Closure of the High Street Shops; New post

Late one evening last week.

When I was taking my son back to his flat in Rock Ferry, I drove down Borough road and thought ‘oh that would be a great photo’. There on the opposite side of the street were a row of commercial premises with flats above. ‘So what’ I can hear you think. Well the reason I found them so interesting was because of the decay, dilapidation and forlornness of the buildings. high street, shops, closed, boarded up, vacant, empty, flats, disussed,

Where once there had been bustling shops with a myriad of different families living over them there now stood these forlorn looking buildings just waiting to be knocked down. While I was taking my photos a guy came out of the end building and started chatting to my husband. He actually lived in the flat over the, what we thought was empty, end retail space. Spray painting cars as a hobby, he was the last person in the block of old sshop, sign, old, faded, painted, high street, hops.

He told us that the shops had slowly closed over time, been bought and sold without anyone new moving in and eventually been bought by the council and left to rot. Apparently the council wants to knock all of the block down and turn it into green space. Not that we don’t need new homes of course, we all know we should be building on brown site land to save the countryside though, don’t we? Read more……….

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BeeWirral is helping my Poverty project

BeeWirral; Help in the Community

beewirral, livvy, livingstonestreet, poverty, birkenhead,BeeWirral is a not for profit Community Interest Company. Dedicated to supporting families in making positive choices so that they can improve their own life chances.  Running activities in Livingstone Street Community Center since 2014, their aim is to become a community resource. Somewhere that residents can go to take part in training, courses, activities and support services. They have a full timetable of activities which includes things like infant massage, baby groups, a quilting group, and gardening group, with something to suit everyone. Funded by Reaching Communities, The Morgan Foundation, John Moores Foundation, CFM and Your Wirral, this is a wonderful tool for the community Read more……….

Closure of the High Street Shops

high streetIn every community there is almost always a high street. From small corner shops to supermarkets, family owned shops to co-operatives. When times are good our high street flourishes the community and neighbourhood are strong and cohesive and times are good.

When you start to add things in like redundancy, unemployment, benefit cuts and sanctions then people don’t have money to spend. Every penny is spoken for so splashing out on that nice duvet cover, rug, bottle of wine or meal out stops.

Shop rent and rates go up, produce goes up because transportation costs are high and slowly the shops struggle to make enough profit to cover costs. Shops change hands, close down and the high street becomes a desolate waste land.

The effect on the community can be harsh, people spend less and less on their homes, with poor educational chances crime rates go up, ill health from poor nutrition and lack of access to basic health services affect the neighbourhood an inequality between individual’s and families becomes apparent and social segregation occurs. Those who have a job live on the nice side of the street where as those on benefit live on the wrong side of the street. It has to have an impact on peoples state of mind.

This can make for good community spirit as everyone is in the same situation or similar but often people feel displaced and on their own.

Read More…

Do they have to close our library’s?

librarys closedClosing library’s

Reading, one of the most useful, mischievous, secretly rebellious of acts. I can remember from an early age going to the local library with my mum to change my books and then later with my friends to do homework and to hang out. They were always a quiet peaceful place to go and sit and read a book or magazine in. If you needed help the librarian could always be counted on to find what you were looking for. In the days pre internet that consisted of Encyclopedia Britannica and paper and pen!  Closing libraries is a fine way to keep the poor powerless, anyone could walk through those solid wooden doors and read quietly and learn. Our local library is the free custodian of local stories packed with drama and emotions and the history of where we live, filled with radical, stupid, exciting ideas all in one place, what more could you want. Get ride of libraries and you can wave goodbye to the type of escapism that is only found in books. Take away the library and you take away the one truly powerful thing for people who can’t afford an ipad or kindle or who have no quiet place.

There are so many other things the library gives you easy access to, the council offices re-situated there as the buildings housing them were sold off  to save money. Instead of going to the Town Hall to get help with your benefit or arrange your rent now you go to the library. Computers giving anyone access to the internet, for a fee. The Citizens Advice Bureau, trained volunteers there to help with free advice.  It is our community lifeline, sometimes our only access to the internet, take this away from the old, poor, disables and you take away our power and confidence. Every day we face the unintended consequences of our governments ill thought out and criticised moves to save money and combine benefits, thought out and implemented by those without money worries, who have no problem with paying their bills and their mortgages, is this just a way to punish the poor and balance the books on the backs of the most vulnerable in our society.

