Wednesday, 9 June 2010

A Tuesday Trundle

On Tuesday I spent the morning at the Dental Hospital – one of the top ten ugly buildings in Liverpool. I don’t know who the architect was but I can only hope he saw the error of his ways before designing future buildings.  Even multi-storey car parks usually look better than this.

After that I called in at the Walker Art Gallery.

Among my favourite paintings are ‘When did you last see your father’ by by William Frederick Yeames, 1878.

This painting of a fictional event from the English Civil War (1642 - 1646) is perhaps the most popular work in the Walker Art Gallery. It shows a Royalist house under occupation by Parliamentarians. The young boy is being interrogated as to the whereabouts of the master of the house. Behind him, a Roundhead soldier holds the boy's crying sister. To the left can be seen the children's mother, her fear and anxiety at the boy's possible answer written in her face. The work received favourable reviews when first exhibited and its fame and popularity continued to grow. It has been widely reproduced, often in history textbooks, as well as being the subject of a popular song in the 1890s, numerous political cartoons and even a waxwork tableau at Madame Tussaud's in London.

This is the Loophonium - a wonderfully eccentric musical instrument designed and created by Fritz Spiegl. It was frequently played at the annual April Fools' Concert arranged by the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra between 1952 and 1977. The main body of the instrument is a euphonium while the toilet seat has been fashioned into a lyre by the addition of strings. Pressing a button by the exhibition plays a recording of the Loophonium in action.


  1. That toilet/lyre is fascinating! Thank you for taking us with you on your amble!

  2. Sorry I was away a while, nice to find you here chattier than ever

  3. I didn't know that you could take photos in the Walker Art Gallery.

  4. Love the Loophonium. I can just picture a huge black and red bathroom with that sitting in a corner! I just had to download the photo to send it to my grandson, he will love it!

  5. A Loophonium. Oh, the theater of the mind! What a show I'm watching! LOL!

  6. It surprised me too that photos can be taken in the Walker. That's another place to which I'd love to return.

    I'm almost surprised that the Dental Hospital is still standing. Despite it's solid appearance it always struck me as being the sort of building that would become obsolete very quickly.

  7. The dental clinic. Ugh! Poor you! And poor Rob -- the first thing he had to do when we got home was go in to have a crown replaced. He goes back on the 21st to have the permanent one installed. Well, at least he can eat for Father's Day!

    On the subject of Loos -- there was a public loo (for both men & women) in Leigh near my sister-in-law's house which was remodeled to open as a new restaurant -- which they named "Toulouse"!! No one in the famiy has had the courage to eat there yet.

    Carol & Rob


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