Around Liverpool – Over Coffee

It’s a coolish, uncomfortable day outside so I’ve been busy chopping firewood and then come inside started editing images and generally tidying my little office space.  While I was taking a break  with a cup of coffee  I thought would put together a post and I chose Liverpool, merchant city on the Mersey, named for its Liver Birds which sit proudly on top of the Liver Building, one of the Three Graces which ornament the Pier Head on the river, the others being the Mersey Docks Building and the Cunard Building.

I live about forty minutes train ride away from the city which makes it the easiest way to travel, no hassles with the traffic etc plus being a big kid I do like travelling on the trains and Liverpool’s Lime Street station, with it’s fantastic overall roof, is one of the more impressive stations to arrive at.


LIVERPOOL. Lime Street Station from St. George’s Plateau.

Its also right on the city centre and everything you would want to see is within an easy walk.  Facing you as you leave the station onto Lime Street is the impressive bulk of St. Georges Hall with it’s majestic pillared frontage.  The hall opened in 1851 as a combined concert hall and Law Courts, I did my jury service there some years back, the courts have moved to a purpose built location nearer the River Mersey, leaving the old courtrooms open as a museum, together with the former cells in the labyrinth of passageways under the hall. 

03/08/13 Liverpool.

LIVERPOOL. St.Georges Hall from St. John’s Gardens.

At the back of St. George’s Hall are St.John’s gardens. Once the site of an infirmary and cemetery which had become full, the area was cleared with the deceased being reburied elsewhere and the gardens were opened in 1904 and now are home to several monuments and statues to local and national notables. It is a quiet oasis in a very busy part of the city, bounded on one side by the Walker art Gallery, Central Library and the World Museum. 


LIVERPOOL. The Cavern Club.

You can’t mention Liverpool and not mention the Beatles. I won’t try to compete with the real experts but just say that in the Cavern Quarter on Mathew Street is the recreation of the famous club which helped the group make their name.


LIVERPOOL. The Town Hall

As well as caverns, Liverpool has no shortage of beautiful buildings one of which is the Town Hall, dating from the 1750’s and sitting elegantly in charge on Castle Street. 


LIVERPOOL. St. James Gardens. The Huskisson Memorial.

Tucked away behind the  bulk of the Anglican Cathedral is St. James Gardens, an area with an intriguing history. Located well below the level of the surrounding streets the gardens were formerly a quarry dating from the 16th century which were in turn laid out as a cemetery by private subscription in the 1820’s. The circular tomb above marks the last resting place of William Huskisson who met his untimely end being hit by Stephenson’s Rocket locomotive at Parkside on the day of the official opening of the Liverpool & Manchester Railway. A small spring bubbles quietly from the base of the massive sandstone walls of the gardens, which lying so low are not disturbed by the sounds of passing traffic, which disappear as you walk down the entrance tunnelled through the sandstone near the cathedral’s main door.  

22-04-12 LIVERPOOL Titanic celebrations

LIVERPOOL. Sea Odyssey Celebrations.

Proud of it’s history, in 2012 Liverpool was the setting for the Sea Odyssey performance by the Royal de Luxe troupe with their signature puppets in honour of the 100 anniversary of the sailing of the Titanic, whose owners, The White Star Line where based in the city.  The young girl puppet made her progress through the city from Stanley Park to the Pier Head, meeting her Uncle the Diver along the way.

So that’s a dip of the toe into Liverpool, not a definitive history but an impression over a cup of coffee. If you haven’t visited do, if you have visit again, you will alway find something new.








A Day in Sheffield

Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England, is another of my favourite destinations, I travel; there by train from Manchester, the route goes through the Hope Valley in the beautiful Peak District passing through the villages of Edale, a stopping off point for the Pennine Way and Castleton a village dominated by Peveril Castle.  Grindleford, also popular with hillwalkers, the station sitting at the mouth of the 3.5 mile Totley Rail Tunnel through which you leave the stark beauty of the Peaks behind and enter the bustling outskirts of Sheffield, it’s centre sat on a cluster of hills.  The railway station nestles at the foot of the city Centre and was built by the Midland Railway and still keeps its Victorian elegance.


The Exterior Of Sheffield Station.

There were once two railway stations, the other, Sheffield Victoria, now long gone apart from a few scraps, was owned and built by the Great central Railway, a company that was the last hurrah of the Victorian idea of railways. You leave the station onto the bustling Sheaf Square, a pedestrianised precinct formed by the diverting of a busy road to give the station a easier to use setting. A black & white image of the water features and the stainless steel wall fountain that forms part of it head this post.

One of the places I like to visit when I am in the city is the Botanical Gardens off Eccleshall Road, you can use the bus but I prefer to walk, it provides me with more camera time as I make my way through the busy streets. There as been much modernisation over the years but much  remains. 

10/11/13 SHEFFIELD.

YORKSHIRE, Sheffeild. The Moor shopping area.


YORKSHIRE. Sheffield The Old Waterworks.

The waterworks offices now have a new life selling something a little stronger than before, it’s now a Lloyds Bar. 

The Botanical Gardens sit on a hilltop, away from what would have been the smoke and fumes of the steel industry which made Sheffield it’s fortune and opened in 1836.

29/06/13 SHEFFIELD. The Botanical Gardens, The Main Gatehouse.

The Main gatehouse to the gardens is situated on Clarkehouse Road.

