I had occasion to stroll in the glorious sunshine to a city farm in Walton just off Rice Lane, Liverpool. But this isn’t about the city farm.
I’m guessing that at one time this part of Walton, especially a quiet tree-lined road called Walton Park (despite it not actually being a park), was a lovely area with huge houses built with great character and individuality, proudly looked after and kept to a very high standard of presentation by the live-in servants. I guess they originally stood in their own grounds, probably with fine gardens surrounding them, some distance apart from each other and housed the long lost middle classes without whose wealth and hard work the lower classes would have not had employment in the docks of Bootle and Liverpool itself.
The original occupants and the original purposes for the houses has long gone. They are now all but shells converted into flats and bedsits and surrounded by the usual filth and unkempt trappings of the scum that now inhabits them. Ok, that should maybe be ‘student scum’ that inhabits them, as this is an area that makes easy money out of the great unwashed attending the mainly pointless courses at the various Universities in Liverpool. Students make a mess, that’s what they do, having always been cleaned-up after by their parents in their previous life at home. They have no concept of keeping a place clean, and this shows.
Over the years since the original occupants made their rapid exit, the land associated with each of the older houses has been then used to build further huge tenement blocks or purpose built flats, all nicely sectioned off into student accommodation.
In some parts smaller terraced houses squeeze themselves inbetween the more imposing structures.
Thus walking down the road gives a constant change between the old and majestic and the more modern, but functional, or even the quite cute and picturesque.
In theory it’s potentially still quite nice, although not as nice as it once was. An interesting side issue is the obscure and confused house numbering scheme. It’s completely random. As new buildings have sprung up they’ve been allocated a number that may or may not be part of the normal sequence you expect in a road. My sympathy for any postmen or delivery people trying to service this area!
If it wasn’t for the tress, to the north one could see the imposing and scary unbroken high wall of Walton Gaol, recently renamed Liverpool prison. This, unfortunately, sets the scene for the whole philosophy for the use of this previously beautiful and peaceful area. Apart from students, the area is full of criminals, ex-criminals and mad people.
Quite a few of the gigantic old houses have been snapped-up by the local authority or by its agents in order to house people who are being introduced back into society after their spell in prison (not necessarily the one that casts a shadow across the area), have extreme self-inflicted drug or drink problems or mental illness. The bottom line is that, along with the students, all residents are basically anti-social. What a terrible thing to do to such a lovely area.
So, with students and those with drink, drugs, and mental issues all living alongside each other it’s not surprising that it’s impossible to walk far without the air being full of the stench of skunk, or various forms of extremely loud music echoing out of open windows. There was even somebody teaching himself how to use his drum kit.
Because everything is so confused around this area, it’s quite easy to be anonymous. Hence why it became pretty obvious that the tell-tale smell leaking from at least two addresses that looked otherwise a bit unloved no doubt housed skunk farms. The extreme heat radiating from the heavily curtained windows confirmed this.
I’m not an architectural anorak, but I do like the look of most of this area, even the newer builds without much character. It’s potentially so peaceful. Well, apart from the noise from the students and the screams and scary noises that fill the air from the mentally ill or socially inept.
Why oh why are the normal people that live here forced to be surrounded by the misfits and anti-social sum? It must be a living hell for the normals.
It seems that those who take take take from life are given all the advantages. The average person couldn’t afford to live in one of the more beautiful homes here or to stay in this area unless funded to so do. Why are we funding these people to live here and destroy it?