Friday 28 July 2017

Summer Cruise Day 15-19 Doing Liverpool

We were up with the sparrows on Monday as our friends Del and Al (Derwent6) and Mark and Sian (Mochyn Du) were leaving and set off at 7:30am.  We just had time to walk round the dock and see them off at the Pier Head Basin.  We waved them goodbye and may see them again later on our cruise.

First through was a very shiny Mochyn Du

Followed by equally very shiny Derwent6
 After his morning walk we crated Smudge and had a look round the Museum we had passed under yesterday.  From the large gallery windows we could see AmyJo on her mooring and on the other side  the new Basin and tunnel links

AmyJo nestles a good 10 feet longer than her jetty

Pier head Basin and in the foreground an art bar.  Not sure what is art and what is bar here
The  museum was very interesting but we felt the exhibits, photos and maps would have more meaning to the locals than it did us but it was still good to see.

The Three Graces (from left to right): the Royal Liver Building (1908-11) by Walter Aubrey Thomas, the Cunard Building (1914-16) by Willinck & Thicknesse with Arthur J. Davis and the former offices of the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board (1903-07) by Briggs & Wolstenholme with Hobbs & Thornely. 

The famous Liver birds on the Liver Building
 The modern popularity of the birds largely dates to 1911, when the Liver Building was built. This prominent display of two liver birds rekindled the idea that the liver was a mythical bird that once haunted the local shoreline. According to popular legend, they are a male and female pair, the female looking out to sea, watching for the seamen to return safely home, while the male looks towards the city, making sure the pubs are open. 

An alternative version says that the male bird is looking in to watch over and protect the families of the seamen. Local legend also holds that the birds face away from each other as, if were they to mate and fly away, the city would cease to exist. In fact, they were indeed designed to watch the city (our people) and the sea (our prosperity).  Another legend says that if an honest man and a virgin woman were to fall in love in front of the liver birds that the couple of liver birds that are in statue form would come to life and fly away, and Liverpool would cease to exist.

One has no reference of scale when you see the birds on the building but in the museum there is a life size model of the birds  Chris is 5ft 4 so here you can see just how big they actually are

Chris dwarfed by the Liver bird model

On Tuesday we took a trip on the open to bus like this one

City tour bus
We would really recommend a trip on one of these as it shows you round the city and the guide give loads of useful information and anecdotes about the city.  You can also do "The Double" and include a must do trip on the Mersey ferry on the same ticket.  On the trip we passed .....

St Lukes the "Bombed out church"
 The last bomb-site in Liverpool, St Luke’s is testament to the brave people who lived and died during the May Blitz of 1941; as such it carries with it the legacy of those who formed the congregation and community for over a century before the start of the Second World War.

In the spring of 1941, the German Luftwaffe carry out a series of devastating raids on Liverpool over a seven day period, which will become known as the May Blitz. During the Blitz, St Luke’s was hit by an incendiary device. The building blazed for three days leaving only the burnt-out shell of the former church. It has since been nicknamed "the bombed-out church"

It now stands as a memorial to those who were lost in the war, and is also a venue for exhibitions and events.

Imperial or Millennium Arch
 The Imperial Arch stands at 13.5 metres and 44 feet tall. It spans Nelson Street and is one of Liverpool's most spectacular sites. Detailed on the arch are 200 dragons and five roofs.

The arch was a gift from Shanghai, a city twinned with Liverpool and was shipped over, piece by piece in 5 large containers. It was assembled in 2000 by 28 Chinese builders that accompanied it, erected in time for the annual Chinese New Year celebrations held in Liverpool's Chinatown every year.

Protected by two bronze lions, and placed correctly with the principles of Feng Shui. The archway in all its glory simply states one thing, Zhong Guo Cheng or simply translated "Chinatown."

