Press release: Save unveils refurbishment of 21 Madryn Street, former home of Ringo Starr’s aunt in the Welsh Streets, to designs by Wayne and Tilly Hemingway

18 June 2014

Save unveils refurbishment of 21 Madryn Street, former home of Ringo Starr's aunt in the Welsh Streets, to designs by Wayne and Tilly Hemingway

As the public inquiry into the demolition of over 400 terraced houses in Liverpool's Welsh Streets gets underway, SAVE presents the redecoration and refurbishment currently taking place at our house in Madryn Street.

With designs from father-daughter team Wayne and Tilly Hemingway we have shown that the classic northern terrace, such as those found on the Welsh Streets, can be refreshed with low-cost high-impact designs.

At minimal cost, our house has received new windows, doors, a new kitchen, been repainted, retiled, and refloored. Far from being obsolete, the terraced house remains a design classic capable of adaption to suit modern living.

SAVE Britain's Heritage bought No.21 three years ago when it came under threat of demolition. Our aim was to show that with minimal investment it was possible to make the humble terraced house a pleasant home. Now we want to take it to the next level and giving the house style and panache.

For the last three years the house has been tenanted by a young couple who enjoy living there despite the houses around being empty.

The newly-decorated house effectively makes the case for bringing empty homes back into use - we argue that it can be seen as a pilot scheme opening the way for the regeneration of the street and the entire area, that enjoys thousands of visitors every year to see Ringo Starr's birthplace.

Wayne and Tilly have donated striking yet simple designs, and we have received support and generous donations from individuals and suppliers including Bridgewater Pottery, British Ceramic Tile, Dulux Paints, Howdens trade, Palace Chemicals, MPB Plumbing and Hot Pots and Planters. The work is being carried out by local firms and labourers, overseen by the redoubtable Lesley Mullally of the Save the Futurist Campaign.

SAVE holds that it is viable to refurbish the houses, and presents a more sustainable approach. This position is supported by a recent survey of the site, undertaken jointly with Liverpool Council. Evidence from our surveyors and QS indicate that refurbishment will cost between £51,000 and £60,000 on the properties - with scope for this figure to drop if individuals take on refurbishment of their own homes, or if a developer refurbishes a groups of houses. Evidence from estate agent Paul Sutton indicates that the houses would sell for between £75,000 and £85,000.

The inquiry is into a planning application from Liverpool Council to demolish over 400 houses and replace them with drastically fewer semi-detached and detached houses with gardens, dropping the density by some 45% percent despite the proximity of the area to the city centre. Only forty houses are to be refurbished.
Wayne Hemingway, a long standing critic of the demolition of terraced housing under the Pathfinder programme, said:

"In Liverpool and elsewhere, thanks to short-sighted and often stupid planning authorities, we have lovely streets earmarked for demolition. We are repeating past mistakes. Almost everything, including the Welsh Streets area and those noble streets around Anfield, is sustainably salvageable, particularly in this climate when building new rarely makes money.

Historically, these properties would have been salvaged via the council but because town halls no longer have money, we need alternative remedies. We need mortgage companies to support housing renovation and for the Government to back their efforts."

Full list of donators and supporters:

National Firms
Hemingway Design - donated time, designs and tiles
Bridgewater Pottery - donated kitchen items
British Ceramic Tile - donated tiles for kitchen and bathroom
Dulux Paints - Donated orange paint for the new front door

Local Firms
Howdens Trade on the Dock Road - donated kitchen units
Palace Chemicals in Speke - donated paint for the floor and walls
MPB Plumbing, Liverpool - Installed plumbing at cost
Hot Pots and Planters, Liverpool - Donated garden planter

SAVE launched a crowd funding campaign at the beginning of June to raise funds to help pay for this work, and to cover the cost of our appearance at the public inquiry. In less than three weeks we have raised over 20% of our target. Thank you to those who have already generously donated. So far we have raised nearly £8,000 via crowd funding, thanks to 65 individuals.

The crowd funding website can be seen here:

For more information please contact Mike Fox at SAVE - /07538833445

Notes to editors:
The public inquiry into the demolition of the Welsh Streets started on the 16th June and will run until the 4th July. Taking place in Liverpool's Cunard Building, the inquiry is open to the public and will be the first full public inquiry into a pathfinder scheme. Previously, such inquiries have focused on specific compulsory purchase orders rather than wholesale demolition schemes.

SAVE's crowd funding venture is the first of its kind in the UK, and is being coordinated by Dig Ventures, who successfully crowd fund for archaeological digs. Further details can be found here.

Press Release issues by SAVE Britain's Heritage
SAVE has been campaigning for historic buildings since its formation in 1975 by a group of architects, journalists and planners. It is a strong, independent voice in conservation, free to respond rapidly to emergencies and to speak out loud for the historic built environment.

SAVE Britain's Heritage, 70 Cowcross Street, London EC1M 6EJ
Registered Charity 269129
Tel. 020 7253 3500 Email
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