Monday, 26 July 2010

It's Been A Hard Day's Night! - The Beatles

With the brightness of the morning matching the forecast we decided to make an early start and visit the world famous city of Liverpool today. Andy knew the city quite well in the 80's when he studied for both Second Engineer (Merchant Navy) and his Chief Engineer's ticket, whilst I had paid just a single visit in 1967 onboard HM Submarine Alcide.

Unfortunately, the weather started to 'break' around Uttoxeter, Staffordshire and hardly improved all the way to Scouseland. There was some relief as we left the car park, but the sky was still full of it and could have opened at any minute.

We never did discover what this building was, but it looked very grand for all that.

Lime Street Railway Station.

As we approached the Walker Art Gallery

and the impressive fountain in front, the light rain started again, the sort to get you very wet, very quickly. Fortunately, the Walker was one of our planned stops, if only to view the 'jewel in the crown',

'And When Did You Last See Your Father' by William Frederick Yeames (1878)

This painting of a fictional event from the English Civil War (1642 - 1646) is perhaps the most popular work in the Walker Art Gallery. It shows a Royalist house under occupation by Parliamentarians. The young boy is being interrogated as to the whereabouts of the master of the house, while behind him, a soldier gently holds the boy's crying sister. To the left can be seen the children's mother, her fear and anxiety at the boy's possible answer written in her face.

The gallery is full of works by Gainsborough, Rembrandt, Turner, Degas et al, but the highlight was the 'special exhibition' High Kicks & Low Life, a series of Prints and Lithographs by the astounding Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (no photography allowed).

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864–1901), 'Divan Japonais', 1893.
Colour lithograph in black, orange, yellow and olive green ink

Andy studies the present day layout of La' Pool while the reclining nude looks on!

Law Courts

Passing the Cunard Building the rain started again, this time not even looking like it was going to stop.

Royal Iris is still one of several ships that can claim to be the original "Ferry 'cross the Mersey

cus this land's the place I love, and here I'll stay" - Gerry & the Pacemakers of 60's fame.

The Liver Building is an absolute must, so we braved the elements a little longer to view this and

the Cunard Flagship Cruise Liner Queen Victoria.

It was most definitely time to beat a retreat now and seek the sanctuary of 'good old' JD Wetherspoon for a 'babies head' (steak and kidney pudding) and fish and chips, after which we returned to Melbourne. We had a really good day up at The Pool, which would have been great if the rain had held off allowing us a look at the Catholic (Paddy's Wigwam) and Anglican Cathedrals, but maybe another day. We didn't see Ringo either!