This time of year always takes me back to the final precious days of school holidays. Those days were often a whirlwind of buying school uniform and shoes. (I learned my lesson early: don’t buy at the start of the break – children seem to grow prodigiously during six weeks of freedom!) However, we usually managed to squeeze in a few more days out to interesting places. And one interesting place that we would go back to year after year was Liverpool.
Lime Street Station, where we arrived, was handy for the World Museum on William Brown Street and its brilliant aquarium. A friendly attendant once saw us frowning at a tank labelled “Giant Catfish”, trying in vain to spot its occupant.
“Oh, the giant catfish snuffed it this mornin’” he told us, much to my eight-year-old’s fascination.
A trip on the ferry across the Mersey was a must – even if we did end up with “that” tune in our heads for the rest of the day! We’d stand at the front, feeling the breeze in our faces from the Irish Sea. It was fascinating to hear the history of the waterfront with its iconic Liver building while travelling on a crossing that had been in use since Benedictine monks established their Birkenhead priory in the twelfth century.
The Merseyside Maritime Museum was one of our favourites and we never grew tired of visiting. There was always something new see and to find out.
From there we’d explore the Albert Dock. One attraction, sadly no longer around, was the Cosgrove Hall museum. This was a must-see for fans of the fabulous children’s TV programmes from Manchester’s Cosgrove Hall studios, as it gave you a behind-the-scenes look at how they were produced. I remember my son being very taken with a life-size model of Count Duckula and animation cels from “Danger Mouse”, as well as the stop-motion puppets from “Toad Of Toad Hall”.
I was made nostalgic for those happy days when I saw Dianne Boardman’s feature about the Liverpool Pirate Festival. This year’s festival takes place on Albert Dock between Saturday 10 and 11 September. Pirates, tall ships and real cannon fire – that would definitely have been on our list of places to go! Dianne’s visit sounds like it was great fun – she even met some of the pirates. You’ll be able to read all about it in our Special No 128, which will be on sale from Wednesday.