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.

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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.

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Liverpool Autumnal

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.
dsc06840When 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.

Round the lake in Greenbank Park.
Round the lake in Greenbank Park.
A gorgeous golden day.
A gorgeous golden day.
Eleanor Rathbone's house finally being worked on.
Eleanor Rathbone’s house finally being worked on.
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Along Greenbank Lane.

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The Welsh Streets: On Site Soon

DSC04324Yesterday 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.

This was mainly a look at a pilot scheme.
This was mainly a look at a pilot scheme.

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”

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.

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New Year 2016

Ducie Street - hoping to see this on site before long.

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.

The Quiet Days

Version 2We’ll come back to this image in a bit and what it might imply, but first let’s get out walking. On my own today, Sarah’s back at her funeral celebrant work.

I love the quiet days when Christmas has gone and today begins so sunny it would be just wrong not to take my camera out for a look round.

Along Ullet Road.
Along Ullet Road.

Where they had their street party just a few weeks ago.

Me - and Cumberland Avenue.
Me – and Cumberland Avenue.

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Our heritage? The Friday Walk

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.

Starting at the heart of things.
Starting at the heart of things.

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?

Off out walking on Friday morning.
Off out walking on Friday morning.
Forever fixing the roads that are too much travelled on?
Forever fixing the roads that are too much travelled on. Heritage or utilities?
Past the Unitarian Church. Heritge and open this weekend.
Past the Unitarian Church, Ullet Road. Official Heritge, William Roscoe and all, and open this weekend.

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