A couple of us were brought up in and around Speke. We’re both about the same age (an age which some younger group members regard as a biological phenomenon), and keen to look back and recall our childhoods in Speke, and how the area’s changed. This post is just an introduction. It also touches on how by selecting images we can represent places in ways different to how they’re perhaps most commonly thought of. Speke, for example, may summon up simply images of big housing estates, factories and possibly ‘urban deprivation’; in this post we begin to see how selection reinterprets images.
Speke is probably most famous for Speke Hall, the Tudor mansion which you can read about here. As kids, one of the best thing about going there was that it was (of course) haunted. It’s pretty remarkable visiting today with the airport right next door. Still, there are some great woods and gardens around, and a short stroll takes you down to the river and the boat club.
It’s a place of contrasts. Although there have been some good developments made in recent years, Speke was once one of the poorest areas in the UK. It’s orginally a farming community, and still is as you can see from the pictures, but its population shot up in the 50s when the huge housing estates were built, alongside hundreds of factories. The industry declined as quickly as it had started which led to lots of social problems. (more…)