Today was Liverpool day, so, as advised, we drove to Hooton Station and took the Merseyrail train to Liverpool Central. The line is a curious mixture of overground (up to Birkenhead) and underground (from Birkenhead, under the Mersey, and all of Liverpool). In the city it had some of the feel of the London Underground, complete with escalators. When we surfaced we walked to the Metropolitan (RC) Cathedral, which I’d last seen in the late 1970s when it was only about ten years old (I was a little older!). It is still stunningly modern, and a must see for anyone going anywhere near.interior of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral
After that we walked to the Anglican Cathedral, which felt really old-fashioned in comparison. We’d timed our visit well, being between graduation ceremonies for John Moore’s University. For lunch we found a small café run by a Chinese couple: I had a fry-up for only £2.95. Then we went (at last) to the docks area. Opposite the Liver Building was moored the cruise liner Crown Princess. You wouldn’t lose that boat easily.
Jan went to do some shopping while I walked along the dock wall trying to find the Leeds and Liverpool Canal. We’d seen the new bit, where it connects to Albert Dock, but there’s no towpath, and its course runs through some out-of-bounds docks. The docks were endless, and fascinating, especially their gateways and names. One had a plaque with the information that 1.3 million Irish people had passed through the gateway escaping the famine.
Interesting to see that apostrophe confusion isn’t just a modern complaint.
Here’s an old lift bridge by the Tobacco Warehouse.
I photographed the basin without realising at the time that this was where the canal entered. It comes through a short tunnel under a road just out of shot to the right.
As I say, I didn’t realise that this was what I was looking for, so I continued walking in the sunshine past more and more docks. Eventually I succumbed to modern technology, switched on the satnav, and discovered that all I had to do was strike inland a few hundred yards to come across the canal. This I did, and followed the towpath back towards the city centre. There’s a junction where four locks lead down to the right, but I continued straight on to Eldonian Basin, the end of the canal a couple of hundred yards away.
Back at the locks I followed these down to the tunnel under the road, where I had to leave the canal as there was no towpath. the four locks ascending to the main linenew lock in Liverpool
The warehouse I’d photographed earlier looked in terrible condition from this side: gutters had blocked and rainwater had seriously damaged the side of the building. Most of the windows had been smashed. From here it was a brisk walk back to rejoin Jan at Albert Dock, where we had 15 minutes to look at one or two things in the Tate gallery...
... and where we said a quick “hello” from the quayside to Derek and Dot on Gipsy Rover.
We reluctantly turned down their kind offer of a cup of tea (although we could have done with it) as we had to catch the train back in order to meet up with friends Phil and Penny for a good Indian/Thai/Chinese buffet meal at the Amantola restaurant on the outskirts of Queensferry. We said nothing to them about a surprise party being held at their house a couple of days later to celebrate their silver wedding anniversary.