The Catholic Cathedral or Paddy's wigwam as the locals call it
 The Cathedral has a fascinating history that stretches back over a century and a half  The design of the present Cathedral is actually the fourth attempt by the Catholic Church in the North West of England to build a mother church for the Liverpool diocese.  Three previous attempts each with differing designs were put forward but for various reasons did not succeed.  The fourth design By Sir Fredrick Gibberd is the one we see today.  Winning a competition he beat 300 entries from all over the world. Sir Frederick Gibberd’s (1908-1984) design was chosen, and building began in October 1962. A Pathé newsreel showed stages of the building process. Less than five years later, on the Feast of Pentecost, 14 May 1967, the completed Cathedral was consecrated.

Beautiful interior of the cathedral and such a calm place to be.

Philharmonic Dining Rooms
 Philharmonic Dining Rooms is a public house at the corner of Hope Street and Hardman Street, and stands diagonally opposite the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall. It is commonly known as The Phil.  The public house was built in about 1898–1900 for the brewer Robert Cain. It was designed by Walter W. Thomas (not to be confused with Walter Aubrey Thomas the designer of the Royal Liver Building) and craftsmen from the School of Architecture and Applied Arts at University College (now the University of Liverpool), supervised by G. Hall Neale and Arthur Stratton

Hope Street Suitcases
The Hope Street 'Suitcases' sculpture, entitled 'A Case History', was created by John King, and first on view in 1998. It is in the heart of Liverpool's Hope Street Quarter.

Its positioning was altered in 2006 in the course of the upgrade of Hope Street's public realm, when the area was levelled and seating and a tree were added. The view down Mount Street to the River Mersey is stunning.

There is a noticeboard alongside with a numbered diagram which gives information about who or where the some of the suitcases and packages 'belong'. Those cases with 'owners' are marked by labels which are explained on the noticeboard.

On Wednesday we retraced our steps on the bus and went up the tower of the Liverpool Cathedral.  Designed by London born George Gilbert Scott.  At 21 he won a competition in 1902 for his design which he created in his spare time. It was not completed until 1970 and is one of the last "traditional" styled cathedrals to be built.

Impressive alter

The sheer scale of the main area is stunning
 The trip up the tower is made via two modern lifts then a further 108 steps to the roof.  On the way one passes through the bell Chamber.  Chris and I have rung church bells for many years in many churches and cathedrals but never have we seen bells arranged in this circular manner.  Usually the bells are arranged to balance the tower when they swing.  This cathedral tower is so massive the bells have no effect on it.

Unusual circular bell layout
 The views from the roof are amazing and on a clear day one can see for miles and miles
Looking North across the Mersey river and the sea in the distance

Salterhouse dock, AmyJo is just behind the building on the right next to the blue boat

Impressive entrance tower to the cathedral.
In the afternoon we took the ferry across the Mersey and yes we did sing the song!  Why wouldn't you :-)

Our Ferry, one of three ferrys, Snowdrop, in her Razzle Dazzle colours approaching our ferry terminal
In 1150, the Benedictine Priory at Birkenhead was established. The monks used to charge a small fare to row passengers across the river, a trip of some 3.5 hours. At this time, the Mersey was considerably wider with sand dunes and marshes to the north leading up to Ainsdale beach and sandstone cliffs and shorelines to the south near Otterspool. The only suitable landing point for the ferry was in the Pool, near the site of the present Merseyside Police headquarters. Weather often stopped crossings and passengers were delayed for days, taking shelter at the priory.

There has been a ferry service ever since and is reportedly the oldest continuous ferry crossing in Europe.  

The new working dock further down the river

One of several ventilation shafts for the Mersey tunnels

The trip is a triangular one first stopping at Birkenhead then on further up river where we got off to view the Submarine story.

German submarine U-534 is a Type IXC/40 U-boat of Nazi Germany's Kriegsmarine built for service during World War II. She was built in 1942 in Hamburg-Finkenwerder by Deutsche Werft AG as yard number 352. She was launched on 23 September 1942 and commissioned on 23 December with Oberleutnant zur See Herbert Nollau in command.

The U-boat is one of only four German World War II submarines in preserved condition remaining in the world, another being the IXC boat U-505 in Chicago's Museum of Science and Industry. U-534 was used mainly for training duties, and during her service she sank no other ships. A Royal Air Force bomber sank her on 5 May 1945 in the Kattegat 20 kilometres northeast of the Danish island of Anholt. U-534 was salvaged in 1993 and since February 2009 has been on display in Birkenhead, England as part of the U-boat Story.

