Tagged: Walton

Walton Road 1976

Great Mersey Street from Stanley Road 1976

I have previously mentioned some of the dedicated photographers who took it upon themselves to document the streets of Liverpool. One name I have not mentioned is Stan Roberts. I knew Stan well. He was a mine of information on anything Liverpool and had built up a magnificent collection of maps and books before his death a few years back. Stan only started taking photographs seriously in the 1960s but he made up for lost time over the next twenty years photographing thousands of street scenes like these two.

I particularly like the idea of Walton Road being Marlboro Country. As the advert says: ‘Come to where the flavour is’.? The photo of Great Mersey Street reinforces my earlier post about Georgian buildings. These were some of the last terraces left after the destruction of the 1950s and 60s. They were part of a solid belt of similar housing that once covered the city from Dingle to Everton and beyond. Thanks to photographers like Stan – whose work will feature regularly in my blog – we do have a valuable record, even if it is of decay and impending destruction.

Reading through my posts, I feel the need to redress some of the criticism I have thrown at the politicians and planners who contributed to the relandscaping of Liverpool. As today’s photograph of Rice Lane shows, much of our ‘heritage’ had deteriorated to a state where demolition was the most effective response. Rice Lane was just one of hundreds of streets which had been ‘thrown up’ in the nineteenth century by jerrybuilders catering for the explosion in population. Without maintenance, most houses will fall apart after fifty years – and Liverpool had too many for a city which lost in the region of 300,000 people beween 1951 and 1981.
The image of Rice Lane is particularly bleak. In the background is the tower of Walton church, but otherwise, there is little to raise the spirits (although I do rather like the street light with its elegant curves).