Category Archives: Liverpool

Delving into history on Hilbre Island

I revisited an old friend this week. Hilbre Island, the Site of Special Scientific Interest in the Dee Estuary, has attracted visitors since the Stone Age.

Romans, monks, pilgrims, smugglers and, finally, walkers followed over the centuries.

But I hadn’t been for many years. So, with school holidays drawing to a close, we made a return trip this week, heading out across the sands from West Kirby.

I’d forgotten how much history the tiny island, the largest of a triumvirate of islands drowned under high tides, packs into its 47,000m sq.

It is believed the island takes its name from a medieval chapel, dedicated to St. Hildeburgh. There are ruins of an old lifeboat station and a watchtower.

More recently, Wirral Council announced the island would no longer have a permanent warden as staff struggled to live with no mains electricity and water.

We spent the day watching seals, spotting birds, collecting shells in rock pools and soaking up the sand-blasted sense of calm.

Most of all, the visit left me wanting to know more about the legends and life of Hilbre.

I feel there are a thousand stories as yet untold about this stoic little island with its raw nature and are rare wildlife. I’d like to know more.

On September 18, you can head to West Kirby’s Marine Lake for more information about visiting and appreciating Hilbre.

Or contact the Friends of Hilbre Island for more information.

But, meanwhile, email me or post below if you have stories, links or more information to share about Hilbre Island.

I’m sure there are some great story angles just waiting to be explored.


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Liverpool new developments: photo blog

Liverpool was back in the news this week.

The new Museum of Liverpool, the £72m development on the city’s World Heritage waterfront, opened its doors.

Given that summer holidays had just started, I took my girls to have a look around.

I thought the section on Liverpool writers was a bit sparse but the music section did cover Erics, Probe …

… and not just the Beatles.

Maya loved dressing up as a Chinese princess in the more compelling ground-floor section, which explores Liverpool’s place in the world as a key trading city.

And Olivia liked the soft-plat area as part of a good little gallery for children, a decent learning resource based around the alphabet.

The museum was packed on Friday and the cafe heaving at lunchtime, so we escaped to one of my favourite Liverpool boozers, The Baltic Fleet.

It was nearly empty, has some great ales on tap from the Wapping microbrewery in the basement and plates of Scouse for lunch.

Not bad for a ten-minute walk from the coach-party frenzy of the Albert Dock.

We didn’t stick around for the evening son-et-lumiere show but, if you’re in Liverpool this autumn, there’s more On the Waterfront during September.

We did pop into the exhibition at the Royal Liver Buildings to mark the centenary of Liverpool’s most famous landmark building.

My grandfather worked here in the Fifties for the shipping company, Palm Line Ltd.

The business is long since defunct but I’d love to hear from anyone who has memorabilia, documents or memories of the trading route from Liverpool to West Africa.

There will be tours of Royal Liver Building in September as part of the Heritage Open Days weekend.

I’ll be going back to explore in more detail and try to find the offices where Harry Millington, my granddad once worked.

More from Visit Liverpool.

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Manchester vs Liverpool: the great debate

Interesting piece on the Times website this weekend. Read it here before the paywall ensures we all stop reading the travel section for good.

Well, I say interesting. The story, written by Northwest tourism stalwart, Stuart Maconie, is more of a puff for his new book Adventures on the High Teas: In Search of Middle England.

But the comments at the end of the piece make for some fascinating reading and an insight into an age-old debate.

So, to keep the discussion going, it’s time for Hit the North’s first poll. Your votes please.

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