“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
“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.
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.
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.
There’s another quote. What is it? Oh yeah
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.
More Jane MacNeil photos here