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Netherley

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  • 1 The end of the line: A few shops are still open for business
  • 2 Netherley Brook, so sluggish and un-Heraclitean it’s hard to imagine it empties into the Mersey a few miles away, below Widnes
  • 3 The kind of wall that invites a ball to be kicked against it
  • 4 The last of the parade of shops, seen from the bus stop
  • 5 Growing up in Netherley was all about edges, borders, adventures
  • 6 A typical kludge of a barrier
  • 7 The very edge of Liverpool, then open country
  • 8 We don’t remember this ever having been here. A shelter in the middle of a field.
  • 9 Ditch, seventeenth-century
  • 10 Haunted woods
  • 11 White Bridge graffito. ‘Gimp’ was not a word we would have used, or known, in the seventies.
  • 12
  • 13 Near Niall’s house. Streets ending in fields.
  • 14 The shop unit furthest from view was Mr Walker’s, the newsagent, who lived upstairs and had his steps buttered so he couldn’t get down during a break-in
  • 15 Visiting the off licence – the ‘offy’ or ‘outdoor’ – was always like running a gauntlet
  • 16 Our parents had never known such nice houses, such light and space.

For Granta 102, Paul Farley and Niall Griffiths returned to Netherley, on Liverpool’s north-eastern rim and the fringes of rural Lancashire, and to what remains of the housing estate where they grew up. Built as part of the city’s regeneration during the 1960s, the estate was pulled down in the late ’80s. These photographs, taken by Paul Farley, show what’s left. You can read Paul and Niall’s piece here.

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