New Brighton Revisited: Indy Biennial 18

When I was growing up and it was summertime New Brighton was the day out you could realistically ask for. Right there across the water and reachable in those days by ferry, it couldn’t involve the preparations or paraphernalia that could often be used to torpedo the very idea of a day out in even Southport, never mind the holy grail of Blackpool. So I loved New Brighton then and love it now, possibly more so. The ferry’s long gone and the place has had its downs as well as ups. But it’s still right there across the water, ready and waiting for my day out with the Open Eye Gallery today.

Now obviously I’m well capable of getting myself to New Brighton all on my own. I’m big now and don’t have to wait and plead for anyone to take me there anymore. But after a busy day in George Henry Lee yesterday I was glad to wake up this morning and remember that someone else was taking care of arrangements today, and that all I had to do was turn up late in the morning at the Open Eye and they’d look after me from then on. Continue reading “New Brighton Revisited: Indy Biennial 18”

One Day: A story of getting ready

Almost time for the ‘One Day: Photographing Liverpool’ course Jane MacNeil and I are running on Wednesday this week.

So on a  sunny Saturday morning it’s time for us both to get together in town and make our final preparations.

All bookings in advance, here through Eventbrite.
Book now

I get on a 75 bus on Smithdown Road, while Jane travels in from Walton.

Getting off the bus at the Bombed Out Church the streets are quiet. It’s been Light Night the night before and not many people are around yet.

Walking down Bold Street I remember I’d noticed earlier on their Instagram that Bold Street Coffee are coming back and re-opening. Which I’m glad about as Bold Street hasn’t seemed quite itself without them. Continue reading “One Day: A story of getting ready”

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”

In Liverpool: Those Three Sunny Days in April

If these were the only three sunny days we get they were great weren’t they? So I thought I’d write them down so I can remember them, later on. When the weather goes back to seeming like it’s colder than it used to be and it rains most days.

It’s Saturday evening as I’m writing, going dark now but the daytimes here in Liverpool have been sunny since Thursday. Warm days of less clothes and crowds in the parks. Though not yet in The Mystery as I set out for the day. Continue reading “In Liverpool: Those Three Sunny Days in April”

It’s Warm In and Out

A day comes, even in these climate mess years of the long cold springs, when all is still and blue and you need to be out in it. Walking along, well me anyway, singing the long loved Lotus Eaters ode to springtime as I leave the house:

‘It’s warm in and out
The call for sacred hours…’

Everything ditched, all work left behind, you can’t get this day back tomorrow when the winds and clouds might be back.

Just walk.

Good news on the fence of The Mystery, the secret way between Smithdown and the railway tracks then out along Lawrence Road with the girls and infants at the Church of St Bridget. Continue reading “It’s Warm In and Out”

Growing up in North Liverpool

In the early days of this blog we had a look round Liverpool in 1953, the place I was about to get born into. In this follow up to that one we’re going to come in a bit closer. Having spent much of my life with no early photographs of my early days, I’ve recently gathered up a few, courtesy of my Dad. And they’ve got a story to tell.

But before I arrive, of course, my parents have to meet.

My Dad, Joe Hughes, with his sister Terry.
My Dad, Joe Hughes, with his sister Terry.

In this lovely picture Joe is eight and Terry four. Meaning it’s 1936. They are living in North Liverpool down by the Dock Road.

“Even at that age, in those days, we were allowed to roam wherever we liked and I was trusted to look after Terry’ Joe says now. ‘We’d go to church on our own and then go off wandering around the docks and streets and even into town. I remember me and Terry being in town together even after it had gone dark. We had a much bigger Liverpool to play in than children seem to be allowed now. It was great.”

When the war comes three years later Joe is still too young to join the forces. Continue reading “Growing up in North Liverpool”

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”

“I Am Haunted by Waters”

21A guest post today by my friend Patricia Levey-Bennett who, as you’ll see, is a great photographer.

We decided to have a day out last weekend. We being me and Gaz, my boyfriend. There is only one specific requirement for our days out, and that’s to be near water. Everywhere I go to walk, or so it habitually seems, involves proximity to water.  I was a lifeguard for many years – I’ve been called Water Baby and Little Otter in the past – so maybe it’s just something in my blood?

Rebecca suggests we go to Hilbre Island.  Rebecca  is my niece and you will get to meet her in a bit, along with Rachael, my other niece, who both decide they will join us for the day as they often do and have done since they could walk. We used to visit all sorts of interesting places when they were little (I tell them) …well, interesting to us as adults, or at least we convinced ourselves they were interesting. Motivated by the fact we had to get our money’s worth out of the English Natural Heritage pass we bought on a whim one year.  We’d think nothing of making a 3 ½hr  round trip to places as far afield as Shropshire to visit the sapling of the famous Royal Oak Tree. 

Now,  you might think three and a half hours in a car on a hot sunny day to visit a tree sounds like madness, but it was a surprisingly easy sell to a five and six year old, and we’d  justify it by telling ourselves that they would be grateful for the experiences when they get older.  In fact, when I tell Rachael that I’m writing this blog and including a few pictures from our visit there, she tells me she has absolutely no recollection of it whatsoever, or of the many other places we visited when they were younger! But she softens the blow with the addendum that all our days out were good and that what she remembers most is the lovely picnics. 

Here we are at The Knot Garden in Shropshire with the ‘famous’ Royal Oak Tree in the background.
And here we are having fun with the Piper…or at least I am!
And here we are having fun with the Piper…or at least I am!

Continue reading ““I Am Haunted by Waters””

The Cranes of Anfield

16.03.07 Anfield - 14What a beautiful day this Monday 7th March has been here in Liverpool? The kind of a day when a camera simply can’t go unused, even if just walking past things I’ve sort of got used to. Like the humungous new stand Liverpool FC are building between Walton Breck Road and Anfield Road.

I’ve arrived deliberately early for a meeting I’m having with the Beautiful Ideas Co. Partly so I can take some pictures, but also allowing time for me to call in at Homebaked. Where its good to see Cathy Alderson, usually just in for match days and street markets. And also good to have a Mushroom Stroganoff pie for my healthy social enterprise lunch! Lunch over I go outside to take the pictures.

Now normally I have some concerned words to say about Liverpool FC. Words like prevaricating, blighting and exploitation. But today we’ll let all that temporarily alone, because I’m here to rejoice in the engineering.

As you’ll know if you’ve been around this blog for a while I’m a big fan of giant cranes. So today I’m in for a treat. Continue reading “The Cranes of Anfield”