I was in Maghull Town Hall’s Council Chamber a couple of weeks back for a meeting of the Maghull in Bloom Volunteers and could not be anything other than impressed with the scaled-down sculpture/piece of artwork that is on display there:-
The original life-size version of this lovely piece of remembrance sculpture is in the grounds of Liverpool’s famous bombed out church – St Lukes at the top of Bold Street and it looks like this:-
I’ve never been to a large city Remembrance Day event before but today I went into Liverpool seemingly with half the rest of the world as our 3 car Ormskirk Line Merseyrail train was packed out and cosy standing room only by the time we got to Liverpool Central Station.
This was the scene outside St. Georges Hall where the main event was taking place:-
And here’s a shot of hundreds of thousands of poppies being released from atop St. John Beacon:-
I then went on to Liverpool’s famous bombed out church – St. Lukes – at the top of Bold Street to see a performance by local Sefton Borough based community choir – Singing Our Socks Off. They were excellent – www.facebook.com/sosoclubchoir/
They were singing war songs and a large crowd had gathered to hear them:-
I always think of my dear old friend Charles ‘Uncle Albert’ Walker who died last year in his mid-90’s as he was fire watching on top of George Henry Lees Department Store the night the incendiary bomb hit St. Lukes. Charles was a proud former RAF Sergeant who as an aircraft electrician worked on virtually every type of Allied aircraft during WWII.
On my way into Liverpool on the over-crowded Merseyrail train, I got talking to two elderly gents proudly wearing medals. It turned out that they were brothers and one was wearing their Grandfather’s medals from the Boer War and WW1 and the other was wearing their Father’s medals from WWII.
All in all an unforgettable day in Liverpool
The 2nd and 4th photos are also amongst my Flickr shots at:-
The Liverpool Echo has the story on it web site – see link above
There’s been a lot of talk in recent times about how to give this iconic symbol of Liverpool in the Blitz a sustainable future. On a personal level though I can’t escape the story of what happened on the night the incendiary bomb hit St. Lukes and the fact that I had the privilege to talk with a person who was fire watching that night and saw it happen. My previous posting from 2010 refers:-
Sadly ‘Uncle Albert’ died earlier this year but whenever I see St. Lukes or hear of it I think of that brave young chap (who became one of my best mates in his mid 70’s until he passed away aged 95) standing atop George Henry Lees fire watching as Liverpool was being destroyed all around him
Our dear friend Charles (Uncle Albert) Walker a Maghull resident since 1960 (so he’s nearly a local) hosted a party on Christmas day evening.
Charles at his Christmas Day party
Well he not so much hosted it as it came to him as a collection of local friends brought the celebrations to him because he was otherwise spending Christmas Day on his own. The event was the idea of former local councillor Andrew Blackburn who had previously invited Charles to his own house for the last 3 Christmas Days.
This year however Charles’ limited mobility precluded him getting to Andrew’s house and kind hearted Andrew (a wonderful big softie really) decided that if Uncle Albert (Charles’ nick name – think of the Only Fools & Horses) could not go to a party then one would come to him.
Thanks to those who made it possible – Keith and Janet Page, Ian Blackburn and Sheila and Jen Robertson ( I was the ‘taxi’ driver) and of course Andrew for giving up a part of their Christmas Day to help Charles celebrate the festive season.
Note:- Charles is now 95 years years old. He served as an RAF aircraft electrician (in the UK, Gibraltar and Italy) during WWII having previously served in the Home Guard in Wallasey where he hails from (we often tease him about being Private Pike) before being called up. His claim to fame is that he was fire watching on top of the old George Henry Lees building in Liverpool (where he worked) on the night the incendiary bomb hit St Lukes Church and he saw it happen. Charles got involved in local politics at the age of 74, soon got himself elected to Maghull Town Council and served on the Council until he was 90! He may be physically frail these days but he is as sharp as anyone I know. I have retold various historical stories he has told me on this blog site previously.
I nice story to help round off a trying year I hope.
Having said that my last posting on the First World Ward War had been done unless someone gave me another photo………… Well I have that photo, taken in the last few days by Jen Robertson, and it is a great one too:-
In the famous bombed out church at the top of Liverpool’s Bold Street – St Lukes, which I have posted about previously, this new memorial was temporarily placed. It celebrates that time on Christmas Day when opposing armies played football together in no mans land. A truly fitting end to my postings about World War One in the centenary year of the start of the Great War.
The photo is amongst those on my Flickr site at:-
The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above
I have posted before about this historic building so it’s nice to see what looks like a positive outcome to the recent difficulties surrounding its future. My original posting was in 2010 and coincidentally I went to see my old chum (now 93) a couple of days ago, who is mentioned in it, and he reminded me of the incendiary bombs falling on Liverpool that fateful night when St. Lukes was struck. That original posting is at:-