Poverty is a state of mind

Poverty is a state of mind

who’s mind

no jobs

weary

hopeless

depressed

anger at the struggle for daily living

made to feel worthless and lazy

second class citizens by the very people who should help

tired

ashamed

who do you think you are to say my struggle is all in my head

with your silver spoons and Eton education

do you really think you know how we suffer to live on seven quid a day

you say we need to cut the GDP

what about our debt

the fat cats sit on their cushy jobs and with no mind to the results

cut here cut there

slicing into our lives

but never their own

never their own

the old boy network help themselves and look down on the degraded suicidal

sanctioned

how can we pull ourselves out of this mess when there are no resources for us to use

we are not all lazy

worthless

work shy

scroungers

tell us enough and maybe we start to believe it

is poverty the state of my mind

the struggle is not in my head

we suffer the abuse

the prejudice

the shame of joblessness

oh they say

there are schemes for you to try

but where are the jobs

get yourself back into work

but where are the schemes to help start your business

stress

fear

despair

we will beat it and we will better it

poverty is not a mindful thing

it is that family pushed and shoved and squeezed into debt just because that 1% help themselves and the country goes to pot

but we will do it and we will do it well

and f*uck the government

we will do it without your help

no longer sanctioned

no more shame

not ostracised

stigmatised

demonised

but once again a member of the working class

poverty may still be there

but not in my mind

 

 

Do we really want another golf course on the Wirral

Do we really want another golf course on the Wirral? We already have over a dozen courses, there is even a women’s course, does it differ to men’s? Hoylake, Wallasey, Caldy, Leasowe, Bidston, Heswall, Eastham etc etc….. they rang in difficulty, Hoylake home of the Open golf championship to Adventure Golf in New Brighton. Dotted around the edges of our beautiful peninsular making the most of our parklands, there are short courses (9 holes), windy, sandy courses, a women’s course, flat courses, historic courses,  i suppose if you were a serious golfer you could play any way you fancied, as long as your a member.

If you look at the Wirral as a whole it is made up of 60 square miles of fabulous seaside, parkland, woodland,  rural walks farm, horse, west kirby, and cycling routes, historic villages, industry, great restaurants and many wonderful artists in an active artist community. There are over 320.000 people situates in towns and villages over the Wirral but there is also a lot of rural land, we have farms, pigs, cattle, sheep, turkeys, award winning farm shops, Tam O’shanter urban farm and GreenBelt land which should be left untouched.

Because of where we are situated Wirral is lucky enough to be visited by many unusutoadal birds through out the year with Parkgate being one natural hotspot. Both the Mersey and Dee estuaries are internationally important wildlife sites for waders and wildfowl in winter. We also have marsh land and reed beds home to Natterjack Toads. Do we want all of this spoiled by yet another Golf course/resort?

Jack Nicklaus is going to design our new course, he has been involved in the design of 290 courses. At least 70 Nicklaus Design courses have been ranked by major industry publications but how many have failed? Polaris World in Spain crashed and burned, Mount Holly Club Utah didn’t work so why should it work here? We dont need our environment disturbed, our animals moved from their homes, our flood plain interfered with so a minority can wack a small ball around our countryside. This will lead to new roads, new homes we wont be able to afford and more traffic!hoylake, golf,open,

This is not one of those ‘Not in my back yard’ type of cries, we really dont need this golf resort, change one of the established courses, give it a new designation but seriously dont let Jack Nicklaus ruin what is such beautiful countryside. There is a meeting on March 29th 2016 at West Kirby United Reform Church starting at 7.30pm for anyone who would like to air their views or just find out more details. Please dont leave it to others to raise their concerns, every voice needs to be heard.

Wanderings with Chris…… a mad dash down to the beach

Driving back from Birkenhead on Tuesday evening i turned to my husband, my partner in crime and coo’d over another beautiful sunset. With a weary sigh i wished i had the energy to get my camera and go down to West Kirby and take photos of the beautiful sunset that was in front of us.
I haven’t taken any sunset photographs in over 12 months, we live in a delightful coastal town and the sunsets are glorious so you can get a bit sunset’ed out and i had made the decision not to take anymore pictures for at least a year.
We have had some lovely weather over Easter and i had watched some glorious colours in the evening sky’s and this evening i finally gave in and made my mind up to drag my camera down to the beach.
We got home, i grabbed my bag and we dashed off to West Kirby beach, a mere 3 minutes away and as i had an idea for my photographs we set off at a trot or as much of a trot that you can manage with a leg that doesn’t work properly, to where i wanted to be. Have you noticed how quickly the sun sets when you have a sore leg, are walking on sand and have to walk far enough to get your shot? I didn’t think i was going to be in time but i was! I collapsed onto the sand, luckily in the correct direction to make the shot and as happens sometimes my first shot was the best.

