EVENTS ALONG THE LEEDS & LIVERPOOL CANAL THROUGHOUT THE SUMMER OF 2009.
the cut Inside this edition
Ice cream boats Fishing Beehives Giant vegetable trial Upside down taxi and lots more
‘The canal is for everyone’
Canaltube Ever wondered what those wind turbines look like close up?
YouTube keyword search ‘SEAFORTH WINDTURBINES’
Canal& – suggestions for a futu
re canal. Read more on page 15
History of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal By Mike Clarke In the eighteenth century, Liverpool was the largest industrial centre in Lancashire, with industries including copper refining, chemicals, sugar refining and iron working. All these industries needed coal as did the growing number of sailing vessels using the port and not forgetting the local inhabitants who needed coal for heating and cooking. Merchants in Liverpool saw the potential of an inland waterway that could carry coal easily around the area and after some initial problems over the route, the canal opened from Liverpool to Parbold in 1774 allowing coal to reach Liverpool.
Making the Cut Many of you will know that The Leeds & Liverpool Canal runs right through South Sefton and North Liverpool. Pretty much neglected over the last 40odd years, today the canal has a new lease of life, thanks to the new cut through the Pier Head linking these neighbourhoods with the North and South Docks and the city centre. It is a chance for boaters to travel from Leeds to the Albert Dock for the first time but perhaps more importantly it has given a new reason to discover the beauty of the place and bring it back to life. Think of the canal as Sefton and Liverpool’s longest park. In places it may not look like a park at the moment but with a little help it could do quite easily. The potential of the canal and what could be done to make it better is what The Cut is about. Over the past six months artists have engaged stakeholders and local residents in active dialogue about the Leeds & Liverpool Canal and its potential within the regeneration process. It is part of a three year project, ‘Art for Places’, which aims to produce three public art commissions in the NewHeartlands Housing Market Renewal (HMR) areas across Merseyside. The first one will happen along the South Sefton stretch of the canal and will take the form of a moveable watersports facility. The second commission is planned for the Wirral and the third in Liverpool.
In this publication you can read about the projects the artists and residents have started along the canal and how you can participate. From July to September there are several activities centered around former St Winnies School and the water, which you will find on the centerfold map. Then from 16–20 September we’ll have five days of events called Urbanism ’09. Urbanism ’09 is both a conference and a celebration of everything that has been achieved and hopefully a starting point for new thinking around the next phase of development in Sefton and North Liverpool. More about that in our second issue published early September. We hope you enjoy your read and look forward to seeing you over the summer.
Building the canal was slow work, and it was not completed until 1816. A link into the Mersey was authorised by the Canals Act, but it was left to Liverpool’s second great dock engineer, Jesse Hartley, to build the link when he constructed Stanley Dock in 1846. Many barges worked up and down Stanley Locks as it was cheaper to transfer cargoes between ships and canal barges than it was to land goods on the docks. The locks were built larger than others on the canal and the canal deepened between Bootle and the locks to allow larger barges to carry their full load which meant of course more trade and more money! The original Canal Basin was located in Old Hall Street but in the 1880’s a new road was built, Pall Mall, and much of the old Canal basin filled in. You can still see the old Canal Master’s house which is now The White Bar attached to the Radisson Hotel. Traffic on the main line of the canal finally ended in 1964 following the severe winter of 1963/4. Most of the basin was filled in shortly afterwards and an extension to Tate & Lyle’s sugar refinery built over part of it. Fast-forwarding to 2009, British Waterways have just opened the new canal extension at Pier Head which will allow water traffic to travel through Stanley Dock and up through the locks at the Eldonian Village to connect with the Canal, the first traffic to pass through here in about 80 years! Industry has given way to leisure cruising and a new chapter of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal is beginning.
ing Kerr y Morrison out and about draw ’. Cart the ny with ‘Ken
Mike Clarke is an Industrial Historian who has written several books about the Leeds & Liverpool Canal, his new book about Canal barge painting ‘Brightwork’ has just been published. Mike will be coming to talk about the history and people of the Canal on Monday 20 July, Bootle Town Hall, Stanley Road, Bootle. 6.30pm. To book a free ticket please call 0845 220 2800 or email email@example.com
A view from Naples In 2008 Danilo Capasso worked with Rotunda College in Kirkdale on their La Dolce Vita party. He enjoyed it so much, he brought his partner Diana Marone back to Liverpool for three months to develop a series of events along the canal. You have been in Liverpool for a few weeks now, what ideas do you have for a project in the canal? We are working on different ideas, we are brainstorming. Well, first of all we have found a series of interesting areas along the canal. The stretch of canal from Sandhills bridge up to the rail bridge, and a fascinating old industrial corner towards the Bank Hall bridge. The first idea is about a green area alongside Commercial Road, and a hilly garden with a sloping ground that leads to the canal border. It is a natural green arena with a high terrace on the canal and has five big steel platforms, ruins of industrial use. These platforms are often used as fishing spots. The elevated position of the garden beside the canal gives the place a horizon to view the city panorama. The garden is close to two neighbourhoods (Kirkdale and Vauxhall) and has the potential to be a new point of attraction. Our idea is to create an open air cinema using the slope as the arena; to involve local residents in the construction of a wooden version of Gross Max’s Rotunda pavilion with some user friendly features like a kiosk where we will organize barbeques and picnics. Beside the kiosk, the benches that we have made to sit on the slope will allow everyone to see movies and give a view of the city.
