South Liverpool began for me aged 11 and rather than experiencing one district I managed to cover almost all of the area. Woolton, Allerton, Speke, Garston, Aigburth, Liverpool 8 and of cause Penny Lane. Growing up around there was a fantastic experience in the sixties. Community is sometimes an ambiguous or vague term. The post war model of the functional working class family was never comprehensive to the area although in places it was prominent. When people reflect on their upbringing they often find themselves going along with established norms and conventions. Some of my experiences and memories might not be in line with the dominant views. However they are relevant to what has shaped you. Liverpool 8 was culturally different to most of south Liverpool yet Liverpool 8 has created more positive cultural strains than any other district. Art has always been something in abundance in the area. In this age of recognizing diversity in society we sometimes are cajoled into believing the past was better than it is now. I don?t agree with that view and I would argue that in the sixties you had problems too. The biggest problem was poverty. I can remember the most appalling poverty in south Liverpool and also an institutional resignation to the problem. What I liked about south Liverpool was the physical environment. The blue suburban sky and green tree lined avenues, the wide open spaces. Wales and the river, parks and wildlife we had it all. We also shared even then a sense of respect for other cultures. Lennon often reflected this in his music and his parochial stance was born out of a love for his roots. Adrian Henri could make a walk down Parliament Street seem like a poetic Utopia. The reason being he had a profound respect for people. That?s the south Liverpool I loved and the experience reflected in the art of Lennon and others. People become real and tangible entities not shadows. The comings and goings of Penny Lane are seen through the life experience of ordinary people. And then there is solidarity and compassion for and with those around you. It doesn?t really matter where you come from or how well or badly you were brought up. We all make choices, it is the person you become that matters and the respect you have for others. Sometimes in the Kop on a Saturday afternoon I would hear things and experience forms of aggression that were alien to me. That?s part of growing up. Yet on a Sunday I would go for a walk through Allerton or Woolton or Aigburth and feel happy being from such a nice environment.