A Lovely Trip to Liverpool…

On Monday I had the pleasure of going to the head offices of The Reader Organisation to meet them and see what they do and if I might be of any use/benefit/something to them. The meeting wasn’t until the afternoon and so as it was in Liverpool, a city I have been through but never actually wandered around, I thought I would make a day of it. So I thought, with the power of the virtual world, I would take you all with me, especially as it has become a ‘city of culture’ in the UK in the last few years.

Liverpool is a city that really I know nothing about which is rather naughty really considering that part of my heritage is from there. Granny Savidge Reads and her routes are in fact from Liverpool, the Wirral and Southport, so there is some Mersey blood in me somewhere. I am sure that my Uncle Derrick (Gran’s brother who used to tell me Sherlock Holmes tales on long walking holidays) once told me that if you see ‘Hill’ on a drain cover in the north that’s because that side of my family made them. How true this is could be debateable knowing the sense of humour of my great uncles and the fact that he was known to exaggerate, I will have to ask Gran this weekend. Anyway as I left the station I was instantly hit by the grandeur of the surrounding buildings, mainly museums.

I decided that my first port of call, pun intended, would be the Albert Docks down by the Mersey. It was weird walking around the city because when I was younger the only soap opera that my Mum and I would watch was Brookside and so I kept seeing buildings from the title sequence and so the theme tune was in my head for most of the day. If you haven’t seen it you can here. When I reached the docks I was stunned by what greeted me, the mix of modern and older buildings is quite something.

The reason for my visit there was to see the Merseyside Maritime Museum. Knowing that I don’t like boats or books based on boats you might find this odd. However there is an exhibition on the Titanic there and as I have something planned for the blog on the 100th anniversary I wanted more insight into it, more on that soon…

After being submerged/immersed in the history and events of the Titanic I popped next door to the Tate Liverpool…

I had a good old wander round; art is very subjective so I don’t want to bore you with everything I saw, looking at the permanent exhibitions. I have to say I do prefer going around art galleries on my own, I think it’s a very personal experience and some things you walk past and think ‘meh’ and others you feel like staring at for hours. I find if I am with a group you are all at different paces and I either rush… or get bored. I did pop and see the temporary exhibition but I didn’t think you would want to see what was inside. Is this sort of thing really art?

The other reason I was excited about the Albert Docks, and this is quite sad to admit, was that when I was a teenager this was where the UK’s breakfast show ‘This Morning’ was filmed. Who knew that this very spot would be where the Richard and Judy Book Club was started… sort of. I was sad to find that Fred’s floating weather map was no longer in the middle (if you are thinking ‘what??’ the weather man on This Morning used to do the weather in the middle of the dock on a floating set of the British Isles, whenever he jumped over to island we all watched in case he fell in.)

Now of course I couldn’t mention, or really go to, Liverpool without paying homage to their most famous export, The Beatles. I have to say I am not a huge fan (I think my Gran might have seen them at the Cavern, again this could be an Uncle Derrick story) but I do like some of their songs and it would have been foolhardy of me not to have found the cavern…

Only that wasn’t The Cavern, this was…

Oh no that’s not right, this is where it used to be…

I got very confused. The morning had whizzed by and so it was time to head to The Reader Organisation’s headquarters. I don’t want to talk too much about what went on, in case I jinx it, but it was wonderful to meet the staff and hear their stories of how the reading groups they run aren’t changing lives but are making them fuller and happier, plus then the Director of the company Jane who discussed why and how she set it up. I will admit at some of the stories, which were incredibly touching, I welled up. I then had to swiftly compose myself as I was taking part in a reading group, reading aloud (eek) and reading Shakespeare and poetry (my heart dropped) yet reading it and discussing it was wonderful (I am not quite converted, yet) and really got me into it, because there were no right or wrong answers.

A few hours later and it was time to head back (I did manage to pass, and fall into, a bookshop on the way but I will report more on that tomorrow)  as I was due to meet a certain Polly of Novel Insights, as we were off to have a lovely dinner before going to see the singer Caro Emerald. She was AMAZING, if you ever get the chance you must see her. Stunning.

There was some boogying in the aisles from me and Polly but all too soon it was time to say goodbye.  After 26 years of friendship we were both discussing how scary it is now we are thirty… before we then started to pretend we were auditioning for Spooks in Manchester Station while we waited for her bus.

I am not sure I am ever going to really grow up. Anyway, what a day! Liverpool I thoroughly loved you, I will be back very soon. Have any of you been to Liverpool, is there anything I missed? If you haven’t been to Liverpool do go! Where have you been off to for a visit recently? Shall I take you on more of these trips, by the power of the internet and a bit of imagination, in the future?

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14 Comments

Filed under Random Savidgeness

14 responses to “A Lovely Trip to Liverpool…

  1. apenguinaweek

    It was so lovely to see these photos and read about your visit. My trip to the UK already seems so long ago, but this was a wonderful reminder that a few weeks ago that I was walking those exact streets, and feeling unbearably cold.

    • It was fortunately a very warm day… well except for the fact I expected that it would be cold and had a heavy leather jacket on. Silly me. Glad it brough back fond memories. Which bookshops did you visit? I only had time for one.

  2. david73277

    Glad you enjoyed your visit to my local city. There is a larger temporary exhibition to mark the Titanic centenary, opening at the Maritime Museum on 30th March: http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/maritime/exhibitions/titanic/ (Coincidentally, the day on which my current job sinks without trace!)

  3. The vomit sign is so funny. I think everything in life should come with vomit warnings.

  4. I went to Liverpool when I was 13 (33 years ago – gulp!) and I still have vivid memories of hanging around outside the Cavern Club, taking pictures of my best friend and I against the Beatles graffitied wall. But the rest of Liverpool is a bit murky for me. Looks like it has changed a lot over the years. I’ve been back to the UK many times since but perhaps I need to include Liverpool on an upcoming trip.

    And I’m completely intrigued by vomit as art. Was it like a Rorschach test?

    I enjoyed the travel blog entry – you have a good eye for points of interest. I look forward to hearing about the bookshop you found there!

    • I think Liverpool changed when it became the cultural centre of Britain for a year, or in order too become it. I thought it was wonderful.

      I don’t know what the Rorschach test is!!

  5. novelinsights

    Oh lovely to see your other pics and re-live our night again too. So much fun at the Caro Emerald night! :)

  6. I went a couple of years ago, and was surprised by how nice it was – I was born in Merseyside and spent seven years there, but in a rather less pleasant area. I mostly saw the university, as I was visiting a friend, but did manage to go to a few bookshops too…

  7. Richard

    Last weekend we too had a trip to Liverpool. What a wonderful city and so friendly. I agree, the museums are great … particularly enjoyed the ‘Hello Sailor!’ exhibit in the Maritime Museum. This is a tribute to lives of LGBT merchant sailors during the 20th century. It has been very popular, so much so that the timetable for the exhibit has been extended .. and the guide book sold out!

    We had a fabulous meal at The London Carriageway Works and at the Sultan Palace a super Indian meal.

    A trip on the DUCK was a ‘hoot’ and the views from the ‘radio tower spectacular!

    Looking forward to our next trip.

    • I missed the ‘Hello Sailor’ exhibition too! I was in a rush to be fair but I will have to have a much more indepth wander when I go back in the next week or two. I might pop to one of those restaurants too.

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