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Hope Street wins Great Street Award

Corks popping at Connaught Rooms as Urbanism prizes announced

Published on November 9th 2012.

Hope Street wins Great Street Award

HOPE Street this afternoon WON the Great Street Award at a ceremony held by the Academy of Urbanism in London.

Liverpool Confidential heard the excellent news by text.

When we asked for a quote, the reply back was just one word: "Hic!" 

Les-Berges-Du-RhoneLes Berges Du RhoneThe Hope Street Massive were in attendance at the Connaught Rooms ceremony, including representatives from Blackburne House, 60 Hope Street, The Philharmonic Hall, Hope Street Feast and the Hope Street Hotel who lost out to the banks of the Rhone in the Best Creative Re-Use of a Space award.

The full list of winners

Winner of The European City of the Year Award - Antwerp 

Winner of The Great Town Award - Galway, Ireland

Winner of The Great Neighbourhood Award - Brixton, London

Winner of The Great Street Award - Hope Street, Liverpool

Winner of The Great Place Award - City Park, Bradford

Winner of the inaugural Creative Re-Use Award - Les Berges Du Rhone


Ode to Hope Street

To celebrate the win. The Academy of Urbanism's Poet In Residence, Ian McMillan, composed the following verse


Imagine an axis; imagine a washing line

Hung across a city. Cathedrals, a theatre

And a hotel hang from the line

And flap in the century’s breeze…

This is Hope Street; imagine an artery

Pumping life through a city, imagine

A walk from one end of Hope to the other end

Of Hope on a moonlit evening…


Yes, that’s right. You’re walking through Hope.

Imagine a street where the soul is brightened

And the coffee is the best you can get in a city

That loves to keep itself awake.

Hope Street. Aptly named. See you there.

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30 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousNovember 9th 2012.

What a fantastic honour. Have any of our councillors been to Hope Street yet?

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 10th 2012.

Yes, when the Lib-Dem lot were using all the free tickets for sold-out performances at the Philharmonic in the 2008 European City of Culture that were denied to the public.
Today's Councillors only frequent the gangster bars near the Town Hall.

Hilary BurrageNovember 10th 2012.

Some currently in office - then mostly simply citizens - were in fact genuinely quite helpful in promoting the HOPES ambitions (see below), well before the events of 2008.

Prof Yaffle ChucklebuttyNovember 10th 2012.

A poem to by the official Poet Larryhat Reggie McCough of the popular Liverpool 60s Brawling Group The Scuffles, to celebrate Hope Street in Liverpool winning the prestigious Best Street Award from The Academy Of Tarmacadamy...or something

Hope Is Where The Harp Is

By Reggie McCough

Imagine putting a washing line
Along a busy street
Hanging all your knickers out
with a pillowcase and sheet

and the sheet had great big holes in it
like a ghost ship's tattered sails
but the rips were not caused by a storm
It's 'cos Mother won't cut her nails

And all along that busy street
on the pavement either side
Artists, and performers
often will collide

Actors quoting Shakespeare's line
"Aye there is the rub"
and all colliding once again
when they fall out of the pub.

A happy place, a magic street
where no one has a frown
With a theatre and famous Bistro
'til the soft gets knocked it down

where people come together
and all roll up their sleeves
But the Masons roll their kecks up
that's what everyone believes.

With fine cuisine available
for commoner or toff
But you won't find Tesco sarnies
as they were told sod off.

And a gentleman's marble lavatory
the Ladies think quite grand
that's if they're not distracted
by what the bloke's got in his hand

There's a Catholic Cathedral
where communion wine is sipped
shaped like a headless Dalek
on top of Luytens Crypt

There's another at the other end
where the Anglicans all sing
So no chance of a Sunday kip
when both their church bells ring

And a family friendly festival
that really can't be missed
Not like the one in Matthew Street
where half the crowd are pissed

With music and performers
amazing food and stalls
where even Living Statues
don't get kicked in the orchestra stalls

And when it comes to music
there is the crowning glory
of an orchestra that's world renowned
The Royal Liverpool Tandoori

And with their trombones blowing
an anthem by George Chisholm
The award, I'm sure, they helped secure
from the Academy of Urbanism

So now along the washing line
a brand new sheet's unfurled
Proclaiming its official
The best street in the world

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 12th 2012.

Well done reggie. Brilliant

William Topaz McGonagall, Poet and TragedianNovember 10th 2012.

