am back on a kayaking trip, this time on what I now think of as ‘my’ home paddling area – Anglesey. I have two days with coach Steve Miles. Conditions are very fair – no swell, and very light winds – so we have plenty of choice about where to go. We decide on ‘The Stacks’ for our first day.

Just out of Porth Dafarch and we meet Richard Janes on the water – one of the team from Sea Kayaking Wales. I will be out with them in July on their weekend ‘Exploring Marine Diversity by kayak’ .  As usual we pause whilst kayaking banter is observed, and then we are on our way  up the north coast – where I have not kayaked before, to South Stack and North Stack, or ‘The Stacks’. This north coast of Anglesey is particularly interesting from a geological point of view – and all I can do is be amazed, without the knowledge to describe what we can see here! Continue reading “Stacks and Skerries”

Oyé: A Village Returns

Once a year in a park not too far away, a village called Oyé appears. For two days it goes about its village business, and then it disappears on the second night of the two days, like it was never there. Until the mid-summer of the following year, when once again Oyé returns, as it has today.

I knew this would be the day of its return because I’ve been visiting the village now for twenty six years. Following it round the city and even across the water in its early days, before it settled in its home now, at the Lodge Lane end of Sefton Park.

Nevertheless a friend reminded me about it when I happened to see her the day before, because she’s a drummer and knew about a band from her home country I should get there in time to see.

So I walked into the park the next morning to find Oyé. Hearing it before I could see it.

Then here it was, across the field and between the vans, the Village of Oyé. Here like always, never quite the same but always both familiar and different.

So I walked around, like I always do. Continue reading “Oyé: A Village Returns”

The Long Light & The Deep Quiet

A serious treat here for blog readers already following my partner Sarah’s sea kayaking adventures. Her story of three weeks in May and June, out in the Western Isles looking for what she found:

‘Here I have calm and deep peace. Time for me. Time to consider life. I have craved, needed, wanted this  – so much. To give myself some perspective, to reflect that life is short. Too short to not do what gives you joy. Too short to get side-tracked by the diversions that don’t matter.

I have a craving for quiet. I find it here.’

*

Here then is Sarah’s beautiful story of ‘The Long Light and the Deep Quiet’

I have just returned from the land of the long light – having travelled the length of the Outer Hebrides (also known as the Western Isles) and up to the Summer Isles. From the islands sprinkled far out into the Atlantic Ocean to an archipelago in the North West Highlands. 

My trip begins in Oban, where I am camping for the first time alone, and with my new tent. I send a photo to Ronnie who says it looks like a ‘tent brochure’! Little do I know that I am about to camp in a number of locations that could be the setting for tent brochures in some of the most stunning scenery, with few or no nearby tents.

It’s that sort of adventure.  Continue reading “The Long Light & The Deep Quiet”

Scottie Press: A Liverpool Institution

Celebrating 47 years and counting of independent local news and opinions

Yesterday morning I spent  a couple of hugely enjoyable hours in the office of, arguably, Liverpool’s most opinionated newspaper, talking about?

‘The power of local news in communities and the role Scottie Press has in the regeneration of north Liverpool’

Well so the paper’s newish editor later summed up our rambling conversation, which roamed all over the place, from my own time of first working in the area during the paper’s early days, to his own ideas about north Liverpool’s future and the potential importance of Scottie Press in helping to create it.

We had a great time and I came away with a role for me in the paper’s future, which I’ll tell you about in a bit.

But first back to the start of it all in 1971. Continue reading “Scottie Press: A Liverpool Institution”

One Day: Storytelling and Photography in Old Swan, Liverpool

One day of storytelling and photography with street photographer Jane MacNeil and me, Ronnie Hughes.

Taking place on Friday 10th August in Old Swan, Liverpool.
All bookings in advance, here through Eventbrite.

This will be a one day course:

  • For anyone who wants to do more with photography;
  • Tell stories in pictures as well as words;
  • By better appreciating the place where you already are;
  • Or getting to know a fascinating neighbourhood better;
  • Using the camera you already have, your phone.

A day of stories, conversations, ideas, advice and getting out and about round the streets and neighbourhood of Old Swan, Liverpool with the two of us.

And maybe you too?

Continue reading “One Day: Storytelling and Photography in Old Swan, Liverpool”

The Writer’s House

After I wrote about my friend the artist Emma Rushton’s house a couple of weeks ago, some other friends suggested I might like to do a series where I look around some other people’s houses. They thought this could be an interesting development from other writings and work I’ve done on, oh, the meaning of life and home as a human right. They also thought it would be a good nose.

Thanks ‘some other friends!’

So to try out the idea, and because it’s only fair, I’ve decided to follow up the post on Emma’s house with one about where I live. And since I’m writing this and it’s what I do a lot of, here’s ‘The Writer’s House’.

I moved in here with my daughter Clare in September 1991. A three bed terraced house in Wavertree, much like thousands of others in Liverpool. Continue reading “The Writer’s House”

The High Street: How’s it doing, really?

A closely observed walk along a local hight street here in Liverpool, with statistics, to see and feel how it’s doing.

Our high streets are in trouble. Some blame austerity politics, others supermarkets and more still the passage of time, saying we shop differently now. What’s in less doubt than these various causes is the importance of a good high street to how happy we are with the places where we live.

Elsewhere on this blog I’m starting to look at the insides of people’s houses, looking at how we live and the necessity, a human right I call it, of us all having a secure and properly affordable place we can call home.

But we don’t only live inside of our homes do we? The quality of our lives has a lot to do with what else is around us, including the high streets of shops that run through and bind our neighbourhoods and, often as not, give them their names. So in Liverpool we have areas of Walton generally called County Road and Walton Vale, for example. In Anfield a place called ’round Priory Road’ and in Aigburth one called, well, ‘Aigburth Road’. High streets whose general health is an important part of how their neighbourhoods are doing. Continue reading “The High Street: How’s it doing, really?”

In Liverpool: Street Photography

Though I’ve published thousands of photographs on this blog over the past six years I’ve never done anything so formal as to go on a course about photography. Until today. This being the first course I’ve been on in years. And these photographs being the result.

The course was called “Street Photography” and was run by my friend Jane MacNeil and fellow street photographer Matt Hart. Good it was too, even if I spent most of the day well out of the comfort zone of my usual ways of taking photographs. The point of what a group of nine of us spent the day doing was to photograph life out around the streets of town, meaning people, in as natural a way as we could, without particularly interfering in what was going on.

I found this hard and I’ve deleted many more photographs than I’ve published here. But then it was a course and I’d gone on it deliberately to learn from people who are much better at people photography, on the streets, than I suspect I’ll ever be.

So here are the best of my photographs from my Street Photography day. By no means perfect, I’ve been out learning. But carrying a definite sense of place and very much a portrait of one sunny Saturday in March 2018, in Liverpool city centre, my home.

Thanks to Jane and Matt for the generous teaching, and of course to everyone in the photos. Here we are, in our place.

Continue reading “In Liverpool: Street Photography”