Our last day in Liverpool and there was one thing we had to do and that was catch the ferry across the Mersey. In the mornings and late afternoon the ferry offers a commuter service ,but for the rest of the day they operate the Explorer cruise which is what we went on. As well as trip up and down the river we also got free entry in to the U-Boat story at Woodside ferry terminal.
We couldn’t believe what we were hearing as we left the dock . They actually play the song Ferry cross the Mersey by Gerry and the pacemakers.The funny thing was that everyone on-board starting singing along to it ,including us.
Arriving at the U-Boat story at Woodside we discovered that U-534 was heading north towards Norway, when it was attacked by a Liberator aircraft from RAF 547 Squadron which dropped depth charges. U-534 took heavy damage and began to sink by the stern. Amazingly forty-nine of the fifty-two crew members survived, including four who escaped via a torpedo hatch. The stricken vessel lay forgotten on the sea bed for over 40 years.In August 1993 the wreckage was raised from the seabed in the hope of finding hidden treasure on board. Nothing was found. However, the mystery of why U-534 refused to surrender remains to this day. It’s amazing what people will do if the word treasure is mentioned . I bet they were peed off when they didn’t find any.
The picture above shows the original enigma machine from this U-534 which was used to send and receive coded messages to Germany . Luckily we broke the code which eventually helped towards an early end of the war.
Nearly back in to Liverpool and you can see The Mersey building with the two Mersey birds on top . One of them looks out to sea to watch for incoming ships while the other one looks in to the town to see what pubs are open . They are also the only birds of their kind in the World , as they have never mated.
We also booked a tour of the old Liverpool dock and had to meet at The Maritime museum where we had a short talk and then we were led over the road and down underground to the dock. For the first time in centuries the bed of the Pool which is the creek that gave Liverpool its name can be seen.The Old Dock was discovered during excavations in 2001 after being buried since 1826. Developers Grosvenor preserved the dock and have made it publicly accessible as an important reminder of Liverpool's historic status.
On the tour we were taken back in time and saw a large portion of the Old Dock rising more than 20 feet from the bed of the Pool which is clearly visible. The impressive walls are made from hand-made bricks.A modern bridge and walkways give good views , although this is only a very small section of the dock it is still very impressive.. There is a bricked-up ancient tunnel in the dock wall which you can see in the bottom of the picture. This is believed to be hundreds of years older than the Old Dock and may have linked Liverpool Castle with the Pool.
This water feature was built to honour William Hutchinson In 1759 he was appointed dockmster at Liverpool, and he held this and other positions at the harbour until 1793. In 1764 he started keeping detailed tide and weather records, and his data - the earliest continuous set of tidal records in the United Kingdom - contributed to the production of Holdens tide tables which continued in use until the 1970s . The water feature shows the height of the tides in Liverpool for one month with each jet of water being one tide.
On our last evening we went for a meal in The Pump house which is just outside Albert dock . You are spoilt a bit for choice as there are loads of eateries around the dock . The problem is that they are not cheap and I refuse to pay over £20 for an 8 ounce rump steak no matter how many days it’s been matured.
In the end her Ladyship was happy with her Fish meal and I was more than happy with my 28 day matured Rump steak which came with all the trimmings at a cost of only £10.45. Just the ticket ! Well worth a visit if you are in Liverpool.
This has been our mooring for the past week and I must say that we have both enjoyed every minute we have spent in Liverpool . There are still many things we want to see and do here ,so that’s a good reason to come back again some time in the future.