Out Now!

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Sea in the blood

A few years back I was in Liverpool with my beautiful and long suffering wife. The weather was wild but I was adamant and she understood. We had to go on the ferry. It's only when you leave Liverpool you realise how much you miss it - especially the ferry. And I'd been away for ever so long.

The weather bided its time but I wasn't fooled, not for a moment. Within minutes the heavens opened. Wind punched me this way and that, and rain stung my face. I was in heaven. My wife was in the covered area watching from out of the window.

When I was young (so much younger than today) the magic was in getting the No. 2 or 30 bus to the Pierhead, stare across the Mersey and imagine. I was surrounded by ghosts.

An overhead view of the tunnels to the landing stage, a tugboat and a ferry.

The nearest thing to a time-tunnel

The landing stage in the 1920s

And further back in time the waterfront in 1911. Before the famous Liver bird

Drifting back nearer in time...

And nearer still...You can stare for hours, dreaming of lands you will never go to.

There are places you can go to, exciting places like Birkenhead and New Brighton, Wallesey and Ellesmere port. It used to cost little to go on the ferry and imagine yourself on the South China seas.

I don't imagine the three people in the foreground are talking about the South China seas...The two men in the background are definitely dreaming of pirates.

Clement weather on the Mersey.

The Isle of Man was the holiday destination. It's boarding houses were famous. And this was the boat that would take you there - a more substantial sea voyage.

And you'd always stare back at what you were leaving.

But even dreams come to an end. This is the Royal Iris. The Beatles once played on it along with a host of other Liverpool bands. Boys made out and vomited depending on the roll of the waves and how much they'd drunk. A perfect Saturday night.


And below this - the Royal Iris as it is now - a rotting hulk berthed on the Thames. It will happen to us all one day.

All these pictures have been taken from the talented and generous members of:


Maria Zannini said...

Re: My wife was in the covered area watching from out of the window.

I have a feeling Bernadette is my sister from another mother. I'm not fond of the water though I have a fascination with boats--strong boats that won't sink.

The only ferry I've ever been on was when we traveled to Galveston, Texas. Those ferries took car traffic to and from the island. It was always very exciting to watch the dolphins race the boats while seagulls stole anything not tied down.

The Douglas you have pictured is huge and packed to boot. I wonder if their foot traffic is still as full.

Anonymous said...

What I wouldn't've given to go watch Joey Dunlop race for the Tourist Trophy. The closet I've been to the isle is the company of an extremely large, tailless feline about whom I once wrote.

Mike Keyton said...

Maria, I imagine Texans - even honory ones - have sand in their blood, not sea. I can't imagine anyone not thrilled by it's mystery and endless horizons. But there you go. You and my wife share the same metaphysical womb. What about Greg?

Mike Keyton said...

Joey Dunlop? I had to look him up. You learn something new every day. you might or might not know that the IOM also has fairies, but no leprochauns.