Liverpool is still an exciting place .Nothing in travel equals the approach to a city by water . A Distant ridge becomes a line of buildings, which separate and acquire volume as they come closer. With the heave of a ship’s deck underfoot, they take on an added solidity. Of nowhere is this more so than of Liverpool’s Pier Head, Where stand the places of commerce known as Tree Graces.
Liverpool an extraordinary status as centre of cultural invention. The ballad portrayed it as a city paved with gold, though it was still gripped by decades of depression.
With the largest collection of museums and galleries anywhere outside of the Capital, Liverpool’s culture and heritage are at the very heart of the city
The reason is that the street embodies ‘Ye Olde England’, a row of apparently tumbledown cottages with steep eaves and walls drapped in flowers. Each dwelling has its own personality, yet is part of a communal whole. Such townscapes convey a security, confort and good neighbourliness wholly absent from hard edged modern design. We can preserve these qualities from the past, yet seem unable to replicate them.
While such scenes are familiar in France and Italy, England offers few streets to equal Gold Hill’s Charm. The wall is massively buttressed and seems in perpetual danger of collapsing into the street.
From the top of the hill the line of cottages curves down a cobbled pavement. Though clearly medieval in origin, most have windows and roofs no earlier than the eighteenth century. Each is a composition in itself, a façade of stone or White wash and a roof thatch or tile. There is no clutter of modern vehicles or street furniture.
Seen from above, Gold Hill has a backdrop of countryside. Such backdrops, to many of my views, are critical to the composition. They are the Frames, The garlands, the adornments of the landscape
The view now runs the full extent of the Seven Sisters, undulating over ridges and dry valleys some four miles to beach head. It is breathtaking Even on dull day the cliffs are startling white, as if a sea monster had risen fro the deep and taken a giant bite out of England’s coast. The reason for this purity is that the Seven Sisters have been left to erode, the sea pushing them back by full three feet a year. Rocks fall regulary into the sea below, churning the water into a milky froth. The images are ever changing. At one point the cliff is a single blemish, a teardrop of sandstone.
The cliff walk is dangerous. The edge is rough, crumbling and unguarded, the chalky soil slithery when wet. Since the topmost covering of earth is just a few inches thick, it can support no large flora. Chalkland is thus the preserve of small rooted species in their hundreds, with rarities beyond the familiar campions, trefoils and vetches thriving in this windy, salty, splendid, untrammelled place. The story I just told was from a fisherman