Sunday, 19 December 2010

Snowy Weather


Lots of snow this week - took a walk by the river front and got this pic.  It's not like the river front in town which has a promenade and lots of people.  The shore near Garston is a lot more natural, if you can ignore the airport runway not 1 mile away.  Although the snow has kept many planes away lately...

Sunday, 28 November 2010

The 39 Steps of Anfield


Freezing cold temperatures today so there've not been many people about.  I rode north, right up to Anfield, home of Liverpool FC.  The streets around the ground are pretty run down and halfway through being "regenerated" (knocked down).  This is one house in that area.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Bus Station Seats


Liverpool's new bus station (in the middle of Liverpool One) is already showing signs of wear and it's only 3 years old...

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Dockside Pub


Another trip down the docks - this time in bright glaring sunshine.  I found this pub, seemingly full of life and doing its best to attract passing trade.  It was closed as it was only 10am (though there was probably a lock-in going on within).

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Albert Dock


It was a lovely day today - just right for biking!  En route I got this shot of Liverpool's new waterfront.  This one is looking in with me back to the river, with a view of the new hotels and apartments that seem to have sprung up hereabouts...

Saturday, 6 November 2010

Free Water for the People!

As a cyclist who is tight with his money (!) I am always looking for places to fill up me water bottle.  The usual one is at garages, where you can usually fill up where the car people pump up their tyres.  Whilst free, the water only tastes OK.  Cemetaries are usually a good bet as well as they have a standpipe for the graveside flowers.  Allotments also usually have a tap somewhere in them but you normally need a key to get in.  Museums, art galleries, shopping centres and other public buildings always have a toilet with a tap, but they get fussy when they see a sweating man leaning a bike on their precious wall/branch of Gap/priceless work of art and chase you away sharpish.

I was chatting to a bike mechanic the other day about the quest for "a tap in town".  Most of my rides go through there and it is always good to have a source of water there to add to the mental network of taps around the Liverpool area.  He told me about The Liverpool Spa (as it is known) and gave me directions - at the back of the Anglican Cathedral (we have two cathedrals in Liverpool - one for Catholics and one for, well, Anglicans) - in the gardens, left just before the mausoleum thing - use a leaf to get it to flow rather than spew...

Sure enough... The water tastes good too - filtered through sandstone and other such rocks.  Much better than garage water...  Almost worth the trip to taste it - not just for the humble cyclist...
And a shot of the cathedral it is behind - the Anglican.  Massive - and you can climb the steps to the top of that big tower too...

Monday, 1 November 2010

Public Transport in Liverpool


Two girls yak whilst waiting at the new bus station in Liverpool.  Huge big wheel in the background adds to it.  With apologies to Edward Hopper.

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Sunday, 31 October 2010

Car Park in Town


Yesterday I had to go into town to get my eyes tested (results: still rubbish vision...) and collect a new vacuum cleaner (Oh! The life I lead...).  It was too bulky to take the train so I had to drive and park underneath the shop in the new Liverpool One Shopping Megapolis.  It was very clean and modern and, at 8 in the morning - usefully for me - deserted.  Clean lines in the car park steps too.  It was like ascending to the heavens, the path lit before your feet and pristine marble floors.  Makes buying a hoover more pleasant anyway...  And it's a lot better that the wee stained stairwells filled with drunks and dead-beats that the pebble-dashed concrete carparks of old used to be like.  Though I would like to have snapped some of those dens of filth...

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Down by the River


Just as some riverside parts of the city have been done up and regenerated, there are parts that haven't.  This was taken on a bike ride to Manchester yesterday, near the Runcorn Bridge. 

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Art Deco at the top of Hardman Street


Destroyed by fire in the early 1930s and rebuilt soon after, The Philharmonic Hall is a good example of Art Deco architecture.  Liverpool has some buildings in this style, although many of its greatest buildings were erected in a neoclassical style many years before when Liverpool's slavery/shipping was at its height.


This pic shows one of the staircases in said hall.  There are two of them, one either side.  And inside is one of the few remaining rising-from-beneath-the-stage organs in the world.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Knees up, Ma Brown


This was seen in the window of a Liverpool pub.  One near the docks.  I've been in the pub before - it has a great ceiling, far above the station of what is essentially a city-centre boozer. 

Friday, 22 October 2010

Oo-er Missus!

In the town centre, near the Law Courts, there is a statue of Queen Victoria.  Pretty standard thing really.  It used to attract 'youth', which hung around it.  This was deemed 'a threat' and the area was fenced off.  Then they cleaned the graffiti away and now it looks quite nice...


