A hard days night

March 24, 2009

I think it takes a particular sense of humour to name your hotel after this particular Beetle’s hit, but that is exactly what they did in Liverpool. I am up here for the final school visit on our oral history/research project. Having decided that I could not cope with a 0415 alarm call I decided to come up the night before. Checking the last minute hotels this appealed, it had a promotional rate which put it within the frame on price and it did not disappoint on arrival. My room has a large portrait of Ringo on the wall and is well equipped with high quality internet (after very low quality on the train up – the T-Mobile site has lots of places where you can buy services and none where you can complain). It’s just around the corner from the Cavern Club and has what looks like a great shop which I will investigate in the morning. I was always told (and it may be an urban myth) that the performance they gave in Mold Town Hall in the year I moved there at the age of 5 was the last they did for ten guineas before the first hits of Love me do and Please, please me.

During my teenage years, the band were at the height of their fame and Liverpool was the mecca. We used to get the F10 or F11 bus from Mold to the pier at Birkenhead, then take the ferry across the Mersey to the big city. Aside from popular culture it was also the only location for Music, with the Welsh and Scottish Operas performing on a regular basis at the Empire.

When I won a prize at school (ironically named after a Director of Education with whom my Mother as Chairman of the Education Committee had constantly frustrated) I didn’t buy the “big book”, but instead came to Liverpool and spend £60 (that was a lot in 1971) on Penguin classics. With the energy you have at 17 I tore through Plato, Dostoyevsky, Herodotus and others and fell in love with Philosophy and History. At the time my A-Levels were Philosophy, Pure Maths, Applied Maths and Geology, so this was a change! We used to come here to buy records, or just to walk around. The John Lewis story was where the family came for the big purchases, not out of town superstores or boutique shops let alone the internet they didn’t exist and the annual family shopping trip was a major event.

Liverpool has always been a special city for me; the humour and resilience of its people, the glories of its architecture, and many many memories. Although there were always a few Blue Meanies around; generally supporters of Manchester United mind you, but the good guys win out in the end.

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