Last Saturday Mark and I drove, yes drove, all the way to St Helens, Merseyside. From North Kent, it’s a very long way. We looked at taking the train or even flying, and they were more expensive than 2 tanks of fuel for the car, so we had a little road trip together.
The reason for going up there, was it was my Granddad’s funeral on Monday. Granddad Norman was a wonderful man, always liked a cuddle, and liked tinkering on his keyboard whenever he got the chance. He was 94 and a great, great Granddad. Not many people can accomplish that! He will be missed greatly, but he had a very good life and a very full one.
Mark and I drove up on the Saturday, and spent the Sunday looking round Liverpool, and the surrounding areas. We wanted to go and see various Beatles locations, so started the day in Woolton church. As I rang the bells, with 5 other ringers for the Sunday service, Mark had a wander round the grave yard. We’re such a romantic couple aren’t we? He found the grave stone he was looking for (Eleanor Rigby’s), and then we wandered across the road to the church hall, which was where John Lennon first met Paul McCartney.
We then visited various other Beatles places, Strawberry fields, each of the Beatles childhood homes, some in a better state than others. All very unassuming homes, and on ordinary streets. Some owned by The National Trust, but others being lived in by normal people. We also visited Penny Lane, and the barber shop.
Then it was off to explore the city of Liverpool. First stop was obviously the cathedral. Oh my goodness it’s massive, makes Canterbury cathedral look like a little church. A service was just finishing, and members of the public were allowed to wander around. It was free which was a bonus. There were stone steps going here, there and everywhere (sorry just realised that’s a Beatles song). The ceilings were so high, it felt like you were in Hogwarts.
Now it goes without saying that I wanted to go and see the bells. In really wanted to go in the ringing chamber, I even told the lady who shows you where to go that I was a ringer, but she wouldn’t have it. I think you should have a special password to say, and then they know you’re genuine. Still never mind, next time. You had to get in the first lift, that took you to level 4, then climbs a few steps to the next lift which took you to level 10, then you had to walk up 108 steps to get to the very top of the tower. The view from the top was unbelievable, you could see for miles and miles. Now heights don’t bother me, but Mark was a little freaked out. However he made it, and did enjoy the view, but didn’t get as close to the edge as I did.
On the way down I got an amazing photo of the bells. They have 14 bells in total, and are the heaviest peal of bells in the world.
We then visited The Beatles Story which was excellent, so much history and information. Lots of quirky items on display, and the White Room was very calming. Obviously we then went to the cafe for a cup of tea and a little nibble of something, it’s very exhausting wandering around.
Afterwards we walked round the Liverpool docks, stood outside the Liver Building, had a quick look at the Tate, wondered WTF these were outside the Liverpool Museum.…Superlambananas apparently, but they scared the shit out of me, and had our photo taken with the Fab 4. We finished the day at the cinema watching “Yesterday”, which is very good, and we thoroughly enjoyed.
We saw what we wanted to see, but there is still lots more to discover, need to go back again.