The sub has been cut into 5 sections with glass panel across the cut allowing you to see the inner workings at various points through the hull.

This is the center section and the ballast tank controls

The electric motor room

Damage caused by the depth charge from the aircraft that sank her

The U-534 center viewed from the ferry on our return
As Smudge had been with us all day he was exhausted so we crated him for the evening and went out on the town.  We took in a few pubs and wound up in the Cavern club, home of the Beatles, or rather a rebuilt version of it as the original was demolished to make way for a shopping center  When visiting Liverpool one must do the cavern if only to say, been there done that.  We had a great evening there and John the soloist put on a super act getting everyone singing and dancing along to all the loved Beatle songs.

John singing and getting the crowd to join in

Wall of fame.  There is a picture of the Beatles stood in front of this wall

As you would expect the place was packed and this was a Wednesday!

Many artists have performed here at some point and have left signed guitars which are now on display along the walls
 The history of the Cavern Club begins on Wednesday 16 January 1957, when the doors opened for the very first time to this warehouse cellar venue at 10 Mathew Street, Liverpool
In early 1960 the Beat Music scene in Liverpool exploded and the Cavern Club became the most publicised pop music venue in the world.  The Beatles first performed there on 9th Feb 1961

The Cavern was demolished in 1973 to make way for a shopping center but reopened 10 years later on part of the same site using reclaimed bricks from the original building.

Opposite the club is a bronze Statue of Cilla Black who died in 2015.  She started work as a cloakroom attendant at the club.  It was commissioned by Cilla's sons Robert, Ben and Jack Willis, who said they backed the idea after being moved by the response from the city following their mother's death.  We would be seeing another memorial for Cilla elsewhere soon.

Cilla's Statue outside the Cavern Club
 After s fab evening we returned to AmyJo and sat out in the front just soaking up the night view in front of us.  We are falling in love with Liverpool as its such a magical place.

We sat with drinks in hand just admiring this view.  A fab place to be at night
 Yesterday, Thursday,  we had an appointment for lunch in the Panoramic 34 restaurant.  Its located in the West Tower some 34 floors up.  Its quite expensive with definite dress code but well worth the money.  The whole experience is wonderful and again the views are stunning.

Most interesting is the fact from this vantage point one can see the whole of the docks and link from Stanley Locks right into Salterhouse dock.

Here one can see Tobacco warehouse on the right and Stanley and Salibury Docks on the left.
Just on the edge of the view is Victoria clock tower.  The tall structure in the middle is another ventilation shaft for the tunnels.

In this view one can just see Sid's ditch leading to Clarence dock
Zoomed in view of Sid's Ditch

Prince's Lock

Enjoying coffee after our meal

West Tower where Panoramic 34 is located

on the top floor
 In the evening we had been invited to dinner with another of our boating Friends Dave and Joe who live in Knowsley.  Joe kindly picked us up and proceeded to give us his own guided tour.  On the way he showed us the real Penny Lane,  Strawberry Field Park, John Lennon's house but then he drove onto a huge cemetery, so big one could drive through and round it.  Driving round he pulled up at a grave, no different to any other, but the name on it took our breath away.  Never in a million years did we think we would get to see this... 

We had a such special evening with the guys and had rather more whiskey and drinks than was polite but we all had such a good time.  Thank you so much Dave and Joe for your hospitality. 


nb Bonjour said...

Ringers, great! do you ever go as visitors for Sunday ringing while you are cruising? I've only ever managed Braunston but they are very welcoming and have nice bells.
Liverpool sounds fab (what else could one say?)
hope we'll meet up eventually!

Jenny said...

What a great time you had sightseeing in Liverpool. Such a wonderful post, full to the brim with all sorts of interesting info. We never managed a trip to Liverpool on our UK trips, so it was good to see it all through your eyes. I especially loved your visit to the famous Cavern - how wonderful and exciting it must have been to have seen them perform all those years ago.