What have you found most interesting about the area? We are in a complete different situation from the one in our city Naples. Although edgy as Liverpool, in Naples we need more space and space is like gold. Liverpool, on the other hand, is full of space, space that can be enhanced and used, simply waiting for ideas. A very challenging ground for urban practice. Any particular anecdotes during your residency so far? We found another similarity between Liverpool and Naples. We always see older people searching for coins in Naples with magnets around the few gardens or even fewer fountains we have. Also in Rome it is a common ‘hobby’ possibly brought about by the high living costs. In Sefton, we saw an old man metal-detecting on the huge beach near Crosby Coastal park, probably searching for treasure? At sunset he was silently walking on the beach, wearing headphones and carrying a metal detector: it is so different from Naples where people hunt for their treasure in much smaller spaces.
Could this be an open air cinema?
Fishing tips for beginners Turn up at the canal. Find some ducks to sit with for company. Set up your rod and cast out. Wait a while. Bring your line in. Cast out again. Have a cup of tea... repeat for 5 hours and try to stay awake. Seriously though, first things first, find a good spot to fish – look out for features like rushes, overhanging bushes or trees – fish usually hang out around here. It’s worth fishing 2 or 3 ‘swims’ – try down the centre of the canal in the channel and in the margins close to the tow path.
Set up your rod using light line and floats and small hooks. Next, plumb the depth in your swims – fish feed at different depths depending on weather and water temperature. Cast out, sink your line and concentrate on your float – don’t get distracted watching birds or planes flying overhead or texting your mates – the fish seem to know when you’re not looking! Feed bits of bait into your swim at regular intervals depending on frequency of bites. Try maggots, casters, worms, sweetcorn or small pieces of bread and meat. Pellets, hemp and groundbait can also be good. Experiment, be patient and concentrate!
SUPER SIMPLE ITALIAN FOOD e have Danilo Capasso and Diana Maronn from Naples: pe reci ul derf won contributed this
Canaltube Take a short train ride from Bootle to Bank Hall.
YouTube keyword search ‘TRAIN RIDE BOOTLE BANK HALL’
INGREDIENTS (serves 6) 500g pasta (Fusilli) 750g fresh mushrooms (any type) 1 garlic bulb A big bunch of parsley 1 large ripe tomato White wine Extra virgin olive oil METHOD less, Peel and cut a whole garlic bulb (or of dful han a up p Cho e). tast depending on ly. thin very parsley and slice the mushrooms
European Neighbours Day at St
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ARE YOU LICENSED TO FISH? DON’T GET CAUGHT OUT. In the Leeds & Liverpool Canal you can expect to find roach, rudd, perch, eels, bream, skimmers (small bream), tench, carp and pike – a whopping 30lb pike was caught last year! Liverpool & District Angling Association own the rights to fish on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal from Liverpool city centre up to Halsall. The club was established in 1911, making it one of the oldest angling associations in the UK. Membership is open and annual permits are available from local tackle shops or by contacting Joe Farrell the Hon Secretary. The current year’s fees for year ending 31 December 2010 are: adults £20, concs (OAP, disabled) £15, juniors (under 16) fish for free but must be registered as members. Alternatively you can purchase day tickets for £5 from local tackle shops or from bailiffs walking the banks. In addition to a Liverpool & District Anglers membership or day ticket you must also have an Environment Agency rod license, available online (www.environment-agency.gov.uk) and at some Post Offices. For more information about the club go to www.liverpoolangling.com
Back to school! (but not as you know it) With all of the different activities going on this summer we thought it would be a good idea to create a hub or centre for all our projects and provide a base for Urbanism ’09 in September. The old St Winefride and St Richard’s Catholic Primary School on Merton Road seemed like the perfect place! It had been occupied by Hugh Baird College but when they moved into their new buildings we saw our chance. It’s not only big enough to house our artists, boat builders, growing projects (Squash Nutrition have planted raised beds filled with all kinds of delicious fruit and veg) but also backs onto the Canal so is a great location to base our Water Sports Centre (we can’t wait to go kayaking) and is right opposite Carolina Wharf so expect to see something popping up there too! To find out about the activities you can get involved in on the Canal including water rollers, rafting and even swan pedaloes – see the activities map on the centre pages.
St Winnies, as we have affectionately renamed the school is located on Merton Road, Bootle, L20 7AR. It’s a very short walk from Bootle Oriel Road Station or you could get the 53 bus from Seaforth or the city centre. If you would like further information on any of the water sports activities happening at St Winnies call 0845 220 2800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Collecting Canal Postcards with Trevor Ellis Tuesday 1 September 2009. 6pm. St Winnies School, Merton Road. Collectors Trevor Ellis from the Canal Postcard taking talk ed trat illus an ng givi Society will be will talk The us through his postcard collection. rt sho a ds, tcar pos al give an introduction to can es mak t wha and ng ecti coll d history of postcar to collect. the canal such an interesting subject tickets free k boo to For more information and il ema or 0 280 please call 0845 220 email@example.com
and “There seem to be so many fences
TAXI! – Take a cruise al on Lambert Kamps Ca ong the canal nal Taxi.
Every Friday, Saturday and Boarding is at St Winnie Sunday from 1 August – 20 September. s other locations along the school only but you can hop off at two canal. See the map ove rleaf for details.
Cash for bangers or luxury yacht? 1. Turn your car upside down with help from family,
2. Make sure you have some good tools such as a grinder,
neighbours or friends. Discover how almost everyone is willing to help you in exchange for a beer and a laugh.
some heavy hammers and again some neighbours or family to help you remove the heavy parts. Continue until only the exterior of the car is left. Protect your body with a face guard, ear guard and good gloves. Wear old clothes or an overall, it is a dirty job. Keep sparks and fire away from the petrol.
