Thursday, 23 July 2009

Magical Mystery Tour.

Today started with a walk along the banks of the Mersey from Albert Dock to Princes Dock. Passing the 3 Graces as they are known, The Liver building, the Cunard building and the Mersey Harbour and Docks building, we found many memorials to Merchant Navy personnel who died during WWII serving with the Royal Navy keeping the Atlantic supply route open and helping Britain survive the war. The memorials were from Holland and Belgium but there were also references to Chinese, Indian and going by the names some Middle Eastern men.

The Chinese plaque was very poignant in the fact that these men serve in the Navy and fought for Britain and yet after the war they were forced to return to China even though many had wives and children here who were allowed to stay. Now where have we heard that before and quite recently, I am referring of course to the Ghurkha soldiers.

On the way back we stopped at Princes Lock for a chat with the BW guys who were waiting for 2 boats out of Salthouse Dock heading back to Eldonian village. They had no boats inward bound today only these 2 outward bound and they reported no boat movements at all tomorrow. The reported waiting list for entry to the Liverpool Link is pure myth, it may be a different story next year once the word gets about how easy and good it is on the Link but for the time being it only requires 5 working days notice and you could be in Salthouse Dock in no time at all. So if the thought has crossed your mind, don’t hesitate, just do it, pick up the phone and book. They are working on internet online booking but that may not be available yet.

After lunch it was off to the Information centre to pick up the Magical Mystery Tour coach for the Beatles tour. This took in places like Penny Lane, Strawberry Fields, childhood homes and schools, a bit of general sight seeing and of course the place it all started, The Cavern Club, which was actually demolished in 1973 but has been rebuilt on the original site using as many of the original bricks that they could in 1997.

Magical Mystery Tour 063 Magical Mystery Tour.

Other interesting facts are that many of the street signs associated with the Fab 4 kept disappearing with souvenir hunters so the council finished up painting the names on walls etc: It has only been in the last 2 years that the council have once again been erecting new street signs and removing the painted one’s.

Magical Mystery Tour 066 The Beatles made this place famous.

The other thing to get taken as a souvenir were the gates to Strawberry Fields which used to be an orphanage. They were quickly found and have now been welded in place as they are apparently worth a cool 1.5 million pounds to collectors. The orphanage was run by the Salvation Army and John Lennon and his second wife Yoko used to give the kids presents at Christmas.

Magical Mystery Tour 067 John Lennon lived and wrote some of his hit's here. The blue plaque is only issued after the celebrity has been dead 20 years.

Magical Mystery Tour 071 Ringo Starr's parents drank at this pub when they lived just around the corner.

It transpires that between the four of them they have given quite a lot back to Liverpool and Liverpool remembers them with a week long Beatles Week held over August bank holiday week-end. There were so many other stories and anecdotes but we don’t have the space to write about it all. The tour naturally finished at the Cavern Club where we obtained a small souvenir, had a beer and listened to the music for a while to take in the atmosphere. The Beatles appeared there no less than 274 times in a little over 2 years.

Magical Mystery Tour 069 Paul McCartney lived here.

Magical Mystery Tour 097Dot chatting up strange men again.

Magical Mystery Tour 091

The Cavern Club. Can you imagine John, George , Paul and Ringo on stage here.

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