Day 164. Wednesday 8th November. Liverpool to Birkenhead/Moreton.
'When you walk, through a storm,
Hold your head up high,
And don't be afraid of the dark.'
A wet and misserable morning but I was on cloud nine. Stuart has set up a personal guided tour around Anfield, the home of Liverpool Football Club. I clearly didn't need to spell that out as I can't imagine there's a person on the planet that doesn't know all about and actually secretly support LFC, especially that lot over in Manchester !!! All right, calm down, calm down... there's no need for all that swearing.. 🤣
The world famous 'Kop', I've actually stood in the Kop with my son and my dad, scarves above our heads singing that famous anthem before a game, me and Lewis even managed to get Michelle over here for a game once, a life long Tottenham supporter, I'm sure she's definitely a closest Liverpool fan though, she loved it.
It was back in 1982 when I first visited Anfield, I was twelve years old, we had returned from Germany for a short time for some reason and my dad took us over there. I have vague memories but I know I was as excited on this visit as I was over forty years ago and I know the stadium and surrounding area has seem some massive changes in that time. We had a surreal moment back in the 1990's when I was here with Lewis, we were walking around the stadium before the game taking it all in when a big black Mercedes shot into the carpark nearly running us over. We leapt out of the way while it parked up and out jumped Kenny Daglish and Alan Hansen, their wives climbing out of the back of the car.
In a state of shock, I just nodded at them, "Kenny, Alan" I said in their general direction, and turned and walked away !!! What was I thinking ? Surely I should have shaken their hands or asked for a selfie or at least introduced my son to them, anything but instead I prentended I wasn't star struck and walked off !!!
Anyway, my boyhood dreams of playing for the greatest football team in the world never materialised, well they weren't going to were they, not with these feet... 😬 I chose the more lucrative career of becoming a bricky !!!
A huge thank you to Simon and Stuart back at Walk The Edge HQ in Lincolnshire for arranging this very special treat and an even bigger thank you to Laura on the LFC Comms team who took the time out of her busy day to give me a personal guided tour, it may be some time before I can remove this daft grin from my face !!! 😁
Tour over I got the bus back into Liverpool centre to get myself sorted out for the lodge meeting I'd been invited to that night. I met Tony at the Liverpool Freemasons Hall where we had a good chat over a brew before he gave me a tour of the facilities. What an incredible building, three exquisite Lodge rooms, each built directly on top of the other and each with an adjacent dining room, designed and decorated in a matching scheme. The lodge room in the basement was styled in an Egyptian theme, I've only ever seen such a design in Grand Lodge in London and in Jarrow in Northumberland, it was stunning.
I thanked Tony for the tour and headed back to the Hostel to get showered and iron my kit for the evenings meeting, on my way I walked to both ends of Hope Street to have a look around the two Cathedrals. I don't know of any other city to have two Catherdrals and certainly not situated on the ends of the same street.
Both cathedrals are very new, in cathedral terms anyway. The Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral or locally nicknamed, 'Paddy's Wigwam' was opened in 1967, they only started building it in 1962 !!!
Where as, the construction of The Cathedral Church of Christ commenced in 1904 and was opened in 1978, the largest cathedral and religious building in Britain and the eighth largest church in the world. What a structure !!!
Like many people, I'd seen both of these cathedrals on the Liverpool skyline for many years but I've never found the time to visit, I highly recommend you all to make a visit to Liveroool, a truly incredible city for so many reasons.
I got back to the Freemasons Hall and enjoyed an excellent ceremony with the brethren of the Blenheim Lodge No. 7519. The festive board was very enjoyable, many of the lodge members are ex military so the banter was on point, the beer and wine was flowing and I ate enough food to sustain a small village in Lincolnshire for a week !!! I think they were trying to fatten me up for the winter to come, the proceeds of the raffle were generously donated to my fund raising total which has this week tipped over the £30,000 mark. Thank you to the lovely people of Liverpool, I'd be crossing the Mersey in the morning but before that, the bar was still open so the talking and drinking continued until after 1am... 🍷
Walk on, through the wind,
Walk on, through the rain,
For your dreams be tossed and blown.
Walk on, Walk on,
With hope in your heart,
And you'll never walk alone,
You'll never walk, alone...