3. Go to a builders yard, get some 2x4’s, glue and screws.
4. The boat is now moored along the quay in the canal
Make a frame on the inside of your car, so you get a solid shape.
and ready for its maiden journey. Navigate carefully using paddles or an outboard motor. Wear a captains hat to show who is the boss.
Go to a polyester shop and ask for the stuff they sell to build and repair boats. Get a good size tub of polyester and a few roles of fibreglass. Laminate the inside of the car including the frame. Your car-boat is now waterproof. Fix the old car seats in the boat and find a good launching site along the canal. Paint on a name and ask your wife, daughter, girlfriend or the mayor to throw a bottle of bubbly against the side of the boat and gently lower it into the water. Make sure you have some sand around to stabilise the boat in the water.
People who can’t swim should wear a life jacket. A life buoy and a good horn always come in handy should anything go wrong despite your precautions.
Canaltube Explore the whole of Liverpool on the Scouse Times YouTube Channel.
ge Canada Geese near the Eldonian Villa
Residents needed for environmental group Containers, tyres and a bathtub plan ted up with all kinds of herbs and flowers hav e appeared around Stella Precinct. The (former ) Seaforth Post Office in Stella Precinct was the base for Kerry Morrison’s Wild and Productive , the project that started this activity. A weekend of planting and food tasting in March produce d a lot of ideas to enhance the physical environmen t of Seaforth. Many more ideas are waiting but need your support. A small core of residents have formed an environmental group to do mor e planting and would welcome your help. For more information please call 0845 220 2800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Canal wildlife Making do, getting by
Tony Parker, a wild-life expert from the World Museum led a bird-spotting walk in May starting at Bank Hall and finishing in the City Centre. It was a beautiful day and a variety of different species share the water with gaudily painted barges. Here are some of the birds we spotted. The Mute Swan is Britain’s largest bird, it is a familiar sight on most canals or large lakes, particularly in winter when large flocks can be seen. We’ve spotted single Mute Swans both on the Canal at Litherland and at Stanley Dock. It is a very territorial bird, especially during the breeding season when it will attack any intruder which comes too close to the nest, even dogs or people are not safe! A single brood of up to eight young may be raised, the young staying with the parents until winter when they are chased off. Canada Geese are also a familiar sight and on our Canal walk we saw literally dozens in the parkland at Eldonian Village. They were brought over from North America by the Victorians to decorate ponds and lakes in ornamental gardens and parks. Inevitably some escaped into the surrounding countryside and survived to breed, since then the population has been steadily increasing to the extent that they are found on virtually any large stretch of water. Unfortunately they can be a pest as they are very territorial and will chase off any other duck or water bird which comes too close and disputes between neighbouring pairs are commonplace especially during spring if the pair has a nest or young to protect. They feed almost entirely on grass so can often be seen grazing on grassy areas adjacent to their territory.
The Mallard is Britain’s commonest duck and they can be very tame and will often approach people at the water side hoping to be fed. The male is more colourful than the female, with its glossy green head, chestnut belly and grey back and wings, the female is mainly brown this helps conceal the bird when on the nest. The young hatch during late March or early April and can number up to 12 but few will survive to become adults. This duck is well known for its noisy quacking which is only made by the female. Moorhen and Coot are mainly black birds, the Coot has a white bill, the Moorhen’s red and yellow, both birds have large, partially webbed yellow-green feet. They feed on waterside vegetation, the Coot will dive to feed under the water, the Moorhen feeds on plants along the waterside. Both nest along the water’s edge usually laying up to six eggs several times a year. Both species are rather poor parents so not all the young survive.
1. Danillo Capasso’s Open Air Cinema and Recreation Area If you wander down to the grassy slope next to Bank Hall Station this summer you just might see an open air cinema ... when the weather is nice, listen out for the announcements.
2. Water Sports and Activities
At St Winnies Primary School, Merton Road, L20 7AR.
Weekends from 1 August – 30 August. 1/2 hour sessions: 9.30am–12pm and 1pm–4pm Each swan pedalo can seat up to four people, for a more leisurely cruise along the Canal.
Canoeing, Kayaking, Rafting Monday to Friday, 27 July – 28 August. Two sessions: 9.30am–12pm or 1pm–3.30pm For groups of up to 8. Only available to existing groups (eg. youth groups).
Weekends from the 1 August – 30 August. Two sessions: 9.30am–12pm and 1pm–4pm Walk on Water Rollers and stay ‘absolutely’ dry. Run in your own hamster ball and try to stay uprig
Swan Pedaloes and Water Rollers are free and do not require advance booking. A ÂŁ10 deposit and ID is required. You will need to fill out a short disclaimer form and bring a parent or guardian if you are under 18. You must be 14 or over to use Water Rollers. Canoeing, kayaking and rafting activities are run by Local Solutions / Merseysport. For more information call 0845 220 2800 or email email@example.com
Lambert Kamps Canal Taxi 1â€“2 August then Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until 20 September. You can only board the canal taxi at St Winnies but you can hop off at any of these 3 stops: 1. Eldonians 2. St Winnies 3. Litherland
HOW TO GROW LETTUCE WHAT YOU NEED: compost, a Lettuce seeds (any variety), some e (from the crat den few different pots or a woo light, water sun e, ledg dow win a greengrocers), and love.
Canaltube Nice afternoon out, chatting and looking around the Canal from a bridge in Litherland.
