Friday 6 July 2007

First off the mark

Yes! Finally! I've got round to actually taking some pics! I'd like to pretend this was because of my hectic, fast paced life, but actually it was because I am vain, and I decided to wait until I was nicely tanned from my holiday in Cyprus (very nice, thanks) before I went plastering my face all over the Interweb.

So today, I tarted my first two stations. This was on a trip into Liverpool to shop - nothing exciting, just some work clothes, but none the less, it counts. I started out from Birkenhead Park station, which is closest to my home, but not by much. I am half an hour's walk from about four different Merseyrail stations, which is actually some achievement, really.

Birkenhead Park station is named after the park (like, duh), but actually this is semi-interesting. Birkenhead Park was the first public park in the world, and was the model for Central Park in New York; it's about 160 years old. It's just had a major lottery funded tarting up, and now there's a load of in-keeping fences and gravel-esque walking surfaces and a big new visitor centre/cafe to keep you entertained. Patricia Routledge just reopened it, in fact (yes! The Patricia Routledge!).

The station, however, is less exciting. To quote Wikipedia (, "The station building is not the original. The first station was destroyed by a bomb during the Second World War." I'm quoting that verbatim, because it's the bit I wrote. Due to the high propensity of scallies hanging around the entrance, I didn't feel comfortable fannying around outside the entrance with my camera (WARNING: this may be a recurring theme) so I finally took the pics on the platform. Are you ready?

Odd smirk, present and correct, but as you may notice, the nameplate is obscured by my fat head. The reason for this is apparent when I show you the pic which did include the station name:

God, I look like I am mid-stroke. Just pretend it doesn't exist, will you?

Birkenhead Park does have an Attractive Local Feature board. (I called these something else in my first post, but I can't remember what it was, and Attractive Local Feature abbreviates to ALF, which is pleasing). For some thoroughly odd reason, the feature at Birkenhead Park station, which travellers should be interested in, is not he 160 year old park; no, it's the docks. Eh?

Anyway, I couldn't take the picture as there were some workmen there taking the ALF boards down. Either Merseyrail have realised their error, or they are being repainted to try and remove the name "Birkenhead Park" in case you mistakenly wander that way. I will have to go back when they have completed their efforts and try again.

After that, it was a short hop onto the train to Moorfields in Liverpool. I wasn't going to do the loop stations under Liverpool until the end, because frankly, they're too easy; it feels like cheating. But Moorfields has a very special place for me - it was the first train station I ever visited in Liverpool. I got off there, way back in 1995, for my first exploration of a city which I subsequently fell in love with.

Also, Moorfields is memorable for a whole load of dirty reasons too. (Sensitive readers may be advised to skip the following section for its mentions on dirty man love). Yes reader, I'm a homo, and my very first kiss was with a lad named Colin in Liverpool back when I was 18. I'd met him in the Lisbon (my favourite, favourite gay bar in the city; if you are ever there, you have to visit - it has a listed ceiling which is pink and gold - honestly!) after beginning a conversation about Two Dogs vs Hooch alcoholic lemonade. Both brands are sadly no longer with us, which shows how frigging old I am. Anyway, Colin and I got on famously, to the extent that we both ended up snogging each other. Until we had to get the last train home - me on the Northern Line, and him on the Wirral Line - and we dashed off to Moorfields station. We kissed all the way down the escalators to the platform, and reader, it was fantastic. It was like a storm hitting me and showing me that this gay stuff - maybe it was a great idea. Maybe it was an amazing idea. Maybe it could make me very, very happy. I will always be grateful to Moorfields for that.

This is how it looks, by the way:

Note that, even though it's an underground station, you have to go upstairs to get into it. This is because of a frankly insane plan Liverpool's city council once had to make all pedestrians walk round the place on elevated walkways instead of pavements. How any right minded individual thought this was a good idea, is beyond me.

You may notice I look a little freaked out. That's because this is on the opposite side of the road:

In case you can't tell, that's an office building, with a giant revolving piece. This is ART, and frankly, I think it's fantastic. I couldn't stop staring at it. The central circle twists and revolves inside a decrepit, crusty old building which is scheduled for demolition. Suddenly I don't want it to go; I want it to stay there, twisting and turning and mucking up the minds of innocent passers by. It's called Turning The Place Over, by Richard Wilson, and you can see it move at Can you imagine a whole street of these? Fantastic. Richard Wilson should be hired to slice pieces out of all decrepit buildings, just to keep them interesting. I love it to bits!

Two tarts in one day; I feel so dirty. God knows how I'll be once I get to the really trollopy runs...


Anonymous said...

starting in grand may know already but Pattie Routledge is (or at least was) dating the ex-Speaker of the House, Betty Boothroyd...I like to think there was lots of slightly elderly hot sapphic action going on in the official residence...

Scott Willison said...

Ooooh, mental images. Need... mind... rubbers...