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“I like markets — real markets. Not farmers’ vacuum-packed, happy piggy, Cotswold camembert, grazing markets, free-range sourdough…” says AA Gill in this week’s Sunday Times

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“If streets are the arteries and veins of a city, then street markets are its lymph system. They remain stubbornly impervious to the changes, resist gentrification and politeness,” he says, which echoes the thoughts of Mary Portas. Well, everyone apart from Councillor Kennedy. He knows best.

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Well, yes, AA Gill, markets are the arteries and veins of places like Berwick Street, and Leeds and Skipton and Preston and Mold…but not here. Here, we’ve green-lighted a Great Homer Street bypass. The road will soon dog-leg directly into Sainsbury’s car park, re-routed away from our market.

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So suck in Jane MacNeil’s honest, unblinking and unsentimental shots like a drowning man gulps for air. Because, in a couple of months, this will be history, and the only place you’ll see scenes like these will be in the Liverpool Museum, where we’ll fret and moan about the soul of the city we’ve sold to another supermarket.

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There’s another quote. What is it? Oh yeah

“Don’t it always seem to go/that you don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone…”

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This summer, they’re paving over Great Homer Street market to put in a parking lot. Sure, Sainsbury’s is warmer. Sure, the new market might be health and safety compliant. Sure, it might be a bit less than 40 traders who lose pitches, and their families’ livelihoods.

But when Councillor Kennedy’s corporate fumbles are long gone, we’ll still remember Great Homer Street. The opportunities we had, and the real Liverpool we lost.

Hiding in plain sight, on Great Homer Street every Saturday morning.

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More Jane MacNeil photos here

  • asenseofplace

    Beautiful photographs, Jane. And well said, as ever, David. Yes, we’ll go and moon over this when it’s all safely enshrined in the Museum of Liverpool. Then years later the City will include it in a celebration of, oh, let’s call it ‘Radical Liverpool’. We’ll probably be in there too by then. ‘They took all the people and put them in a people museum…’

  • david_lloyd

    quite. It’s staggering how little we learn from our history, isn’t it?

  • Jane MacNeil

    Thanks Ronnie. 🙂

  • True

    I think people need to dig a little deeper with this before acting like the final flag is being waved for Greaty, there are plenty of positive things going on on Greaty by people with deep links to the area. It appears the traders who are claiming to be cut out of this aren’t even part of the market, they are inside a privately leased shop which only opened way after the project was underway. The problem they face is that they will have been told by their landlord that they would be moving into new premises in the new market, they’ve now found out they won’t as they have never been part of the market, the landlord has been making a small fortune off all of their individual rents knowing he’s paid pittance for the whole building as the lease had a FIXED term, due to the developments that were already scheduled to take place and now he is trying to raise a publicity campaign through them as though they are being unfairly forced out. I’m all for independent and alternative routes for trade but just don’t try to bluff the people of the city in order to get what you want! If we’re calling for honesty from the MP’s and developers then surely we also need clarity & honesty on the true agendas of all involved.

  • Mouse

    Good photos Jane.