However, walk around the side and take a look at her sillouette.  You will see (if you squint) why it is known locally as "Victoria's Knob"!  This is not in any tourist book nor on any official Liverpool website.  If I see tourists nearby I always approach with a smirk and ask "do you want to see the best view of that?".  (It's her mace that creates the impression by the way).

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Liverpool's Underground


Liverpool's transport network consists of busses trains and a small underground network which links into a larger overground network.  Small, only 4 stations.  Here is one of them, Lime Street.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Liverpool's Award Winning Concrete


Linking the bottom end of town with the business district (which is safely kept away from the rest) is a series of flyovers and raised walkways for pedestrians and vehicle traffic. Neither are pleasant, though both are busy with traffic, powered both by engines or foot.  The walkway pictured is the step-free access to the pedestrian walkway known as Churchill Way, looking towards 151 Dale Street, a nice art deco building which now houses offices.  Oddly, on one of the pillars holding the walkways up carries a plaque which declares that the structure won a Concrete Society Award when it was built in 1972.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

City Daily Photo Skyline


It was my dad that noticed this.  The skyline on the City Daily Photo home page is actually the Liverpool skyline.  The two towers on the left are the Liver Buildings and the square building on the extreme right is one of the ventilation shafts for the Mersey Tunnels.  The building to the right of the O is the Tower Restaurant, now being used by a local radio station, so called instead the Radio City Tower.  It used to be a restaurant, and the top bit revoles so you can see all of the city as you scoff your scouse.  Here it is in the early morning.  The bulbous bit at the top is a mobile 'phone mast.

Saturday, 16 October 2010

Ferry Termimal


Ok, I don't usually but this seems worthy of inclusion.  One of the 'tourist things' you can do in Liverpool is take the Ferry Across The Mersey.  The one Gerry & The Pacemakers sang so much about.  It's acutally a rather nice trip, if you get a fine day and smooth river as you get good views of the city from somewhere that is not actually in it..  I was there around 8am this morning when nobody was around.  The building is the new ferry terminal where you buy your tickets and related Liverpool paraphenalia.  And they have paved the whole area a few years ago.  Rather nice.

Thursday, 14 October 2010

One of Liverpool's Better Pubs


One of Liverpool's better pubs is in the heart of student land so far enough away from the centre for the atmosphere to change enough for the difference to be noticed.  Ye Cracke is old and attracts the penniless, loners, out of work window-cleaners and those who don't fancy a shiny night out on nearby Hardman Street.  Part of the pub is listed, meaning that it is considered of such architectural merit that is cannot be modified or altered; The War Room is one of many nooks and crannies that make up the pub's interior, which is filled with cheap furniture and nondescript pictures.  Cheap booze and cheap food.  Neither very healthy.  I once washed down a Full English breakfast with a treble vodka and dry ginger here.  I'll not tell you the actual address to keep it unknown.  Becoming well-known would ruin the place.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

80a Bus, Hardman Street. (Apologies to Cartier-Bresson)


While I was waiting for a regular appointment in town (Tuesdays, 7.00pm) I was papping away with my phone camera (I'll have to take my compact one of these days) and got this.  Quick bit of photoshopping later and there you have it.  Sorry, Henri.

Hardman Street is one of the main routes into and out of town.  A steep hill, there was a student cyclist pushing his bike upwards.  Mainly bars and restaurants, busier with students at night from around tea time, when the area is filled with busses and fumes and students book-bound from or to the nearby library.  This was the 80a which ends up in Liverpool John Lennon Airport, via The Suburbs.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Liverpool John Lennon Airport


They've gone and built a new car park at the airport.  One of those wheezes where the only way to drive to the airport is to pay for the carpark they have built...  You do get 10 minutes free but if you're collecting someone, you don't know when they'll be out of the terminal, airports being what they are.  So there are dozens of motorists hanging about in the side streets waiting for the text that says "we're out!".  Then they approach...

This does not apply to cyclists, who can sneak under the barrier and get to the roof of the carpark for the purposes of City Daily Photography.  Here is Liverpool John Lennon Airport, home of a mock up of The Yellow Submarine, done in a tilt shift fashion.  I'm quite pleased with it, considering I took it on my mobile phone!

