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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?


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    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.

    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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    paddy Paddy's Avatar
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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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    the coolbury boy t-malone@sky.com's Avatar
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    Housing associations moving problem families into established areas. These families do their anti social behaviour and those families that owned their own houses moved away being replaced by housing association etc etc. Its like white flight in the USA but Shyte filght in Liverpool

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    I came through Kensington on the bus and the decline is sad.
    I went to school in town, from Old Swan and remember how busy it used to be.
    What's happened the the Regeneration ?
    Where's the money been spent ?
    I suppose that's another story
    Started the Old Swan Website:

    http://oldswan.piczo.com/?cr=5

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    Kenny in its heyday when there wasn't anything you couldn't buy there by the looks of it. Personally, I remember Edwards record shop not far from the library in the 1970s.





    Plenty more Kenny pics on this page of my site, just scroll to near the bottom.

    http://inacityliving.piczo.com/?g=44843738&cr=7



    .
    www.inacityliving.piczo.com/

    Updated weekly with old and new pics.

  10. #10
    George
    Guest George's Avatar

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    Too many private Landlords have a grip on that area at the mo,when I first started looking for a flat/house this was the first area I had to view a property by a PL,when I got there I was just about to leave and the agent turned up so I took a look at the flat..didn't take me long to turn it down it was one of the big house down one of the streets off Kenny,the flat was dingy and smelt,no window in the living room and the bedroom was not fit to sleep in as for the bathroom it was shared

    That is how it mainly is down Kenny as a whole barring those who do own their property and as stated private landlords and housing associations.

    Get rid of them and it'll start thriving again,anyway its due for a revamp but yer can dress an area up but yer can't change the peoples ways.

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    When you have no work problems arise. The media talk about evil as some innate thing bestowed on the born. Unemployment is the greatest evil of all as everything springs from it. So we can safely say that Society creates its own evil. Look at Netherley, brand new housing estate in the seventies. They moved people in yet there was no industry at hand, hence a rapid decline. Then they apply labels onto the community. The uprooted become the dysfunctional. The estate has come on since and we learn by these things. What is not so clear is the promotion of Kensington as a unique Liverpool community. The working class functional community has to a large extent moved on. The territorial identity syndrome is often picked up by sub strata groups who will identify with any given area. Hence Toxteth the place name becomes a symbol of urban cred if you hark from there. It is apparent that some people with roots in the area still remain. However these well established families would probably be reluctant to use the term Kenny as the place name for the area they live in. That term seems to be generated at street level. One big problem can be the enforcement of perceived identity as in potent sub cultures. An example of this is violence that has a territorial dynamic attached. Okay you can get murdered anywhere? pick your spot. The point is what is it that fuels the will for such violence? Established hard working people don?t indulge in territorial violence simply because they are too engrossed in the task of functional responsibility. So murder after hours is normally the craft of sub strata groups. Decline in urban areas is pandemic, it stems from the historic activity of city life. The people rely on employment and employment makes for identity, not standing on corners. I can see regeneration making the area better for those who are willing to work and carry out the functional tasks needed to keep the city going. The rest will find another cause celeb and the skid row outlook of dereliction to bang on about somewhere else.
    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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    Senior Member burkhilly's Avatar
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    One of the major problems is the big supermarkets. Look at any High Streets. The smaller shops have gone. I live in Old Swan, and while it remains quite busy, we've got lots of charity shops instead of the old type of shops. For instance we used to have about three shoe shops in the Swan - now we've none.

    Kensington isn't the only area, West Derby Road, Smithdown Road, Lodge Lane, Picton Road, Park Road etc all used to be busy shopping areas, now they all look rundown. Unfortunately this is progress - different ways of shopping. I try to support our local shops, but it is so much easier and quicker to pop into Tesco.

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    The observation you have made can be more striking Burkhilly when you visit after being away for a while. I always notice it when I go back.
    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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    Smurf Member scouse smurf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by burkhilly View Post
    One of the major problems is the big supermarkets. Look at any High Streets. The smaller shops have gone. I live in Old Swan, and while it remains quite busy, we've got lots of charity shops instead of the old type of shops. For instance we used to have about three shoe shops in the Swan - now we've none.

    Kensington isn't the only area, West Derby Road, Smithdown Road, Lodge Lane, Picton Road, Park Road etc all used to be busy shopping areas, now they all look rundown. Unfortunately this is progress - different ways of shopping. I try to support our local shops, but it is so much easier and quicker to pop into Tesco.
    Just generally, even the shops that aren't losing as much business to the supermarkets are gone/going.

    I couldn't tell u where the nearest cobblers, proper pet shop, fish monger, etc are. luckily we've still got a green grocers and butchers here, although the greengrocer now sells liverpool fc pictures, keyrings etc so business can't be too great. Wonder how long before we have Tesco's takeaways

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    Senior Member wsteve55's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by scouse smurf View Post
    Just generally, even the shops that aren't losing as much business to the supermarkets are gone/going.

