Channel 4 visit Cairns Street Toxteth for 'The Empty Homes Show'
George Clarke is a young architect making a series about empty homes in Britain as well as working on the 'Restoration' TV show for Channel 4.
He arrived with his crew just after monsoon weather had hit the street. Luckily I had been sheltering under Bold Street Coffee's covered stall so I didn't get soaked. Channel 4 have commissioned the show to highlight the amount of empty homes which could be lived in and that we have so many people in need of decent homes.
Anna had made an array of delicious cakes and scones including lavender butterfly cakes which were beautifully displayed on a stand. Vibke Hott's Raucous Caucus Recovery Choir welcomed the crew with some rousing songs.
Cairns Street was having a street party to celebrate the community spirit in their area. They have been fighting demolition by Liverpool City Council for many years. As we filmed the sounds of demolition in the next street could be heard.
While George Clarke was interviewing people I spoke to some people to ask them what they thought about the tinned up houses and the (mainly) women trying to save them from being demolished.
Rosa "It's annoying because you're not really getting anywhere after all these years. It's been over 20 years and we're still in the same position. Now we're more proactive they're sitting up and taking notice. We have been forgotten and punished for the riots. As for the recent riots 85% were from outside the area."
Joe Farrag talking about the women's greening the street and painting the tinned up homes said "It's absolutely stupendous. It's brilliant and typifies the fact that our Granby area has always been a matriarchal society"
Alicia Rose "What the residents have done in this street is so much more appealing to the eye because amongst the tinned up houses there's beautiful flowers, greenery, ivy, trees and community spirit,whereas in Edge Hill there is nothing in my tinned up street."
Ronnie Hughes, www.asenseofplace.com "I think the women did this from a practical point of view. The streets have looked ugly and forlorn for years. This was the quickest way of making them looked as treasured by the people who live here as they actually are.
"But as well as that I think the women here have maybe unwittingly put the place back in touch with the earth. So that by working with the earth the people have put themselves back in touch with all of us in the wider place.
"So it was walking along here one day last summer in 2010 made me think if they can do this these people can do anything. I started to wonder if there was anything I might be able to do to help them.
"We are now looking into setting up a community land trust so that the people here can literally get some control of their own piece of the earth at last".
The women continue their fight to live in their homes and you can see the show on Channel 4 over three consecutive nights late November /early December.
The next '4 Streets' Market is Saturday, September 3rd, in Cairns Street.
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