YouTube keyword search ‘LEEDS LIVERPOOL PEDESTRIAN BRIDGE’
GIVE IT A GO: a bin bag, 1. If you’ve got a crate, line it with it drain, let to pop a few holes in the plastic pots with few a fill or t... and fill with compos the stuff. t with your 2. Make a few holes in the compos one. each in s seed few finger and sprinkle a your give and t pos com with up s Cover the seed er. baby seeds a good drink of wat lettuce on 3. Make a label with the variety of friend a new r you give can you – and the date name if you want! r window 4. Place them in a sunny spot on you (and in the ning eve each er wat ledge and gently sun the if morning if it’s really hot – but not burn may s drop er wat shines on their leaves, the to t star will s seed r you s them). In a few day leaves will shoot and in a few weeks the little rs grow. othe the appear. Pull out a few to let 5 leaves or 4 say – size d goo 5. When they’re a pot. own it’s to one each nt spla each, tran able to pick 6. After about 10 weeks you will be , and your them d nee you as the outer few leaves for you! es leav e mor ing grow on keep lettuce will
Sefton Produce At the former St. Winnies school in Bootle, Squash Nutrition have been making headway with the first phase of Sefton Produce. Huge beds have been installed in and around the school and over the summer seeds will sprout and grow. Squash have just planted some old variety Cambridge strawberries and rye, oats, barley and spelt have been sown for bread making later in the summer. A multitude of seedlings, grown for the project in the last six weeks at the Squash nursery are now almost big enough to make the trip from Liverpool to Bootle.
special salad You can use your lettuce to make a lettuce, ly love our try or – h wic or super sand pe. pea and mint summer soup reci
Sefton Produce shows how to grow your own food, harvest and eat it. Through to September residents are welcome to join workshops and events lead by resident Squash plant doctors and cooks. To grow, all the plants and seeds need watering and a lot of TLC. If you are a gardener, a would-be cook or simply want to lend a helping hand please call 0845 220 2800 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
LOVELY LETTUCE, PEA AND MINT SUMMER SOUP The Pride of Sefton flag
INGREDIENTS (serves 4–6) 500g fresh or frozen small peas 6 medium spring onions 1 head of any sort of green lettuce 25g butter 1 large clove of garlic 1 teaspoon of fresh chopped mint 1.2 litres (2 pints) vegetable stock a little bit of freshly ground black pepper METHOD 1. Pod the peas if you’re using fres h ones 2. Trim and finely slice the spring onions 3. Give the lettuce a good wash and shake, then roughly chop it up 4. In a largish saucepan, heat the butter over a medium heat and gently fry the spri ng onions for a few minutes until soft 5. Add in the hot stock, peas, lettu ce, mint, crushed garlic and black pepper and bring to the boil 6. Turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Take if off the cooker and let it cool slightly 7. Optional: if you have a blender, whizz it’s a smooth, green liquid (‘Shrek soup until ’ for kids!) 8. If you’ve got a bit of cream or thic k yogurt stir in a dollop when you’re serving it up. Eat with a good chunk of wholemeal bread... gorgeous! Thanks to Squash Nutrition
ANDY HUBBARD’S ‘CANAL’ RECIPES: CHOCOLATE BEETROOT CAKE METHOD Whisk the sugar and eggs together until they’re pale and light. Continue to whisk and pour the olive oil in a steady stream: the mixture will now look like a soft mayonnaise. Sift all the dry ingredients together and gently stir into the mixture until smooth. Mash the beetroot until it’s a soft puree (use a food processor if you have one), fold into the rest of the cake mix until everything is more or less an even colour. Don’t be afraid, it doesn’t taste only of beetroot, but its earthiness does really compliment the flavour of chocolate. The cake is deliciously moist and satisfying, and keeps for ages (given the chance). PREPARATION TIME: 20 minutes COOKING TIME: 40–45 minutes Heat the oven to 180C / Gas mark 4. Grease a 10” (25cm) round springform cake tin, and line the bottom with baking parchment. If you’re using an 8” (20cm) tin, reduce the quantities by about 20–25%. INGREDIENTS 320g caster sugar 4 eggs 260ml olive oil (I find extra virgin is too aromatic. You could use another vegetable oil, like sunflower, instead) 1tsp vanilla extract (You can omit this if you don’t have any in the cupboard) 60g cocoa powder 240g plain flour 2 tsp baking powder Pinch of salt 400g cooked fresh beetroot (NOT PICKLED, unless you’re experimenting with sweet & sour flavours)
Pour into your cake tin and pop in the oven. Bake for 40–45 minutes. The cake doesn’t rise a great deal, it’s not that kind of cake. You can test if its done by inserting a skewer into the centre: if it comes out clean, it’s ready. The top may have cracked a bit, but no worry, you can flip the cake over once its cooled down. Cool for 5–10 minutes, release from the tin and then leave to cool completely on a wire rack.
Alicia Fallows led a Kerry Morrisson and Botanist Dr Canal. You can listen the g alon dawn chorus bird walk com to it at www.biennial.
Chocolate Ganache Topping 200g plain chocolate (I use Divine chocolate – Fairtrade and not too expensive) 200g whipping cream Break the chocolate into pieces in a bowl and warm over a pan of water just enough to melt, and heat up the cream (not too hot, just enough so that it’s uncomfortable if you dip your little finger into it). Pour the cream onto the chocolate and whisk together until well combined. (This is the ganache.) Put it aside to cool and stiffen a little before pouring and spreading over your cooled cake (it’s too runny to use straight away). This will give you a ganache with a dense fudge-like texture. Dust the topping with cocoa powder, and serve!
