Ever sat in a restaurant and realised that the person sitting opposite you will have had an entirely different view from yours. Maybe you’ve got the view to the street and pavement outside, while your companion can see the hustle and bustle of the kitchens and the serving hatch. Your experience of the restaurant might be qualitatively distinct as a result of the simple matter of perspective and outlook.
Apply this thinking to the cities of the United Kingdom and you might suddenly begin to understand something of the particular character of one of the greatest of those cities – Liverpool.
The picture above was taken last night down by the shore of the wide River Mersey as the sun was starting to set. In the distance, the mouth of the great river is still lit as the sun drops in the West. I’ve been picturing the UK’s cities in my mind and their rivers – London and the Thames, Newcastle and the Tyne, Bristol and the Avon, yet none of these rivers open so clearly onto the oceans beyond like the Mersey as it flows in and out of Liverpool. As a Liverpudlian, your imagination is constantly drawn by this slipway to the rest of the world. To the cities of North America; Montreal, Quebec, New York and San Francisco. To the far shores of the antipodes; Sydney, Melbourne and Tasmania. To the Orient; Shanghai, Hong Kong and beyond. If you want a clue to the character, personality and outlook of Liverpool and it’s citizens, look no further than the River Mersey and the seven seas lapping at the city’s shores.
A glorious Sunday morning on Crosby Beach yesterday and a chance to let the dog off the lead. The sands were golden in the bright morning sunshine and the tide was high. Many of Anthony Gormley’s figures were submerged up to their waists far out to sea. I don’t claim any merit for this shot but include it on my blog out of interest really.
It’s the Stena Line ferry heading out from the mouth of the River Mersey into Liverpool Bay en route to Belfast. In the foreground, seaweed has washed up on the shoreline, while in the distance, the Welsh hills. Looks like the voyage to Belfast could be a pleasant one.
The UK heatwave shows no sign of abating so I took my new chocolate labrador, Henry, down to the waterfront for a walk this morning.
Despite the heat he was full of energy. He’s a feisty individual, too, and wasn’t taking any prisoners when an adult German Shepherd got in his way.
Quite a confident dog I’ve got by all accounts – but I suspect I need to make sure this doesn’t spill over into aggression. He’s actually got a very affectionate nature so hopefully he’ll be fine.
He certainly enjoyed stretching his legs on the shores of Liverpool’s River Mersey which was calm and at very low tide. Meanwhile overhead, transatlantic jets soared across a clear blue sky.
By the end of the walk I was starting to wilt a little in the heat, but this particular chocolate showed no sign of melting.
No puns in my title for this post because I think these views of Liverpool and the River Mersey speak for themselves.
Quite a conventional shot here taken from the base of the Guinea Gap swimming pool. The world famous seafront is changing fast with the addition of some high rise buildings at the western end of the city and the new Museum of Liverpool alongside the Edwardian Port of Liverpool Building.
This next shot – blurred and with fake stains on it – almost looks like it could be from a previous era in the city’s history. I used my favourite Laplication App for this sepia effect.
Finally, I’d walked down towards the beach – yes, a beach in Liverpool! This unusual shot taken from Egremont on the Wirral shore almost makes it look like Liverpool’s built on a lake.
The Princes Landing Stage holds a special place in the affections of Liverpudlians of a certain vintage. Although the city’s docks had countless berths for shipping lines from Cunard to Canadian Pacific, the Princes Landing Stage was the port’s shop window where the great ocean liners held sway, such as the Aquitania, launched in 1914 at the height of Britain’s imperial power and on the eve of World War I.
This is an artist’s impression of the ship in the River Mersey, while this next shot shows the vessel at Princes Landing Stage itself.
Generations of family members have sailed from here to New York and Montreal. It’s even reputed that an aunt of my grandmother’s enjoyed a protracted affair with a Cunard director while sailing back and forth to New York in the height of luxury in the 1920’s. My grandmother herself sailed on the Empress of France among other ships. Here it is in the same spot.
The old Princes Landing Stage is all but gone, although a purpose-built cruise terminal has recently commenced operations and welcomed the new Queen Elizabeth among other great ships.
But walk to the end along the shore at the edge of the new landing stage and some poignant echoes of a bygone age remain. Images that have more in common with the stark realism of Andrew Wyeth’s paintings than 21st century cruise ships. Evocative images such as this abandoned gangway.
The rotting timbers and rusted metalwork are all that’s left now and nature is taking hold to soften the blow.
And we can only imagine what official function this derelict cabin used to serve on the busy quayside.
Sunshine and cloudy skies in Hoylake at the end of the Wirral Peninsula, looking out towards Liverpool Bay and the mouth of the River Mersey.
Sadly, I wasn’t able to get along to witness the last day of the Sea Odyssey of the Giants Spectacular in Liverpool today but I’ve just found this link to a Liverpool Echo site with a great video of the preparations for their departure by sea and their ongoing journey onto the River Mersey and out towards the Irish Sea. Here’s the link;
I didn’t get to see the Giant Uncle the Diver, although I heard he was pretty impressive standing over 50 foot tall! My favourite had to be Xolo – Little Girl Giant’s constant companion.
Let’s hope they have a safe journey back to France. Thanks for coming. Bon Voyage!
This is one of my favourite photographs. Took it about a year ago out at Crosby Beach. It’s a coaster heading into the Mersey on an evening tide.
Let me know what you think.
Yesterday Yorkshire, today New Brighton on the Wirral. It was becoming a little stormy and the River Mersey and the sky above Liverpool in the distance both looked a steely grey.This was taken from the spot where the ferry used to tie up and deliver daytrippers in their droves to the funfair, Perch Rock, and New Brighton’s open air swimming baths. It was also where the Tower Ballroom stood, venue for well over two dozen early Beatles’ gigs.
While this shot looks out towards an equally threatening Liverpool Bay and Irish Sea.
Although there’s a lifeguard station stands on the shoreline, the only occupants of the beach today were flocks of seagulls. No daytrippers here today, and certainly no Beatles on this steely shoreline.