The Granby Four Streets Market has become an iconic event in the Toxteth community over the years.
Beaconsfield Street, Cairns Street, Jermyn Street and Ducie Street connect to make up the area in which the market takes place on the first Saturday of every month.
Over the last few decades the four streets have changed. Originally it was an area with wide streets of Victorian terraces and houses that varied in sizes.
After the Second World War Toxteth become a popular hotspot and destination for immigrants of the commonwealth who decided to move to Liverpool.
Over time, around the 1970’s, Toxteth became one of the first areas within the UK with a multicultural neighbourhood and the streets around Granby thrived with businesses from different ethnic backgrounds, such as butchers, grocery stores, chandlers and even a cinema that attracted shoppers from different areas in the city.
Because of the economic decline in Britain in the 1970s the working class and ethnic communities were hit with steep unemployment. This built racial tension in the Toxteth region and the Granby area began to see a decline in commercial activity.
The situation became more dire following the 1981 riots in L8 (Liverpool 8). A number of shops around Granby went out of business and empty houses began to appear. This became a vicious circle once a major housing association withdrew from the triangle and the number of empty houses increased leading to fewer and fewer people wanting to live in the area.
Halting the decline
With the decline in the area, the Granby Residents Association formed in 1993 in order to stop decline within the community but only lasted to 2010 which left the area vulnerable again.
Residents again decided to take the initiative and shape the neighbourhood, which involved renovating the area by rewilding and gardening shared spaces, painting the derelict properties, along with the introduction of the community market, which was set up during the summer months, but would later become a monthly Granby street market on the four streets
Granby Market is now beloved by local residents and the wider region of the L8, with tall umbrellas in distinct colours sheltering the stalls, giving it a vibrant and friendly atmosphere.
The stalls range from different varieties of things people can buy, such as bric-a-brac, arts and crafts, vintage clothes from different ethnic backgrounds, memorabilia to handmade soaps. Food stalls sell international cuisine and home cooked healthy foods from kombucha to kimchi which has attracted crowds from across the city
The event has also highlighted local talents and embraced the spirit and diversity within the community.
Eid celebrations offer outdoor entertainment, music and Halal food stalls. Easter celebrations also provide food and entertainment for residents.
What the market means to members of the community
Michelle Walker, one of the traders at the market said: “For me, the market is ultimately a positive thing
“One of the things for me is dispersal within our community. People have moved out but there is a few of us still here and we do not really connect enough. So, one of the things for me that I like about it is that we get to reconnect.”
She then went on to explain how the older generation within the community use the market as a chance to reconnect which brings the community love, joy and cohesion.
She highlighted how the market helps bring visitors to the area again, despite the reputation Toxteth had with the riots and negative stereotypes about the area.
People that come into the community come in the area and feel the warmth, love and the joy of what the community has to bring.
It also helps local traders with a second income, because the market gives them a chance without a large fee, to display their talent, which helps elevate their work.
Esperant Cadito 23, a resident within the area said: “It is nice that they set this up.
“It makes loads of families come together, you get a lot of students in area who get to meet the locals and it is just a nice vibe and nice music and overall benefits the community.”