In the end we entered Salthouse Dock in Liverpool before Easter and the seven little ships that had amassed in the meantime like bees around a honeypot at Swing Bridge 9 in Aintree were all surprised but nonetheless very happy to undertake this Good Friday Passage at short notice.
Flypast for our arrival at Liverpool
The ten mile journey was in two parts, the first being from Aintree down to the old terminus of the Leeds and Liverpool Canal at Stanley Dock and the rest being the new canal way from there, through many of the old commercial docks to the north of the city, past the Liver Buildings and the other two ‘Graces’, through newly built locks into Albert Dock and beyond at the pontoons in Salthouse Dock.
In Stanley Bottom Lock
Passing through Stanley Dock
Victoria Tower at the seaward entrance to Stanley Dock
Approaching the new ‘Sid’s Ditch’
the narrow Sid’s Ditch
Here at our mooring the top of the old dock wall looms ten feet above us and the ancient granite face is like a precipice making our boats tiny and insignificant. Close by on the quay, one of the old bollards fills me with nostalgia as I remember those old times arriving at Liverpool so many years ago now on Blue Star Line Ships after long and sometimes stressful ocean passages and the thrill of looping the eye of our first huge mooring line over one of these was quite emotional.
The front of the Royal Liver Building
The old and the new
The old Bar Light Vessel that I remember so well
Entering Albert Dock
Busy Albert Dock today
The ancient dock wall behind our floating jetty
The new Salthouse Dock
The docks are no longer how they were though. The old commercial warehouses are now museums, hotels and restaurants and the whole area, though unchanged physically for the most part, has undergone a complete rebirth.
But carefully the old has been blended with the new in a way that all has been updated with such sensitivity so that the Twenty First Century glass fronted buildings nearby, the giant ‘Liverpool Eye’, the hundreds of visitors, with the necessary ice cream vans and children’s amusements in no way spoil the overall and continuing picture that will remain Liverpool Docks.
We are very pleased to be here and temporarily part of it.