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Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Ups and Downs in Liverpool.

My apologies for the lack of a posting yesterday. We had a full day and didn't get back until late, so bed was more important.

After doing household chores, including a load of washing as the weather was so good, we walked up to the Anglican Cathedral. It is free to enter with a suggested donation of £3. The Cathedral stands on a hill and can be seen from far and wide and is a very imposing building. It is the newest cathedral in Britain. 1901 a competition was initiated for a design for a new cathedral and in 1902 a 22 year old won, even though he had never completed a commission at that stage. Giles Gilbert Scott was involved through the rest of his life. It was Giles Gilbert Scott that won another competition in 1926, this time to design the new telephone box which is the classical one that we try to preserve now. There is one in the cathedral. The foundation stone was laid by King Edward VII in 1904 and the cathedral was finally completed in 1978 and consecrated by Queen Elizabeth II. Along the way the cathedral was used as the Lady Chapel was completed and then the high altar etc.

Liverpool Anglican Cathedral. The original design had two towers but was changed in 1910 for the more imposing single massive tower.

The first impression you have on entry is the warmth of the locally quarried sandstone and then the huge space that is there. The height of the building soars above you. It has the worlds highest and widest Gothic arches, 33m. The masonry is not over adorned but is just beautiful to look at. We paid £5 for a trip up the tower plus. The plus included a film presentation and then an audio guided tour. There was to be school leavers service at 1300 so the Cathedral was full of children and parents. Before going up the tower we had a cup of tea in the mezzanine cafe in the building. 

Soaring Gothic arches looking down the from the Altar rail with the Dulverton Bridge that crosses just the other side of the tower.

The trip up the tower was via two lifts and steps. The top of the tower is 101m tall and gives a great view of the area. It is higher than the St. John's Tower that you can also go up. We spoke to the guide on the roof who was very knowledgeable and soon developed a crowd with folk with memories of the area.

The City Centre from the Cathedral tower with Albert Dock on the left Liver Buildings, St. John's Tower etc.

Looking South West from the top of the Cathedral tower.

The Cathedral Bells. It is the worlds heaviest peel of bells at 31 tonnes. The largest bell, 'Great George', weighs 14.5 tonnes alone.

The cathedral also has the country's largest organ with 10,267 pipes. They are raising money for maintenance of it and require £900,000. Massive doesn't come cheap!

A School Leavers service underway which gives a good impression of the massive space of the Cathedral.

We wended our way back to the boat for a cup of tea and a rest before out next trip. This was a trip down the Mersey Queensway Tunnel. Hence the highs and lows! The tour stated at the Mann Island offices near the Pier Head. There were six of us on the tour and two guides.

Health and Safety everywhere.

The Queensway Tunnel is a contraflow tunnel with four lanes of traffic. It was started in 1925 with shafts started on the Liverpool and Birkenhead sides and they met in 1928 and were only 1" out of alignment. The tunnel is dry lined with steel frames and plates covered in concrete. The tunnel is just over 2 miles long. The roadway is actually along the diameter of the tube. and is suspended on three walls.

Liverpool entrance to Queensway Tunnel.

This is the central gap beneath the roadway the trickle of water is along the bottom of the tube. The two walls support the road above. The concrete box like structure contains the National Grid Electricity cables.

This is the other side of the road supporting wall showing the rounded side of the whole tube.

Access Tunnel from the safety refuges built under the roadway.

The Liverpool Georges Dock Ventilation Tower houses the ventilation in and out ducting, offices and control room. The trip round the control shows they have a comprehensive over view of the traffic, ventilation, drainage etc. The Building was designed by Herbert James Rowse and is made of Portland Stone to an art deco design. The principles wanted it to blend in with the other buildings in the area. Rowse wanted it to have Egyptian styles too as Tutankhamen's tomb had just been opened. The three building, Liver Buildings, Cunard Building and the Mersey Docks and Harbour Offices, along with the Ventilation tower at the Pier Head were actually built over the old Georges Dock. Before then two bridges were built over the dock for access. You can still see the original dock wall and the bridges. Rowse had a thing about our Hull Heroine pilot Amy Johnson and it is said that the art work on the building is her.

The carving that could be Amy Johnson (who seems to be riding a motorbike!).

The art deco work included the lighting and the toll booths that can be seen here by the side of the very posh chimney! The tor was two hours long and the guides were very good indeed and a well spent £5 each.

We went off to find a pizza before heading to the Lion Tavern as there was to be a quiz night we had seen. It was a very nice night with plenty of chat with the locals and us coming last I think. There were no prizes and no entry fee but all the ladies got a chocolate bar for entering!

On the way back we had the city almost to ourselves. It was nice and warm still and no breeze.

Albert Dock complex from the Strand.

Our mooring just by Albert Dock. Holderness is the upper boat.

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