Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Ringo's House

Hamilton Square Station. Photograph by Tim Irving
Frequent Electric Trains by Tim Irving
This is well off topic but I feel obliged to warn you not to do what I've done, which is fit a new toilet and a new floor, at the same time. I'll leave it at that.

The weather here is lovely and has been for the past 2 days. I haven't been out enjoying the sun because of the afore mentioned toilet and floor, but this weekend I'm visiting Merseyside (The photo above is the old underground station in Birkenhead) one of my favourite places with many happy memories. I'll probably nip over to Ringo's old house in Madryn Street, Liverpool which looks like it's going to be demolished. A very short sighted move in a city that makes a good living from its musical heritage. The council in Liverpool should think back, didn't they re-build the Cavern Club after pulling down the original. Madryn Street and the streets around it are called the "Welsh Streets" because they were populated by Welsh construction workers from the 19th century onwards. These are very attractive houses, easily modernised, historic and desirable. In any other city they'd be preserved, not in Liverpool.

I'm off to an exhibition tomorrow in London. But today I'm draining water in an attempt to stop a leak. I'll be back Friday.


  1. Good heavens, another delicious photo. Would you please just publish a book, "The Complete Works, etc." so I can have them all?

    The excursions to Merseyside and London sound like a good cure for the leaky-pipe blues. Breathe deep of the escape!

    I would love to meander for a good long time around the west coast of England. The area is very romanticized for someone who was an American kid listening to music (and watching groovy films:) in the 1960's.

  2. I was born and brought up on Merseyside and love your photograph of Hamilton Square station, very beautiful. As for Ringo Star's house, and the threat of demolition... The area where the house is situated does contain beautiful Victorian buildings. I taught in this area for several years and so am familiar with the area and it's history, which, rightly or wrongly, has significant stigma attached to it. The buildings on Madryn Street are in a very sad state of disrepair. People who would otherwise be interested in gutting and renovating a beautiful Victorian home are not interested in moving into this area of Liverpool, and many people who live in this area are generally living below the poverty line and are not able to afford to renovate these houses, or pay for their upkeep after they have been renovated. The area, and the buildings in it, have been in a steady spiral of decline for a long time. It is a very sad situation. Ringo Starr's home is privately owned by someone who refuses to sell it. The council has attempted to negotiate to save the building for some time. The owner has been uncooperative. The council buying the Victorian houses on Madryn Street and renovating them would not necessarily solve the problems this area of Liverpool has. Although I agree with you that's it's heartbreaking that the council is considering demolishing the houses on Madryn Street, I don't believe this decision is based in ignorance and a lack of appreciation of the buildings in this area. I believe it's an attempt to do something to regenerate an area of the city where poverty and deprivation are the main focus of life for many people, and having a home with "original features" isn't necessarily a priority, when putting food on the table, or fighting to be granted political asylum, is where your focus lies. I don't believe Liverpool is the only city to be faced with this dilemma.



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