From Pitt Street to Granby

Liverpool is a city full of stories and next Tuesday evening I’ll be going to the launch of a new book that tells a few more. I can’t tell you any of the stories here because I don’t know what they are. But I do know that hearing them will deepen and change my own sense of this place, this Liverpool. So I wondered if you might like to come and hear them too?

From Pitt Street to Granby – Book Launch with Professor Mike Boyle, Tony Wailey and Madeline Heneghan

Venue: Toxteth Library, Windsor Street, Liverpool, L8 1XF
Time: 6.30pm (Doors 6pm)
Tickets: £4/£2

Here’s how they describe what their new book is about: Continue reading “From Pitt Street to Granby”

Granby 4 Streets: Talking with Aditya

‘Bearing in mind we’re ordinary people, what we’ve done is magnificent.’
Hazel Tilley

This morning in The Guardian Aditya Chakrabortty has published an article he’s been working on with a group of us over the past couple of weeks. I’ve decided to link to the article from this blog so it can be included on here in the story of what’s been done in Granby over these last few years. Also because I think the interview process itself, the chance to reflect with such a skilled and interested visitor, has helped me, for one, to be able to see the story so far with an objectivity that wouldn’t otherwise have been possible. Continue reading “Granby 4 Streets: Talking with Aditya”

Thinking About Granby & the Welsh Streets

I’ve been thinking about Granby this week. Talking about it too, along with several of us there who were involved in setting up the Community Land Trust a few years back. We’ve been talking to a journalist is all I’ll say and you’ll be able to read what we said within the next couple of weeks.

This is the Aditya Chackrabortty article about Granby referred to here.

For today my thinking took me to the first Granby Street Market of the year. The first ever, in fact, to be run in February. And what a February day it was. ‘Dreich’ I’d be saying if I were Scottish. Dreich anyway. Off the 86 bus on Upper Parliament and through to Granby Street. Past the side street names that still remember all the gone now original streets of the area. Mostly cleared from the 1970s on and replaced with various kinds of newness over the years since.

Continue reading “Thinking About Granby & the Welsh Streets”

Moving beyond ‘No’

Yes, I’ve been reading. But we’ll come back to that.

When I got talking to people in Granby in Liverpool, about seven years ago now, they asked me to help them get over a very specific problem:

“We all know what we don’t want. We don’t want our houses to be knocked down. So we’ve got very good, over many years, at opposing any and all plans to do this. The trouble is though, we can’t agree between us on exactly what it is we do want. So could you help?”

I said “Yes, maybe” and we began to work on something together, loads of us, that has largely worked. Not perfectly and it’s not finished. But we moved beyond that skilfully confident “no” to a curious and more friendly “yes,” and in so doing changed a piece of the Earth very much for the better.

What I hadn’t realised until this week was that in learning that lesson in Granby, that yes is stronger than no, we were beginning to learn something that may yet help to create a better future for the whole of the Earth, if we could be fairly quick about it. Continue reading “Moving beyond ‘No’”

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”

2016: A year in 30 photographs

A selection from the several thousand photographs I’ve taken this year for this blog. Taken all together they tell one story of the year. Not a definitive one, more of a meander as you might expect.

In a year that’s been turbulent in so many ways it’s been good to have this blog to come home to. A quiet place to reflect and to tell some stories. Stories of ordinary days and determined people, trying to make our part of the world a better and fairer place.

A frame round the sky. At Rotunda in Kirkdale
A frame round the sky. At Rotunda in Kirkdale
The new stand at Anfield rising in the January fog.
The new stand at Anfield rising in the January fog.
Reflection of the new Royal.
Reflection of the new Royal.

Continue reading “2016: A year in 30 photographs”

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”

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”