In Granby: The Street Party!

Best Granby 4 Streets Market ever? People in the know seem to think so. And they ought to know.

Anyway, let’s go back to the beginning and get off the bus.

The 75 drops me on Princes.
The 75 drops me on Princes. Hoping that rain will hold off.

This one deeply matters. It’s the end of an era and the start of a new one, so everyone wants it to be good. Everywhere’s on site or about to be. And that will change things. In a good way, but change nonetheless.

Passing Jermyn Street, on site.
Passing Jermyn Street, on site.
There it is. Along the far end of Cairns Street.
There it is. Along the far end of Cairns Street.

Continue reading “In Granby: The Street Party!”

Granby 4 Streets: The Christmas Street Market

And the day was brilliant, best ever. Words and pictures here.

There have been Christmas Street Markets in Granby for the last few years as we’ve all been working on pulling a future together for these last four original streets. But this year’s will be particularly special. And you’re invited.Invite2This year the houses are on site and the future is quite literally arriving – brick by brick. Which is the wonderful thing everyone’s been working on for so long. Soon new people will be moving in to make their new homes in the long empty houses and the Four Streets will come fully alive again. As we’ve long dreamed of and long wanted. Welcome all and welcome in.granby15

But of course it also means this will be the last time the relatively few people actually living in the Four Streets have the whole of the place to play with. By next April when the Street Markets resume they will be happening in a very different place.

So is this the last one? Continue reading “Granby 4 Streets: The Christmas Street Market”

Granby 4 Streets: Extraordinary Forever

titlepieceAs Granby 4 Streets, the last four original streets still left with their original houses, woke up this morning nothing was true or happening that wasn’t true yesterday. Builders from Plus Dane and Liverpool Mutual Homes were arriving to begin their day’s work. To be joined any day now by the builders from the Granby 4 Streets Community Land Trust. All of this long campaigned, thought through and waited for.

Granby 4 Streets. A door opens.
Granby 4 Streets. A door opens.

But today all somehow more true and somehow more celebratory. Because today we’re in The Guardian. Even me.

“What’s happening in Granby is an important prototype for northern councils, who’ve been so badly hit by the cuts,” says Ronnie Hughes. “Two years ago, the whole area was nearly signed over to a private developer, but now the people who live here have finally got a formal stake in the place. It’s an extraordinary achievement – and now it’s extraordinary forever.”

DSC08646Ever since yesterday evening when the journalist involved, Oliver Wainwright, let us know that his long planned article would be published today and was already in the online edition, our phones and computers have been ringing and buzzing with messages of delighted congratulations. It’s like the 4 Streets Birthday. The 4 Streets birth day.  Continue reading “Granby 4 Streets: Extraordinary Forever”

Still Greatie?

Eventually answering some of the market trader’s and residents complaints below, on 31st January 2015 Liverpool City council announced plans to expand the new Greatie site to create extra parking and space for more traders.
Greatie01Today Liverpool’s oldest and largest street market moved into its new home. So I decided to go on a circular walk which would include a housewarming visit to the new Greatie.

Getting off the 76 bus in London Road by TJ's.
Getting off the 76 bus in London Road by TJ’s.
Encountering the first street market of the day.
Encountering the first street market of the day.

Continue reading “Still Greatie?”

On Scotland Road: St Anthony’s

Now I’m beginning a regular column in Scottie Press, a look back a few years to a visit to a special Scotland Road place.

I love it round here. Maybe because it’s the place where I feel I really first came alive, where I had my first proper job in the Benledi Street Housing office. Singing my wayhappily up the hill some days on my way to our sub-office in Netherfield Heights.

It’s all changed since then. Both housing offices are long gone, as is Netherfield Heights and most of the other tower blocks I used to thread my way between in those early 1970s days. Much of the hill is now parkland and Scotland Road is now more or less the motorway that leads to both Mersey Tunnels. But one thing that hasn’t changed is the warmth and the welcome from the people of the place. As we’re about to find out.