Saturday, 9 October 2010

Artistic Republic of Garston


Being quick today as I'm off out for me tea!  Garston, where I hang my hat, is a bit run-down.  Lots of derelict buildings and things.  Few artists.  Then in 2008 Garston declared itself The Artistic Republic of Garston with associated arty things.  It passed most people by.  Some of it remains though, including this, "The Embassy"...

Friday, 8 October 2010

Critical Mass


Friday!  Usually after work, I take out me bike and go for a quick belt around.  The last Friday of every month means Critical Mass in most cities, but in Liverpool the second Friday of every month is Critical Mass Day.  I'm not sure why.  Liverpool has to be different.  I went tonight.  Not of the greatest photographic quality but it's what I did today.  The white bike in the foreground is mine, by the way.  The chap holding it helpfully offered his support whilst I snapped.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Dock Road, Liverpool


A forgotten corner of Liverpool exists to the immediate north of the city centre; Waterloo Road, also known as the Old Dock Road.  Inhabited only by those whose job requires that they go there,which makes the place functional in its appearance and uses.  Now a shadow of its former self, there is still industry around.  It seems to be split between daytime life and night time life.  I went in the night time, probably not the best time in terms of feeling safe (lorries hurtling and shadows threatening), but good in terms of photography opportunities...  For most of its length it is deserted except the odd pub, lorry and depot.

Towards the end of the road is one of the docks where there is still a regular cargo ship to Dublin.  There is a sailing at 2130 every day, freight only.  I was there around 2000, just prior to loading.  Consequently there are dozens of lorries parked up in the road waiting for the call to board.  Surrounding the area is a wealth of cheap boarding houses (not quite skid row, but you would certainly call it a flophouse) and run down looking pubs.  There is also a fair few factories. One produces soya and rapeseed products which makes for a large and pungent smell which hangs around the docks year round. 

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Welcome to Liverpool


Autumn means, amongst other things that students are back in town.  There seems to be more of them each year.  And with them comes a new opening of cafes and bars in which they spend their money.  Here is one such cafe.  I must admit that it was there when I was a student (2000-2003).  Seems more welcoming now - I've never seen so many languages on one sign before now...  Makes me feel that Liverpool is as metropolitan as is purports to be...

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Old Matchworks


Between the years of 1979 and 1994 Bryant & May made matches in Liverpool.  Apparantly it had a machine that could make upto 600,000 matches an hour, for the Swan Vesta brand.  Bryant & May gradually closed the rest of their UK factories in Glasgow and Gloucester, leaving the Liverpool Matchworks as the last match-makers in the UK.  In 1994, Bryant & May closed Liverpool production too, moving it to Sweden.

A photographic essay of the factory was made prior to its closure by Chris Mullen.

The premises survive however; converted into offices, this is a view of the rear of the building, taken at night.

Saturday, 2 October 2010

Ubiquitous Urban Retail Park


I've just got back from the nearest Retail Park.  A very short drive away is the Mersey Retail Park but it might as well be anything, anywhere.  All the usual shops and nervy security in mini vans - one was watching me the whole time I was there.  I went because after dark, the place becomes totally different, no cars, people or commerce.  Just a dead space filled with light. 

Friday, 1 October 2010

October Theme Day - Graffiti



Great Britain is, to this day, littered with military installations.  Plenty of these date from WW2, when there was a big (and real) fear of a land invasion.  So the authorities built little pill boxes and little observation stations.  Some of these were as fas north as Liverpool (and presumably further north), so great was the threat.  One of the local parks, Clarke Gardens, has one.  Looking pretty grey and functional on the outside, the view inside shows the life it has lived since the war.  Lots of evidence of a different life.  Graffiti too.


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Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Block of Flats


I've been full of cold over the past few days so haven't been out much.  Anyway, here is one from the last photo-expedition over the weekend.  Block of flats.  Harsh angle.  Lovely view across Sefton Park (expect winter pics of this!) from the top floors.  The flats have been done up a little over the past few years so the area is not as rough as the photographs hints.  Lots of students and newly arrived settlers from continental Europe.  Quite a pleasant area for a walk really.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Earl's Off Licence



Not far from Toxteth (more on this area to come no doubt) is a parade of shops called Mrytle Parade.  I used to live in various flats and student hovels in the area during my 'youth' and went in here a great deal.  It is known to all as "Earl's".  Earl is the owner - which may or may not be his real name.  I have enlarged a portion of his shopfront to give you an idea of the way Earl deals with the world.  The shop contains, amidst all the cheap booze, a miasmic fug which must be something to do with what Earl smokes in the back.  And reggae with a very deep bassline, which must aid Earl in the creation of that fug. 

