Wednesday, 12 December 2012

So, Ferry 'Cross The Mersey.............

Well, actually, not. I didn't take the ferry, but I have just come back from a few days in Liverpool.
Can't make up my mind whether I like Liverpool, or not. It has its' good and bad points.

Since we were last there. it has undergone some remarkable modernisation and regeneration. Unfortunately, this has left the main shopping area seeming no different from other cities and towns. I regret the loss of Lewis's department store. We went in there just before it closed its' doors, mostly because I wanted to see inside the wonderful Art Deco building that housed it, and it is sad to see such an old family-run firm gone.

However, the regeneration of the waterfront, particularly around the Albert Dock, is excellent. As well as the new Arena for events (what imaginative person thought up THAT name?), there's the new Museum of Liverpool. We thought we'd poke around in there for an hour or so, and ended up being in there for over 4 hours! We'd done the Museum of Slavery and the Maritime Museum last time we were in Liverpool, so didn't expect much more of interest to come from this new collection.

How wrong we were! It gives a fascinating insight into past ways of life in Liverpool's heyday, as well as feature areas dedicated to the cities' more famous sons and daughters.  You can't escape the Beatles. From the Beatles Story at Albert Dock, to the Cavern Club in Matthews Street, they are everywhere. And rightly so. They are, after all, the most important group in the history of popular music. But, down by the docks, between Albert Dock and the new museum, is a statue of Billy Fury. Long one of my all-time favourite singers, he is much neglected in my opinion. It was good to see him featured in the Museum.

The other person featured, who gets an entire gallery all to herself currently, is the late Dame Beryl Bainbridge. Yes, I'd heard of her, but no, I was not over familiar with either her novels or her paintings. The gallery was quite an eye-opener. I can't say I liked all of her work, but one or two really made an impression on me, such as this - 'Boarding The Titanic' from the late 1990s.

Anyway, the upshot of this is, I've been researching Dame Beryl, and I now have a thirst to read some of her novels. Apparently she was runner-up for the Booker Prize 5 times! How has she slipped through my net?

Well, so, the trip wasn't an entire waste of time, from a cultural point of view.

Oh, and did I mention the plethora of SuperLambBananas? If you've never heard of them, or seen them, they are everywhere in Liverpool. There was only one, when we first went there, now.....oh dear..........

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