Monday, 21 March 2011

Ferry Cross The Mersey.

Back in Liverpool this weekend for a friend's wedding in the august surroundings of the Atheneaum followed by a Sunday of further flaneuring exploration of the city and its maritime past.

We wandered down Matthew Street through the decrepit cultural quarter past a graffiti covered statue of John Lennon and a string of tourists posing to have their photographs taken outside the Cavern Club before making our way down to the Pierhead and a round trip on the Mersey ferry out over to Seacombe and then down the Wirral to Woodside and Rock Ferry where the Great Eastern was broken up.

Everything from the huge vessel was sold (one of the topmasts is still visible as a flagpole on the Kop at Anfield) and it made me wonder how many ashtrays, copper pipes, ornaments, bits of decking from the great ship must still be sitting on mantelpieces, hidden in lofts or recycled in a hundred different ways all over Merseyside. The traces must be everywhere. Rock Ferry is derelict now. It's beach smoothed over at every tide, its past pretty well hidden. The ferry turned and headed back for the iconic Liver building on the northern bank.

Back on land we went for a walk up to the Adelphi, where Dickens had a parting dinner before his first voyage to America and then via Rodney Street to the crumbling red brick warehouses and factories around Cain's brewery immediately South of the city centre. There's so much wasted space here waiting for development, for better times, for bright ideas. Industrial ruins at the foot of the Anglican cathedral, a city too large for its income.

We followed the shore path back to Disneyland heritage world of Albert Dock before heading, as night fell, back to Lime Street and the train South.

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