Liver bird

Liver bird

The liver bird is the symbol of Liverpool, although as I learnt, it is not what the city is named after. The “liver” is pronounced like “fiver” (as in a £5 note) and is a mythical bird generally embodied in a cormorant. It’s most famous representations are the pair on top of the waterfront Royal Liver Building, where they are the height of a double-decker bus – one looks out to sea for sailors, and the other looks over the city to protect its citizens.

~ Spotted Cow

Liver bird at the Bluecoat gates

Royal Liver Building on the Liverpool skyline

Royal Liver Building in the rain

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Victory

Dazzle camouflage on the Mersey ferry

Mersey ferry with dazzle camouflage against the Liverpool skyline.

The dazzle camouflage was designed to confuse not to conceal, and was used on British warships in World War 1. The mix of patterns and colours meant that enemy ships found it difficult to estimate a ship’s size, speed and direction, or whether they were looking at the bow or stern. A not-so-tenuous link for this week’s challenge.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Victory

~ Spotted Cow

Oriel Chambers

Oriel Close

I almost submitted this picture for the weekly photo challenge because “ornate” inherently makes me think of something gold and elaborate. But I didn’t because I want to tell a different story about it.

The Oriel Chambers building on 14 Water Street in Liverpool was one of the first multi-storey buildings in the world constructed with a glass frontage in the mid-19th century. Technically, it’s a metal-framed glass curtain wall and the architect Peter Ellis was given an award for it. Buildings with glass windows are so commonplace these days, that it’s difficult to believe the design was not popularly received in its’ day.

Unfortunately, I don’t have a picture of the front of the building which is a classic error on my part. However, you can see the side of Oriel Chambers building in the photograph below. It’s the one on the right with the gild details on the said contentious glass windows.

~ Spotted Cow

Liverpool Streets

Oriel Chambers

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Ornate

Entrance, India Buildings

Liverpool is a very pretty city to walk around and there are so many beautiful buildings made of stone. The Beatles evolved from the group The Quarrymen, remember? I picked the ornate entrance to the India Buildings on Water Street for this challenge. It was a Sunday and the building was closed, so we peered through the glass doors to look at the insides. You can catch glimpses of it amid the glass reflections.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Ornate

~ Spotted Cow

Liverpool. Sculptures on the beach

Sculpture on the beach

Antony Gormley’s sculptures on Crosby Beach are the main reason I wanted to go to Liverpool. “Another Place” is 100 life-sized cast iron figures looking out to sea. Some are on the beach and some submerged in the ocean, spanning 3km of the coast.

We turned up on a cool, sunny morning. The scene was peaceful. I reckon that on a dark and cloudy day, it would feel quite eerie. As it was, the motionless figures on the sand were a little bit spooky. The ones in the water looked like men wading out to drown.

Nevertheless, Crosby beach feels very local and the silent figures mingle with the township, their children and their pets. I’d love to go back for summer twilight.

~ Spotted Cow

Antony Gormley's Another Place

Crosby beach

Making sandcastles on Crosby beach

Sculpture tag

Sculpture with moss

 

 

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Treat

Liverpool Cathedral

My treat is weekends away. I don’t do it nearly enough. Last weekend I was in Liverpool with the Fabulous Duo, and one of the unexpected surprises was Liverpool Cathedral. I’m not one to visit cathedrals normally, but the Beatles tour cabbie insisted that we couldn’t miss it. Liverpool’s cathedral is Britain’s largest and relatively modern as it was finished in 1978. It is a truly glorious stone building, with bits that look like it could be Hogwarts on a Harry Potter set.

Weekly Photo Challenge: Treat

~ Spotted Cow

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Beatles tour

Penny Lane

We chose a black cab Beatles tour with the Fab Four Taxi Tour company and were very pleased with it because we had an informative story-telling driver/guide who added to the atmosphere by playing Beatles music en route. Also, we didn’t turn up to sites with a crowd, didn’t have to manoeuvre narrow streets in a big vehicle, and didn’t have to jostle for a view or pictures.

I thoroughly enjoyed it, going round to see the houses that the Beatles grew up in, visiting Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields, seeing Eleanor Rigby’s gravestone, and realising that the (one-man) yellow submarine is real ! Can you see what’s hidden in the brickwork of the house on Ringo Starr’s childhood street?

~ Spotted Cow

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Strawberry Fields

Strawberry Fields

You can’t go to Liverpool without visiting the Beatles sites, and that was definitely on the weekend’s agenda.

The most striking thing on my Beatles route was the crimson Strawberry Field gates. Strawberry Field – without the s – was a Salvation Army orphanage that has since closed down. John Lennon lived and grew up nearby, playing in the grounds and in the woods around, which he dubbed Strawberry Fields, with the s. The myth goes that some of John Lennon’s ashes are scattered here and the Salvation Army will never sell the land. It is indeed Strawberry Fields Forever.

~ Spotted Cow