Nowadays I’m regularly walking along the Dock Road to Make Liverpool, where I’ve long been kind of involved and I’m now a board member. I love their whole idea and what they do and some time soon, being a board member there, I’ll write a lot more about a place I’m increasingly thinking of as ‘us’ not ‘them.’
But as well as all that I simply love walking there, since I no longer drive and because it’s such a great walk. I love it so much I’ve already done one blog post about the walk. That was just a few weeks ago and was called ‘Walking Through Time.’ So think of this one as a companion piece, where I’ve varied the views I’ll show you by the devastatingly creative technique of walking on the opposite side of the Dock Road to last time! Yes.
Let’s go then, beginning in front of the Cunard Building.
It’s a seriously beautiful day, sunny and not too hot for us northern types. There’s a small tower block of a cruse ship parked at the Princes Dock there. And I agree with what that poster says about Liverpool and our Philharmonic Orchestra, ‘Now’s good.’
The metal girder embedded the dock wall here is a stanchion from our lost Wonder of the World, the Liverpool Overhead Railway. And walking underneath that notice above it’s the first time I’ve seen the phrase ‘Northern Powerhouse’ used on a road sign. So that’s where I am?
Then there’s the dramatic and brutal beauty of the ventilation shaft for the Wallasey Tunnel there. Which now always makes me think of our Tea Street Band, because it was on the cover of their first LP. Second LP coming this November, by the way.
Walking past the Waterloo Dock apartments. Reminding me of another LP cover, one of Led Zeppelin’s this time. I walk on humming ‘Kashmir’ past the self-storage and the so called private land that’s really our North Docks.
‘Coming back to life’ people say about round here, but actually it never died. Many businesses and industries more than surviving the quiet years by sticking their heads down and carrying on working. But there are newcomers in these last few years adding themselves to the mix. Like Make Liverpool, where I’m arriving at lunch time on a sunny August day.
Arriving here, thinking about these streets and how at home I always feel walking around them, reminds me of another companion piece to this one: ‘Down by the North Docks’, a collection of photographs of the streets, along with this short poem.
‘Some will call them Ten Streets but with me that hasn’t taken
That’s marketing talk from another place by people who can’t count
To me this is the North Docks, the gates where we came in
The generations before me who lived and dreamed round here.
Who worked the warehouses, queued at the gates and thought TB was normal
Would speak of lives in better days off out in Norris Green
And still and all I come and take these pictures on my phone
A hundred years later, like it’s mine and this is home.’
I love this place, and the walk to get here.