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Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Liverpool & painting

Monday 3rd July to Monday 24th

I don't propose to spend ages writing about our stay in this city, but will comment on its highlights, and a disaster or two.

Highlights were a lovely visit by Sally & family, the journey from Thurcaston on a Sunday morning only took 2 hours, the weather was great and we introduced the kids to The Cavern, though it is of course a recreation. Sam & I went to see the Beatles Story, he was quite impressed, I wasn't. Hannah surprised Carol by expressing an interest in going to the Museum of Slavery.

I spent about a day at the Maritime Museum, particularly enjoying the "Seized" section about HMRC's activities. I asked at the museum why there should be cast iron columns all around Albert Dock, apart from two granite columns. They didn't know, but quickly found out that this section was built a little after the rest of the dock, I suppose it would have been difficult to get just 2 more cast & installed.

The "Ferry across the Mersey" was great, as was the Uboat on exhibition on the Birkenhead shore, certainly worth a visit.
Liverpool's 3 Graces with the new museum

Jessie Hartley's tower with both Cathedrals behind

U534, showing damage caused by the depth charge that sank it.
The U boat was salvaged as it was thought it might have refused to surrender
after cessation of hostilities because it was carrying wasn't!

The Cathedrals are a must, and Hope Street between the two has some interesting statues & buildings. Carol thought the Anglican one was tremendous & managed to take communion. I thought it was very interesting, and surprising, not seeming to be as large as it is, probably because the floor is unencumbered by columns. Interesting, but I thought the RC Cathedral was fantastic, the light flooding through the stained glass and some of the statues hit the spot for me. What I was a bit upset about, having been a Civil Engineer in the '60's, was how the construction methods & materials used effectively fell apart & the building was very nearly demolished rather than being repaired.
Anglican Cathedral viewed from over Kings Dock
The cavernous interior of the Anglican Cathedral

Archbishops Shepherd & Warlock on Hope Street, Anglican Cathedral  behind.

The Archbishops are looking towards the Catholic Cathedral

Lovely old street just off Hope St. It has been used for many films.
Note the chap appearing left & right courtesy of PhotoStitch

Approaching the Catholic Cathedral

The lantern in the Catholic Cathedral

The Walker Gallery has some great stuff, but the museum alongside was not up to much, & hoards of school children ensured it was lively! Just over the was is The Empire, where we saw Legally Blonde, a great show on tour, but the sound system needed adjustments, we stuffed our fingers in our ears & then were able to understand the dialogue.

Walking back from there it started to pour & I reached into my ruck sack to pull out our waterproofs, but the first thing out was the camera, which clattered onto the pavement & the lens elements disassembled! It looks as if an economic repair is not possible.

We sorted out buses to get around from the bus station alongside the dock, including one that took us to Speke Hall. On the way we saw Penny Lane, and the house is lovely, except Carol's back cried stop, so we will have to finish off another time. I have some pics taken on Carol's phone but I can't find the download lead!

We took a guided bus tour with a live guide. It was interesting what he told us about the large, fully detailed, bronze male figure over the front door of the old Lewis's store. It seems that when originally mounted it was set further from the building, but when it rained drips of water fell onto people from a certain part of his anatomy! These guided tours are usually worth taking.

One evening I went to do the Mersey Tunnel Tour at the wonderful Art Deco style ventilation station alongside the Cunard building. There are many many steps to climb & descend, but the 2 1/2 hours flew by.
Just across from the tunnel tour is this building, the White Star Lines building.
It looks very much like the old Scotland Yard building, yes it's by the same architect.

The new Museum of Liverpool opened on 19th, 4 days after we left, but it was far from complete, they were working very hard to complete the first display floor, but it looks interesting, but we were not enticed into Tate Liverpool, even with its Magritte exhibition at £9).

We also caught a film one Wednesday ( 2 for 1 ) and saw the film Senna & were thoroughly glad we managed to see it.

But we ran out of time, & the anodes were fizzing away in the salt water with all the jelly fish around Lily. Lily was polished up whilst there, tipping an Elsan cost £5 (!!!!!) a pump out only £10. Would we go again? Like a shot, barring mishaps we're coming back next year!

 Thursday 14th we left the dock at 9.30 with 4 other boats on another lovely day. We had a pretty good trip, except we gathered some stuff on our prop, but not in a way that created loads of splashing, so it wasn't too obvious, except we were well behind the others & didn't have time to stop! We stopped where we spent the night before our trip into the city, & on Friday cruised into Burscough, mooring 150 yards before the Wharf.

From Saturday 16th to date I have been repainting the inside of Lily. It smells pretty strongly of oil paint, but the half from the front deck to the shower room looks so much better. The trouble has been getting the batteries charged, never getting anywhere near full voltage, a fact I mention to Mark of M & D boat services when he brought us 180 litres of fuel @ 84p. Mark the Spark came as a result of this chat, & we decided it would be as well to get the alternator, & particularly its control mechanism, away for checking. On Sunday 23rd I decided to tweak up the belt tension to give as good a charge up as possible before removing the alternator........only to find one of the pivot bolts sheared & the pivot bearing shattered!! Mick the Welder has now been brought in, & we have gone off by train to see the family in Chichester. Hopefully it will be all set when we get back, but we are booked into a B&B for the first two nights so I can paint the bedroom.

Burscough is a really great little place, lots of great people & a good range of facilities, do stop in a try it out if you are passing.

Latest news, welder sourced tubes to make mountings & today the checked over alternator was refitted & ob Saturday, when we have returned from Chichester, it will be tried out.

