Granby Street Market, September 2017

The great L8 Street Market is well into its eighth year now but I haven’t been around Granby or anywhere else much recently, so it was good to step out on a fine September morning and arrive at Granby again.

The Market runs pretty much all year now on the first Saturday of every month.
And since last year has run on Granby Street itself, the road being closed for it.
The market has grown and thrived in the extra space.

A real mixture of stalls here. All kinds of food, art, crafts, bike repairs, general interestingness and some they sum up as ‘car booty-ness.’

But best of all loads of people and the place itself. I was involved here for many years of course and it’s great to be back among friends again. Conversations flowing easily in the morning sun. Continue reading “Granby Street Market, September 2017”

Granby Office of Useful Art

DSC05864First there is a sparkly little notice.Useful ArtThen there is finding the place.

148 Granby Street.
148 Granby Street.

Owned by the local church, just next to their Mission, but not used for some years.

Now rented to Granby 4 Streets Community Land Trust.
Now rented to Granby 4 Streets Community Land Trust.
Last used as a hairdresser's.
Last used as a hairdresser’s.
Now it's Granby Office of Useful Art.
Now it’s Granby Office of Useful Art.

Biscuits, you see, can be art.

The Localist Workers are getting everything ready.
The Localist Workers are getting everything ready.

Continue reading “Granby Office of Useful Art”

Summer in the City

DSC05127Still quietly emerging from the shadows here, this Saturday I get up and the summer’s arrived. Not the ‘kids in wellies’ summer we’ve had to get used to these climate damaged days, but a  real ‘hot town, summer in the city’ nostalgic kind of day where the shadows and shade are occasionally welcomed for a bit of cool.

I’m out all of the glorious day, in Granby and then down at the Pier Head.

On Granby Street the market's just getting going as I arrive.
On Granby Street the market’s just getting going as I arrive.

Continue reading “Summer in the City”

Getting Ready for Africa Oyé

DSC03663On this day every year I walk through Sefton Park to see it being made ready for our greatest cultural festival, Africa Oyé. Where we celebrate each other, our place, where we came from and where we’re going next.

Leaving a home currently being worked on by the builders of Coming Home Liverpool.
Leaving a home currently being worked on by the builders of Coming Home Liverpool.

And ultimately on my way to a meet up of the Coming Home board.

Here we are then.
Here we are then.
Appearing every mid-summer's days.
Appearing every mid-summer’s days.
The magical village of Oyé.
The magical village of Oyé.

Continue reading “Getting Ready for Africa Oyé”

Eleanor Rathbone and The 1918 Club

Today I had the honour of speaking at The 1918 Club. A lunch club for women set up in 1918 by Eleanor Rathbone and her great friend and companion Elizabeth Macadam, and thought to be the longest established gathering place for women in Liverpool. It was simply wonderful to be there.2I often mention Eleanor Rathbone on this blog and the fact that throughout my life she has been an inspiration to me, never more so than now as a group of us get our latest ‘Coming Home’ social venture going.

The thinking behind The 1918 Club was:

“After the armistice of 1918 the luncheon club idea was developed to preserve many of the friendships made during the war-period and many of the alliances forged through the suffrage campaign, and also to form new contacts amongst professional working women and social welfare workers.”

Up to this point of course clubs had been the preserve of men with women being expected to meet each other at home where they could talk about sewing or church-based activities. So the two suffragists and social activists will have been well aware of the radical nature of what they were up to. Continue reading “Eleanor Rathbone and The 1918 Club”

All in an L8 Day

Remembering Eleanor Rathbone & Jane Jacobs.

One day in Liverpool 8, walking through what the people of the place have done and are doing. And remembering two great women, Eleanor Rathbone and Jane Jacobs.Version 2Eleanor Rathbone you’ll well know about if you’ve been around this blog a while. Liverpool’s greatest suffragette and politician. From our first female City Councillor – for Granby, through votes for women, then as an MP changing all of our lives, our greatest social reformer and well overdue the posthumous Freedom of Liverpool so many of us are determined she should get. So our children and their children will know in whose benign shadow we all walk.

Seventy years dead but celebrated in her Granby this day.

And Jane Jacobs? Born 100 years ago and also celebrated on this one amazing day. We’ll come back to Jane, I am always coming back to Jane.

Early morning in Lodge Lane.
Early morning in Lodge Lane.
Thriving now through the independent efforts of its people.
Thriving now through the independent efforts of its people.

Continue reading “All in an L8 Day”

One Day in Liverpool

DSC02490 (1)Knowing this was likely to be an interestingly varied Wednesday, I decided I’d photograph my way around Liverpool and record what happened and who I met,  on one day late in April in 2016.

Cold but sunny, so I decide to walk to my first meeting.
Cold but sunny, so I decide to walk to my first meeting.
All of us are feeling emotionally fragile, I'll find as I travel round the city.
All of us are feeling emotionally fragile, I’ll find as I travel round the city.

The previous day, after a 27 year wait, we’ve had the findings of the Hillsborough Inquests into the deaths of the 96. And through the day we’ll all talk about how tense we felt, how the whole city seemed to hold its breath waiting for the judgements. Continue reading “One Day in Liverpool”

Good-night, Sweet Prince

prince-hall-of-fame
Prince Rogers Nelson.

We had a meeting yesterday, Friday, the Granby ‘legal team’ of Tracey Gore and me, in her office at Steve Biko Housing. And did eventually get to talk about organising the sale of some of the Community Land Trust houses as we’d planned.DSC02399

But not at first and not for a while. While waiting for others to arrive, for a good while we talked about Prince. Of all the times Tracey has seen him and of how lucky we’ve both been to be alive as his glorious music and uncompromising career have enriched our days and lives.

Walking away later I surprised myself by thinking of these lines from Hamlet:

“Good-night, sweet prince;
And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.”

Continue reading “Good-night, Sweet Prince”

Sky Blue Black Vinyl Day

The sort of perfect day when no self respecting camera should be left in its bag. Fully charged up we go out, to a feast of colour and record shops.

First to Granby, a social call.
First to Granby, a social call.

But then all visits to Granby these last five years and more have been social visits. Where our conversations with each other have created the future.

A future now bursting into colour.
A future now bursting into colour.
So proud of our newly finished houses.
So proud of our newly finished Community Land Trust houses.
Particularly loving the yellow front door here.
Particularly loving the yellow front door here.

And don’t worry music fans, the Black Vinyl is coming later. Continue reading “Sky Blue Black Vinyl Day”