Far above the city streets

While I was on top of Liverpool Cathedral yesterday taking my photographs for Liverpool 8, I did of course face the opposite way for some of the time, looking at the river and the city centre. Here’s how it all looked.

Looking across the Dingle.

Looking across the Dingle.

Down to the South Docks.

Down to the South Docks.

Visibility getting better as I turn away from the sun.

Close to the Cathedral, the church of St James in the City.

Close to the Cathedral, the church of St James in the City.

Just to the right of the church there, and in the next picture, you can just see what appears to be a railway tunnel. In fact this is the disused station of St James. Closed in 1917, discussions have now begun about the possibility of re-opening it to serve the newly resurgent Baltic Triangle, just down the hill. I think it’s a great idea.

Down Parliament Street to the Marina and the Baltic Triangle.

Down Parliament Street to the Marina and the Baltic Triangle. St James station towards the left.

The only ships seen on the river yesterday are on the photograph above. Imagine how busy it would have been 100 years ago, before this tower was built.

On the river front there work has begun on extending the Convention Centre.

On the river front there work has begun on extending the Convention Centre.

Apparently this has been a financial success. Must be or they wouldn’t be extending it. I feel sorry that we’re obscuring the river with such ugly corporate buildings.

And now I’ll stop talking. In getting the post ready I’ve spent ages fascinated by these next 4 photographs. Deciding whether to put them all in, when they’re fairly similar. Well they’re not that similar, and if you love the place I think you’ll be as fascinated by them all as I am.

Here is the centre of Liverpool.

Far above06 Far above07 Far above08 Far above09

And moving slightly round towards the north.

Far above10

A fantastic jumble of styles and shapes. The building of Liverpool One up there only highlighting the strangeness of the low density housing just across the road from it.

From this height the city looks like a model, like something from the urban design events we used to be part of. And as a model it’s tempting to pick up and discard the things that don’t really fit. Like those quirky black shapes near the Pier Head in the last but one photo. Whoever stands up here taking pictures like these in a hundred years time is highly unlikely to see those black boxes I’d have thought.

After a while up here and taking all the Liverpool 8 photos I’m cold, nearly time to go back down the tower. Just a couple more views of what’s immediately below us.

The Cathedral roof and the southern end of St James Gardens.

The Cathedral roof and the southern end of St James Gardens.

This was the quarry much of central Liverpool is built from (though not the Cathedral itself). It was also Liverpool’s first public park, in 1771, and was later a cemetery.

When I first came here it was still an overgrown cemetery, being turned back into a public garden in 1972.

Looking down on the natural spring in the Garden.

Looking down on the natural spring in the Garden.

Coming down the tower.

Coming down the tower.

Seeing the bells on the way down yesterday reminded me of a time Sarah and I got right up close to them. I thought it was a couple of years ago, turns out it was 2009.

We hadn’t been up on the top of the tower long when the assistant told us it was time to close. I think because we grumbled about this a bit he said he’d show us a few things the public don’t usually see. First he took us into the bell chamber.

Up close to the bells.

Up close to the bells. February 2009.

DSC08082

The one you can just see in the middle there is the Great George and weighs over fourteen tons. We returned to the Cathedral on 15th April that same year, 2009, and stood outside while Great George tolled 96 times for the dead of Hillsborough on the 20th anniversary of their deaths.

Beneath the Bell Chamber. Despite their size and weight, the bells are pulled like any other church bells.

Beneath the Bell Chamber. Despite their size and weight, the bells are pulled like any other church bells.

And finally.

Looking down into the Cathedral from far above.

Looking down into the Cathedral from far above.

Five years ago I had no idea I’d be writing a blog one day, so I didn’t take many pictures. Still, it was a great privilege.

2 thoughts on “Far above the city streets

  1. Gerry

    ‘Whoever stands up here taking pictures like these in a hundred years time is highly unlikely to see those black boxes I’d have thought.’ I really hope so!

    Reply

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