Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Round Up All the Usual Suspects, To Turn A Blind Eye To World Heritage Disaster in Liverpool.

Last nights BBC programme where Jonathan Foyle explores northern Georgian and Victorian neo-classical civic buildings.

I used to feel so proud whilst watching this sort of programme, even while we were in a economic mess. Now they just annoy me.
Round up all the usual suspects to have their say. The milksop Joseph Sharples, a bag of nerves who has the intelligence after updating Pevsners guide but does nothing with it. Or does he? I walked away from him last time I saw him on the Strand and he told me he admired the Cesar Pelli Carbuncle, One Park Worst!!!!!!!!!!!
Then they trundle off to the Bluecoat using the shot so the camera cannot see the carbuncle behind it.
Interviewing Lawrence Westgaph, a heritage fighter, who says what he thinks, about slavery. He's also a fighter of other sorts having just escaped manacles himself.

I find it hard to start off a programme about Civic pride in Grosvenor-pool but there you go.
This is the place they buried the first purpose built dock under a multi story car park. They paved Paradise and put up a parking lot.
Oh excuse me for being pedantic.

He then turned his attention to Thomas Harrisons Lyceum that Florence Gersten had the foresight to save from demolition that is now threatened with a carbuncle behind it. http://liverpoolpreservationtrust.blogspot.com/2010/02/now-lyceum-of-bold-street-is-to-gets.html
At St Georges Hall, You can forgive Steve Binns because he cant see the mess that has been created of late.

They did not visit the Pier Head to see the mess there in the world heritage site.

This was a not very well updated version of the Gavin Stamp programmes some 5 or 6 years ago.
Good old BBC.


  1. A mixed bag of a programme. Starting with the opening aerial view of the Pier Head, which is not what the show was about. As the title "People's Palaces" suggests - civic buildings. Of course the subect material is wonderfully photogenic but Foyle is an irritating distraction, condescending at best and crass at worst. He should also ask his researchers to get their facts right.
    I refer to the shot of a chained statue from the Nelson Monument (which was shown as a backdrop to dialogue about the slave trade). Of course, the Nelson Monument has nothing to do with that terrible business.
    Apart from that the long discourse on Liverpool town hall included a lot of guff about the city elders but no mention of the architect James Wyatt who modified John Wood's original design. If Foyle insists on throwing social history into the mix then a mention of the damage caused by a cannon ball (fired from one of fifty naval ships moored in the Mersey) would be fitting. This was in 1775 when the might of the royal navy was used to suppress striking sailors, whose pay was being halved.
    But the elephant in Liverpool's room is the desecration of the World Heritage site with recent buildings I am loathe to describe as architecture.

  2. Thanks for that Dave, the more people that turn a blind eye the worse it is for the future, but what the programme did highlight, in a twee sort of a way was how the class of what he called city fathers, has changed, and I mean Father Mike "The Spiv" Storey and Father Warren "War Zones" Bradley who have sold half the city centre to Grosvenor for a couple of peppercorns.