Walton Breck Road, 2011
Walton Breck Road, 2011
First of all, my profuse apologies for the long period of absence. I went to New Zealand to visit my son and the time off threw me out of sync. Coupled with an enforced decision to stop publishing books about Liverpool, I needed time out for a rethink.
The collapse of the local book market is worrying. For the last seven years, the number of bookshops in the city centre (and throughout England) has been reducing at an alarming rate. When I started publishing in the mid-1980s, there were 14 or more bookshops I can reel off. One by one they have closed and now just Waterstones in Liverpool One and News from Nowhere in Bold Street survive as dedicated bookshops. It makes no financial sense to publish books with such a small number of outlets so, until times change, I have thrown in the towel and will concentrate on books about photo-journalism which I can sell nationally. Sad times for me, having published over 200 Liverpool titles over the years. I am proud of my back catalogue and hope that some of the books have helped educate and change attitudes about a great city. Maybe some new publisher will take up the challenge and keep alive Bluecoat Press’s legacy. I doubt it is possible but good luck to anyone who has a go.
Back to today’s images and the point of my blog. I have previously stated my hope that I can open it up to contributors who can add their images and commentary. Increasingly, I would like to post images and thoughts about Liverpool today – without ignoring historic images. Liverpool, arguably, is undergoing the greatest change in the last century. I am very positive about most things that are happening. There is a sense of confidence that I feel every time I walk around the centre. To take one example: I was cynical about the Baltic Triangle Creative Quarter when it was mooted. I was based there and thought it unlikely to attract new businesses in what was then a bleak place, albeit only a five minute walk from Liverpool One.How wrong could I be. There is a waiting list of businesses for space and cafés and performance venues have sprung up as well as an academy for 14-18s. Hats off to the people who had the vision to make it all happen – and this is just one project.
The photos I have posted were taken six years ago (when the two American cowboys announced that Anfield was to be rebuilt in Stanley Park). I decided to start recording match day as a historical record and was particularly taken by the fast food outlets around the ground. These are the kind of images I am looking for – images that will give a picture of everyday life in the 21st century. Send in your images with an explanation of where, what, when and who and I will hopefully take this blog in a new direction along with my publishing.