Northern doors

By Jeyda, creative consultant for Doorco.

I recently 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 its hometown of Liverpool showcases a real mix of old and new styles and wanted to demonstrate how its 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 the torrential north-western rain. So, Vista’s Ian Smith and I decided to wait it out with a cup of steaming tea by heading 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 and intricately carved architecture, which forms a vision of the kind of beautiful design I’d love to see mimicked in doors.

One the rain had stopped, Ian and I began the real door hunt.

First stop was a block of student housing overlooking the cathedral, which Vista had 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.

It was a reminder that before Britain got white-washed with PVCU, it was a more colourful place. It’s 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.

I then had a somewhat sobering experience going to the Welsh Streets, an area of old Victorian terraced houses that 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, including the childhood home to Ringo Starr.

Eventually, after a lot of pressure and 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.

Ian then 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.