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Thread: Rokeby Street, 1970

  1. #1
    Senior Member Colin Wilkinson's Avatar
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    Default Rokeby Street, 1970

    At anyone time, there is a group of dedicated photographers documenting the changing face of Liverpool. I have published the work of a number, including Charles Inston, Bernard Fallon, Frank Lenhan and Harry Ainscough. Their collective body of work is a constant inspiration to me in developing my book range and, of course, this blog. [...]


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    Pablo42 pablo42's Avatar
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    Nice one Colin. Another great post.

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    Senior Member kevin's Avatar
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    A dangerous man, Colin. Just when I think I'll get some work done I get sucked in again. I wish I'd paid more attention to the history of my hometown when I was younger.

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    Yes, I have all your books mentioned there Colin - and more......

    I met Peter when my friend Paul and I were showing the film documentary Gardens of Stone in the Tate last year and Peter was showing his 'Us and them' doc from 1969. He since sent me some pics that didn't make it into his book, a very nice man.

    Harry Ainscough is a legend for capturing what he did from the 60s to the 80s. I know from the photos of his (now the LRO's) that i've forwarded onto ex pats of their old neighbourhoods that they've brought much joy.

    I look forward to seeing these gems of yours unearthed, these posts being what capturing and sharing Liverpool's history and this forum is all about.
    www.inacityliving.piczo.com/

    Updated weekly with old and new pics.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Colin Wilkinson's Avatar
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    Hi Ged - glad you are enjoying the posts. Many more previously unseen photos to come. One point about Harry Ainscough's photos. Although LRO purchased copies - the copyright as such is with his son David - who runs his own webside promoting his dad's work. Copyright is an absolute can of worms - but in this case David should be approached before Harry's work is posted.

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    Re-member Ged's Avatar
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    I have spoken to David in the past congratulating him on his father's work, though i'm sure it wasn't work to him. His photography of Sheffield is also fantastic.
    www.inacityliving.piczo.com/

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    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    Rokeby Street: another poetic image Colin. Thank you very much.

    Just a private view:

    This image [to me] represents the old world order of top down politics, were local people are not there to be consulted, they're there to be told what to do. It also shows a blindness, in the sight of the developers, the architects, and those who sheepishly followed their narrowed, lack of vision. The authorities also failed to capitalise on the good that already existed in these communities from the 'get-go'. Others heard 'ghetto', indeed, that's what they thought, visiting the sites.

    The irony in all this is that it may not have happened, had WWII not taken place. Seeing all those bombed out, crumbling wrecks of communities; the private lives of people now exposed to public view after another night of Blitzkrieg. A family portrait still hangs on the dining room wall, and through a breezy, jaggered hole gazes down on the people emerging bleary-eyed from the shelter. The dead are concealed by freshly turned mounds of rumble - which only last night stood proud as someone's home. The smell, and disease are harder to mask though.

    I think after all this there was a real desire to start a-new, to raze to the ground, any memories of when we were once vulnerable. Building new communities was a kind of restorative solution to those traumatic times everyone experienced during the war. It temporarily put us back in control, with more hygienic, disease-free, controlled, spacious and 'new' housing schemes. Sadly, these were post-traumatic stress induced solutions. The physical damage of the war last six years; the psychological damage, much longer.

    It influenced the wholesale housing solutions that followed in the post war years. Yes, economy, speed and programme all played a part too. But we could have restored what we had, balanced with the new Eldon Road type schemes - rather than to embrace a program of - 'starting with a complete clean slate'. The housing that followed enjoyed a mixed reception, some new housing types, like the tenements [tennies] got a lot right, location, a sense of place, community, self policing, creche-like surveillance for children playing in the centre. Others not so good, with high rise housing, out in the suburbs.

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    Senior Member az_gila's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dazza View Post
    ....
    I think after all this there was a real desire to start a-new, to raze to the ground, any memories of when we were once vunerable. Building new communities was a kind of restatorative solution to those terrible sights, and to the trauma everyone experienced during the war. It temporarly put us back in control, with more hygenic, disease-free, controlled, spacious and 'new' housing schemes. Sadly these were post-tramatic stress induced solutions. The physical damage last six years; the psychological damage, much longer.
    It was also a Western world trend (fad?) of the times.

    The US had no physical damage, but also embarked on similar housing projects at the same time.
    They also did not work out as well as intended.

    The "Population Bomb" was the scare of the time, and the urban planners collectively decided that large urban housing blocks were the way to go, with no real concern for social impacts.

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    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    Thanks az, this is also true. New ideas on housing had been around for a long time, Eldon Street, [c.1905] one early tenement example. And before that, multy-storey terraced rows of housing, in the Netherfield road area. I guess the war allowed for greater application of those pre-existing, and 'new' ideas.

  10. #10
    Senior Member Colin Wilkinson's Avatar
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    I certainly agree that a new mood of change swept through the country (the Elizabethan Age?) and events like the Festival of Britain pushed new technology and modern design. Unfortunately the politics was old school - don't consult - just do whatever needs to be done. This is why Peter Leeson left the City Planning Department to work for the Vauxhall community because he was so concerned with the arrogant attitudes of the bureaucrats. (He quotes one instance at a meeting when a transport boss met complaints that buses were regularly diverted, missing the area altogether with "If it says number 55 on the front of the bus then its a number 55 covering the 55 route!" This was immediately countered by an elderly gentleman in the audience with "It says Cadbury's on the side but its not a bar of chocolate." Scouse humour at the best - but the patronising attitude of officials was behind the break-up of communities without consultation.

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    Senior Member dazza's Avatar
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    Great story Colin, Scousers have never been shy when it comes to squaring up to authority. With great humour too.

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    Yes Professor Lewis Lesley of the JMU Byrom St was another who was disillusioned and spoke out of the 'Homes not Roads' protest film doc made by the Vauxhall Community in 1978. He came along to our screening of 'Gardens of Stone' at the Lee Jones League of Welldoers club 3 years ago.
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    Senior Member gregs dad's Avatar
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    As for flats and all tenement dwellings,and such devices for crowding a maximum amount of humanity in a minimum amount of ground space are destuctive of healthy life.
    The most healthy conditions are obtained where the home unit exists in a self contained house,with the living rooms on the ground floor and the bedrooms on the floor immediately over.
    Spoken by Lord Lever in 1898, before going on to build Port Sunlight village
    As a tenement dweller in my early life I couldn`t agree more.
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    Senior Member Norm NZ's Avatar
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    As a tenement dweller in my early life I couldn`t agree more.
    I agree with your comment Joe, but disagree with Lord Levers! I think the 'Bungalow' type house is better!!! all on one level, and Indoor/outdoor flow into a garden beats the 'Tennies' anyday! Cheers Joe

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    Quote Originally Posted by Norm NZ View Post
    As a tenement dweller in my early life I couldn`t agree more.
    I agree with your comment Joe, but disagree with Lord Levers! I think the 'Bungalow' type house is better!!! all on one level, and Indoor/outdoor flow into a garden beats the 'Tennies' anyday! Cheers Joe
    Yes on the one floor - Especially for the older folks.

    How many homes do you know of with chair lifts installed in them?

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