Wild and productive
Honey bees and other pollinators According to Kerry Morrison wildflowers along the canal are a good habitat for bees. Kerry has been mapping and planting the plants since January. She and her colleague Dr Alicia Prowse have identified three sites on the canal for live hives. With the advice of the National Association of Beekeepers, twenty residents of Sefton are being trained to take care of the hives. Interestingly bees produce more honey when they have neighbours so each site will have two hives. In addition, 14 empty hives will be installed along the canal route with the idea that these could become the natural homes of wild bees or other pollinators. All the hives will be installed on the opposite side of the towpath and unless people bother the bees, the bees will not bother with people. Honeybees are very docile creatures. They do not sting unless they are under attack. You may have read that bee populations have declined in Britain. This is possibly due to insecticides used by many farmers to protect their crops. Let’s hope that our urban bees fare better.
Chris Toop: About our Bees Wednesday 19 August, 6pm, St Win nies School, Merton Road. Chris Toop, who keeps a beehive in the Liverpool area will tell us about his experiences of getting into beekeeping and managing a small hive. A selection of honey refr eshments will be served. For more information and to book free tickets please call 0845 220 2800 or email canal@bienn ial.com
David Bade Portrait DNA Archive If you use Seaforth and Litherland Station regularly you may have noticed some familiar faces looking at you from the walls. The Dutch/Curacaoan artist David Bade visited Seaforth in February and set up his studio in the (former) Post Office, Stella Precinct. For a month local residents could walk in for a chat while David painted their portraits. From these portraits he made up two very large canvases which will be displayed in Seaforth once we found a space big enough. In the meantime photographs of sections of the paintings are on display at Seaforth and Litherland Station and the energy in them is amazing. David will be back in July and August to work on part two of his project – a floating gallery.
A section of David’s painting at Seaforth and Litherland Station
Canaltube Take a drive around Linacre – who needs Sat-Nav? Check out the other videos ‘BrunnyBoy’ has made, he seems to cover a lot of ground, all with great soundtracks!
YouTube keyword search ‘DRIVE AROUND LINACRE’
Canal Family History Drop-In with the Waterways Trust Museum, Ellesmere Port pm. Tuesday 8 September 2009. 11am–4 d. Roa ton Mer ool, Sch nies Win St on the Do you have relatives who worked come and not Why al? Can l rpoo Leeds & Live of the help see if you can find them with the will be re The . team Waterways Trust Archive ing arch rese on m 12p at tion a short presenta rces sou ous family history and then using vari the e hav will you and original documents past. opportunity to discover your families o do you ‘Wh me ram prog BBC the d like If you you! think you are?’ then this day is for free tickets k boo to and tion For more informa il ema or 0 280 220 5 084 please call email@example.com
Art for Places–Sefton The Art for Places project works with contemporary artists and the Housing Market renewal programme in Sefton. Paul Kelly manages the project and introduces ‘Waterworks!’ the public art commission for the canal. For ten years now, from the Southport train to Liverpool, I have looked down on the Carolina Wharf site on the canal in the heart of Bootle, and wondered what the site was for and who was lucky enough to live in the flats alongside it. The space always seemed so untouched and un-used – it was as if no-one knew it was there. Could this be true? Now, as we develop the Arts for Places project in Sefton, I know all about the canal and the Carolina wharf site, and I have met some of the residents who live in those flats, and yes indeed it is a wonderful and un-used site right in the heart of Bootle. I bet there are plenty of other communities who would love a canal like this to run through their neighbourhood. What’s being done to make the most of this canal in Bootle? With support from NewHeartlands, Arts Council and three Resident Social Landlords in Merseyside (Vicinity, PlusDane, Riverside), I am working with Liverpool Biennial to bring artists into the regeneration process to see if we can have an impact and enhance developments which take place in the area. We are doing this by creating a piece of public art in Sefton, and at the same time develop a community engagement programme of other artists projects alongside it to try to give everyone the opportunity to get involved. After a long process looking at lots of sites to place public art, including the infamous KuchenMonument touring arts project in June 2008, we chose the canal as the focus for our work. There were lots of reasons for this... but three spring to mind, Firstly, it runs right through the housing market renewal area in Sefton and many of the vacant industrial sites along it are to be developed for housing.
Secondly, the Leeds & Liverpool Canal has a new, multi-million pound extension into the Albert Dock in the heart of Liverpool. Lots of tourist canal boats are expected to go there and they have to go through Bootle to get to Liverpool. Thirdly, and perhaps more importantly, it is a great asset for the area, the key asset in my view. Yes it needs some tender loving care, and a good scrub down, but my god, can you imagine what it could be like if that were to happen? Can you imagine what a great community and leisure asset it would become if it were to feel more safe and secure and was used a lot more. Other neighbourhoods would give their right arm for such a space. It was clear this was our site, and we needed a project to animate the canal to local people. The Public Art project for Sefton has become a brief to deliver a movable centre for watersports activities, education classes about the local wildlife (and there’s a lot of it) and a café. Under the title ‘Waterworks!’we held an open competition, which attracted entries from around the world, and we have now shortlisted five proposals, which will be developed with further drawings and a model. They are outlined opposite. We will hold an exhibition of the proposals in Bootle over the summer and aim to make a final decision in September. Alongside this competition there will be lots of other artists developing projects along the canal this summer, including watersports activities. We want this summer to be a debate about the canal. What could it be used for, what we can do to improve it, what can you do to help? It’s your canal, lets work together to create a great new future for it.
EMAIL TO THE EDITOR risbrick Cycled up the canal to beyond Sca g how the azin am and back on Sunday. It was and lly lega h bot – d canal was being use heat: the in it of st mo the ke ma illegally – to have made Some residents in the Klondyke it fishing illic an up set a gap in a fence and ch. bea platform and of Lots of people on various kinds ghy, lilos, din ble ata unseaworthy craft – infl er tube – inn e tyr tor trac a a hardboard door, no doubt all unlicenced! . Lots of tens and teens swimming bikes at on rs age A bunch of about 30 teen the into g’ nin bsto ‘tom the Stanley Locks t. ape par ge brid d roa the water from Wish I’d taken the camera! TOM We spotted this secret garden on
one of our walks.
