Building the Mersey Tunnels

The Art Deco portal to Queensway the first Mersey Tunnel

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its web site – see link above

These are the tickets my family were given when we walked through the new (2nd) Tunnel in 1971, the day before it opened to vehicles.

This is the front page of the booklet produced to celebrate the opening of Kingsway Tunnel in 1971.

I have always been fascinated by the Mersey Tunnels, their history and how they were constructed. This Liverpool Echo article gives an interesting insight into both of them.

Christmas Day with Uncle Albert

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

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.

Poles the 2nd World War & Uncle Albert

This evening Sheila and I took 95 year old Charles (Uncle Albert) Walker out for a meal at the Stanley Arms in Aughton.

Charles looking back on Gibraltar (in the distance) from the cruise ship Victoria a couple of years ago. Charles was based in Gib' (RAF) during part of the WW2.

Charles looking back on Gibraltar (in the distance) from the cruise ship Victoria a couple of years ago. Charles was based in Gib’ (RAF) during part of the WW2.

Charles was an RAF electrician from 1942 during WW2 and prior to that he was a youngster in the Home Guard in Wallasey on The Wirral. His own family home was damaged by bombing and the family slept in the theatre of New Brighton Tower whilst having meals at his grandmother’s house. This went on for a number of weeks until they found a new property to move into. He worked at George Henry Lees in Liverpool in the early part of the war and was fire watching on the roof of GHL during the Blitz of Liverpool. He actually saw the incendiary bomb hit Liverpool’s famous St Lukes Church at the top of Bold Street whilst fire watching.

Unsurprisingly our conversation touched on the WW2 tonight and Charles made comment about the fact that some people are giving Poles living here a hard time when during WW2 they were fighting with us and for us. He clearly could not understand why memories are so short and was dismayed.

Sadly, today of all days, the BBC’s Andrew Marr show chose to interview French far right Leader Marine Le Pen! Would I not be right in saying that during WW2 it was the far right in France that was betraying the French resistance fighters? Have we forgotten that too?

What is going on in this Country of ours when the far right, which we fought a war against in Charles Walker’s lifetime, is treated to a TV interview on Remembrance Day? And why are we not celebrating our partnership with the French resistance and the Free Poles whom we fought alongside to beat fascism?

I am proud to know Charles Walker as he helped save this Country from fascism but I am not at all proud of how we are forgetting recent history.