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Posts from the ‘Analysis’ Category

Rapidly diminishing heritage

This is a sort of short follow up to the most recent blog post on the Futurist cinema, which was demolished against the wishes of a vocal number of Liverpool’s citizens.

Another planning application raising eyebrows is one put in to demolish parts of the Rapid Hardware building on Renshaw Street. This is a well known landmark for anyone who’s spent any time in the city. It also happens to be where I first bought a lot of archaeological health and safety kit! Read more

The future and the Futurist

And so the Futurist cinema is coming down.

It’s been on the cards for a few months, and now people are generally coming to the opinion that it was inevitable (for which read ‘the Council pretended it wouldn’t be demolished, but always intended to demolish it anyway’). But I’m not here to debate conspiracies, because you get nowhere, and what’s done is done (by the time you read this). Read more

Who’d be a Scouser?

Are you proud to be a Scouser? Are you relieved not to be a Scouser? Which is right?

I’ve recently started reading Candles, Carts & Carbolic: a Liverpool childhood between the Wars by J. Callaghan, which is rapidly becoming my favourite out of the many first hand memoirs of living in Liverpool in the last two centuries. Read more

Zen and the Art of Heritage Protection

Heritage Protection is a controversial field at the best of times. There are almost as many different opinions on a given listing, say, as there are people offering said opinions. It’s difficult for the likes of English Heritage to decide what to protect and what to let go, and it’s certainly not a scientific process. But should we stop getting confused between the things we should be saving, and the events they merely represent?

Read more

Refurbishing old buildings in the historic landscape

English Heritage have released a new volume of their ‘Constructive Conservation’ series, this one entitled Sustainable Growth for Historic Places. It’s all about the benefits of re-using historic buildings for new purposes, and the effects not only on the bottom line of the developer, but also the ability of these buildings to attract customers and tourists, and the benefits of creating an attractive and enjoyable place to work in. Read more

Peel Waters and the New Liverpool Landscape

As you’ll no doubt be aware, the planning application for Peel Waters was recently waved through by Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, and there will be no public enquiry. Regular readers will remember previous posts, where I’ve come down against the scheme. But now that it looks like going ahead, it’s time to move on and consider how the development will unfold. Read more

Alder Hey and the Remains of War

Those of you trying to drive past Sainsbury’s on East Prescot Road in West Derby may have found themselves diverted around a police bomb squad. A suspected hand grenade was discovered in Springfield Park as work began on the new Alder Hey hospital.

There are conflicting reports as to whether this was a modern grenade or one from the First World War. Hopefully someone will clear this up at some point, but it gives me a good excuse to look at a brief period in Alder Hey’s history: when the grounds of the hospital and park were used as an American army camp. Read more

Mapping Local Food in Liverpool

Memories of Mr Seel’s Garden is a community project, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council, looking at the history of local food in Liverpool. The three local groups involved, Friends of Everton Park, Friends of Sudley Estate and Transition Liverpool, are all interested in finding out whether knowing more about the past might inspire new ways of thinking about the future of local food in our city. For example, while it might seem strange now to say you were heading out to Aigburth to pick some fresh veg from the farms there, this was exactly what people were able to do only fifty or sixty years ago. With all the interest in developing more local food systems, including long allotment waiting lists and new ‘Growers’ groups, we wanted to gather together a picture of how people used to grow food locally. Read more

Lunt Meadows: new Mesolithic settlement found

The big news in Merseyside archaeological circles this week is the discovery on Lunt Meadows of a possible Mesolithic settlement. Ron Cowell has been leading an excavation there on behalf of the Environment Agency. Read more

Liverpool Maritime Mercantile City World Heritage Site in Danger

Well, it happened. UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee, arbiters of the World Heritage Site list, met this week (as they do annually) and Liverpool was on the agenda. A decision was made to place the Maritime Mercantile City on the ‘In Danger’ list, which means that the “outstanding universal value” for which the area earned the title in 2004 (see my map of the historic sites of Liverpool for an outline of the WHS) is under threat.

It had been on the cards since Peel proposed their Liverpool Waters scheme, but the decision was finally taken in the wake of Liverpool City Council’s decision to grant that scheme planning permission in March of this year. Read more