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Posts Tagged ‘photography’

There’s a book not long out called Edgelands written by two poets. A couple of us have read it, and found it good in parts but overall probably not the best; still worth reading though as it gives ideas for looking into things we normally only see in passing, in this case the ‘edgelands’ between the city and the countryside. These are places where a surprising amount of nature has returned to; the history of the recent past is inscribed there; sewage farms, motorway service stations, conference centres, travel lodges, kids’ dens, surreal golf ranges…..

We’re inspired to look at something a bit like edgelands but those within the town and city. The alleys, the derelict industrial sites, rows of houses awaiting demolition, and the new businesses that spring up selling cars, carpets, sheds and pallets. Our first foray was into Birkenhead’s docklands. There is a definite sense of atmosphere as you leave the main road that runs by the park, head up Duke Street then cross into the dusty remains of the past, tangled wreckage of machinery, and the signs of life springing up as if at random. Here are some of the pictures we took.

 

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A stroll for five minutes, a few photographs, and then a little tweaking on the computer. The past and the present are intertwined. Images produced today evoke the same scenes from a hundred years ago. Ste L, Ste O, Peter, Duncan caught Liverpool in the snow.

Falkner Square

St James Cemetry

Falkner Terraces

Georgian Facade

St James Cemetry

Saint Brides

Georgian terrace

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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…)

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Pavements, there beneath our feet. Just pavements. But nothing’s ever simple!

The pavements show the effects of time, some of them cracking up under the strain; others  coming apart. What was once neat and all fitted together starts to come apart. Maybe pavements have a story to tell, a sort of parable about how time is always working against our attempts to impose order. Incidentally, the word ‘pavement’ comes from the Latin pavere which means to ‘pound down’. We try to pound down the earth to fit our own design, but nature and time have a way of reclaiming things.

Pavements carry the ghosts of feet, of people long dead, the fleeting touch of shadows or rain that reflects the world above. Footprints caught in the cement of pavements: maybe in a thousand years an excited archaeologist from Mars will find one like we found footsteps on the beach up at Formby from thousands of years ago…

Leaves, apples, litter, all there and gone in an instant. A paving flag is like a picture frame of time.

And then there are the pavements people draw or write upon. Kids chalk drawings,, ‘arty’ stencil stuff, or the  drawings etched into the pavements on the new frontage of Lime Street Station done by artist Simon Faithfull to record a trip to Liverpoool in Nova Scotia, three thousand miles away.

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Many thanks to John over at our sister site Spiderphoto for having created and uploaded the new header. It shows Pilgrim Street running up to the Anglican Cathedral with Rice Street off to the left. The Pilgrim pub is visible but, contrary to the belief of some group members, the street’s not named after the pub! It is named after a privateer called The Pilgrim, which captured a ship and cargo that you can read about here where there are other details of some Liverpool street names. More information about privateers can be found here.

Just visible up Rice Street is the old Cracke pub. one of John Lennon’s haunts.

The video is from an old television commercial which features the late Jon Pertwee, and was shot on Pilgrim Street, The garage doors in the advertisement are still there.

Sadly, it was Pertwee’s last appearance: he died a week later.

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With all that’s happening at Liverpool Football Cub – today was a High Court hearing against the owners – a good time to watch again this short training video. It is made of photographs taken on one match day and one non-match day. The sounds were recorded on an H2 ZOOM and vision was edited on iMovie, sound on Audacity (a great free downloadable sound studio).

While to many “Anfield” means the place of a football club, to many others it’s a place to live. We have a few members of the group looking to develop more on Anfield in its wider sense. This video uses simple techniques to suggest history such as putting the sound of an old fashioned projector on, and making it look like old film in places. The video also seems to be making some points by contrasting certain images.

The Dixon Scott reference at the start of the film is to the writer of a 1907 guide to Liverpool. We looked about a year ago at some of the things he said about Anfield.

Click on continue below to read the full item.

Anfield (1907)

Walton’s drab neighbours on the other

side, too, have also their sporting as-

sociations, and, in consequence, some

measure of independent fame. Each

Saturday afternoon throughout the

winter grey clouds of sound drift over

all this northern district and out into

the country beyond : rivalling for a time

the brazen rumours from the River which

are always visiting these airs. They

rise from the great football-grounds at

Everton and Anfield, where some tens

of thousands of enthusiasts, incredibly

packed together (any number of the

worst-paid of L ‘s understudies

among them), indulge, week after week,

a passion for vicarious athletics.

There is always something rather

heartsome about the sound of distant

cheering, and in this case one welcomes

these tumults with an especial enthusiasm.

It would probably be unjust to suggest

that they stand for the most positive

moment in the lives of the cheerers, but

it is certainly true that they provide the

most positive note in the whole of the

dull regions that surround them. To-

wards Stanley Park, indeed, in Anfield,

there is a momentary touch of something

that is almost sprightliness ; and over

in Everton, near the hill from which

De Quincey admired the view of distant

Liverpool, there is a flavour of dignified

decay. But, for the rest, there are only

labyrinthine miles of gardenless, spirit-

less streets, neither new nor old, neither

vicious nor respectable — always tragically

null and inchoate. They involve Kirk-

dale ; they trail out towards Cabbage

Hall ; they trudge past Newsham Park,

and so away towards the south. The main

ribs strike across them here and there,

distributing a little colour — paper-shops,

tobacconists’, sweet-shops, the rich phials

of a drug-store, butchers’ slabs covered

with intricate runes of red and yellow ;

but these respites are desperately re-

stricted. The gleam dies away as quickly

as the sound of the car-gongs ; the web

slinks back into its old monotony, into

that grey neutrality which seems, some-

how, to be far baser and more vitiating

than the brute positive blackness of the

slums. (more…)

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