“There is always one politician who goes totally over the top and loses all credibility at a party conference” noted Iain Dale yesterday, before, er, going totally over the top and losing all credibility at a party conference. He compared Liverpool to Gaza – looking forward to reading his travelogue on that one – and then threw a mardy sulk when there was a consensus of adverse comment.
Why this intelligent and perceptive commentator couldn’t be arsed checking out this greatest of English port cities is unknown, but what is known is that he drove there – not a good idea for forming first impressions – and then stayed at the Adelphi, which has a formidable reputation, as in a formidably inadvisable place to stay when there are superior alternatives available almost anywhere else.
So here’s some of the things Iain missed on his journey: first is where he should have arrived in the city, the recently restored Lime Street station, where the area in front of the exit has been opened out and landscaped. The trainshed roof has been cleaned and re-glazed – rather like St Pancras in London – and natural light floods in.
Also restored is this original Joyce clock, overlooking Platform 7 – where the train from London arrives.
Down at the Pier Head are The Three Graces, buildings from the early 20th Century heyday of the port. Most prominent is the Grade I listed Liver Building.
Adjacent to the Liver Building at its south side is the Cunard Building, confirming the city’s connection with that great shipping line.
The third Grace is the Port of Liverpool Building, with that huge and almost cathedral-like central dome.
And a journey Iain missed out on, but no visitor to Liverpool should skip: a ferry crosses the Mersey (this last photo was taken in October 2010, with all others taken on Monday September 26. Iain’s stock photo is well out of date).
I know Iain is a busy bloke, but hope that he will take the comments made by others on board, and return to Liverpool – maybe for a weekend break – and by train. Oh, and stay at anywhere but the Adelphi. Seriously, this is a great city: its shopping, eateries, bars and sights are really worthwhile. And the people are friendly and welcoming.
Just don’t compare the place to Gaza, though.