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Thread: Kensington - why did it decline so much?

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    Newbie Gazmo27's Avatar
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    Default Kensington - why did it decline so much?

    First time poster, been visiting the site for ages but never signed up.

    Something that has always puzzled me and i've always wanted to find out more information about was why is Kensington in the situation it is at the moment?

    I am 29 and spent the first 12 years of my life in Kenny. Lived in Leopold Road and my Dad was brought up on Hannan Road with his family living at that property since 1955.

    The reason I started thinking about this is that I seem to remember Kensington being a very bustling area when I was younger. Every shop by us was open and we had a co-op over the road. In fact from Leopold Road down to Hall Lane every shop was open. Always remember that by my Nan's on Hannan Road it was busier with a Midland Bank and Barclays Bank, bingo hall, a few shops on the corner of Beech Street (always remember getting my computer games from a shop on the corner where McDonalds now resides) and Kensington Arcade was a regular haunt for new trainers, football boots and the like. Always remember the huge Mobil garage as well. From my memory, this is going back to 1992 so I am really curious to know how so many shops and Banks went and why?

    I recently went on a 'sentimental journey' through Kensington and it seems that whilst the end of Kenny from Holt Road to Sheil Road seems to have more shops opening, the opposite seems to be happening at the other end and it doesn't seem to be improving at all.

    The reason I ask about Kensington changing is that I feel that there are similar areas in our city to Kensington in terms of shopping areas (Breck Road, County Road, Park Road) that can still support banks and shops and the like.


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    Hope this doesn't sound like a silly question but I am genuinely interested in what people feel about what happened in the area from when I left in the early '90's and what hopes people have for the future of the area.

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    www.liverbuild.co.uk chrismarsden's Avatar
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    One word, Smak

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    Newbie Gazmo27's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chrismarsden View Post
    One word, Smak
    Do you really think so? I know that there has been a problem in Kenny for years with Smack and remember seeing needles around when I was a kid on the floor (certainly on the back fields by Brae Street school) but there's a lot of areas in Liverpool and every major city has these issues.

    As I say, is there any other issues that people think could have had a big impact on the area?

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    www.liverbuild.co.uk chrismarsden's Avatar
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    Areas ruined by smak

    Norris Green
    Croxteth
    Kenny
    Parts of city centre

    When I lived in the ship streets Garston the area was great until they started moving smak heads in.
    Luckily they seemed to have moved on when the houses were demolished, don't know where they went to ruin after that.

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    Senior Member wsteve55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gazmo27 View Post
    Do you really think so? I know that there has been a problem in Kenny for years with Smack and remember seeing needles around when I was a kid on the floor (certainly on the back fields by Brae Street school) but there's a lot of areas in Liverpool and every major city has these issues.

    As I say, is there any other issues that people think could have had a big impact on the area?
    As you know,Kenny isn't the only area to suffer a decline in traditional shopping area's,etc! Peoples social habits have changed dramatically,with shopping now being done mainly, in large supermarkets,or the city centre,(which used to be quite empty,for half the week,in the 70's/80's)This is also apparent in the number of local pub's,and banks,which have closed,which has a knock-on effect on local businesses.West Derby rd,now has only 1 bank,which was only saved after a fight,but take that away, and watch the local shop's businesses,disappear! Smak,surely has an effect in accelerating the decline,but I dont think is the major reason!

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    Kensington is subject to Demographic shift like most of urban Liverpool that is situated between the town centre and Queens Drive. The more modern term of Inner City is an application a lot of Sociologists would use to articulate this social and historic occurrence. I use historic with the sensitive issue of community in mind. In the post war period and up till the eighties the urban make up of Liverpool was subject to pre existing communities that inhabited the large urban sprawls that circled the town centre, as is the case for most modern cities. The post war ethnic community was concentrated in the Liverpool 8 area of the city and the north and central urban areas where mainly working class districts. What has changed? Well from a realist perspective quite a bit of social change has taken place. The working class formations have been undermined by the creation of green field industrial sites and a general tendency to find work further afield. The older and retired generation has either moved on or resigned itself to dwelling in a less community orientated environment. The lack of social opportunity has made deviance more visible, by which I mean drug taking and other attendant problems. And the culture of looking back to the period of twenty years ago when everything was rosy, a very misleading trend, has been been reinforced to allay the fears of the community in transition. What is happening to Kensington and the rest of urban Liverpool is in no way unique. In fact it is like a microcosm of the demographic shifts you find in much larger cities like London. The territorialism of urban dwellers is not unique either and you find it in many other types of social arrangements ie: Town and Country social life styles. Ideally the problem of adjusting to Demographic shifts should be treated sensitively and with the interests of the population in mind. Sadly this is not the life experience of those who remain behind or those who have been uprooted.
    Oh as I was young and easy in the mercy of his means,
    Time held me green and dying
    Though I sang in my chains like the sea.

    Dylan Thomas

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