Upon entry, you notice that everything is behind one inch of plexiglass.  You have to rouse Earl from his soporific torpor to get him to bring you anything from his shelves.  The usual response from him is "Wha' you waaa?"  He then trudges to collect whatever it was you asked for and then mumbles the cost at you.  You then beat a hasty retreat - Mrytle Parade is not a place to hang around after dark.  This may explain the threatening sign he has placed in the window.  Those in the know are aware that Earl is usually so stoned as to render any counterattack from him useless.  When we were poor students though, we took him at his word, after all, the stoned demeanour may have all been an act. 

Sunday, 26 September 2010

Mersey Wave


Not far from me is The Mersey Wave a scuplture, on the main road out of South Liverpool, which looks good lit up.  It was taken down a few weeks after installation as the beams moved (alot) when it was windy!  There are other pictures of the same thing including this fantastic one, but I was trying out a new tripod the other night and this was one of the best shots...

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Another back road


Not far from me is the Jaguar/Land Rover factory at Halewood.  Used to be Ford but things changed.  Not much in the way of attractions but the back road is very out of the way and has the factory on one side and a railway line on the other.  Huge speed bumps all the way along but there's hardly any traffic.  Lots of evidence of lorry activity and presumably there is a little tow-along cafe that turns up in the week.  Very nice today - the sun and sky looked good.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Urban road, with puddles on it...


Again, near the docks.  Bleak and Urban. What else is there to say?  Wide vista reminiscent of more rural scenes perhaps?  Never seen a tourist on this road.  Although there is a VW CamperVan place down the road so it may get some passing trade...

Thanks for the positive comments by the way!  It's good to be here - this is my way of getting myself to take more photographs - which I've been neglecting to do lately....

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Caff


Greasy spoon cafe near the docks.  One of the types that opens at dawn and closes early afternoon.  After around 2pm there is no point staying open as everyone hwo is hungry has been and the next meal will be had at home.  The early starters are catered for with the early opening too.  There are still lots of these around, usually in backstreet industrial estates, serving 'hearty' food but which sets you up for the day.

Wednesday, 22 September 2010

River


A view along the river from the corner of the Albert Dock.  One of Liverpool's regenerated in the 1980's places.  It used to host Fred's Weather Map as used on This Morning before they all went South to London.  Students used to jump across onto it to scavenge the coins that people used to throw onto it...  It still has the Tate Gallery though, which gets some decent artists every now and then.  The pictured part is away from the throbbing tourist hordes and runs along the riverfront itself, which makes for an almost hidden place.  Nice for a walk or a shifty smoke if you're working in the Albert Dock..

Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Garston Docks



Machinery at Garston Docks.  This was taken early evening, with a chill (ish) in the air.  Still light enough to go cycling though.  This was on my route.  The docks still the see occasional ship, though they are too far down river where it becomes too shallow for any of the really big ships to ever come this far.  The docks are quite old, originally built in the 1850s by railway companies  located further inland.  Presumably this means they handled raw cotton destined for the mills of Manchester, Macclesfield and other places which boomed in the Industrial Revolution.  

There is a road leading from the docks called Window Lane.  On this street, my neighbour tells me, a young sailor could buy anything his heart desired.  Brothels, nightclubs, pubs, tailors, tattoo parlours, barbers - it was all there.

Monday, 20 September 2010

Elysian Fields


Always busy with tourists snapping one another, Strawberry Fields used to be a children's home run by the Salvation Army (they also got an annual visit/donation from Yoko Ono too), but has since closed down.  John Lennon's house was just around the corner on Menlove Avenue and John used to nip up there (it would have been just at the back of his house) as a kid.  The graffiti adds to the effect now, yet the council and the Salvation Army seemed content to let it slowly rot.  So a kind chap from Manchester visited the site and set to with his paintbrushes.


It's in a lovely setting, all overgrown with trees and with dank, mossy walls on either side.  On a steep hill opposite a Catholic Boys' school.  Shady in the cummer and cold in the winter.   The council put in speed bumps which help lessen the traffic noise too...

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Graffiti


Most graffiti is of the basic, advisory kind, merely informing its reader that "Screffo is a grass" or that "Someone loves Someone Else", which is all very well, if not particulalry inspiring. Occasionally though you get something more profound, more akin to an aphorism than the informational.  Like this one, seen in Newington in the city centre.  The whole street is walled on both sides and has become the home to a variety of graffiti which strays into political comment and such profound (and presumably unintentional) statements as seen here.