Scotland Road when I worked here. Woodstock Gardens and St Anthony's church.
Scotland Road soon after I worked here. Woodstock Gardens in its late days and St Anthony’s church.

But before we go through to Scotland Road, time for a quick look at Greatie. Continue reading “On Scotland Road: St Anthony’s”

Granby 4 Streets Market in August

Now updated with August Market photos.

It’s the Granby 4 Streets Market on Saturday 2nd August, in Cairns Street Liverpool 8.

Renovation works have now started in Granby but they won’t get in the way of tomorrow’s market. So see you there? It all starts at 10:30 in the morning.

The guerrilla garden planting in Cairns Street is at the height of its summer loveliness at the moment and if we get some sun tomorrow the market will look like market-3 market-1 Continue reading “Granby 4 Streets Market in August”

More scenes from the 27 bus

Saturday just gone was such a beautiful day that it was easy to take good photographs, especially on such an interesting bus route as the 27. In fact I took nearly 200 photos during a long sunny day. Too many to use in the one blog post. So here are some more. Liverpool street scenes from in and around the 27 bus.

Route map printed out. All ready to go.
Route map printed out. All ready to go.
Starting at Lodge Lane.
Starting at Lodge Lane.
Just off Lodge Lane.
Just off Lodge Lane.

Following up recent cowhouse finds with this livery stable. Links to a past when large animals shared the city with us. And reflecting on the use of the word ‘livery’ to mean a horse stable but also as elements of heraldry. When owning a horse marked you out as the local warlord or nobility.

This wonderful supermarket with vegetables and fruit  you don't find in any Tesco out on the street.
This wonderful supermarket with vegetables and fruit, some you won’t find in any Tesco out on the street.

Continue reading “More scenes from the 27 bus”

In Granby on Saturday

Updated: With pictures from the April Street Market.

Having visited 2 of Liverpool’s street markets a week or so back I’m glad to let you know that the Granby 4 Streets Market is back on the first Saturday of every month, from now to September. 10:30 ’til 3:00 in Cairns Street, Liverpool 8.

If you’ve been around this blog for any amount of time then you’ll know I have a lot of time for the people who live in the four remaining original streets of Granby, here in Liverpool. Streets where the majority of houses are empty and have been for years.

Naturally the people have been working and campaigning for years to get this sorted and ‘being sorted’ could, I understand, become true some day soon now. But while waiting for this joyous day to finally arrive, the people of Granby 4 Streets have taken their place into their own hands in two significant ways. For several years now they’ve been guerrilla gardening, planting up their streets. And they’ve been running street markets. This Saturday the Street Markets resume for this spring and summer, and I think your life would be brighter and more fulfilled if you were to come to it.

The Street Market, Cairns Street, Liverpool 8.
The Street Market, Cairns Street, Liverpool 8.

Planting up the streets began as a deliberate way of making the place look special and cared for and a pleasure to live in, when all of the tinned up properties might suggest that none of those things were true. Continue reading “In Granby on Saturday”

Living for the City: A tale of two markets

Saturday dawns. I put on my wet weather gear, get my camera and leave the house. I know where I’m going first, but after that, who knows? I’m living for the city, rejoicing in my place. And, as ever, I’m about to walk through its history and think about its future. Let’s go.

First stop, the far end of Lark Lane.
First stop, the far end of Lark Lane.
For the Lark Lane Farmers Market.
Where the road is closed for the Lark Lane Farmers Market.

Continue reading “Living for the City: A tale of two markets”

Living for the City, going back to Granby

08 CultureFive years ago now Liverpool was the European Capital of Culture, oh yes it was. And that year one of our proudest and most loved cultural items was the Superlambanana, a surrealistic cross between, well it’s obvious. But where has this beloved beast ended up? Read on to find out.City01

June is here and it dawns on a sunny Saturday. Far too cool to go around calling it ‘summer’ but a bright and welcome day nonetheless to go and see how Granby is doing. Continue reading “Living for the City, going back to Granby”