Liverpool Beach

It’s called ‘Otterspool Promenade’ but I’ve always thought of it as Liverpool Beach. A long, wide, open space by the banks of the Mersey where the people of Liverpool come out to play, on sunny days like today.

Long time readers might have been here before. Otterspool is part of my regular 10k run. And I’ve also told you about  John Moss, the slave trader, who used to live here at Otterspool House. But today I’ve already had a run this morning, so this is our a sunny afternoon out.

A family picnics by a disused café, where Otterspool House used to stand.

A family picnics by a disused café, where Otterspool House used to stand.

As it was, Otterspool House.

As it was, Otterspool House.

Otterspool House was demolished in the 1930’s and the ‘Promenade’ was then constructed from the rocks and rubble taken from under the river as the Mersey Tunnel was constructed.DSC05149

A riverside walkway and a wide open levee.DSC05124

For kite flying, football, picnics, dog walking, running, exercising and cycling.

For kite flying, football, picnics, dog walking, running, exercising and cycling.

And today, after weeks of arctic cold, it’s just a bit warmer. And it looks as if our long awaited Spring is about to happen.DSC05113 DSC05120 DSC05123DSC05128As we walk on we find more cars and more people. Headed for the children’s playground. But also for the new adventure centre and its new café.

'Active Adventures' and 'Otty's Café'

‘Active Adventures’ and ‘Otter’s Café’

There's a queue for ice cream.

There’s a queue for ice cream.

You can rent bikes.

You can rent bikes.

And you can also shin up the apparatus in the Adventure Centre, where they do things like abseiling, zip wire and even bushcraft. They also boast that you can use this for ‘team-building’ (probably if you’re in a team you don’t like).DSC05143

Though people seemed to be enjoying it.

Though people seem to be enjoying it.

But we’re here for lunch, along with half the population of Liverpool, in Otter’s Café.DSC05129 DSC05130It’s a cheerful place, full of young and old, eating chips and omelettes and wraps and ice cream. You might not find it in a good food guide but a good life guide would have to save a space for it. Sitting here, people watching out of the window, as the sun shines on the river from a clear blue sky, Sarah cheerfully says ‘I feel like I’m on my holidays.’ And that gets it. This feels like sitting in a busy taverna beside the Mediterranean, and we’ve only come two miles down the road. To Liverpool Beach.

‘But where’s the beach?’ you might well be asking. Well, there isn’t one as such. There is a bit of a beach you can get to, upriver by Speke. And a magnificent one, downriver and out round the bay at Formby. But here? Well, come and see.

Across the levee and down to the promenade.

Across the levee and down to the promenade.

From where you can see all the way along to Cammel Laird's at Birkenhead

From where you can see all the way along to Cammel Laird’s at Birkenhead.

But closer to here, what's Sarah spotted?

But closer to here, what’s Sarah spotted?

It can't be..?

It can’t be..?

But sadly, yes it is, a child's scooter.

But sadly, yes it is, a child’s scooter.

We imagine the domestic argument. ‘My turn now!’ ‘No it isn’t!’ ‘Yes it is! YES IT IS!!!’ Demented and distressed parent rushes over, grabs the scooter and heaves it over into the muddy riverbank screaming ‘Now none of yiz can ‘ave it!’ Cue howling and wailing.

DSC05157

The Cast Iron Shore, Liverpool.

Today though, all is peace, with the distant water sparkling as the tide returns. A splendid afternoon out at Liverpool Beach.

10 thoughts on “Liverpool Beach

  1. stan cotter

    the Cazzy was our playground Ronnie when we had to walk down past St Michael’s station to get there through some old gate and down stone steps covered and slippy with sand and alongside an open sewer. But all the mothers and kids would be down there in the sun, and in the sand it was a day out in a foreign land to us kids with a bottle of water and some buttys (jam of course).

    Or if you went with your mates, your mother’s instructions were ‘Bring me some sandstone back for the front step, and try and get some flat pieces!’

    Oh yes my friend, happy days. Skint yes, but happy.

    Reply
    1. Ronnie Hughes Post author

      Thanks for the graphic memory Stan. Jam buttys by an open sewer. Them were the days!

      ‘The Cazzie’ that Stan mentions is this ‘Cast Iron Shore’ from here at Otterspool to the Dingle. At the Dingle you used to be able to get onto the sand. Mentioned by John Lennon in ‘Glass Onion’ and written about here by Gerry of ‘That’s How The Light Gets In.’

      Reply
  2. cheethamlibMandy

    Such a different beach to the ones on the Other Side of the World but of course it has its own delights.I can’timagine sitting outside to eat lunch in that cold but I’m sure it was nice. The signs of spring look very encouraging -nice fat buds. Great pics..

    Reply
      1. joy

        Being Liverpool with the docks and all the foreign animals I think there was a fad amongst those who could afford it to house those strange animals. Or pressure from university researchers. Or just fed up with us kids and our questions.
        I was told that at some time the large square field was earmarked as another coal dock until they ran out of money. I cannot date it, it was probably prior to 1911.

      2. Ronnie Hughes Post author

        That might have been in the days when John Moss owned Otterspool, early 19th century. As well as a slave owner he was also a railway pioneer, so may well have been interested in moving coal around.

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