O wonderful street ‘tween the great cathedrals,
Whaur a longer service can gi’ yer pins and needles.
And in nineteen-seventy-seven Her Majesty toured,
For her Silver Jubilee in a short-wheelbase Land Rover not a Ford.

They say ye’ve won a prize just for being a street,
The York stone and concrete that’s so hard on ma puir feet.
And wears down the leather fitted by the cobbler’s tool,
As I saunter wi’ cane and boater past the auld Art School.

And I think o’ the characters that have sauntered before,
And played practical jokes in contravention of the Law!
In a plastic hard hat collecting the automobilists’ tolls,
The account in the Echo made the people with laughter roll!

So hear me oot, present kings o’ the castle,
Hope Street’s oor sacred landmark and not a cheap chattel.
Ye can fancy it up wi’ fashionable dining rooms by the mile,
But mind ye’ll never own it, just rent it for a while.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Reggie McCoughNovember 11th 2012.

Beautiful. Puts me in mind of one of our greatest writers, Lord Byro.

Johnnie WalkerNovember 11th 2012.

He doesn't go for the obvious rhymes like that Chucklebutty

AnonymousNovember 12th 2012.

You cheeky little git!

Hilary BurrageNovember 10th 2012.

It's wonderful that the development of Hope Street has been recognised like this; but am I the only person who feels a tad sad that those of us (many, not 'just' a few) who gave so much time and effort - way before the City took the idea on board - to get this regeneration plan going and delivered haven't even been told, let alone involved?

HOPES: The Hope Street Association, a totally voluntary, unpaid charity, worked very hard indeed, for several years, before we could pursuade the powers-that-be to deliver our vision, and there are many - some mentioned above, but others too - who deserve acknowledgement and perhaps thanks for their extended efforts to make and deliver the case.

To recap:

* It started in the 1990s with CAMPAM (the Campaign to Promote the Arts on Merseyside) at a time when the Phil and theatres were under dire threat;

* then we (HOPES) completely under our own steam secured funding for and staged the really successful Hope Street Millennium Midsummer Festival - for which we were later selected nationally as the Millennium Community Festival to be highlighted in a presentation to the Millennium Commisioners and national media;

* then we (HOPES, with serious pro bono support from major private sector companies) made the case for developing Hope Street to the NWDA and then Liverpool Vision (reversing their 'red' i.e. long-wait-for-action label to 'green' - i.e. do it now);

* and only after that did the City really get involved... and only later still did the 2008 Capital of Culture bid get started.

So I'm obviously really glad that all our joint and several efforts have been acknowledged; but I'm also sad that a lot (not all; some who joined in are mentioned above) of the people / partners who deserve recognition for their perseverance and determination over several years seem yet again to have been totally overlooked.

I've thought long and hard about writing this, but perhaps there is a wider lesson to be learned: the wider, informal community can be a fantastic asset (as I might suggest was HOPES), but if the end result is that the informal (genuinely voluntary) initators get totally ignored, there's not much encouragement for future community-based enthusiasts or action is there?

So, yes, let's celebrate what if genuinely a great achievement; but can we also be a bit more um, generous, when it comes to acknowledging the origins and impetus which brought the whole Hope Street programme to fruition? Surely, that's what 'localism' is about?

.... whatever, Hope Street is as a result of our constant proddings and lobbying now firmly on the 'visit Liverpoool' map, and it's there for the duration. HOPES' work in the 1990s and early 2000s achieved that, and we're all very, very proud of it! Thank you from the heart, every single person who helped us in our mission.

Hilary Burrage (Founding Chair, HOPES: The Hope Street Association)

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 17th 2012.

Sad but true. Once the back of the task is broken and there's a scent of money in the air, the volunteers and the visionaries are elbowed aside by those johnny-come-latelies anxious to get their snouts in the trough.

Belle VedereNovember 11th 2012.

Hilary is right: it is in fact ALL about her, as was nearly every Hopes meeting at which she was usually Chair, main speaker and sole speaker. Good grief woman, get over yourself: you played a role as have so many other people since - in far better partnerships than it was ever possible to have in any structure with you involved. Yes, you spent a lot of funding well, but that's not really that hard, is it? I got the impression that a big part of the current perception of success is the quality of partnerships that are NOT skewed by bitterness or concern about rec

Belle VedereNovember 11th 2012.

ognition but about getting on with it and spending little funding brilliantly! You might also be mistaken in thinking that "the city" had much of a clue in who to talk to this time either: maybe Hope St just got on with it!

Hilary BurrageNovember 11th 2012.

