Lichfield at 4am – a great place to be

Unless you are one of the dedicated 24-hour party people, or do shift work, the chances are you haven’t wandered through the centre of Lichfield at 4am.

I hesitate to say it, but you might be missing out on something.

Lichfield’s historic heart beats at 4am. There is an atmospheric quality to the city centre that can even be seen in the  stark surroundings of the bus station.

Early this morning I was acting as Sherpa for Rachel (my wife) as she took photographs for the excellent 4am Project, the brainchild of Birmingham-based photographer Karen Strunks. Karen has been taking photographs of Birmingham at 4am for several months and organised a worldwide 4am mass snapshot for today – 4am on the 4th of the 4th.

We spent a hugely enjoyable hour at various points in the city.

minster-4am

Minster Pool

market-square-4am

Market Square

city-station-4am

Lichfield City Station

bus-station-4am

Lichfield Bus Station

conduit-4am

Conduit Street

(all photos by RachelCreative)

There were a surprising number of people around at 4am – about 10 early morning party people making their meandering way home, a milkman, a lady preparing to make bread in one of the bakery shops, a few cabbies, a police patrol and a couple of people walking to work.

The laughing milkman, delivering to various city centre premises, told us: “You must be barking mad. I have to be up at this time. Crazy people.”

He might have been right.

But the early morning stroll was well worth it and proved what a tremendous little city we live in.

Photographs have been taken at 4am in villages, towns and cities all over the world for this project. I’m glad Lichfield is represented.

I’m reluctant to encourage people to venture out at 4am and see for themselves as it might affect the quietness and the atmosphere we discovered.

But the city does look great before the dawn chorus is fully awake.

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Group Editor for a media and publishing company - laidback, with a sunny disposition and a belief that everyone is fantastic and there's nothing wrong with modern life at all. A Welsh exile - tidy darts.

2 Comments

  1. Crinkly

    4th April, 2009 at 4:56 pm

    No doubt one of the reasons it was so nice and peaceful was because the riff raff were at home!
    You seem to have proved its not the place that leaves a lot to be desired but the people!I must add there are still a lot of nice people in Lichfield but it only needs a few of the other sort to bring it down.
    I can recall when Lichfield was peaceful and had a village atmosphere even during the day.
    Are there locals who believe that Lichfield,overall, is a better place today than it was say 2 decades ago?
    It is true that there are some improvements – the new paving in the city centre(pedestrian area) cost a fortune and two years work so it must be an improvement so long as you do not mind the deep puddles when it rains and the volume of traffic!
    Those who suggest we do not need the other latest and greatest waste of cash – Friars gate shopping development – beware what you wish for.Before you know it ,the powers that be, could be talking about canceling the project and guess who will have to pay compensation.
    Then we have longer drinking sessions allowing the plebs more time to vomit and misbehave.

  2. missf

    4th April, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    I like the pics :)

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