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Sunday, 15 July 2012

Second week in Liverpool


Monday 9th July really quite a pleasant day and our friend Jenny from Kirby Muxloe joined us about mid day, our friend Beryl brought her as she is visiting some old friends from her school-days up here.
Jenny, Beryl & Carol and a Superlambanana. These things are all around the
city having been first created in 2008 when Liverpool was Capital of Culture.

In the afternoon we went to Tate Liverpool and viewed their Turner, Monet & Twombly exhibition. The curator considered that these three artists, one each from the 18th, 19th and 20th century, had contributed similarly to the way art changed in their time. Our initial impressions of Twombly were not too good but a chat with one of the attendants helped explain things and we were better able to appreciate his work. The other two.....well we love their work and it was great to be able to see their work together and in galleries that were not thronged with people. It cost us £9 each, not cheap but worth it.

The wheel seems to have additional lights this year

A lovely sky over The Pumphouse. BW logo on canopy yet to be changed.

Tuesday 10th we took Jenny to get a coffee at Nero before we caught the red tour bus for a tour of the city. We usually take these as they give extra snippets of info and offer a 24 hour hop on/hop off service. We hopped off at Paddy’s Wigwam first and enjoyed our visit to the RC cathedral. We had intended to visit the crypt but there were gowns and caps everywhere as it was a degree day, as it was all week, and it was closed to visitors. This basement level is apparently enormous, designed by Lutyens before 1933 it was to be the second largest church in the world in a classical design, but money ran out and construction, started in 1933, stopped when the crypt had been completed in 1958. 
Wonderful Stations of Cross around the Cathedral.

Construction of the modern design by Sir Frederick Gibberd was started in 1962 and finished in under 5 years, using modern materials and methods. Sadly soon after completion flaws in the construction started to show up. The architect was sued, but the eventual repairs cost such an astronomical sum that had the final cost been known before they were started, the building would have been demolished. This would have been a shame as it is a wonderful building.
Original design for RC cathedral

We had hoped to visit the Anglican Cathedral too, but it was occupied by graduating students. A shame for Jenny, she was not able to see it during her stay.

This park is 2 floors up on top of a car park, Albert Dock behind

Fizz to celebrate 5 years to the day since we moved afloat, and sill loving it!!

Wednesday A lovely day, if breezy, and we took the extended Mersey Ferry cruise and got some lovely views, shame we hadn’t had them on our MSC cruise last week. 
The wonderful waterfront
A Liver Bird and what was the largest clock face in the country

We then took one of the little yellow buses that do various circular routes around the city centre to get to the Radio City tower, whilst we could see the tower, finding the door into it was not easy. We were greeted to wonderful views of the whole Mersey estuary, over to Snowdon, Llandudno, couldn’t quite see Blackpool tower, but generally had a great visit.
One view from the tower

Jenny said she fancied an ice cream as we got down and we went into Wetherspoons and had a chocolate brownie Sunday with lashings of Belgian chocolate sauce. Definitely not low calorie but scrummy! Carol took a yellow bus home & Jenny & I walked, stopping for a bit of shopping. I had ordered repeat prescription for us both, getting them sent to collect Poste Restante at the Liverpool 1 post office. I had expected them her today, pills running low, but no post.
Pianos have been placed all around the city for people to go and play.
The glass opening in the paving is a view into the old dock we visited last week.

These wonderful cast iron gates used to be to the Seamans Mission, were damaged
in the war, removed to Avery (Scales makers) as they had bought the firm that made
them where they were restored and returned to nearly their original position recently.
The Golden Eagle on the white wall behind was where America stationed a person to
support American sailors in Liverpool during the late 1800's.

With a guest aboard Carol has been really letting go with her food, life is good!!

Thursday 12th and another lovely day and we are to meet Beryl around 11 as she is picking us all up, taking us to her old school near the cathedrals. The Anglican one was again closed to visitors, but we had a spook around the area before enjoying lunch. 
The Liverpool Institute was where Lennon & McCartney first met

This photo shoot was taking place near our lunch spot, the chap on right holding the parasol
The Philharmonic Dining Rooms are fantastically ornate, visit them!

They left and we went by bus to see St Georges Hall which is a magnificent building near Lime St station. The tour route takes you through the cells and court room first before reaching the viewing gallery around the hall. This was set out for a celebratory dinner for registrars, had it not have been, we might have been able to go into the hall itself.

