Where would you take a first-time visitor to Liverpool to show them the best of the city? Well if it were the early 19th Century you’d obviously reach for your trusty copy of ‘The Stranger in Liverpool’ for sound advice. This early guidebook to the ‘Town of Liverpool and its environs’ assists me to this day whenever I walk round the place pretending it’s some long gone time.
For our visitor over these past few days, though, her principal guide while putting together what she’d like to explore, had been this very blog. Mandy Cheetham from Perth in Western Australia is a friend who has been reading the blog regularly since it started and therefore had reassuringly opinionated ideas about what she wanted to see before she got here. So Sarah put together a map which omitted much of what most people come here for, and an itinerary of depth and taste. And off we set.
It’s instructive to see what fascinates someone from half a world away, who’s never been to Liverpool before. But it was no surprise at all to see what was at the top of Mandy’s list.
And that’s just the first day.
Next morning, in considerably better weather Mandy and Sarah set off without me.
I can’t bear the smug way the National Trust run their houses and gardens so I didn’t go here. But they came and picked me up for our next adventure, through the tunnel to Thurstaston Common.
This used to be called Bidston Court and was transported to here and rebuilt, brick by brick in 1930.
Next day, Sunday was National Heritage Open day.
Where she found out that, despite official denials earlier in the day, the Norris and Watt families of Speke Hall, were indeed plantation and slave owners.
All too soon it’s the final day. Early morning shopping at Barcelona, 69A and Rennie’s.
Just over the road from Plot 44 was our next destination.
Talking of which.
Then home for tea, reflections and packing.
We loved having you here Mandy. And going with you to the bits of Liverpool and Wirral that most fascinated you. You’re not a stranger in the place any more.
And just imagine? Four days in and around Liverpool with no football grounds, no Beatles, no Liverpool One and no Ferry ‘cross the Mersey? It can be done.