This month, I left the smoky abyss of London to explore the door scene up North, as suggested by Vista, DOORCO customer and creator of XtremeDoor. Vista felt their hometown of Liverpool showcases a real mix of old and new styles and wanted to personally demonstrate to me how their composite doors work well in both environments.
The day got off to a bit of a tricky start due to my interminable travel sickness and of course, the torrential North Western rain. So, Ian Smith from Vista and myself decided the best option was to wait it out with a cup of steaming tea and headed to the cafe in the Anglican Cathedral.
I tend to find church doors awe-inspiring – towering over their residential peers and boasting impressive iron-wrought knockers. As you might expect for the world’s second largest Cathedral, the Anglican was no exception. On top of enormous doors, the interior is adorned with gorgeous stained glass & intricately carved architecture which forms a vision of the kind of beautiful design I’d love to see mimicked in doors.
It became apparent that the downpour had passed and Ian, myself and my trusty camera were no longer in danger of being drenched. Time to begin the real door hunt.
First stop was a block of student housing overlooking the Cathedral, which Vista had fully kitted out with smart black DOORCO composite slab in XtremeDoor’s York design. I thought back to my own days at University and the rubble-filled streets we bizarrely chose to live in; this block looked practically palatial by comparison.
From there, we began a beautiful tour of the Georgian Quarter of Liverpool which admittedly was almost overwhelming for a door geek like myself. As we headed down Rodney Street, I found myself crossing back and forth, over and over, barely able to decide which side of the street to admire the doors from. Each door is grand, brightly painted and framed by interesting architecture. For those who like their symmetry, this street (and in fact entire area) is perfection.
We were totally inspired by the beauty of the Georgian Quarter doors and the variety of colour and style shown in one place. In a way, it was a reminder that before Britain got white-washed with PVC-U, it was a more colourful place. For a door-geek like me its reassuring that the composite door market is helping revert back to this level of individuality by drawing on the colours, designs and timber-feel of these original forefathers, but without having to compromise on the modern benefits of high security and low maintenance.
After the elegant Georgian quarter, I had a somewhat sobering experience going to the Welsh Streets – an area of old Victorian terraced houses which had been left abandoned for years following the Blair government’s condemnation to demolish the area under the housing market renewal initiative, wiping out an area steeped in history and childhood home to Ringo Starr. Eventually, after a lot of pressure & poor publicity, the demolition plans were stopped and the council kicked off a project to refurbish the streets. Before doing so, BBC’s Peaky Blinders gangster clan descended in order to film various scenes at the infamous ‘Garrison’ – apparently leaving the ladies of Liverpool swooning after having both Cillian Murphy and Tom Hardy in town.
After the dishy duo left the pitted neighbourhood, the redevelopment work continued and the end result is a really refreshing set of houses with modern fittings (including doors, of course) but original brickwork. Ian was proud to point out Vista’s award-winning refurbishment scheme here for Place First.
After that, Ian drove me to a few nearby houses where I could see the contrast between a door Vista had provided against their neighbours’. The difference each time was stark, with Vista’s installation being a clear winner if there were ever to be a ‘Who’s Got the Best Door’ competition.
There was only one thing left to do before my door tour of Liverpool was complete – the obligatory nod to the Beatles history. No trip should ever be made to Liverpool without paying some kind of homage to the almighty band and so we dutifully headed over to see the doors of John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s childhood homes. Each door had me thinking, as I always do, what you can guess about the person behind a door.
In the words of Ringo Starr…
Peace and Love,
Jeyda, Chief Doork
Creative Consultant for DOORCO
P.S. Keep a look out for a continuation of this story with some upcoming case studies