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I wanted something different from the usual ball of colour and scarlet sky so i concentrated on the spartina grass and kept the colour well in the background, i think it works really well and out of the five photos i thought the best i just love the very first i took. What do you think?

Wanderings with Chris ……Hoylake is enjoying the Open Golf, again!

Eight years ago the Open Golf came to The Wirral, we had money thrown at us to improve Hoylake, which they did really well but it didn’t go all the way through it just kind of stopped up by the Anchor, still Hoylake was left looking pretty. We had thousands of bodies and their cars visiting and they were neatly parked in massive carparks and shuttled in and out. They (quite a few but not all) visited our pubs and wine bars leaving behind their money and going home with great impressions and wonderful memories and we are doing it all over again this month. We have Tigers, McIlroys, Scotts, players from all over the world and they have brought their caddies, managers, families and goodness knows how many other people all geared up to make their week go without a hitch. http://www.royal-liverpool-golf.com/ Our hotels and guest houses are full and if you wander down Market St after 8pm you can hear people commenting on how it feels like you are in a foreign country as there is such a great holiday atmosphere.
During July we have also held Hoylake’s festival of firsts, a fortnight of entertainment and art, the shops, pubs and bars have local poetry and art in their windows and on their walls, which add’s to the great feel of excitement in Hoylake. Thursday was the first day of the Open and i went to Hoylake with Chris to say Hi to our artist friends manning their art stalls hoping to sell their art to the milling hordes. There were plenty of hordes and some selling of art but i was more interested in the movement of Hoylake, the people and the change of pace. People pored from the golf club, jumped on buses and trains or headed for the pubs and bars, they spilled out over the pavements onto the grass and laughed and joked and drank. Prime opportunity for some great street photography.

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We wandered along Market St slowly, chatting to people we know, stopping and sitting drinking in the atmosphere and taking photos of the people doing the same as us. Along the way we walked past Jill’s Cookshop where i have several photographs entered into the Festival of Firsts art competition, in the window is the Lighthouse at Fort Perch and underneath it is….. a Silver award!!! 🙂 Way to go me! and congratulations to all of the others awarded.
fort perch lighthouse
Of course we were really excited and whenever anyone went to look in the shop window Chris would dash over and tell them that i took the photo, i think he is rather proud of me. After we hung out and chatted and took loads of photos we drove down to the promenade and drove along to the RNLI station just in time for a beautiful sunset, a great time to take some photos of the Grace Darling sculpture.

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The sister to the Black Pearl in New Brighton. We watched the sun go down together then headed home to replace the hustle and bustle of Market St with the hustle and bustle of family life. (Read BEDTIME) We have two more days of the golf and then weeks of getting everywhere back to normal again. I hope they bring the Open back to Hoylake eventually it is an amazing event and an amazing opportunity for Hoylake and the Wirral.

Wanderings with Chris……. down the road to the nature reserve

I think this is the first wanderings with Chris post of the year, we haven’t been out very much because of ill health and commitments but it was a beautiful spring day, the sun was shining and we just had to get out of the house and go for a walk. For the past few years i have been battling with Fibromyalgia and arthritis in my hip and knee so walking is very painful and slow and Chris has had problems with his legs too so our walk down to the nature reserve was slow! Just before we went in through the gate we stopped for a look out over the fields towards Greasby and there posing majestically in the pond was a Grey Heron. Major excitement! I managed to get 20 or so shots before it flew off to the other side of the pond, i’m not convinced that they are totally in focus as i didn’t have time to use my tripod but what a beautiful bird!
The nature reserve is actually reclaimed land, back in the distant past when i was a child it was actually the local refuse tip and over time a dip developed which filled with water. I can remember during one winter taking our dog down and walking out onto the ice that had formed on the pond, looking back we are really lucky the ice didn’t break under us. When the council decided that the refuse tip was ‘full’ they landscaped and a group of local families asked the council if they could turn it into a Nature reserve. After a great deal of time and hard work they dug out the pond, planted trees and rushes, added an island in the middle and soon after the wildlife flocked to it. It’s even stocked with fish.
We had a slow walk around the pond and i managed to take quite a few photos, there was lots of blossom and spring flowers and ducks, geese etc, i can’t wait for the babies to appear, cute little chicks to photograph and be chased away from 🙂 We have a couple of buzzards which i would love to photograph but i don’t know where they roost and they fly way to high for me to successfully photograph. We had a lovely walk and on the way home bumped into a lovely lady called Diane and her horse Aztec, Diane let me take some photos of her with Aztec, i hope she likes them. Hopefully with the nice weather over the coming weeks we will get out more, with or without children, i cant wait to see where our adventures take us next.