Friday 29 April 2011
The tree-lined Wynnstay Street looks inviting in the afternoon sun but look closely. There are no people and no cars. The houses are empty - windows blocked up and doors sealed with steel security panels. This is one of Toxteth's 'Welsh Streets' - quietly awaiting demolition. Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral can be seen through the trees, beyond the end of the street.
Mark spent 40 years living in Wynnstay Street. Compulsary purchase of his house, prior to demolition (Toxteth regeneration) means he has had to leave. I met him exercising his dog Monster and asked if he would return to his old house for this photo. Not all former residents are happy with the council plans for demolishing the Welsh Streets. Mark, now staying with relatives, would like to have remained where he was. I hope that he soon finds suitable accommodation of his own.
Sunday 24 April 2011
A group of Toxteth streets near Princes Park known as The Welsh Streets are shortly to be demolished. The Victorian terraced housing was originally built in the 1880s for the dockers (many of them Welsh) and the streets were given Welsh names. Wandering around these streets (April 2011) was a very strange experience - there were no people and no cars - it felt like an abandoned film set. The houses are now waiting for the demolition team. Like Edge Hill, this area is being 'regenerated'. This view of Voelas Street looks friendly and inviting but, in reality, it is deserted and silent - many of the houses in a poor state of repair. The loss of these terraces will remove much of the character of the area and, perhaps more importantly a part of Liverpool's social history will be lost forever. Ringo Starr was born in The Welsh Streets and his house (in Madryn St) will be bulldozed too. Should it be saved? A future blog post will discuss this further.
Thursday 21 April 2011
Wednesday 20 April 2011
Sunday 17 April 2011
After 49 yrs in Edge Hill's Cicely Street (see below), Charlie has now been relocated nearby - his former home now boarded up and waiting to be flattened. He is delighted with his newly built house ("it's warm and dry, has three toilets and a garden"). Charlie explained how the old terraces were cold and damp in winter despite having central heating.
It has surprised me that the people who I have met seem to be happy to move. Although, from the outside, the terraces look cosy in the sunshine, it seems that they weren't all ideal accommodation for the residents. The clearances - via CPO (Compulsary Purchase Orders) - are part of the Kensington Regeneration Scheme - not the Edge Lane widening which is taking place just a few hundred yards away.