Monday, 29 June 2009
"Summer In The City"
When thinking of my June post for VP's 'Out On The Streets' topic my initial thoughts drifted in the direction of the nearest roundabout. However the fact that it's a veritable sea of red hot pokers just now, prompted me to venture slightly further away, so I took myself off to Liverpool ,camera in hand last Monday.
Venturing into Liverpool city centre during the last few years has involved living dangerously. The city skyscape has been filled with a plethora of cranes and its streets with a myriad of construction plant. My shopping excursions have been nightmares with JCBs hurtling towards me from all angles. The noise of banging and pneumatic drills have been a constant irritation and my nerves have been on edge. Instead of lingering I have been beetling back to Lime Street Station as quickly as my short and stubbies allow. Slowly though the building of the new city centre retail/leisure area known as Liverpool ONE has taken shape and the development opened its doors to the public last autumn. Despite the recession customers have flocked in and now Liverpool has moved to fifth in the nationwide league of retail destinations.
Linking the newly development to Liverpool's waterfront is an area known as Chavasse Park. Chavasse Park in the city centre was originally set aside as a park in the 1980s and covered an area of between 2-3 acres. It is named in commemoration of Noel Godfrey Chavasse - a doctor and one of only three men to have been awarded the Victoria Cross twice. The park was excavated in 2004 prior to the start of the Liverpool ONE project. The park was reinstated on top of a new 2000-space underground car park.
Although I have been shopping in Liverpool ONE before this was my first excursion into the new park. It was a damp and murky Monday morning so there were not many people about. The planting certainly appealed to me - a variety of hardy perennials, grasses and shrubs which already looked well established. I found it difficult though to imagine what it will look like in the colder months of the year. Was there enough of an evergreen background ? Are there any winter flowering plants and bulbs? The entire area was immaculate - not a drop of litter to be seen. Whether this was because it was a Monday morning remains to be seen. I thought that it would be a most pleasant spot to eat my lunch during the summer if I was working nearby or a tourist looking for somewhere to picnic. However when I think of parks children come straight to my mind but I did not see any evidence of their needs being catered for. I did not come across a designated playground area or any particular child orientated feature. This could be an oversight on my part - after all it being term time there were no children about for me to notice what they were up to. I will need to return to investigate this and also hopefully to see the fountains in action as they were sadly not working.
So I will be returning to Chavasse Park later this year on a mission and will post a follow up report. Watch this space ! Meanwhile I will keep my eye on that roundabout - perhaps by September 'Out On The Streets' it might be less of a horror show.