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.
I’m sat here on the big curving staircase in George Henry Lee writing this. On the second floor, near Glassware and looking down towards Cards and Wrapping Paper on the ground floor.
Well those last bits are only in my mind, but I’m really sat on the staircase in George Henry Lee writing. One of the seventy venues that are home to the Independents Biennial 2018 from now until the end of October. I’m very happy to be here.
She was the first real live pop star I ever actually went to see, was Dusty Springfield. At the height of her magnificence and for my 13th birthday. Here’s the story.
Something about her had always fascinated me when she’d turn up on our black and white television singing with The Springfields. I’d ignore the men in suits either side of her and focus on her eyes, her singing, her liveliness. I’m about eight years old when she’d be on ‘Thank Your Lucky Stars’ singing ‘Island of Dreams’ and it’s one of the first songs I can remember walking round the streets singing to myself. This is before most of us, even in Liverpool, got to know about The Beatles, just to put things in context here. Continue reading “A Girl Called Dusty”
As you may well have gathered by now I think Kitty’s Launderette is currently one of the best new ideas in a city that’s getting increasingly good at new ideas.
Coming from the streets and communities of Liverpool itself, for the most part, we’re shaping up much of our future from our own ideas and energies. Which is as it should be. We are the people of Liverpool, in all of our joyously argumentative difference, and if we aren’t our own place’s future then who is? Continue reading “Kitty’s Launderette: A Work of Art”
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.
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.
Kitty’s Launderette’s Kickstarter campaign has now passed £8,500 worth of pledges from over 150 people. Really good going as we all get behind seeing it all the way to its target of £14,000.
Less than £5,500 now needed to reach the target. So if you haven’t pledged yet…?
A few weeks ago I started telling you the story of a new idea, the story of Kitty’s Launderette. An affordable and ecological laundrette in the community of Anfield and Everton. A warm and welcoming place for arts, social activities and doing the washing.
Some will call them Ten Streets but with me that hasn’t taken
That’s marketing talk from another place by people who can’t count
To me this is the North Docks, the gates where we came in
The generations before me who lived and dreamed round here.
Who worked the warehouses, queued at the gates and thought TB was normal
Would speak of lives in better days off out in Norris Green
And still and all I come and take these pictures on my phone
A hundred years later, like it’s mine and this is home.
On believing in everyone having a secure home as a human right.
This is roughly the text of my talk to the Liverpool Walton Constituency Labour Party on the evening of 22nd May 2018.
From a lifetime working in and around housing and communities and at the request of the Walton Constituency Labour Party here in Liverpool, these are my ‘Top 10’ thoughts, a mixture of policies and practicalities, on how we might go about fixing the wide ranging housing crisis we are now in.