Monday, 28 September 2009

Liverpool - it's grand

We like it so much we've delayed our departure to see more of it. This is a fascinating city - and a friendly one too. The friendliness is everywhere - we were puzzling over an informati0n board and someone came up and asked if they could help. Not only that, they also suggested a park we could take the dog for a walk.
Even the bus drivers are friendly - now that is unusual! We got on one to go to Sefton Park (beautiful spot with a stunning Palm House) and he pointed us to a quicker one instead. That driver let us off some of the fare because we didn't have the change. Later on the run he stopped early before one stop, hopped out of his cab, opened the door, lifted a little Indian girl's suitcase onto the pavement for her "save you walking back up the hill, luv".
It's a compact city - we took an excellent walking tour with a great guide who showed us all the sights in a two trip. It's a city brimming with superb buildings, many of them sponsored by the wealthy businessmen of the 19th century who made their fortunes when Liverpool's thriving docks saw 70 per cent of Britain's wealth pass through them. Architectural 'firsts' are among them - the first multi-storey reinforced concrete building (the Liver Building); the first built on a steel frame (the Tower Building) in particular. These two were designed by architect Walter Aubrey Thomas who went on to work on skyscrapers in the USA. A pioneering figure in multi-storey building, he's a largely forgotten figure as he seemingly eschewed personal publicity.
Still on the 'must see' list is the cathedral - designed by Giles Gilbert Scott of red telephone box and Battersea Power Station fame.

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