Belle Vedere:

As you must surely know if you're genuinely up to speed, it wasn't SPENDING the Hope Street funding which was the hard bit - it was all the pro bono work over almost a decade, by lots and lots of people (yes, inc me, but also many, many others), to GET it....

& this is the first time that the issue of recognition has been raised. I simply think there's a matter of courtesy to be considered.

Nor has there ever been any dialogue of 'bitterness', to my knowledge?

Also, by the way, HOPES never had any large-scale funding other than the rather modest (e.g. for 17 events in 2000) £25k from the Millennium Comm and one or two similar / smaller contributions for a few other Hope Street Midsummer Festivals around that time.

The big money (something under £5m - a bargain for all that was done) went, after our long-time lobbying to obtain it, directly to the City / Lpool Vision for the street renovation, as HOPES had always expected and intended.

There was a 'pre-Hope Street vision' time for almost a decade up to early/mid 2000s and then, after much persuasion, a delivery period of another few years, before the Hope Street we now all know came into being. Remember? Do you?

By the way, who are you? There were ultimately hundreds, probably thousands, of people involved, so I may have missed something, but I don't recall anyone with your name.... maybe you have another name, or were everso quiet? Apologies if my memory fails me; but has it?

If you were really there from the start [?] you may recall e.g. the conferences and the Hope Street Papers of 1999-2001 which kicked things off (you can find them easily on the www); some three dozen or so very significant speakers contributed to these Papers before we even start on the rest. You might like to refresh your memory....

~ ~ ~

PS Am STILL, to get back to the real issue, so glad that HOPES achieved what would otherwise not have happened, and that it is judged to be good by any standards.
Hope Street looked dreadful, sad and down-at-heel with no sense of pride and no community or effective inter-organisational collaboration before HOPES' efforts; and now it has been renewed.
As a result, businesses have come in and developed and 'culture' and much else flourishes in ways which without the renewal probably could not have happened.
That's why I want to thank all the people who had faith to made the initial and mid-term efforts come to fruition.
Not unreasonable I think?

Hilary BurrageNovember 11th 2012.

Here's a bit of Hope Street back-story: http://wp.me/p1zddm-13

AnonymousNovember 12th 2012.

Hope Street didn't look 'dreadful'! Except for horrible things like the old Tom Wallace shop being turned into an ugly prison block in cheap brick for student accommodation and the hideous fencing of the car park on the corner of Myrtle Street to block this popular shortcut to the bus stops.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 12th 2012.

I am forgetting of course the day the IRA carried out a gun attack on Hope Street Police Station and there was blood all over the pavement.

Hilary BurrageNovember 12th 2012.

Broken pavements, irregular road contours, shabby, unkempt, random parking.... The renewal is surely what this AoU Award is actually intended to recognise? And rightly so. The work has made a massive difference to perceptions of the place.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Anthony SchumacherNovember 13th 2012.

The thing is, I quite like all the above.

Cy DaweNovember 12th 2012.

So let me get this straight: it's the Great Pavement Award?

4 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 12th 2012.

It's not just the pavements, according to the gutter press.

AnonymousNovember 13th 2012.

We need to put a kerb on that.

Phil HarmonicNovember 13th 2012.

I've been to some very nice griduation ceremonies on Hope Street

U. RynalNovember 13th 2012.

I hope you didn't find them too draining...

Darth FormbyNovember 13th 2012.

There was a guy used to sit in the Baa Baa, writing poetry with a big pigeon feather sellotaped to a Bic pen. We used to call him Lord Byro.

1 Response: Reply To This...
George VaderMarch 29th 2013.

Did he wear a top hat?

E CrackeNovember 13th 2012.

That doesn't even rhyme, Darth. It's not even a limerick

AnonymousNovember 13th 2012.

It's The Roadrunners, honey,
Won't you please catch up with me.
It's The Roadrunners, honey
And this is 1963.
I've been waiting for you outside Lewis's
For so long, I need a pee
Beep beep
They're at Hope Hall, my sweetheart
Half-built proddy church the other end
If the left-footers ever get started
The poets will be driven round the bend
This street is looking hopeless
But every man can find a friend
Beep beep
Imagine all the changes
We might see in fifty years
All the beat group lads retired
And the artists without beards
I'll still be outside Lewis's
Till Epstein's statue disappears
Beep beep
[guitar solo]

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 15th 2012.

Poetry has to come from our souls.......I'll rephrase that...what I mean is, you can't just order it from the Acme catalogue..meep meep!

SaladDazeNovember 13th 2012.

Bloody good.

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