Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Above is the finale of the the Everyman Finale night.

There is a great site which shows in real time the new theatre being built and which has lots of interviews and more. Visit it by clicking here.

Hope Street Peeps

Posted: October 6, 2011 in people, Uncategorized

Visit the great new site Hope Street Peeps. The Spiderphoto group went out with lights and cameras onto Hope Street and took pictures of some of the people they met. A street, a place, at any one time is more to do with the people than the stones and glass, and this site catches the variety of people who contribute to the street, the city, humanity.

Roxie Roulette

‘Real name – Hannah Cruse, The vintage vibe around Hope Street is buzzing ! I’m always finding amazing bargains looking around my historic surroundings.’

David Brewitt – Owner Hope Street Hotel

‘I came to Liverpool University in the wake of the riots in 1981. Hope Street is now transformed into one of the best streets in Europe ! With two Cathedrals and two world class Universities, the RLPO, The Everyman and many other fantastic local and independent businesses.’









One of Hope Street's most popular meeting places


Hotels, restaurants, estate agents  and tourist publications often refer to the Hope Street area as the Hope Street Quarter. In recent years it has been widely referred to also as the Cultural Quarter. There is a slight problem for historical perfectionists like ourselves since the Cultural Quarter is in fact the area around St George’s Hall, the museum and Walker. Still, let’s not be too fussy. We shall shortly be looking at the Learning Quarter, which flows down besides the RC Cathedral and into Hope Street: indeed, so intimate is the union that the pavements and roads upgrading link the two quarters. The Learning Quarter prospectus includes many images of Hope Street and the Hope Street area (mainly restaurants and fine Georgian Buildings).

Yet there are other quarters superimposed upon the mainstream descriptions. These occupy the same place as the others, for instance the hugely important Imagine mental health service, three centres for drug and alcohol rehabilitation, and a very large nursing home for long-term vulnerable people. Where the ‘other end’ of Hope Street, opposite the end where the Learning Quarter is, begins the Toxteth or the Windsor Street Quarter, headed by a Merseycare hospital. Let’s not forget either that the workhouse we’ve mentioned already, the Blind School, and the orphanages, sheltering homes and alms houses (all falling within the ‘Hope Street Area’) are relatively recent history. We’ll return to look at the history of poverty, mental health and wellbeing in future posts.

Below is a piece by Phil Thornton giving a somewhat sobering pause for thought. Among other things, it suggests the ways in which Hope Street in some aspects is a microcosm of the city.

Hope Quarter

Phil Thornton

How many quarters can a city have? The newly proposed ‘Hope Street Quarter’ or ‘Hope Quarter’ joins other equally ridiculous quarters in Liverpool’s city centre such as the Met Quarter (a shopping mall) and the ‘Knowledge Quarter’ along with made up zones such as Ropewalks and East Village. The trend for this arbitrary zoning and re-zoning of city centres is part and parcel of the regeneration industry, transforming formerly run-down o derelict areas by giving them pseudo-cosmopolitan handles Manchester’s ‘Northern Quarter’ for example used to be the seedy, undeveloped but ‘Bohemian’ area between Oldham Street and Piccadilly station. It’s still seedy, undeveloped and ‘bohemian’ and has retained that aura of rough and ready edginess that all city centres require as an escape from the sanitized retail zones that have spread like a consumerist cancer across the rest of the city centre.

Liverpool has copied Manchester’s blueprint in a desperate bid to re-market itself as a vibrant, forward-thinking 21st century haven for spenders and students, the chattering classes and the ‘business community’ anyone in fact apart from the people who actually live in the city, those who don’t fit into the marketing peoples’ vision of the future. Yet these quarters and zones have no boundaries either real or imagined; where does the Knowledge Quarter begin and end, where is East Village on the map? The development of the Hope Quarter is aimed at attracting money away from Liverpool One, and whilst the proposals speak of ‘community and ‘culture’ it is commerce, as usual, that is really fuelling this concept.

Liverpool One was supposed to be the solution to all Liverpool’s problems, a shiny, retail paradise that will not only cater for local shoppers but also entice people from other towns and cities on the periphery away from Manchester. What is has done is move

the centre of commercial activity away from the traditional shopping areas moving south from the city centre from Hardman Street and Bold Street up towards the cathedrals and the bourgeois/boho area of Hope Street with its theatres and bistros and colleges. Just as the formerly thriving area around London Road has now become a wasteland of tatty material shops, cut price bargain stores and run-down alehouses, so the city centre south of say Hanover Street is quickly fading as the money gets sucked into the privatized black hole of Liverpool One.