    I couldn't tell u where the nearest cobblers, proper pet shop, fish monger, etc are. luckily we've still got a green grocers and butchers here, although the greengrocer now sells liverpool fc pictures, keyrings etc so business can't be too great. Wonder how long before we have Tesco's takeaways
    Probably, just a matter of time!

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    Quote Originally Posted by burkhilly View Post
    One of the major problems is the big supermarkets. Look at any High Streets. The smaller shops have gone. I live in Old Swan, and while it remains quite busy, we've got lots of charity shops instead of the old type of shops. For instance we used to have about three shoe shops in the Swan - now we've none.

    Kensington isn't the only area, West Derby Road, Smithdown Road, Lodge Lane, Picton Road, Park Road etc all used to be busy shopping areas, now they all look rundown. Unfortunately this is progress - different ways of shopping. I try to support our local shops, but it is so much easier and quicker to pop into Tesco.
    I don't think that all the blame goes to the big supermarkets. These days we go shopping in our cars, even for a paper. The lack of parking and parking charges have a lot to do with this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paddy View Post
    When you have no work problems arise. The media talk about evil as some innate thing bestowed on the born. Unemployment is the greatest evil of all as everything springs from it. So we can safely say that Society creates its own evil. Look at Netherley, brand new housing estate in the seventies. They moved people in yet there was no industry at hand, hence a rapid decline. Then they apply labels onto the community. The uprooted become the dysfunctional. The estate has come on since and we learn by these things. What is not so clear is the promotion of Kensington as a unique Liverpool community. The working class functional community has to a large extent moved on. The territorial identity syndrome is often picked up by sub strata groups who will identify with any given area. Hence Toxteth the place name becomes a symbol of urban cred if you hark from there. It is apparent that some people with roots in the area still remain. However these well established families would probably be reluctant to use the term Kenny as the place name for the area they live in. That term seems to be generated at street level. One big problem can be the enforcement of perceived identity as in potent sub cultures. An example of this is violence that has a territorial dynamic attached. Okay you can get murdered anywhere? pick your spot. The point is what is it that fuels the will for such violence? Established hard working people don?t indulge in territorial violence simply because they are too engrossed in the task of functional responsibility. So murder after hours is normally the craft of sub strata groups. Decline in urban areas is pandemic, it stems from the historic activity of city life. The people rely on employment and employment makes for identity, not standing on corners. I can see regeneration making the area better for those who are willing to work and carry out the functional tasks needed to keep the city going. The rest will find another cause celeb and the skid row outlook of dereliction to bang on about somewhere else.
    You're right there Paddy. If a lot of these hoodies and drug takers had jobs, a lot of the problems would greatly diminish. When there is no hope, people will grab at anything.

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    Default 2 words

    Quote Originally Posted by chrismarsden View Post
    One word, Smak
    smack heads

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    Default No secondary school

    The area didnt have a secondary school least of all one worth moving to the area for, the new Acdemy has solved that problem though. The other problem was the housign associaitons and mult occuppancy linked to drug abuse and resulting crime. I have yet to see the ?62.5 kenny regen have spent on the area turning it around as a lot of the stuff they have provided in other areas has been provided out of the general rates (alley gates etc) so it look like the council have used the money as a cash cow......but we are getting a fire station and an Iceland, no butchers, no bank no free cash machine, not even a charity shop....KNDC hang your heads in shame

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    www.liverbuild.co.uk chrismarsden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteveFaragher View Post
    The area didnt have a secondary school least of all one worth moving to the area for, the new Acdemy has solved that problem though. The other problem was the housign associaitons and mult occuppancy linked to drug abuse and resulting crime. I have yet to see the ?62.5 kenny regen have spent on the area turning it around as a lot of the stuff they have provided in other areas has been provided out of the general rates (alley gates etc) so it look like the council have used the money as a cash cow......but we are getting a fire station and an Iceland, no butchers, no bank no free cash machine, not even a charity shop....KNDC hang your heads in shame
    This really a shame what has happened with the regeneration of Kensington.
    Under the Bridge Garston had many of the same issues. Housing associations and private landlords moving outsiders into a settled community bringing their own issues, be it drugs, alcohol abuse or general anti social behavior. Since then the area has been turned around, it's not perfect but it is moving in the right direction, this is in part thanks to the retail park at Speke providing much needed work for the local community.

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    Quote Originally Posted by chrismarsden View Post
    This really a shame what has happened with the regeneration of Kensington.
    Under the Bridge Garston had many of the same issues. Housing associations and private landlords moving outsiders into a settled community bringing their own issues, be it drugs, alcohol abuse or general anti social behavior. Since then the area has been turned around, it's not perfect but it is moving in the right direction, this is in part thanks to the retail park at Speke providing much needed work for the local community.
    I think once people have jobs, everything improves. Shoulda been the Governments high priority efforts.

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