Taking Tea with the Lord Mayor

Three proud citizens of Liverpool. Sarah Horton, Erica Kemp, Lord Mayor and Ronnie Hughes.

Three proud citizens of Liverpool. Sarah Horton, Erica Kemp, Lord Mayor and Ronnie Hughes.

It’s not every year that your allotment neighbour is the Lord Mayor of Liverpool. But this past year that has been so. And Sarah and I were delighted to get an invitation to come into our Town Hall and visit our friend Erica as she nears the end of her term of office.

Along Castle Street we walk.

Along Castle Street we walk.

Ready to go in.

Ready to go in.

Sarah’s never been in here before, and me not for a long time. Continue reading

In Leeds: Talking up the North

On top of the Industrial Revolution.

On top of the Industrial Revolution.

It will be a day of top quality glass rooves, and we’ll be back to that one later.

First though, to Lime Street for the Trans Pennine Express.

First though, to Lime Street for the Trans Pennine Express.

At the same time as me, others from around the North are getting on trains too.

As planned, I arrive in Leeds with plenty of time for a walk round town, as you’d expect.

Another top roof, the Corn Exchange.

Another top roof, the Corn Exchange.

Sorry to see they're still looking for a tenant for their 'Flagship' space.

Sorry to see they’re still looking for a tenant for their ‘Flagship’ space.

Walking around after a sudden shower.

Walking around after a sudden shower.

Street food, its a thing isn't it?

Street food, its a thing isn’t it?

Continue reading

The Giant Cranes: Episode 2

Hope Street Hotel.

Hope Street Hotel.

Another perfect spring day for Episode 2 of the Story of Reddy, Bluey and Yellowy. This time we’ll be going up on the roof of the hotel there for what we’re hoping will be some spectacular crane views. But first a recap of the story so far and a look round the corner to see how they’ve got on since yesterday.

So Giant Crane Reddy, second biggest of its kind in Europe, has been here for months. But gets surrounded by the new building its been working on. How will Reddy get out? Well with the help of even bigger Giant Crane Bluey and willing helper Yellowy. But they have a very limited time to do it as the streets around Reddy can only be closed from 7pm Friday to 6am Monday. Can they do it? Read on!

Blue's already in lifting position.

This morning Bluey’s already in lifting position.

Over a much reduced Reddy. Only three sections to go I'd say.

Over a much reduced since yesterday Reddy. Only three sections to go I’d say.

See how quickly I’ve become a self-professed crane expert? Continue reading

The Story of the Giant Cranes

Prior warning. This is not one of my ‘meaning of life’ posts and there will be no tortuous analogy at the end. It’s about cranes.Giant Cranes01Liverpool loves a good Giant. Two or more even better. And I was impressed when I first went into town to see them a few years ago. Second time round though, I didn’t bother. No particular reason, I just couldn’t work up the interest in their made up story second time around.

Today was a different matter though.

For the last few months we've had a giant guest in the city.

For the last few months we’ve had a giant guest in the city.

Looming over Hope street and Myrtle Street and Canning.

Looming over Hope Street and Myrtle Street and Canning.

86-bus24

Building the new, oh well, student accommodation on the corner up there. And did I but know it, this 40 metres tall monster is the second biggest of its kind in Europe and weighs 750 tonnes.

So as the new building started wrapping itself around it I'd begun to wonder...

So as the new building started wrapping itself around it I’d begun to wonder…

Well, how are they going to get it out of there?

In fact Sarah and I had been discussing just that the other day as we passed by. (See we’re not always on the higher plains of radical politics and monkey puzzle trees.) And our conclusion? If they don’t want to smash their new building to bits they’re going to have to lift it out of there with an even bigger crane.

And it turned out we were right.

And it turned out we were right.

So today I’ve come to have a look at this being done. Continue reading

In Granby: On site

This blog hasn’t done a site visit to Granby 4 Streets since early February, so I thought it was about time we did. Because things have been moving on.In Granby: On site01Three weeks ago now, at the beginning of March I come here late on in an afternoon.

In Beaconsfield Street Plus Dane were still at work.

In Beaconsfield Street Plus Dane are still at work.

Up high on the roof.

Up high on the roof.

While round in Cairns Street work had finished for the day.

While round in Cairns Street work has finished for the day.

Still soft-stripping the Community Land Trust houses at this stage, so this side of the mostly empty street relatively undisturbed.

In the site house though, work has not finished. The drop in session for local residents trailered in the February CLT newsletter being in full flow. Continue reading

Opera for Chinatown and Bold Street

This is hardly news. It’s all been there since last year, but I only noticed it yesterday as my south-end bus was diverted up Duke Street.China Town01Getting off the bus you don’t see it yet.

You see China Town's grand entrance arc at the top of Nelson Street.

You see Chinatown’s grand entrance arc at the top of Nelson Street.

Then turning down duke Street?

Then turning down Duke Street?

Nothing yet.

Nothing yet.

But half way down.

But half way down…

Continue reading

Remembering the Garden Festival

Another guest post with newly discovered photographs today from John Viggars.Garden Festival01This time John takes on a subject that, even thirty years after the fact, can still cause arguments when two or more Liverpudlians are gathered together.

It’s the early 1980s. We’ve had riots, mass unemployment, factories closing down by the day, you’ve seen how it is down at the docks, our democratically elected council is soon to be surcharged and banished from office – and what do we get to fix it all?

Well truth to tell many things are tried. Some work, most don’t. And there’s also the Garden Festival. So let’s hear about it from John – who had a season ticket!

“After my previous writings on here about time spent on the  North and South Liverpool docks I began looking through more of my old transparencies to see what other Liverpool related stuff I had bothered to keep. Going through, I came upon a couple of boxes marked – ‘IGF 1984.’ Yes, the International Garden Festival.Garden Festival07Garden Festival02

Trying to wrack my brains for memories, I was this time, not helped by Google. This temporary success for the Merseyside Development Corporation (MDC) does not seem to have had much recorded about it on the internet, plus I find my own memory clouded by the years that have now passed. I won’t dwell on the political rights or wrongs of the Festival and its lack of benefit to post riots Liverpool 8, I just want to share a few of my own recollections from that particular summer, knowing that this time Ronnie is likely chip in now and then! Continue reading