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Published: June 13th 2010
The street that the song is named after, even though most of the important points are just not on the street. The songwriters stretched the point a bit
• We arrived in Liverpool this afternoon after a pleasant journey from Newcastle. We finally found our hotel after much driving through the streets of Liverpool. We came in from the north, not from the east! Still, the police were very friendly and gave us directions and then the petrol station owner was very friendly and gave us directions - we got there in the end! The Hotel Alicia is a lovely hotel opposite Sefton Park and about 2 miles from Liverpool city centre. Small rooms as usual in the UK and in Europe generally.
Lee needed me to remove the 3 stitches from her elbow and this happened without any fuss from either us. Wound has healed well and she will have a bit of a scar to show off and talk about for a while. She was quite lucky not to have injured herself more.
On Monday morning we decided to walk into the city centre. First stop the Beatles Story (of course) and then a cup of coffee, a stroll along the Albert Dock. The docks are looking fabulous now and more works are going on. It’s a great tourist centre with lots happening. There was
The gates inspired the name of the song, they are welded together and into the wall and conservatively valued on teh black market at 1.5 million pounds!
a group of young school children going through the Beatles Story doing a project of some sorts and Lee mentioned to one of the teachers: lovely to see the children set on the right musical path! She agreed.
We went on the Magical Mystery Tour with the same guy, who did the tour when Lee was here in 2003. She did ask him and he said yes, he was doing it seven years ago. We had a fun 2 hours with him stopping off at all the famous Beatles places and were dropped off just near Mathew Street and we headed straight to the Cavern Club for a drink and there was a guy doing Beatles songs solo on electric guitar - bliss!
We decided against the ferry ‘cross the Mersey as it was a tad cold and raining. Lee did it 7 years ago and I wasn’t too perturbed about it. We caught a cab back to the hotel as by now we’d done enough walking and thought we’d treat ourselves to the cab ride.
Tuesday morning we headed back into Liverpool city to see part 2 of the Beatles Story - an exhibition put together
The birthplace of Charles Darwin is Shrewsbury and this statue is located o/s the library
by Cynthia and Julian Lennon on - you know who! Very interesting. Lots of personal photos and letters, gold records, all sorts of things - very enjoyable. The impact these four guys had on the world and music is astounding; even now nearly 50 years later, people still flock to Liverpool to revisit it. Makes us wonder whether Lady GaGa and Justin Beiber will enjoy the same adoration in 50 years time…maybe not?
We drove to Shrewsbury and spent the night there. This is an old Tudor town with lots of original buildings and also the birthplace of Charles Darwin. We wandered around the next morning and then headed to Hereford, where we had great difficulty getting accommodation. Eventually ended up in the Travelodge which was extremely basic but neat and clean and we had breakfast at Sainsbury’s, of all places, as the hotel doesn’t do breakfast. The staff were terrific though and the night before we had a beaut Indian dinner in the old township.
Thursday we drove through more English countryside that we have seen on TV and movies, green and hedgerows, to Gloucester. Lee had booked accommodation earlier but trying to find it without a
Shrewsbury is noted for the black and white buidings that are a feature of this town
map? - we did eventually! We stayed at the New Inn, parts of which date back to 1430 when it was an inn for pilgrims who came to Gloucester Cathedral. In the dining room, there is a beam with “Here in 1553 Mary 1st was declared Queen of England”. This city has quite a royal history with Edward II buried in the cathedral.
We wandered around this medieval township on Friday visiting the Gloucester Cathedral for quite some time - this cathedral dating from 1089AD. Apparently it was a place of worship as long ago as 700AD! Robert, the Duke of Normandy, who was William the Conquerer’s son, is buried there and his effigy is quite unique - something to be seen to be believed! Carved from Irish Bog Oak, in a fighting position and with his eyes open to ensure that he is ready to fight at all times for his beliefs.
We visited the Folk Museum too which was a Tudor Merchants House built around 1500 and most of it is in its original condition with Tudor chimneys, windbraces to strengthen the roof, late 16th century wall paintings and the rooms depicting life through the centuries,
Note the lean on this building in a side street in Shrewsbury. This is typical of the buildings that are in every street of the old town
right up to the 1950s too.
After wandering down to the docks we went inside St Mary de Crypt, a Norman church consecrated in 1137. There was a great chap in there who talked us through the history of the church and pointed out the many names on the burial vaults underneath the church floor. This is also the site of the first Sunday school, which was actually started to educate the children who worked all week in the pin factory and to give them a basic education, Sunday being the only day they were ‘available’ for education! There is a man buried under the church floor who was the richest miser in the UK and is the person that charles Dickens based Ebenezer Scrooge on in his writings. Due to the way that this person wrote his will, his relatives contested it and the majority of his fortune of over 1.3 million pounds went to (you guessed it ) the lawyers!
We left Gloucester on Saturday morning - after an enjoyable stay at the New Inn. The owners are terrific people, couldn’t do enough for us, staff were great, looked after us, no worries! I asked the owner of the inn if there was a square corner in the place and she replied, No, and if I found one, could I let her know. No inspectors back then!
We travelled down through the Cotswolds - and more interesting countryside - through Bath to our digs in Radstock just outside of Bath - Bath city being our next part of the adventure. Tonight we wandered down to the White Post Hotel for a drink and dinner and sat with the locals watching England and the USA in the FIFA World Cup in South Africa - score being one all.
As we left the pub, there were police outside the pub stopping drivers for breath testing (we being on foot) who stopped us, asked where we were from, where were we going and could we recommend any good Australian wine to take to France in a fortnight’s time as he doesn’t like French wine!
With much laughter and advice, we headed back to the hotel, a cup of tea and an early night. The next two days we will explore the area around Bath before heading off to London on Tuesday morning.
Left the Centurion hotel and after planning our route, we got to within about 3 mile of our next hotel in Clutton Hill. Stopped at a servo for directions and the operator, who wasn’t a local, pointed out a lady who works in the post office. She offered to show us where our digs were and off we went through the countryside. If you can imagine a one lane road that needs resurfacing, has 6 feet high bushes on both sides and people on horseback, you will get the picture. We may have eventually found the place, but not without a lot of frustration, swearing and back-tracking. The hotel is old, rustic, very well appointed and seems very comfortable. After booking in and sorting stuff out, we drove into Cheddar, a tourist town, famous for cheese making, cider and the gorge which leads into the town and is very popular with people who climb the walls and then abseil down. To each their own. We plan on doing the city of Bath on Monday and then it is off to London for the final leg of our journey.
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