At 5pm we walked across Liverpool city centre; one end to another. It was quiet with shops and bars shuttered and many seemingly leaving work early.
Paradise in the Park had closed early and was battening down the hatches, while Liverpool One’s restaurants were already closed. The shops were ushering people out and locking up. Lots of police officers and Liverpool One security personnel were in evidence but there was a still calm about the area.
Moving up Hanover Street a couple of bars and restaurants had remained open and a stronger police presence was in evidence on Church Street.
Most of Bold Street’s retailers had taken police advice to close early and Concert Square had never seemed so quiet. There was not a soul there, nor was there on Slater Street.
A couple of shops in town had wooden boards over the windows, though it wasn’t clear whether these were protecting broken windows from the previous night or in anticipation of trouble tonight.
We moved on towards Leece Street and Hardman Street. Hannah’s is closed; so is Pushka on Rodney Street. On Hope Street the Casa and Clove Hitch have closed their doors, so we goto Ye Cracke and then The Grapes. All is calm here, much more so than usual.
At 10pm we head for Central. Bold Street is dead quiet but there are groups of young lads roaming around, clearly on the look-out for trouble.
Beggars and buskers are still hanging around but by far the most abundant sight is of police, juxtaposed bizarrely next to the huge helter-sketler at the bottom of Bold Street.
Everything in Liverpool appears calm. Normality, sanity has been restored. And then, close to midnight a text reveals that trouble is brewing on Smithdown Road again, labelled as ‘Toxteth’ on BBC News and Sky News.
Twitter message start to indicate that Smithdown is not alone. A pub has apparently been firebombed in Walton.
And on Lawrence Road, parallel to Smithdown at the other end of Thorneycroft, cars are burned out again as trouble spreads.
South Liverpool is not alone in suffering riots. Fires have broken out over the water in Birkenhead’s Park Road South, Grange Road and in Wallasey, according to reports on Twitter.
By 1am there are reports on Twitter of running battles between police and rioters – and also reports that rioters are moving into the city centre again.
Yet amongst the gloom people have been out in Liverpool today, tidying up after Monday night’s troubles, and they’ll be out again tomorrow. A timely reminder of the real Liverpool that we all recognise.
People plan to meet at Asda at 9am tomorrow (Wednesday) morning to commence cleaning up the Smithdown Road ares
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