Monday, April 30, 2007

A River Runs Through It

Liverpool's Pier Head landing stage has lain in the murky Mersey for some time now. Poor weather caused the entire structure to detach from its moorings in March of last year. Heavy rain & gale force conditions forced it into the water. That was unfortunate. What followed next was farcical. The Mersey Docks & Harbour Company, who are responsible for the Pier Head area as well as the wider waterfront, sat on their hands & left the landing stage in its watery state. Ferry crossings were affected with the boats using the same berth as that used by vessels bound for the Isle of Man. Last year the Liverpool Culture Company ( ) appealed to the MDHC to rescue & repair the structure in time for the annual Matthew Street Festival at the end of August. The blindingly obvious point was made not just by the LCC but anyone with half a brain & a civic consciousness that a submerged landing stage wouldn't look very good to the many tourists about to descend on the city for the annual Beatlefest. Given that there were to be two stages at the Pier Head itself, it seemed ludicrous to have such a well-known feature of the local waterfront under water. The MDHC displayed all their characteristic imagination & far-sightedness (remember their manufacture of the dockers' dispute in 1995) by saying, "Sorry, can't help".

Progress of a sort has now been made with a new base for the ferries ( ).

Well done, guys! What took you so long?

After all the shennanigans, posturings & cock-ups over 2008 it's nice to see more movement on developments at the Pier Head: .

The waterfront museum has been five years in the making, according to the report. Granted, the size & scope of the project has meant that it couldn't be a rush job. However, it still seems a little on the tardy side. Still, I suppose it fits in with the more sober & hard-headed attitude that 2008 should be a starting point, not an end in itself.

Historian Tristram Hunt, on the other hand, still felt pangs of yearning for a little too much nostalgia on the waterfront & in the city generally with this "Comment is Free" thread last week:,,2062851,00.html .

These four young men appeard to be enjoying themselves at the Pier Head, despite being some decades early for the Matthew Street Festival.

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