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Into Liverpool

Monday 27th June We stopped in Wigan & I went into the BW offices to see about our journey from Aintree into Salthouse Dock. Despite me telling them we lived aboard & would not be receiving mail for a long time, they had posted the paperwork home!! Lovely warm day, but not a great deal to see in Wigan, but found there is a micro brewery behind the Post Office. Decided to run taps to empty water tank as the gauge never seems to deflect & sure enough yet again it has failed, showing full when the pumps ran dry! I'm going to create a stand-pipe arrangement similar to the one I fitted to Lily 2 as it can't go wrong. The water tap outside the BW offices is craftily hidden in a locked yellow box in the centre of a life-buoy.
Wigan Pier

Lovely scenery from Wigan

Tue 28th and we moved through the lock that leaked on Friday night and moored past Wigan Pier to shop at Asda. A lovely warm sunny morning, we then passed the football ground and had a lovely cruise to Burscough. At one lock we were recommended to try The Hop Vine, so I walked along, liked it, & booked a table for 6.30, though I expected that as it was a Tuesday evening there would be no need to book. When we got there the place was heaving, fully booked, well provided with charming young waitresses, and their own brewed beer, plus several other real ales. I tried both of their own & they were excellent, as was our meal. It was far from expensive for what we had & we can only recommend it. We have spoken to other boaters about it & they all agree. Burscough is quite a good spot to stop & BW have just finished reconstructing the Wharf complete with a nice new services block.
Burscough Wharf

The Hop Vine

I have often thought that spikes like this to hold gates
shut or open would be useful

Wed 29th and a bright & breezy day, with the wind really cool. It would have been rude not to have a coffee at the coffee shop offering Illy coffee first but we were not late away for a slow, easy cruise to Halsall. Before we set off I bent the ear of a BW bod about a burnt out boat on Glovers swingbridge mooring. He agreed & had complained too & was told that as a Section 8 notice had been served on it, it could not be moved!!! If it is still there on our return I may well move it to the off-side!

On our cruise this day we had 4 different swing bridge mechanisms, but we tied up after just over 2 hours with a lovely view over fields. I walked into Halsall, but there is not a lot to see & the church is locked, though 2 women walking the towpath said the Saracens on the canal is good.
Interesting "building", what is it for?

Carol's flowers, but the cool weather is
stunting growth, especially tomatoes

Thurs 30th June and weather as yesterday, the wind was really cool. We had another easy cruise to moor at Maghull just past Br 11. We had shared swing bridges with Roger & Maureen on Ramyshome and Klim & Rita on Brindley and they pulled in behind us. As we tied up I had a call from BW to say they had to get to a meeting in Burnley on Friday afternoon & could we be at bridge 9 for 8am!!! ( Interesting that one piece of paper from Wigan said 9am, another 9.30!! ) We said we would & passed the info on to the other 3 boats that were moored close by.

We had a good chat this evening, Roger will soon be the membership secretary for the Residential Boat Owners Association, RBOA, of which we are members & of which Klim & Rita are not yet....cue some barracking!
A serenade whilst cruising He was playing
"If you were the only girl in the World"

Fri 1st July and weather as the last 2 days and at 7 we all set off for br 9, passing through br 10 kindly opened by the lady off Westwood. Whilst waiting for BW Roger on Awesome Wonder went down his weed hatch. It was probably 8.10 before a slight break in traffic let BW swing the bridge & we were off and cruising past the Grand National racecourse. 40 minutes later we were at the next swing bridge where BW allowed the stragglers amongst the school children to cross before we were off and on the Litherland. On this run the debris in the water got worse & lily rolled over a couple of submerged objects. When we arrived the other 5 went down their weed hatches but Lily was clear & all we had to do was tip our Elsan casettes, as did everyone else before we set off for the Sankey locks where BW used a very special windlass to raise the top paddles.
Stanley Locks with Tobacco Warehouse

Here we descended 4 locks, mostly working them ourselves, to emerge in the docks alongside the Tobacco Warehouse, supposedly the largest brick building in the world. We shared locks with Ramyshome & Roger had BW's guide to the route. Everyone had said it was fabulous and we were duly impressed, but for us we also had the new Museum of Liverpool to see close by the Liver building & the Cunard building, and especially good as it was in bright sun light. A couple of locks within the new canal route & we were in the final dock level & on via the Albert Dock & into Salthouse Dock. Supposedly into berth S4, except it was occupied, so S3 is now our home, with Peter & Sue on Sokai close on S1and we had a good chat after tying up around 1pm.

That ended our cruising for the week, just 33miles, 11 locks & 15 swing bridges.

Sat 2nd & Sun 3rd and lovely weather. We explored the waterfront & the other docks as well as parts of the city. Our location is tremendous, so close to the incredible city centre, its museums & shops. It is fairly quiet as Lily is well below road level. We get regularly rocked as people doing the DUKW tour splash into the dock. We have friends joining us on Monday & family coming up next Sunday. Just by the dock is a bus station with a very helpful desk giving out bus  train maps and timetables, & there is an information office in Albert Dock. The Maritime museum, alongside, is worthy of many hours inspection & the Museum of Slavery on the top floor is interesting, though we couldn't understand why certain displays were there.

From what we have seen so far, if you haven't been to Liverpool lately, visit it, and if you have a boat, come by boat.
Albert Dock with Cathedral behind

Fantastic bridge, Liver building behind

New Liverpool museum

Salthouse Dock moorings