Saturday 29 June 2019

Arrival into Liverpool

We left the hotel just after nine having had a good breakfast, just in case we missed out on lunch! Again, the journey was uneventful - until we arrived at Salthouse, that is.

When we left we had seen a notice that meant that we were not surprised that the car park very close to the entrance to the Salthouse moorings, which we used to park for an hour whilst off loading from the boat, was closed and we had to park at the other end of the dock. We later discovered that this was Armed Forces Day and the car park had been allocated for small exhibition area for various organisations associated with the army. Not long after we arrived we could see a military band giving a musical marching display on the opposite side of the dock.

However, this all meant that we had to carry everything we had brought with us for some distance and then down steps at the far end of the moorings. In the photo, the car park was in the far right and the pontoon still had some way to go, behind the camera, to our boat mooring!

Car parking around the docks is very expensive - £3 and hour - so as soon as we had unloaded, whilst Christine stowed everything away, Mike drove the car up to to Maghull to park it there, convenient fro when we pass by. It was a short walk to the station with an even shorter wait for the next train to Liverpool Central. Just over ten minutes back to Salthouse - at least pedestrians could use the gate and steps from the northern end even if the road was still closed.

After recovery - with a mug of tea - Mike opted to walk around some more of the docks to the south. In all, Liverpool docks stretch over some considerable distance. Next to Salthouse comes Wapping Dock, alongside which was once Kings Dock. The latter was abandoned and filled in. Today, that area is now home to extensive developments including the M & S Bank Arena.

Mike then crossed over the bridge between Wapping and the very much larger Queens Dock, home to a watersports centre. (It was named after Queen Charlotte, consort of George III)

Quite a number of people were taking advantage of the expanse of water - including paddle boarders, canoeists and so on. It is part of a route through to a lock out onto the Mersey where Liverpool Marina is. The only powered boats we saw were sightseeing, restaurant and service boats, together with one widebeam cruiser belonging to a charity that has two boats kept outside the Titanic Hotel alongside Stanley Dock.

Mike then turned around and walked alongside the dock where he could see two interesting buildings although at the time he could not see any information about either. The first, alongside the eastern end of the bridge has a date 1856. It seems that this was one of several similar towers that housed the machinery to operate the very large gates that originally separated each dock from its neighbour.

Alongside Wapping Dock is a large former warehouse, built in 1856 in a style very similar to Albert Dock. It was extensively damaged by bombs in the 1941 and was converted into residential apartments in 1988.

Mike's walk then diverted from the dock side to the riverside, along the road adjacent to the arena and exhibition centre development on what was originally Kings Dock.

At the far end were the first of a large number of aerial photos on display forming a collection of over 100 photos Britain from the Air. Each was particularly spectacular and very different from each other.

In Dukes Dock, just to the south west of Salthouse is the latest visitor attraction - a large group of inflatables on the water, just ready for exploration. As Mike walked passed, a large group of youngsters made a rapid and collective dash down the slope from the changing rooms, spreading out over the many different shapes.

Called The Adventure Dock Co, it provides for anyone over the age of six - although these two may have been the supervising adults, they clearly enjoyed the challenge every bit as much as the youngsters, although they did feel the need to tackle one of the harder sections! An hour's session is £20, slightly less in groups. They even sell a swimsuit and towel to those arriving unprepared, for another £10. The wetsuit and buoyancy aid are included in the basic price.

Falling in, deliberately or accidentally, seems to be part of the attraction - but does show how the cleanliness of the dock water has been improved.

No comments:

Post a Comment