As well as the Garden’s own restaurant the area around is well provided with places for the hungry photographer to refresh his or herself either before or after whiling away a couple of very enjoyable hours in Sheffield’s little paradise.

There are a couple of routes I can take back to the city centre, depending on time. weather and my mood. I always fit in a walk through the streets for candid images, something the city rarely fails to provide. One spot I visit is the old General Cemetery , opened as a private burial ground but now used as a public park. It contains memorials of the high Victorian style  along with chapels, all now at rest beneath a spreading carpet of trees and wildflowers.

29/06/13 SHEFFIELD. Sheffield General Cemetary, Tomb of Harriet

The Tomb of Harriet Nicholson.

Once back into the city it’s time for a look around the streets before the train home, Fargate in the city centre is always a hive of activity.

29/06/13 SHEFFIELD. Buskers on Fargate.

Two buskers entertaining the passersby on Sheffield’s Fargate.

Generally I make time for a quick visit to the very civilised ‘Sheffield Tap’ a bar on the railway station that has been opened in what was a former waiting room, it also has it’s own micro brewery which you can watch in action as you enjoy a drink. It’s a very pleasant way to wait for a train. Try it if you are ever in the area.

29/06/13 SHEFFIELD. The Sheffield Tap

The Sheffield Tap also has it’s own micro brewery on site.

Botanical Gardens Information

Sheffield Tourism Information

General Cemetery Information 




Down The River Clyde.

Just to show a proper balance and respect to my Scottish heritage, not only do I go to Edinburgh, I also travel to Glasgow. The routine is generally the same, unless I am staying in Scotland I make a day of it and use the early train up to Glasgow to give me  a full day out there. Again like the Edinburgh trips once I’m on the train it’s  a case of sit back and let the journey roll past my carriage window.


18/09/13 GLASGOW. The Central Station, the station clock.

SCOTLAND, Glasgow. The Central Station clock.

Glasgow Central is another confident statement of the railway age, this clock hangs down over the concourse from the arching, overall roof.  While some may say that Glasgow lacks Edinburgh’s elegance it is still a city with many attractions. The reason for my most recent visit was the newly opened Riverside Museum, down on the River Clyde at Partick, an easy train of subway ride from Central station. An image of it headlines this post. It replaced the former Transport Museum which was located near to the Kelvingrove Museum. The new premises were designed by the architect Zaha Hadid, the flowing roofline taking it’s inspiration from the flowing of the river. I never visited the old museum, it was on my to do list but was outfoxed by time ( note to self, GET ORGANISED!), so I’m not in a position to make any comparisons. The Riverside doesn’t lack exhibits  from personal items up to full sized locomotives, plus outside a sailing ship is moored. One wall is covered with a selection of motorcars of yesteryear, or if public transport is to your interest you can explore some of Glasgow’s trams or sit in one of the original Glasgow subway tramcars. I’ve travelled on one of these ( NO I’m not that old, they were in service for a very, very long time). 


21/05/14  GLASGOW. The Riverside Museum.

SCOTLAND, Glasgow. The interior of the new Riverside Museum on the River Clyde at Partick.  Glasgow tram 672 on its way to Springburn.

Glasgow benefits from having good transport links and a selection of tickets that cover bus, rail and the subway. The subway is a fantastic way to get around the city. Originally it was rope hauled but electrified at the beginning of the 20th century, you can’t get lost on it. It is made up of two circles one inside the other, running clockwise & anti clockwise around the city, so if you miss your station, stay on you will come back to it eventually.  I had actually started my look around Glasgow with a walk out from Central Station to Glasgow Green and a Look at the Peoples’ Palace, another museum, this time concentrating on the story of the people of Glasgow, it opened in 1898 as a Reading Room and art gallery. Outside is the Doulton Fountain, presented to the city as part of the International Exhibition of 1888

18/09/13 GLASGOW. Doulton Fountain Glasgow Gree.

SCOTLAND, Glasgow. A close up of one of the groups of figures representing parts of the Empire. This is Canada.

It celebrates the height & might of Queen Victoria’s empire with groups of figures representing the various peoples, this couple are Canada.  From the Palace is was a short walk to Bridgeton where I caught a train on the subsurface routes under the city centre to Partick and the Riverside. 

A grimmer, but in it’s way breathtaking, location, I won’t call it a tourist attraction, it’s the Necropolis.

18/09/13 GLASGOW. The Necropolis, view of the Knox memorial.

SCOTLAND, Glasgow. A view towards the highest point of the Necropolis and the memorial to John Knox.

The Necropolis is sited on a hill overlooking the City and the Cathedral of St. Mungo and is a place where death has been accessorised with a magnificent array of tombs and memorials, built by the merchants and businessmen to celebrate their wealth and place in Glasgow society. 9825621316_d87b7561d7_cB

If you are going to be guarded throughout eternity by Angels, better make them large ones.  It was on one trip[ around Glasgow that I was working my way back to Central station as the evening’s light gathered in that I thought I could hear a guitar in the distance, lots of long chords, reverb and feedback, I was right. On the Corner of Gordon Street, just shy of the station I encountered this guy.9825701593_2f57dd1f14_zXXX

He was blissfully happy making the last of the evening ring with guitar and amp. I did ask if it was okay for me to take this shot but he was in another place and very happy with his music. So a quick press of the shutter button and I was on my way back to the station and the train home.