Saturday, 28 May 2011

Rebirth and Revival

The dictionary defines regeneration as restoration of something that has been lost, new growth or, in a different context, spiritual rebirth. It is therefore totally appropriate that the book about the history of the Eldonians from the Vauxhall area of Liverpool was entitled "The rebirth of Liverpool; The Eldonian Way".

My first view of Vauxhall was in the early 80s waiting for a coach to take me from the Love Lane Sugar factory to Glasgow to protest against the growth of unemployment under Mrs Thatcher's first government. This factory was soon to close and leave a big empty space in physical and spiritual terms in the Vauxhall Community. The area lost an important source of employment and the physical blight of the area  was correspondingly increased.

I was soon back in Vauxhall to lend the support of the Co-operative Movement to the Eldonian Group as they struggled against a Militant led Labour Council to rebuild their community on the site of the old factory.  I looked on in wonder as the community won their battle for the rebirth of their area.

The loss of jobs in the area has not yet been replaced but the Eldonians transformed the physical blight of their area into a World Habitat Award winning housing development.

The dirty industrial canal became a beautiful feature of the area and a launch pad for the extension in recent years to the city centre at the Pier Head.

Regeneration can truly be a rebirth and an inspiration to further action. It remains my inspiration to this day. You can read the full story in Jack McBain's book

But the story isn't over as The Eldonian energy for the continuing transformation of their area continues. I hope to cover this story and others as this blog develops.

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