Liverpool. To Another Place.

The sunshine was back again but with guarantee for how long, so not wanting to see it go to waste I headed out to Liverpool and the Another Place art installation at Crosby on the Sefton coast. This is the stretch which runs north from the city along the Mersey estuary and then up to the resort of Southport.

16/05/19  LIVERPOOL.  Crosby Shore. Another Place Blue Shirt.

CROSBY. One of the figures which form the Another Place art installation by the artist Anthony Gormley. There are one hundred of these figures placed in different positions along the beach, allowing them to appear and disappear as the tide rises and falls. As you can see people like to make sure that the figures are okay, they are out in all weathers after all.

Another Place is an art installation created by the artist Anthony Gormley it consists of 98 identical iron figures all cast from a plaster cast of the artist’s own body which are anchored into the bedrock beneath the sands in various positions which allows them to appear and disappear as the tide ebbs and flows.

16/05/19  LIVERPOOL.  Crosby Shore. Another Place Navigation Bea

CROSBY.  One of the Iron Men stands an contemplates a navigation beacon on the River Mersey.

This stretch of the coast is also attractive in it’s own right, a little further along towards the resort town of Southport are the towns of Ainsdale and Formby, between them the stretch of coastline contains National Trust woodlands and sand dunes with a colony of rare red squirrels. The species was once more populous but encroachment by the larger grey squirrels diminished their numbers over the years leaving them with just a few strongholds across the country. The Sefton Coastal Path a twenty two mile walking route also runs through the area.

16/05/19  LIVERPOOL.  Crosby. Offshore Windfarm.jpg

LIVERPOOL. Crosby,  an offshore windfarm on Burbo Bank at the mouth of the River Mersey.

I used the train to get into Liverpool and then out to Waterloo on Merseyrail’s Northern Line route which connects the city with Southport. Its a short walk from the station down to the shore where I picked up the path along the coast for the couple of miles walk to the statues. On the way I stopped off at the excellent Waterloo place coffee shop, I wanted to fuel up before the walk…….

16/05/19  LIVERPOOL.  Waterloo. Waterloo Place Coffee House.

LIVERPOOL. Waterloo Place Coffee House.

The sun had brought the people out and the sands were full of activity and after an easy walk it came to where the statues stand, gazing out in silent contemplation as the people and the ships busying up and down the River Mersey all pass by.

16/05/19  LIVERPOOL.  Crosby Shore. Another Place Statue. Three

CROSBY. Three of the figures look out across the Mersey. On the far bank is New Brighton once served by the famous Mersey ferries but sadly no longer since the demolition of its pier.

 

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Preston. A Visit To The Moon.

I’ve recently paid a visit to the moon, I know that sounds a bit extreme so let me explain.

PRESTON. Herris Museum.

Museum of The Moon.

 

My lunar trip took place thanks to excellent Harris Museum in Preston, Lancashire. Until the 24th of February the museum is hosting the stunning art instillation ‘The Museum Of The Moon’ created by the artist Luke Jerram, it’s also accompanied by a soundtrack from the composer Dan Jones.

03-02-19 HARRIS MUSEUM . Museum Of The Moon D

The artwork is a 23 feet high model of the Moon created from NASA survey photographs and is on tour to various locations around the world, both indoors and out. At the Harris it’s suspended in the atrium which runs through the centre of the building which stands on the town’s Market Square and dates form the 1890’s. As well as containing an absorbing collection of items and artworks, as well as the city’s library, the building also hosts touring exhibitions.

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PRESTON. Herris Museum.

Harris Museum. Museum of the Moon.

If you are in the area and want to meet the Moon close up you have until the 24th February, or you can track it as it travels around.

 

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RIVINGTON. Sunlight And Old Stones.

High on the sometimes bleak West Pennine Moors in between the Lancashire towns of Horwich and Chorley there’s a hilltop rich in trees, with here and there the remains of buildings showing through. These are the Terraced Gardens, the creation of local businessman William Lever, later 1st Viscount Leverhulme. I’ve been visiting the gardens since my childhood and have seen the ebb and flow of their condition over time. The gardens were an extravagant mix of pathways and follies, the designer was Thomas Mawson. From the top of the gardens there are views right across the plain of Lancashire to the coast.

Leverhulme created the gardens at the turn of the 1900’s, he was familiar with the area from his courting days and the gardens were heavily influenced by his travels. He made his fortune by building on his family’s grocery business, creating the very successful Sunlight Soap brand along the way. His main home was on the Wirral at Thornton Hough, the Wirral is also the location of the garden village of Port Sunlight which he built to house the workers from the adjacent factory. The fascinating Lady Lever Galley which houses some of the art collection built up by him and his wife and opened in her memory can also be found in Port Sunlight.

