Wednesday, 12 June 2013
Two days, two cities. Part 2 - Liverpool
As we stepped out of the side door, we were relieved to see other visitors were beginning to arrive, and as we were even more in need of caffeine we crossed over to the café in the Central Library.
(Another Liverpool ‘first’ – St George’s Hall had the first air conditioning unit in the world.)
Down at the waterfront, the scene was as buzzing as it has been over the previous weekends; happy crowds enjoying themselves in the sunshine, street theatre, sea and air displays, the Sights and Sounds of India performing on the World Music Stage; in short, something for everyone.
We couldn’t miss the opportunity of boarding the schooner Kathleen and May. Built by Ferguson and Baird at Connah’s Quay in 1900, this is the last remaining three-masted, wooden hull, topsail schooner. In 1961, The Duke of Edinburgh discovered her in a bad state of repair in Plymouth and this led him to set up the Maritime Trust in London. Kathleen and May was bought by the Trust in 1970 but when they failed to secure a £2 million National Lottery bid, she was eventually bought by businessman Steve Clarke and fully restored in 2000. As a result of his efforts in restoring the schooner, Mr Clarke was awarded the OBE in 2008. We were more than happy to give the £1 donation asked for in order to have a good look around this historic vessel.
In contrast, we walked along to Princes Dock where the Celebrity Cruises’ INFINITY liner was berthed. Some of the passengers were disembarking as we passed and I felt proud of what the city had to offer those visitors as they stepped ashore.
After a couple of hours, we found a quiet spot to enjoy our lunch – yes it is possible, if you know where to look – and after another caffeine boost (at the very attractive Bean coffee shop at Princes Dock) we made our way, footsore but with plenty to talk about, back to Lime Street Station.