Waterworks! The shortlist The Antillia Collective In approaching the briefing for the Waterworks project, the area’s unique heritage, combining industry with leisure, was foremost in our minds. Much as we admire the recent spate of grandstanding sculptural gestures that now actively seek to find a brand for communities, our aim with this work was a structure that was at once flexible and unique. If local communities have felt in the past that their identities have been in need of iconic symbolism, Another Place is everything that could be hoped for in this respect. Therefore, rather than grandstanding gestures or overt shape making, the pavilion is shaped by a range of more subtle influences from the leisure traditions of longboats, bandstands, windbreaks, deckchairs and the like. We feel that a wryly humorous take on British outdoor coastal culture might be appropriate for a transient, light-hearted installation such as this one. Bianchini e Lusiardi Architetti Associati We decided to give our design an almost-organic shape: a number of articulated segments house the main functions, the segments are hinged together so to allow four different configurations, depending on the size and shape of site. It seemed strange to us to design an artwork, which has to be peripatetic and at the same time needs to be strongly related to the LiverpoolLeeds canal, without conceiving it as something that can be moved through the canal itself. So we designed a structure, which can be “compacted” and stored on a barge to be moved freely along the canal; to incorporate the barge into the design was then a natural step, so to have an object standing both on land and on water. The structure is conceived to be environmentally friendly, you can disassemble it fully and it is recyclable at the end of its life; it also incorporates a stand-alone photovoltaic system, which provides power both for the equipments and for the night lighting system.
Studio KAH The proposed building draws inspiration from the working boats that once populated the canal from Leeds to Liverpool, in particular the working ‘no frills’ cargo boats, the ‘short boats’ and the ice boats which kept cargo flowing during the winter months by breaking the ice and which were unique in their construction from solid timber planks. ‘Vessel’ evokes an inverted ice boat hull as a dry-land structure. This is a watertight vessel for the containers inside, which are imagined as the cargo. These containers form enclosed accommodation. The building is devised to open up completely on the waterside extending the building use and flexibility depending on the season. The materials and construction of the building allude to the canal’s industrial past as well as looking forward to contemporary use as a waterside social and leisure venue. Duggan Morris Architects The form of the building is derived from a canoeist’s profile in full motion. It is meant to remind you of a series of peaks and troughs; a rhythmic stretching and pulling, and the long low glide of a canoe in perfect pitch. The building is a series of repeat modules arranged in a line along the canal side. Each unit, prefabricated and identical, is representative of a canoeist, whilst the canal edge becomes the canoe.
The Antillia Collective
Bianchini e Lusiardi Architetti Associati
The notion of the lock informs an additional range of function and flexibility. Each module has an oversized brass wheel, which can lower the large vertical side panels to a horizontal position to act as deck and jetty. The surrounding site flows under and through, in the same manner as a canal flows through the gate of a lock. Nex Architecture ‘Drift’ takes advantage of the existing infrastructure of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. Like a piece of driftwood that can seed the creation of new waterside features, ‘Drift’ is designed to be highly mobile and flexible in its configuration depending on its location between Stanley Dock and Millers Bridge. Reinterpreting the once familiar motorless canal barge, the project aims to blur the distinction between banks and water by allowing tourists and the local community to occupy both. The lightweight timber roof shells resonate with the industrial heritage of the area and are contemporary at the same time.
Duggan Morris Architects
Nex Architecture, ‘Drift’
Pier Head link now open
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Alan Carter is the Business Development Manager of British Waterways, the organisation responsible for managing the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. We asked Alan how he sees the new canal link at Pier Head and the future of the canal in Liverpool. The canal link through the Pier Head links the North to the South Docks after something like 80 years. Why was it important to you to re-establish the link? British Waterways have been thinking about a new canal link for many years with a view to revitalise the South Docks area of Liverpool. Historically, the Leeds & Liverpool Canal did have a direct route into the dock system, but over time as the method of transporting goods via canals declined, and the overall need for the docks diminished, docks were in-filled for land reclamation and other purposes. Now that the canal link is navigable, we see this as an important visitor attraction for the city of Liverpool, which will help to attract further visitors and investment to the city. The Liverpool canal link project will also support the continuing regeneration of Liverpool waterfront, and the wider area along the banks of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. How many boats have gone through the new canal link and what do they think so far? Up until the end of May, 80 boats have gone through the canal link, with another 107 boats currently booked until the end of the boating season, although more bookings are coming in. How does the scheduling work? Do you have to book in advance? For the first year of the canal link being open, we are operating a booking system at the NW regional office to use the link. The booking system will be for both passages, and also moorings in Salthouse Dock. This will enable us to manage numbers effectively, and ensure our customers a safe and trouble free journey. To book a passage on the canal link, please contact our enquiries desk at the Wigan Office on 01942 405700. Who do you think uses the Canal? People may feel that the canal is there primarily for boaters, but the canal is for everyone. As well as boating, the canal towpath is used by anglers, walkers and cyclists. This may not only be for leisure; the towpath is becoming increasingly popular as a commuter route too. This is even more so where towpaths have been improved, such as in Bootle and Liverpool. How long does it take an average narrowboat to get from Leeds to Liverpool and what is the speed limit? The distance from Leeds to Liverpool is 127 miles.