After Lord Leverhulme’s death in 1925 the estate was sold on to the owner of a local brewery and on his death the estate was bought by Liverpool Corporation who already owned much of the land in the area and had created a series of reservoirs to supply the city. The main house and the estates’ gatehouses were demolished in 1947 and the long period of decline began. Now in the hands of the water company United Utilities a program consolidation and restoration work is underway.

11/11/18 RIVINGTON TERRACED GARDENS.  Seven Arch Bridge.

RIVINGTON TERRACED GARDENS. The Seven Arch Bridge across the old road from Chorley into Horwich.

11/11/18 RIVINGTON TERRACED GARDENS.  Seven Arch Bridge Steps.

RIVINGTON TERRACED GARDENS. The steps leading down from the summer house to the Seven Arch Bridge over the old Chorley – Horwich road. Due to the steep slopes visible in this shot the gardens were laid out in a series of terraces.

11/11/18 RIVINGTON TERRACED GARDENS. The Pigeon Tower.

RIVINGTON TERRACED GARDENS. One of the most striking and visible features of the gardens is The Pigeon Tower seen from the boating pool. The tower was built to take advatage of the views from the highest point of the gardens. The top floor was used as a sitting & sewing room by Lady Leverhulme. as can be seen from the photo consolidation and restoration is work taking place throughout the gardens.

11/11/18 RIVINGTON TERRACED GARDENS. The Swimming Pool Restorati

RIVINGTON TERRACED GARDENS. The the boating pool beneath the Pigeon Tower undergoing restoration. Viscount Leverhulme being a great believer in the benefits of fresh air and exercise would occaisionally swim in the pool. Again the restoration work in progress can been seen with the new lining to the pool and the clearing away of overgrown vegetation.

11/11/18 RIVINGTON TERRACED GARDENS.  Bungalow Ruins.

RIVINGTON TERRACED GARDENS. Lord Leverhulme’s house at Rivington was a bungalow by the name of Roynton Cottage. This tiled flooring is all that now remains of the building. Roynton Cottage replaced an earlier, wooden cottage which was burnt down in 1913 by Edith Rigby as a Sufferagette protest. The curve of the tiles runs along the edge of what had been the cicular ballroom, the ceiling of which was dark blue and decorated with gold stars representing the constellations on the night of Lord Leverhulme’s birth, 19th September, 1851.

11/11/18 RIVINGTON TERRACED GARDENS.  Ruined Shelter.

RIVINGTON TERRACED GARDENS. The ruins of a garden shelter on the level below the site of the bungalow.

11/11/18 RIVINGTON TERRACED GARDENS.  Double Staircase.

RIVINGTON TERRACED GARDENS. the double staircase which leads up from the boating pool to the site of the bungalow Roynton Cottage.

11/11/18 RIVINGTON TERRACED GARDENS. Gardeners Cottages.

RIVINGTON TERRACED GARDENS. Gardeners Cottages above the Japanese Pool.

11/11/18 RIVINGTON TERRACED GARDENS.  The Dell & Blue Pool Bridg

RIVINGTON TERRACED GARDENS. Looking down the course of the waterfalls in the dell towards the footbridge.

11/11/18 RIVINGTON TERRACED GARDENS.  Caves Above The Dell.

RIVINGTON TERRACED GARDENS. The man made caves alos known as The Bear Caves, on the path above the Dell.

11/11/18 RIVINGTON TERRACED GARDENS. The Japanese Pool.

RIVINGTON TERRACED GARDENS. The Japanese Pool. Inspired by the Willow Pattern design in its heyday the pool as surrounded with tea houses lit by lanterns and was fed by waterfalls and cascades from the upper levels of the gardens.

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Liverpool. A Very Particular Gallery.

A few days ago I finally made my way to a place I’ve been meaning to visit for some time, the Victoria Gallery & Museum, part of Liverpool University. I had kept coming across references to it and had made various plans to visit but something had always come up and got in the way until the Saturday when I finally got through the door.

The Gallery is located on Ashton Street, off Brownlow Hill. It stands opposite the modernistic Metropolitan Cathedral, the warm, red brick of the gallery building is a stark contrast to the brash concrete and angular shape of the cathedral.

LIVERPOOL. Metropolitan Cathedral.

Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral

This isn’t the largest museum or gallery I’ve ever visited but it more than makes up for it with character and quirkiness. The interior of the building is largely unchanged from its opening, when the top floor, now the Tate Hall, served as the University’s library. It is a marvellous time capsule of Victorian design and style of that period. The magnificent entrance hall, now a excellent cafe, is dominated by a wonderfully tiled fireplace from which elegant stair cases lead off up to the higher floors.

LIVERPOOL. Victoria Gallery & Museum

The Entrance Hall Cafe.

LIVERPOOL. Victoria Gallery & Museum

Stairway to The Upper Floors

LIVERPOOL. Victoria Gallery & Museum Owl Skeleton

Owl Skeleton On The Stairs.

Some of the displays are contained within individual rooms, which I found helped, I was able to focus more on specific items rather than be overwhelmed by larger displays.

The top floor of, the original museum library, now the Tate Hall named after Sir Henry Tate one of the University library’s benefactors, is a large and airy space with a beautiful beamed ceiling. This part of the gallery contains a wonderfully quirky mix of displays, one end has exhibits charting the part Liverpool University played in nuclear research, for medical uses originally and then how that changed with the onset of WW2 and then with the coming of peace developments with lead to the building of the Large Hadron Collider. At the other end of the room however there is a display of dentistry through the ages with a reconstruction of a typical Victorian era Dentist’s surgery and a collection of dentures form around the world.

LIVERPOOL. Victoria Gallery & Museum Tate Hall.

The Tate Hall.

One final aspect which made my visit so enjoyable was the staff, they are amongst the most friendly, approachable and well informed that I have met, only to happy to discuss the museum, its history and displays. Treat yourself to a couple of hours away from the rush of the city centre, next time you are near or in Liverpool, pay the Victoria a visit.

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Edinburgh. A Drink in An Elegant Bar.

It was a friend’s 50th birthday and he decided that an appropriate way to celebrate would be lunch in Edinburgh at the Malt Whisky Society. Three of the attendee’s, Andrew the birthday boy, Niall and myself live in Lancashire, the fourth guest, Gavin lives on the outskirts of Inverness. So train tickets were booked and lunch reservations made.

A travel note, it took as long for Gavin to travel from Inverness to Edinburgh as it did for us to travel up from England, Scotland is by no means a small country.

We all rendezvoused in Jenner’s cafe overlooking Princes Street, there’s a photo of it in a previous Edinburgh post. After a coffee and catching up session it was a taxi to the Malt Whisky Society in Leith where excellent food was provided along with excellent wine. The finale being a measure of a gorgeous cask strength Bowmore single malt.

Extremely happy and satisfied we made our way back into Edinburgh ready for our early evening trains home. There was time in hand though for one last relaxing drink, a little bit of head scratching produced the Cafe Royal in West Register Street, just off Princes Street and convenient for Edinburgh’s Waverley station.

A quiet drink was had in the elegant surroundings and was the perfect end note to what had been a very, very pleasant day.

Scotch Malt Whisky Society

The Cafe Royal

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Edinburgh. City At Festival Time.

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The Singing Ringing Tree

High on the moors at Crown Point above the East Lancashire town of Burnley stands this sculpture, The Singing Ringing Tree. It’s one of four such outdoor pieces which go under the collective name of The Panopticon, or being able to see all. Each piece is of a different design, the Singing Ringing Tree takes the shape of a wing blown tree, distorted by the constantly blowing, moorland winds. Additionally the lengths of tubing that go together to make the sculpture are tuned and as the wind passes over them a constant and ever changing series of notes are produced. It is an eerie experience to stand close by and hear the ever changing soundscape of fluting drones and tones increase and decrease in volume, produced as the winds change direction and intensity. My original image was a colour shot but there was something about the starkness of the location and the artwork that persuaded me that a black and white image would work best. If you have a chance the Singing Ringing Tree is one of the more unusual public artworks you will find.

The other three pieces are sited around other East Lancashire locations, collectively they represent the regeneration of a part of England’s north west which has suffered due to the decline of the traditional heavy industries. The locations are Atom at the village of Wycoller, Halo above the town of Haslingden and Colourfields which is built onto a former gun battery sited in the town’s Corporation Park. It is a summer project of mine to visit all of the sites to see what images I can produce from the artworks and their locations.

Panopticons Art Project

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Lachlan’s Electric Bookshelf

Telephone Lines

In the age of mobile mass communication this is a charming hark back to a previous age of searching for loose change and pressing button B. This row of eight telephone boxes is on Market Street in Preston, Lancashire, just by the Flag Market, around the corner from the excellent Harris Museum.  It is reputed to be the longest row of telephone boxes in the UK, the designer was Giles Gilbert Scott who also the architect of the nearby War Memorial. 

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Visiting Preston