Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Liverpool - July 2013

I visited Liverpool at the start of the month and had a ball. Unfortunately the only place that was really central that was on my radar was reasonably inaccessible without a heft rope, so no explores were had. We did visit the Welsh Streets in Toxteth though, more on them later. 

Monday morning consisted of a mini-tour of Liverpool city centre, taking in the sites, and visiting one of the Beatles shops to get me ma a magnet. 

In retrospect I probably should have done better with the above photo. 

Really like how the original railway features have been kept there. 

After some lunch we made our way (eventually) to Toxteth and the Welsh Streets. Some history from the Welsh Streets website:

In 2004, The Welsh Streets became the focus of a national debate on housing and regeneration, when a block of Victorian and 1950‘s built homes was threatened with demolition courtesey of  of a New Labour  scheme called HMR Pathfinders. Significantly, the bulk of these homes were owned by  CDS (now Plus Dane) a handful were  owned by Liverpool City Council, LHT or Maritime Housing Associations. Around 30% were owner occupied.

Many local residents appealed for alternatives to demolition, determined to remain in their homes. They began  a campaign, which  debated the wisdom of  the HMR plans The campaign  forewarned  later  pressures on housing affordability and supply. Seven years on and the houses remain, sealed up, un-maintained and  under threat of demolition, despite hundreds of local people seeking access to them for sale or rent.  The  Welsh Street Homes Group  continue to challenge the plans for demolition there work endorsed by organisations such as SAVE Britain’s Heritage, WSL, The Empty Homes Agency and Merseyside Civic Society.

It was a very odd feeling to be walking around so many abandoned houses; so many we could see were in tact and seemed to be just asking to be inhabited, yet they were all boarded up, sealed off, and left to decay in time, a sad reminder that so many properties could be put to a better use. 

One of the houses in the Welsh Streets is shown above, where someone called Richard Starkey was born. Apparently he was famous or something.

On Tuesday I had some time to myself, and as the sweltering heat continued I made my way to Crosby beach (after checking the potential explore location) and photographed some of the statues that made up Anthony Gormley's Another Place installation.

The work consists of cast iron figures which face out to sea, spread over a 2 mile (3.2 km) stretch of the beach between Waterloo and Blundellsands. Each figure is 189 cm tall (nearly 6 feet 2½ inches) and weighs around 650 kg (over 1400 lb).
In common with most of Gormley's work, the figures are cast replicas of his own body. As the tides ebb and flow, the figures are revealed and submerged by the sea. The figures were cast at two foundries, Hargreaves Foundry in Halifax, West Yorkshire, and Joseph and Jesse Siddons Foundry in West Bromwich.

There was a pretty cool park and reservoir behind the beach too.

So yeah, Liverpool was pretty decent. Many thanks to Raisins.

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