On-location subtopian drawings in the manner of Gordon Cullen.


Ferry 'Cross...

A gaily painted EU-funded tourist ferry still plies to and fro Liverpool, though car and train routes knowingly bypass Birkenhead town centre underneath. The view on exiting the ferry terminal is of car park, lampposts, signs, cctv, bollards and railings, worn out disabled bay yellow paint. The large blue sign is blank as we look at it, but on the side facing the town, and therefore only seen when leaving, says, “Welcome, experience a place you’ll love”. Hmm. 

Local Vernacular

The bus terminus is handily located in the middle of a roundabout, from which it is shielded by layers of they-shall-not-pass railings. The office block beyond with its turd coloured bricks and red windows is in the worst kind of commercial fake vernacular style.

Gateways of Stockport

Welcome to Edgeley.

The dotted square at the top of the curvy sign is where someone has stripped off the council emblem - I imagine this as a 'trophy' on the dashboard of a Peugeot 206 or Audi A1.

Pedestrian Zone.

Hillgate - abandon hope all ye who enter. Stockport's list of guidance for this Conservation Area includes: Hillgate Appendix 1 Appraisal Map; Hillgate Appendix 4 Historic Environment Records Map; Hillgate Appendix 2 Listed Building Map; Hillgate A3 Leaflet, Nov 2011; Hillgate Management Plan (25 pages); Hillgate Text Only Appraisal (45 pages). None of this verbiage has the slightest effect in restraining its own highways department, and is therefore a waste of local taxpayers money.


Station Piazza: NOT HERE

Instructive to visit “England’s Leading Spa Town” according to visitbuxton.co.uk, and wonder at the lack of urban sense. Does any spa town in France, Germany, Holland, Denmark, Spain or Italy greet you on exiting their railway station like this, by donating their station forecourt entirely to car drivers? Public space - no thanks. Bus connections – what? Cycle hire – you’re ‘avin’ a larf. Just across the road is a 422-place car park.


At some stage in its history, Buxton Market Place was transformed from a public space (the square) into an assemblage of private spaces (vehicles, either parked up, or on the A515 which slices it in two). Did the planners notice this “change of use”? Perhaps they moor up their Land Rovers there whilst attending planning committee meetings, in Pollard’s vaguely French chateau-style Town Hall of 1887-9. Give it back, pave it over!