Canal boats only travel at 4mph, so it would take at least two weeks for them to travel the full journey comfortably with adequate rests and time to navigate locks. Is it possible to travel through the whole of the UK by narrowboat? Yes. You can travel from the South of England up to Tewitfield on the Lancaster Canal. British Waterways maintain over 2,000 miles of navigable waterway, so that is a lot of boating! Can you see much wildlife on / in the canal? You’ll find all sorts – from common sights such as mallards and moorhens, water voles, kingfishers and the mighty bumble bee. The canals act as green corridors and are safe havens for many species. British Waterways has launched its 6th annual wildlife survey which gives our ecologists a clear picture of what species live where and how they can be protected. For more information, or to download a wildlife survey guide, visit www.waterscape.com/wildlifesurvey Is fishing or swimming allowed on the canal? How deep is it? There are two great fishing clubs on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal. The Liverpool and District Angling Association lease the section from the Eldonian Village up to Halsall Bridge. You need to be a member of the club to fish on this section of the canal. Wigan and District Angling Club lease from bridge 35 to Johnson’s Hillock Moss Lane Bridge in Chorley. The rest of the Leeds & Liverpool canal is under the Waterways Together scheme, which is open to anyone as long as they have a British Waterways fishing permit and an Environment Agency rod license.
Do you recognise this image? It is taken from a parade in Bootle in the 1950s. We think it looks great and would love to see it happen again – floats on the canal! On Saturday 19 September If you have a boat and /or would like to make a float please get in touch. To register your interest please email firstname.lastname@example.org
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Opportunity to wear hi-vis vest Volunteers are being asked to take part in a ‘tow-path-tidy’ event on the Leeds & Liverpool Canal in Litherland. Sefton Council has teamed up with British Waterways for the environmental project on Saturday 25 July, between 10am and 1pm at Penington Bridge, Litherland. Protective equipment and high visi bility vests will be given out but people should wear suitable footwear. Please spare the time and get invo lved. Telephone 0151 934 3482.
We do not allow swimming in the canal because you never know what hidden dangers there are. Machinery could have fallen in the water and sometimes there are waterborne diseases which may not harm fish or fowl but could make you ill. Thanks Alan, last question, what’s your favourite thing about the canal in Bootle? The Leeds & Liverpool canal is rich in heritage, has lots of wildlife and is teeming with activity. The canal is a great place to escape from everyday life and you can use the canal as a short-cut to work, the shops, for walking the dog or simply for taking time-out and watching the boats
Canaltube Great time-lapse video of the new Canal Link being constructed at Pier Head posted by British Waterways here.
YouTube keyword search ‘DAILY POST LIVERPOOL CANAL LINK’
For more information go to: www.britishwaterways.co.uk/liverpoolcanal-link
One of the ideas
Orgonite Canal& – suggestions for a future canal
In May Mark Bennett came to the (former) Post Office in Seaforth to talk about Orgonite, a ‘wonder-resin’ that, it is claimed, when placed in the ground with plants and vegetables can radically increase growth. We talked to Mark about his experimental gardening campaign. Mark, could you tell us what Orgonite is? It is made up of three basic off-the-shelf elements – resin, metal shavings and pieces of crystal. It is quite simple actually and anyone can make it. How does it work? A tricky question as no one knows for sure. But then the same can be said for gravity and we’re all standing on Earth because of it. There are several theories – one of which is that it effects the surrounding ‘noisy’ electromagnetic spectrum and evens its out so that it is beneficial to plants. Think of it like trying to study when your neighbour is playing thrash metal rather than Mozart.
Alan Dunn and artist collective Re-Dock developed a series of workshops around new signs at key entrance points along the canal in South Sefton. Canal& – suggestions for a future canal encouraged Sefton residents to think about their personal connections to the canal, as well as their suggestions for its future use. Work produced has been turned into a suite of images suggesting possiblities for work, rest and play around the canal. With over 2,000 people taking part in workshops at local fun days, community centre’s, youth centres and along the canal itself, the images represent a synthesis of the wealth of imagination in the area. A selection will be presented across the eight billboards at Church Road, corner of Hawthorne Road from 10 September – 4 October 2009.
Who else is taking part in this experiment? We are probably up to about 100 or so people in the Brighton area, from priests to BBC morning DJs. Others are scattered around the whole of the UK and we also have people taking part in the experiment in New York and San Fransisco. Are you coming back to see what happens? Yes on Saturday 4 September, 6pm at St Winnies. We are inviting anyone who has found any results after using Orgonite to come and share their results. I hope we’ll have some great stories.
How did you get involved with this gardening experiment? A crate of Orgonite arrived unannounced on my doorstep from a friend. After I googled it and read up on the various bizarre claims I decided to test the claims that it could improve plant growth and start with basic seed germination tests. I put Orgonite in with one lot of seeds and left the rest without, the ones with Orgonite grew to three times the size of the other!
And some of the ideas will also be made to happen during this Summer... And another one
I distributed them to several local friends last year and incredible results came in with lots finding a significant increase in plant growth. This year I wanted real proof and so started the Orgonite trial across England to see if the good results we’ve had using Orgonite were by chance. In May you recruited gardeners from Seaforth. What do you expect to see happening there? It is an experiment. I am as curious as anyone else to see what happens. I do hope that the gardeners who are actually putting them in the ground will have a bumper crop and have so many vegetables that they have to share with neighbours or start a roadside vegetable stand. As I said, it’s a hope.
