Midsummer Day In Post-Industrial Merseyside
These photographs taken in 2010 on 20 June and then on Midsummer Day, 21 June, reflect our times as city regions like Liverpool’s move into the new millennium. We have here derelict industrial plant in the Cheshire plain, a vast refinery in Runcorn, and finally a painter absorbed in his art whilst others hustle and bustle between the Albert Dock and the new retail centre of Liverpool.
This field of straw bales is near the village of Barnton in Cheshire. The abandoned industrial plant we see may perhaps have been placed here because it is close to a canal which many years ago supported significant and economically important activities in the North-West of England.
The enormous refinery below is on the Mersey River shore between Frodsham and Runcorn (you can also see another canal in the background), as we approach the Runcorn Bridge and the M56 to Liverpool:
And here, on Midsummer Day itself, is our painter, oblivious to the busy-ness around him as he works on his interpretation of the post-industrial facades which nurture Liverpool’s important tourism industry:
Thus, in three simple photographs, can we trace fundamental changes over the past century or two in a region which was once the heart of the Industrial Revolution. It’s in essence the journey from primary, through secondary to tertiary production: arable farming, an emphasis on transportation and logistics, industry to support direct production of essential goods, the emerging criticality of energy, and then the shift to products of a very different kind as developing tourism becomes the order of the day.
In all these phases in the history of England’s North-West we can perceive here both strength and, in their different ways, a form, even beauty, beyond mere functionality.
Posted on June 20, 2011, in Knowledge Ecology And Economy, Liverpool And Merseyside, People And Places, Travel and tagged Albert Dock, Barton, Canal, Industrial plant, Liverpool, Merseyside, Painter, Post-industrial, Refinery, Runcorn, Tourism, Travel. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.