Saturday, 18 May 2013

A Ramble around Liverpool

I did promise you a bit more about Speke Hall, Liverpool.  But that can keep for another day and first I shall tell you a bit about our journey there.  It might have been but a few miles but there was a fair bit of interest on the way.

Firstly we had to go through the Mersey Tunnel.  This is the ‘new’ tunnel (Kingsway).  Partner-who-loves-tea travels through bit at least twice a day on her way to work. 

We also passed the Pier Head.  The tall building on the left is one of the ventilation shafts for the ‘old’ Mersey Tunney (Queensway).

This is part of the Cunard Building, one of the Three Graces as the three main buildings of the Pier Head called. 

This is another of the Three Graces -  the Liver Buildings with the Liver Birds on top.

Any piece of waste ground is covered with Dandelions at this time of year.

At Wapping, near the Albert Dock there is a reminder of days gone by – a disused drinking fountain. 

 When I was young these could be found everywhere.  There was one embedded in the wall on our route home from prep school.  We would often stop for a drink on those hot sunny days we used to have back then.  I think those hot days were in a now forgotten season called ‘summer’!

There are, of course, a lot of places to consume alternative drinks on the way.  The dock road has always had plenty of pubs. This is the Baltic Fleet.

And the Coburg which, unusually has a sloping floor.  It is named after Coburg Dock, part of the South Docks of Liverpool, opposite which it stands.  Coburg Dock was opened in 1840 and I suspect the pub is not much newer.

I enjoyed reading the reviews of people who had visited this pub.  One commented – “It's difficult to see who would ever go to the Coburg of their own volition.”    

It is supposed to have Real Ale (in this case London Pride) but one reviewer said - "I paid another visit to the sloping Coberg the other day but their sole cask of London Pride wasn't on, so I had to make do with a half of wicked Tetley’s something or other, which I couldn't finish. To add insult to injury they don't have Sky, so they didn't have the England match on, so we legged it."  Do people 'leg it' in other paces or is that one of our peculiarly Liverpool expressions?

This is Menlove Avenue and we are just passing the tennis courts in Calderstones Park where – unknown to each other – both P-w-l-t and I played in our young days.  

It was lovely to see the fresh green of the trees as they were just coming into leaf.  We then passed the football pitches were Son-who-watches-films used to play football for his school.  Then there was the childhood home of John Lennon with the usual little crowd of sightseers outside.

On the way home we passed the Church of St Austin, Aigburth, built in 1838 and described by the Liverpool Mercury of July 1838 as 'a neat and commodious building in the plain Gothic style'. The church presents a bold face, with its large rose window and octagonal pinnacles, to Aigburth Road; it is surrounded by mature trees and a cemetery.

It is interesting to note that the church is still blackened with the pollution of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.  Most of the city centre buildings were cleaned in the 1980s and 90s and no longer show the marks of the smoggy atmosphere of earlier days.

 (If I were Adrian I would do something magical and remove the lamp-post!)

This is St Anne’s Church of England Church.

Outside The Reach, furnished apartments near the city centre.  

And back, through the tunnel.

To The Wirral with its quiet corners.


  1. I liked this journey through Liverpool and those old pubs and hope that church gets the black smudgey stuff cleaned off, one of these years. Sorry to see the lady wrapped head to toe.

  2. I like the look of Menlove Avenue and St. Anne's church. I love taking drives.

  3. So much to see. What a wonderful tour you shared and so interesting.

  4. No he wouldn't. I will have a go later just for the hell of it. If you want to remove a lamp post take two or three shots so that you have the hidden bit of building showing. Then it's easy. Or easier.

    A really good wander round.

  5. No chance John. Just gave it a quick look.

    1. Thanks nayway and tnhanks very much for the super tip. I shall try that in future and if I come up with the goods I'll show you.

    2. nayway; tnhanks - what were my fingers doing???

  6. Thanks for the tour. I like "coming back" to places in Blogland, learning to recognize some things even though I've never been to the physical place. The wasteground looks familiar in another way though - very much "like home"! :)

  7. Now that's a proper ramble! I love that you and Jo played tennis at the same courts. Ian and I have places like that - Brockhole being one, that we both visited as children.

  8. Menlove Avenue, I recognized the name and I hoped you would mention John Lennon.
    What a lovely street!
    I remember many of the buildings in London being covered in that black but going back years later and I was amazed at the difference!
    Thanks for this ramble around Liverpool, I love your quiet reminds me very much of Polegate in East Sussex.

  9. I've heard people "legging it" many times, and they weren't from Liverpool.
    Hmmm... that sounds as if I were the cause for their legging it, which of course i wasn't.
    Thank you for this personal look at Liverpool! Since my niece has started to go to uni there last year, I am more interested in the place.

  10. Scriptor,
    "Leg it" would perhaps be as common as "hoof it," both enjoying some use here. Interestingly, both refer to foot travel. But how about taking "shank's mare" to go somewhere? I don't know where I came across that one - probably a book - but your use of "leg it" brought "shank's mare" to mind. A little digression - these colourful words and expressions hang on by proverbial threads, as your comment about their use suggests, but woe betide those that have been drawn into use as euphemism and retain a little colour! Consider the recent furore generated by the just (alleged) use of the word "pleb," and how about "mad, swivel-eyed loons" for a tempest in a teapot? Just sayin'.
    Thanks for the virtual tour!
    Take care,

    1. In our family it was 'shanks's pony' that one used. So I looked it up and all the variants appear to have originated with shanks-nag first recorded in 1758 and believed to be of Scottish origin. The shank refers to the part of the human leg between the knee and ankle.

  11. What a fun trip into and around Liverpool, a city I know too little about (except as home to the Beatles, the charming Liverpudlian accent, and the Mersey - which, every time I hear that name, inserts "Ferry Cross the Mersey" into my head where it loops for days, a brain-worm of a song if ever there was one!)

    Wonder what's become of all the drinking fountains? People are all drinking water from hideous plastic bottles now, I guess. (Boo, hiss!)

    I think the Liver Bird is my favorite photo. Never heard of the Liver birds before, so I clicked on your link to learn more. Funny they're not pronounced like the "liver' in Liverpool, and I got a real chuckle out of some of the legends about them (especially the one about her looking out to sea awaiting the safe return of the sailors, while he looks toward town to make sure the pubs are open! Yep, sounds about right!) ;-)

    The Baltic Fleet building is my favorite - such pretty architecture, and I love its cheeky red chimneys!

    Ack, all that black soot covering that church - imagine breathing that in all day, every day! Maybe they leave it on the church as a reminder that cleaner air is sooo much better!

    I don't even know what "The Wirral" is (a village?), but that bucolic, unhurried and unharried spot is what speaks to me, and I'd be glad to return to it after a day of hustle and bustle in the city!

    1. The Wirral is the peninsula opposite Liverpool (to which the ferry sails). It has a number of villages and small towns and the large town of Birkenhead.


  12. Lovely and enjoyable ramble with you to Liverpool and back...thanks.

  13. Goodness! I don't know why your blog doesn't show up on my reading list any more. I wondered where you got to. Good to see parts of Liverpool again. They've certainly cleaned up all the buildings nicely. When I was younger I thought that black was the color they were supposed to be.

  14. Thanks for the tour of my home town.


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