Paul Rabbitts FRSA FLI
Author, Parks Historian, Public Speaker
|Posted on April 16, 2015 at 6:40 PM|
Had a really good trip to Liverpool last weekend, sorted last minute and with a view to get away but also to sneak a look at 4 bandstands I knew were there - Newsham Park (see Bad bandstands), Sefton Park, Derby Park in Bootle and Stanley Park - all in beautiful bandstands. Saturday was spent wandering around Matthew Street and the Beatles bits - Cavern Club looked rowdy, then a wander up to the Cultural Quarter. Its a magnificent city. Sunday it poured down but this was the bandstand tour. Sefton Park is immense and the Palmhouse is just a fabulous work of art and a restoration beyond recognition. I loved it. As for the bandstand, I scrambled over the bridge to the island bandstand, looking a little bit worn but a great colour scheme. Stanley Park - after a swift look round the outside of Anfield for the Mrs! - stunning, just stunning. The Conservatory restoration is outstanding. Go visit it. Next was Newsham Park - the other side of Liverpool and a park that has had the heart ripped out of it. Truly awful and I must admit I didn't feel safe.
Derby Park in Bootle I almost broke my neck climbing the fence to get onto it. I still have the war wounds, but it was worth the pain.
So all in all, 3 great bandstands, one just a shameful wreck, but I came away feeling rather sad and somewhat cheated. I love Liverpool, I supported them as a child, I got my pilots licence at Cheshire Air Training School at Liverpool Airport and it has tremendous parks and buildings. But behind much of it is extreme poverty, hardship, social problems that seem out of control but such buoyant people. I do love the scouse humour. Governemnt afte government, local and national politicians have failed - the system has failed and it is cities like Liverpool where it is felt most. I saw it in Middlesbrough and I saw it here. But I mention this to a dear scouse friend from St. Helens who simply says "don't be sad, be inspired" and she was totally right. Be inspired. It was an inspirational city and can't wait to go back.
Newsham Park Entrance
The bandstand as it was
The bandstand today
Sefton Park Palmhouse
Inside the Palmhouse
Andre Le Notre