We moored at Melling Stone Bridge alongside 3 other boats heading into Liverpool today (Friday 12th July) ...
… and we’re off! I’m at the helm, George has walked ahead to open Holmes Swing Bridge for the convoy ...
… and we meet up with the rest of today’s convoy of 7 narrowboats
Dead on 9am and the boats jostle for position as CRT operatives swing Hancocks bridge for us ...
9.05am and that’s us going through (next to last boat). We have to stay close and go through as quickly as we can as the A&E department of the hospital is to our left and the emergency ambulances etc will need to cross the bridge without delay. No problems of that sort today though!
Not so good for nb Nuggler though behind us - there was just enough space for us to squeeze between this island of reeds and the canal bank, but Nuggler was not so lucky! ...
They had no alternative other than to increase the revs and crash straight through - luckily enough they managed not to get anything into the weed hatch!
It was a very pleasant cruise in parts, in the now very hot sunshine ...
… apart from the floating plastic bottles ...
… and other rubbish!
… I look back and notice that nb Nuggler is having problems
A 90 degree bend into the Stanley Locks cutting ...
… where CRT are locking the convoy of boats down… the tobacco warehouse beyond
So excited as we exit the top lock - Liverpool docks await us!
The Tobacco Warehouse is a Grade II listed building
This gargantuan warehouse is on an unequalled heroic scale and it dominates the landscape in this part of Liverpool.
It extends along the whole of the south front of Stanley Dock. It is 14 storeys high with 42 bays divided by seven loading bays and is said to be the largest warehouse in the world and the largest brick building in the world.
Its construction absorbed 27 million bricks, 30,000 panes of glass and 8,000 tons of steel.
It could accommodate 70,000 hogsheads of tobacco (each weighing 1,000 lbs). It was designed by A.G. Lyster, the Dock Engineer, but Arthur Berrington, an architectural draughtsman in Lyster's office, almost certainly had a hand in the brick and terracotta detailing.
At high level on the west end in raised figures and letters are "MDE, 1900" and "Tobacco Warehouse." On the north (dock) side are a series of iron stairs.
On the south side there are a number of later bridges linking to the south Warehouse. The area between The Tobacco Warehouse and South Stanley Warehouse is known locally as "Pneumonia Alley" because it is almost always in shade and often acts as a wind tunnel.
One of the CRT men mentioned that the owners of the warehouse are planning to turn it into apartments but the 14 floors are only 6 feet apart - too low for residential use, but if they remove each alternate floor this would make them too high at 12’ and they would have to put in false ceilings! He didn’t think that the scheme would go ahead and that the building would remain empty.
Victoria Clock Tower often referred to as the ‘Dockers Clock’ was built in 1848 and has a clock on each of its 6 sides.
Looking over the wharfs to the other side of the River Mersey
Another view of that warehouse - huge!
The past and the present are in evidence everywhere we look
1970’s Kingsway Mersey Tunnel air vent
A close-up shot of a fantastic building but I can’t find out what it is - any ideas anyone? I’ve since realised that it’s on the Wallasey/Birkenhead side of the Mersey.
There’s the Liver Building!
Modern Liverpool along the dock sides
The Liver Birds ...
… atop the building’s towers
Princess Dock Lock (5)
Wow, that’s beautiful!
Cruising under Pier Head ..
… where as we emerge we can look up at the first of the Three Graces - the Liver Building ...
… an equestrian statue of Edward VII from 1921...
… and the internationally recognised symbol of Liverpool
We then disappear again under another short tunnel ..
… and again under the Museum of Liverpool!
Waiting to go down ...
Mann Island Lock ...
… into Canning Dock
1930’s George’s Dock Ventilation and Control Centre for the Mersey Tunnel
The Hilton Hotel on the waterfront ...
… and tall ships
A sharp turn right takes us towards ...
… Albert Dock and that’s Billy Fury (remember him?) and a frigate there to greet us!
More tall ships in Canning dock as we pass through.
Passing under the busy pedestrian lift bridge into Albert Dock
Shops and Ships and we do a left turn ...
… into Salthouse Dock - looking for S36 (our mooring slot) and the fantastic view we’ll enjoy during our 2-week stay!