The Hope Quarter is designed as a counterweight to the short sighted easy money options that resulted in Liverpool One’s development which was itself the culmination of 30 years of constant ‘re-generation’ beginning with Albert Dock. If the city centre looks much better than it did 30 years ago and that’s a matter of opinion, then there’s no doubt it looks very different. Yet there are still many questions to be answered about how aristocrats such as Lord Grosvenor and wealthy companies such as Peel Holdings can own swathes of the city centre and enrich themselves at the expense of the ordinary people who are increasingly squeezed out of the city centre back to their red brick reservations on the periphery. For all the billions spent in Liverpool via EU objective one funds, government and private investment, what has changed for the everyday people? Walk a few miles in any direction from Liverpool One – north to Kirkdale, south to Toxteth, east to Kensington (or even west across the Mersey to Birkenhead) and suddenly the rosy future promised during the run-up to Capital of Culture seems just another mirage.

Simply re-naming something doesn’t change it. Canny Farm is still Canny Farm even if the planners prefer Stockbridge Village and Duke Street is still Duke Street even if the marketing suits prefer to name it East Village. How many quarters can a city have? The Four Quarters of the Apocalypse – culture, retail, education and administration? A city and a psyche can’t be neatly divided in such a fashion and such zonings are actually counter-productive, forming ghettoes and increasing division. If we can have a Hope Quarter why not a Despair Quarter? I’d certainly spend my hours if not my money there.


A sealed iron coffin used as protection against grave robbers

As authorities in Scotland tightened up on the activities of grave robbers, notoriously Burke and Hare who sold corpses for anatomy lessons, the body snatchers moved further afield. The above picture shows a sealed iron coffin in Scotland demonstrating how far people were ready to go to protect their loved ones’ remains.

Number 8 Hope Street became a safer base for the grave robbers. In 1826 John Henderson of Greenock rented the cellar claiming it was for the storage of fish oils. He sent three barrels to the docks ready to be shipped to Leith (Edinburgh’s port). The following day on board the Latona, sailors noticing a horrible stench opened the barrels and found eleven bodies in salt. Then 22 bodies were found in the cellar. Perhaps the workhouse across teh road provided a convenient source of cadavers.

The site of the Number 8 became the convent and college of Notre Dame opposite the Everyman.

Synagogue, pub, restaurant, fancy dress hire...


The building that was once the home of O’Connors Tavern which we’ve mentioned, as the venue of 60s poetry and music especially associated with Liverpool Scene and The Scaffold. It began as a synagogue in the early nineteenth century which then moved to Hope Place (next to the Unity Theatre). As time moves on, so many buildings have changed their function like this  one atthe corner of Hardman Street and Pilgrim Street. Time has a more immediate effect too. The picture below is of parts of the building that have fallen off. Be careful when walking past!


Visit Liverpool – Tourist Attractions and Things to do in Liverpool.

This is a video from the official visitliverpool site of Hope Street. See what you think!

The Demise of Duncan

Posted: August 24, 2011 in Uncategorized

There are countless ‘ghost stories’ associated with Liverpool, and Hope Street has its fair share of spooks and ghoulies. We were in the right place and at the right time to see this ghostly event.


We’re working editing a short piece about a man (our Duncan) who comes from Hope Street in Glasgow to Hope Street in Liverpool. Maybe he’s looking for a fresh start. Maybe he’s looking for culture. Whatever.

Obviously somebody in the know heard about the filming and it became a tourist attraction in its own right.    Everyone is taking and making pictures. How many on a single day are taken in Hope Street alone? What will become of them?


There’ll be many posts in the coming weeks about how arts organisations in Hope Street, although having their base in the street, have a much wider influence in the city. The Philharmonic’s work with the Children’s Orchestra is one example. We have lined up interviews with the Phil-based Merseyside Youth Orchestra soon.

The idea of ‘Hope’ in its positive sense is captured here. Notice the reference to Hope University’s involvement with the orchestra: they have a creative campus in Everton.

Find out more about the West Everton Children’s Orchestra and its background here

We have had a good summer of outdoor events. In the past few weeks we’ve seen Brasilica, Brouaha, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (a few hours after the West Everton performance) and much more. We are editing footage from a spectacular aeriel show at the Anglican Cathedral at the weekend, and all in all reminded that ‘culture’ is not something that has to happen inside walls.

Here’s a nice piece within walls produced professionally, showing the children’s orchestra at the Phil.

Tour Time

Posted: August 1, 2011 in Uncategorized
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We’ll be using some of this brief footage elsewhere in the future but on this occasion we’ve left the sound off. It’s only a couple of minutes long, and you’re invited to ‘fill in’ what sort of commentary you’d be likely to hear. {We are having technical issues with embedding youtube material just now which is why you are giving a link. Hope to have the problem resolved soon, although it looks to be an issue at WordPress/youtube) 

The speed of a tour, ‘doing’ a city, ‘seeing’ a landmark can all take place at breakneck speed. While we aren’t looking to provide a history of every brick and paving stone in Hope Street, the Chronicles proceed much more slowly.