Category Archives: Liverpool And Merseyside
9 April: It was a lovely quiet, misty morning, very calm and peaceful; but there’s something just down here which isn’t quite what it seems… No worries! Everything is fine…
Hope Street in Liverpool has long been a place for celebrations.
The street, deservedly famed for its music and theatre, links Liverpool’s two cathedrals north-to-south, and its universities and colleges, east-to-west. It is inevitable therefore both that the Queen should visit Hope Street many times – not least in 1977 for her Silver Jubilee – and that the Olympic torch should be paraded along Hope Street (today, 1 June) as part of its three month tour of the UK before finally reaching the 2012 London Olympiad.
We took the opportunity whilst in town this afternoon to have a look at the festive lights, switched on now a few days ago. This was a quick visit just to the Liverpool ONE area, so much remains for a return trip (and perhaps to write about again); but what we saw was great. The displays are fresh and varied and the mood is good.
Liverpool city centre felt like a place where people will want to come to enjoy their Christmas shopping. There’s something here for everyone.
These photographs taken in 2010 on 20 June and then on Midsummer Day, 21 June, reflect our times as city regions like Liverpool’s move into the new millennium. We have here derelict industrial plant in the Cheshire plain, a vast refinery in Runcorn, and finally a painter absorbed in his art whilst others hustle and bustle between the Albert Dock and the new retail centre of Liverpool.
This year April in Sefton Park has been glorious. The ravages of the long years whilst it was being renovated are now firmly behind us, regrowth is abundant, and people in their hundreds – even thousands – are visiting more readily than ever to enjoy this special place.
Whether it’s to take a stroll or get fit, to feed or watch the birds, to take little ones to the playground or meet friends in the cafes, to enjoy a picnic or a concert, or simply to relax in the sunshine, on a Spring morning there’s nowhere better to be.
It began just as an idea to go to the theatre. We would book for No Wise Men at the Liverpool Playhouse, enjoy a bit of pre-festive light drama, and be home again ere the witching hour.
But that was before the snow. We left our south Liverpool house to go into town with none, and when we later emerged from the Playhouse it was four or five inches thick, covering everything in sight. The Christmas Market in Williamson Square took on a new and somehow more authentic look, and the pedestrian centre of town became almost a winter wonderland. Our little trip became a lovely double treat.
The Liverpool Everyman Bistro on Hope Street is amazing – a hub of the Hope Street community, that exotic collection of performing actors and artists, students and academics, musicians, hospitality professionals, faith leaders and more. The Bistro has stayed true to its intention (initially thought very bohemian) to offer wholesome local food. And today sees its 40th birthday….
This is the longest day of the year, a day and night when darkness barely touches the River Mersey or the historic ports of Liverpool and the Wirral to each side of that river’s great estuary. But even on this solstice day it’s not all about heritage. The estuary’s traditional maritime installations are here matched by the forward-looking technology of wind turbines, a constant reminder that energy is not ours to squander. Longer evening light, with the clocks forward year-through as 10:10 proposes, would help reduce this waste consistently without effort.
The sun shone warmly on Liverpool’s Lord Mayor’s Parade today (Saturday 5 June 2010), and afterwards people thronged happily in the city centre.
Bandspeople made their way along Church Street past a musician with more ancient instrumental traditions, and in the retail area of Liverpool One shoppers took time out to relax on a fake lawn, in the company of an enormous frog and fairy-tale toadstools. The city centre in the sun was fun, and Liverpool was today indeed a World In One City.
Last night (20 March 2010) was the Vernal Equinox, which makes today the First Day of Spring.
Nowhere was this more apparent than in Liverpool’s Sefton Park, where the crocuses are out, last year’s cygnet was centre of attraction (with the turtle) near the bandstand, and, after a fallow year or two whilst the park was drastically revamped, the nesting swans have again taken residence on the island in the main lake.