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.
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.
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 very long circular walk in autumn. Including a great number of beautiful leaves, Boaty MacBoatface being built, finding out the price of a pair of jeans and an update on progress at The Welsh Streets. Good value I’d say. When I set off walking on this day, the last Sunday in October 2016, I didn’t know exactly where I was going. But I knew it would be a long and autumnal walk.
Yesterday evening I went to a gathering at Toxteth Town Hall. It was good humoured, relaxed, positive and felt very much like a new beginning, at last, for the Welsh Streets. There’s still a long way to go and a lot of work to do, but several hundred empty homes here look like they won’t be empty much longer.
A pilot scheme to test out the solutions most likely to work around here. Place First are the developers selected by Liverpool City Council to survey the area and start bringing proposals forward. They’re a company that specialize in private market rentals. When I first heard about this I went to the City Council Cabinet meeting, as anyone can, to express my doubts about this sort of single tenure approach. Preferring more of a mixture of ownership, renting and social lettings to balance places. Anyway, we’ll come back to that and the solution that might be emerging. Continue reading “The Welsh Streets: On Site Soon”
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.Eleanor 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.
2016? Sort the empty homes, stop food waste, lean on each other, create our own way through this & sort the planet too? Yes, it’s a big ask.
But it’s what I wish for. If I learned one thing from 2015 it’s that we are best leaning on each other, helping each other. Not waiting for governments to change but doing what we need to and what we can now. Now is the time of our lives.
Love and respect to everyone featured on this blog in 2015.
Isn’t ‘Heritage’ a peculiar word and concept? How come some things are ‘Heritage’ and others merely ‘ordinary.’ And who decides anyway? Being ‘National Heritage Weekend’ when you can get into approved places you might not always be able to, I decided to walk round the neighbourhood here and have a think.
Granby 4 Streets of course. Where I spent most of yesterday and much of the last week. This week we’ve started handing out the keys to the first Community Land Trust houses to come off site. This week they’ve started turning into homes. Heritage or just places where people live?