You’ll remember sampler albums of course, especially if you’re of a certain age. Budget priced LPs which gathered together the best of a label’s acts, one track apiece. Well this post is like all of them ‘You can all join in’ and ‘Rock machine turns you on’ sort of albums. Except it’s a sampler of bus journeys.
I said a week ago I intend to use my new bus pass for a series of blog posts about journeys around Greater Liverpool. In imitation of, and in homage to ‘The End’ magazine which did the same thing, using the same title, about Liverpool in the early 1980s. So today I decide to get it all started with a few sample journeys to give us all a taste of the delights to come. And also to sharpen my taking photographs from moving buses skills.
Now the 68 is one of Liverpool’s great round the city routes, running from Aigburth Vale in the south, round to Bootle in the far north. But we won’t be covering all of that today. This is a sampler remember.
Given time I’d get off here for a nose around. But we’re meeting someone in a bit.
Sorry about the slightly hazy picture there, I’m obviously breathing too much on the bus window.
But we’re here for a cup of tea.
Robin’s now the Chief Executive of Northwards Housing in Manchester, managing North Manchester’s Council homes. So we do talk housing a bit before Robin goes off to take his seat in the Kop. We’re playing Arsenal, the League leaders today. Robin thinks we might ‘edge a win.’
And soon nearly all the pies are gone. Mediterranean Veg first, then the Scouse pies run out. Then five minutes before kick off time Mia here shouts ‘Only 3 Shanklys left!’ Where else on earth could you hear that said? Such a precious place.
A Shankly pie by the way is steak and mushroom. ‘More or less vegetarian’ one fan tells his disappointed mate who’d been hoping for a Mediterranean Veg. Never mind, as I leave they’re just putting the first of the post-match pies into the oven.
Next I make a mistake.
‘What’s wrong with that?’ I hear you query. Well, what I’ve got on is not so much a bus as a moving advert. Don’t know what for but I can hardly see, much less take photos, out of the windows.
And following a glorious panoramic view of the city, down the hill from Everton, which you’ll have to imagine the bus turns down London Road.
Oh well, that’s taught me. The journey’s not without its pleasures though.
Going down London Road we find that back in Anfield things are going well. The driver of a bus travelling in the opposite direction shouts through our driver’s open window ‘Skrtel’s scored. It’s 1-0!’ Then just as we’re absorbing this joyous news someone at the back of the bus shouts ‘Me mates texted me, 2-0, Skrtel again!’
This is serious. The driver stops the bus and shouts back ‘Are you sure? Skrtel hardly ever scores. Has your mate sent you the same text twice? Check!’ He does and it’s true. Most of the bus swears with delight and we move off round into Lime Street.
I cross Williamson Square into crowded little Richmond Row.
Seconds after I take this photo a mighty roar explodes out of the Richmond pub on the left there. ‘Yyyessss 4-0!!!’ Just crossing the square I’ve managed to miss the third goal, but I watch through the pub window as they replay Daniel Sturridge whacking in number four.
Premier League football has been priced beyond the pockets of so many of us in the working classes. But how the teams are doing still matters so much that even the people not watching TVs in pubs just know. And as I walk across town the city is beaming. They’ll never beat us now.
I love this place so much.
This is more like it. Making up for the savage disappointment of the opaque previous journey into town.
Yes, student housing still there despite my calling for its demolition the other week!
Yes, one street, three names. We’re used to it.
The bar changes its joke every week or two. This is one of its best.
The day’s getting gloomier, raining steadily now.
The world’s greatest terraced street, as you probably know.
That’s the Boundary pub there. One of the many places that were once the edge of the spreading city.
Thank you so much, John Prescott and the local Liberals who knocked down so much that people could have been living in now, without having a clue what was going to replace it.
Anyway, nearly home now.
I loved that. There will be many more bus rides.
This won’t be news to anyone who actually cares, but the final score was Liverpool 5 Arsenal 1. We ‘edged it’ Robin!
See all of the ‘Great bus journeys of the world’ here.