After this I went for an initial visit to the new Museum of Liverpool. Very impressive, as was the enormous cruise liner that had arrived on the morning tide at 5am and leaving at 7pm.

Lion was built in 1837, in 1859 was installed as a stationary engine in the docks,
rescued in 1928. She was the Titfield Thunderbolt in the 1950's film and then used
on historic rail days, but now has retired. The rail carriage above is on a reconstruction
of the Liverpool Overhead Railway that was demolished in 1956, the carriage was
built around 1895.
This was the day that the River and Canal Trust took over running the canals and rivers from British Waterways but there was no celebration of the event in Liverpool.

Friday 13th and the weather was awful! Fine drizzle at first, getting faster as we walked for a coffee, easing off as we returned to Lily, but really opening up as I cruised her to the marina to top up with fuel at 75p (!!!) and tip the loos and get a new gas bottle. I was soaked by the time we got back to our mooring, stripping off jeans, socks and shoes to put on dry ones. Carol’s back was giving her hell so after lunch I set off into town & yes the post had arrived! I had cleared the prop first thing, there was a big collection of bags around it, but I decided I wanted a better tool for cutting things off and bought a pruning saw which I think should work.

After this I paid another visit to the Museum, I need another long visit to see all they have on offer. I hadn't realised that in 1946 "people" were concerned about the number of Chinese seamen in Liverpool and many were effectively kidnapped off the street & sent back to China, leaving wives & families in their homes wondering where they were. With the formation of Red China, they were not able to leave again. I must read more about this.


Whilst on things I didn't know, I was reading (in Nero drinking coffee) an obit for an ex RAF bomber pilot who was shot down over Paris. The Gestapo sent him and about 160 others to Buchenwald and effectively tried to starve them to death. He knew that RAF crew should have been prisoners of the Luftwaffe and he doggedly tried to get messages to them. He eventually did so & senior officers came to the death camp and were horrified at the conditions and forced the release of RAF prisoners into their care for interment in a Stalagluft camp. Sorry, nothing to do with boating, but this blog isn't just that!!


It was still pouring and I got soaked during the 10 minute walk home.


Saturday 14th and time to leave Liverpool. I popped up to Tesco to get a paper & brought coffee back to the boat, believing we should set off to be at the first lock for 9, then someone said 9.30, others said 9, so we got there for just past 9 & waited till 9.30!! The weather was bright but breezy with odd moments of slight dampness in the air. Before casting off I thought I'd check below the deck & found when I had refitted the weed hatch it had not sealed perfectly & I baled out several gallons and reset the cover. I intend to get a better sealing membrane than Debdale sell when we get home, there is still a slight weep but a drip tray is catching it!
Leaving Albert Dock, Museum left, Liver Building, clock & bird ahead

In Canning half tide lock, entry to Albert Dock through bridge on left


We shared locks with Will o the Whisp with Margaret and Nick, but they had to stop as they came out of the top Stanley Lock to clear their prop & then stopped at Litherland services to fill with water...I told them off for not borrowing our long hose that would have allowed them to use the tap by our mooring in Liverpool.
Some birds chose funny nesting spots!


Margaret with Peter on roof(!!) approaching lift bridge
approaching bottom of Stanley Locks


Five boats passed through the first swing bridge, but only 4 of us went through the final BW operated bridge, BW were waiting for the stragglers but didn't hold us back. 
Approaching last controlled bridge we are alongside Aintree Racecourse. There was motorbike racing going on as we passed, we hope there was no head in this helmet!
We have never seen a beekeeper at work live before. He said the
weather had been too cold for any honey to have been produced yet.


We passed out of the controlled area at 2.30 and the four of us cruised on through four more swing bridges before the other three stopped, we carried on with a single hander we met on our way through the swing bridges and stopped just past br 22, Ship bridge at 5.15. A lovely spot, bright evening but as it had been all day, with a cold wind. 17 miles, 6 locks & 8 swing bridges.


Sunday 15th another bright breezy day with a cold wind, it reminded me more of a cool Spring day, not mid Summer!! Not far today just 2 swing bridges, the first of which ,New Lane, is BW controlled as it keeps jamming. If you are coming this way, make sure you get Waterscape (or its CRT successor) on-line up-dates. We collected 2 incredibly slow boats to follow, and also passed a long line of match fishermen, but by 11.30 we had tied up where we spent 5 weeks last year and were in infusions coffee with the papers, Carol couldn't wait to get back to the friendly staff there. 6 miles 2 swing bridges.

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