Saturday, 28 July 2018

A Beatles-themed sign-hunting in Liverpool (England)

Hi Sign Hunters,

On Wednesday this week, I finally had the chance to carry out the Penny Lane sign project in Liverpool. I do not normally go for street signs, but there are some that are worth making exceptions for, therefore, pulling together a nice, Beatles-themed day out was actually something I saw on the Carpool Karaoke episode with Paul McCartney (click here to see the entire programme). Of course, famous street sign or not, the day would have not been successful without taking photos of the actual Liverpool or, at least, a Liverpool district sign. Good to say, everything was successful in the end!

Liverpool is the fifth largest metropolitan area in the UK with a population of 2.3 million inhabitants, and it is, without a doubt, a famous city for many reasons. Besides being the birthplace of The Beatles (Paul, John, George and Ringo, who were all from this city), its cultural diversity, its legendary hospitability, the port of registry of the ill-fated Titanic and Lusitania, and two highly successful football clubs (Everton and Liverpool FC) are also worth mentioning.

I started the trip in Speke as I, first of all, had to go to Curry's to buy a memory card for my photo camera, as I had forgotten to pop one in when I left home. It was a little bit of a detour but rewarded me with the Speke and the Garston signs. Once the memory card was fitted, I made my way to Allerton where under no.20 Forthlin Road is Paul McCartney's family home. It is managed by The National Trust, though one can only enter if it is prebooked. From here, I made my way via Calderstone Park to Mossley Hill in which is situated the famous Penny Lane, the street that inspired this sign-hunting trip. Penny Lane is famous from the Beatles song "Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes" written primarily by Paul McCartney but credited to the Lennon-McCartney duo. It is such a popular attraction that tour buses and tourists crowds flood the street. It is crazy really and weird at the same time: one cannot see so many one-off sign hunters in place at one time. Anyway, on Penny Lane, there is also an old street sign painted on the brick wall which has always been targeted by tourists who wanted to leave their signature on it. Well, the thing is, a few weeks ago, when Paul McCartney and James Corden visited the street, he also stopped by and signed it. Since then, a transparent plastic appeared on the top of it, covering the entire sign to protect it for future generation. Kate and I thought that my trip would be too late as, by the time I had finally had the chance to actually get there, someone could have mined the brick out and taken it home. Luckily, this had not happened and I could take some nice photos of Handful and the sign. 

After Penny Lane, I carried on the day. First I went to Toxteth, which is highly multicultural and it is one of the areas that heavily suffers from poverty and urban degradation. No surprise that the 1981 riots were partly the reason for the social circumstances in the district and not much has changed since. My next stop after Toxteth was Liverpool City Centre, for which I could hardly spend any time in, so expect me to return to Liverpool soon and explore the city centre more and take lots more photos. This time, I only had time to check out Liverpool Cathedral which is the largest in Britain and then walked down to the famous Albert Dock. On the way to the railway station, I still had a bit of time to stop on Mathew Street and check out the famous Cavern Club and its sister bar, the Cavern Pub.

It was a fun day, but like I said, The Sign Hunters will have to return to explore more of this fantastic place. Liverpool is really worth it.     

~ Laszlo #thesignhunters

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© All photos were taken by Laszlo Bokor (2018). The Sign Hunters, all rights reserved.

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