Experimental Gardening: Orgonite, the Results!
n by Mr Rogers Two identical pepper plants grow one on the right The ex. Suss East , from Shoreham the one on the has been planted with Orgonite and nite effect Orgo Left without, you can also see the of M Rogers sy on grapes in this picture. Photo courte
Saturday 5 September 2009. 4pm. St Winnies School, Merton Road. Journalist Mark Bennett came to visit Seaforth in May to launch the Sefton leg of the nationwide Orgonite Trial (the ‘wonder-resin’ that is supposed to promote plant growth). Now Mark returns to see what’s been happening with the experiments – have any giant vegetables turned up? Whether you took part in the summer trial or want to learn about how to get involved, come to St Winnies and hear what’s been happening in gardens, allotments and grow bags all over the country. For more information and to book free tickets please call 0845 220 2800 or email email@example.com
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Canal and Community Walking along the 127miles of the Leeds & Liverpool Canal you get time to appreciate the changes that have taken place since it was first built. When the canal was started at Halsall back in 1770 the wheelbarrow was cutting edge technology, the tricorn hat was in fashion and the British colonists in North America had yet to have their Tea Party in Boston. The canal network spread across the land and was a catalyst for change. The cheap coal it brought fuelled the Industrial Revolution. Towns turned into cities as people moved from the countryside to work in the dark satanic mills. Liverpool expanded rapidly; its population grew from 77,000 in 1801 to 701,000 in 1901. The canal became an important part of local industry and commerce. While it was still a working canal it was held with a certain amount of respect. New bridges were opened with a degree of ceremony and local dignitaries were proud to have their names put on them. Local children swam in the warm waters used to cool power stations and factories. During the Blitz of 1940 the canal was important for transport, as a source of water for fire fighting and as a defence against possible invasion. You can still see stonework damaged by shrapnel, the slots for stop-planks which prevented the canal draining when breached by bombs and even pill boxes and other defences. After the war the canal stopped being important for transport and industry. There was a national review of canals in the 1960s. Canals were divided into those which were still commercially viable, those which would become important for leisure use and the rest. The rest or ‘remainder’ were seen as being of no use to anyone and had merely to be maintained to a minimum standard. The canal from Aintree to its terminus at Pall Mall was classed as Remainder. Industry which once relied on the canal turned away from it and towards the roads. Walking along the towpath at Litherland and Bootle you can see
the bricked up doorways and blocked off loading bays, eyes forever closed to the canal. While industry ignored the canal the local populations were actively opposed to it. There were many calls for the canal to be filled in. It was seen as dirty and dangerous. Locked gates and high fences kept people off the towpath and away from the canal. Housing estates were built with their backs to the canal. Children were warned to stay away. Attitudes were slow to change. In 1983 Wigan Pier was regenerated and a boat rally attracted 50,000 people and 428 boats to the canal. Canals were starting to be looked at as an asset to the communities around them. It was around that time that Vauxhall was undergoing dramatic change. The Tate and Lyle sugar refinery on Vauxhall Road was demolished and the British American Tobacco plant closed. The local community, fearing they would be dispersed across the city, formed the Eldonian Community Based Housing Association Ltd. Regrettably part of the canal was filled in and built upon but Eldonian Village was designed around the canal. For maybe the first time the canal was seen as a nice place to live. The gates and fences have come down and people are now encouraged to use the towpath. New information boards remind us of the canals history. The towpath has a new life as a cycle path. The canal can be an important focus for communities but it can also link them together. It is not just Merseyside that is learning to love the canal. Blackburn, Burnley, Bradford, Chorley and Leeds are also improving the environment around the canal and encouraging its use. But all this work is only worth it if people use and enjoy the canal. The modern canal needs walkers, cyclists, anglers, boaters and people who just want to sit and contemplate. For more information about the canal got to www.towpathtreks.co.uk
Urbanism ’09 Urbanism ’09 will look at the regeneration of North Liverpool and South Sefton from the perspective of the imagination. Over 5 days it will present topical interventions, projects and imaginative approaches by artists, architects, urbanists and residents to unlock the potential of the Liverpool and Leeds Canal, in the renewal of the area, from Seaforth to Stanley Dock. As part of Urbanism ’09, Places Matter! is hosting a national and international conference exploring the power and potential of local assets to stimulate, generate and sustain neighbourhood change. Inspired by the Leeds & Liverpool Canal as a green and blue lung running through the Housing Market Renewal Areas of North Liverpool and South Sefton, this is an opportunity to look at those elements of communities that for a variety of reasons have fallen outside mainstream regeneration thinking.
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DESIGN BY MIKE CARNEY. WWW.MIKESSTUDIO.CO.UK
By Peter Robinson
This one-day conference, taking place at St Winnies on 18 September, will feature speakers drawn from the worlds of urbanism, social change and sustainability to consider how assets that have formed the heart of communities for generations might be rediscovered to form the basis of a new manifesto for change. It has now been recognised that new neighbourhoods are made up of more than bricks and mortar but are we being creative enough in thinking about the distinctive aspects that make up those communities – canals, local traditions, dog walkers, local music, allotments, local entrepreneurs and cyclists.
Cycle ride LIVERPOOL OVERHEAD RAILWAY HISTORY CYCLE Saturday 15 August, 2pm, Seaforth and Litherland Station, Seaforth Road, L21. This route will follow the route of the Liverpool Overhead Railway that closed in 1956. A local historian will talk about the railway en-route and a cycle map with each stop will be provided so you can explore the history of individual sites in your own time. The ride will take about 2 hours.
For more information and booking for the conference go to www.placesmatter.co.uk Urbanism‘09 takes place from 16–20 September. More information in the next issue of The Cut and on www.biennial.com
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Newspaper documenting Liverpool Biennial's art programme in Bootle, Liverpool. 2009.