Category Archives: Travel

The Hardman House

or 59 Rodney Street

Edward Chambré Hardman was a renowned portrait photographer. The house he and his wife Margaret lived in for 40 years is a museum now. Almost all of the rooms are opened for public, the cluttered living quarters and the spacious business rooms.

He was born in 1898 in Ireland, the son of a amateur photographer. By the age of fourteen he won a few photographic competitions. During the time he served in India, he met Kenneth Burrell, who became his business partner on their return to England.

He was a perfectionist and his work was very appreciated. Due to his reputation he was commissioned by the Playhouse Theater to photograph the up and coming stars of the time. All the negatives were retouch before printing, eliminating any flaws. He had collaborations with different artists that worked from home and colored the photos by hand. The artists were using samples of hair and textile and a detailed description relating to complexion, eye color, and clothing.

Although his business revolved around portraits, his real love was the landscape photography. So, he would take advantage of every chance he got to go out in search for landscapes.

Margaret Mills started working as an assistant in 1926. In 1929 she worked at a studio in Paisley but kept in constant contact with Hardman in Liverpool, exchanging love letters. In the love letters she mentioned her other interests like fishing, golf, opera and dancing.

In 1932 she came back in Liverpool and they got married. In 1948 they moved to 59 Rodney Street, where they lived and worked for the rest of their lives. In some rooms there are descriptions made by the former staff and clients. It’s really interesting to hear them.

She played a vital role in the business. The guide told us about them, they use to bounce ideas and work together, sharing the same passions and concepts. She was making her own clothes, but she loved fashion and she had 2 full wardrobes.

I loved their story and it was so strange. When the guide was talking, hubby and I were both thinking we have a lot in commune with the Hardmans: we work together and we have a similar working relation, no kids and a dog, we love photography and so on. It was strange for us.

We didn’t take pictures, but you can see some on the National trust website and on the Mersey-gateway.

Liverpool docks

We visited some of the south docks. Most of them are part of residential places or business parks.

Albert Dock is the most famous. Jesse Hartley designs the dock in 1839, but the construction began in 1841 and in 1845 the dock opens. Albert dock functioned until 1972. Now it hosts a few museums, restaurants and bars and it’s the starting point for sightseeing tours.ld_01

Wapping dock opens in 1834. It has been developed to link Georges, Salthouse, Canning, Albert, Dukes, Kings, Queens and Brunswick docks. The Wapping dock warehouse closes in 1988.
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The duck marines on the dock.
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King’s dock is connected with Wapping dock and Queen’s dock in the south. The dock was designed by Henry Berry and opened in 1785.

Kings dock was rebuilt in 1898 under the Dock Improvement Act and began to import fresh fruit from the Canary Islands, which was stored in quayside sheds. Samples were taken to the Liverpool Fruit Exchange where they were auctioned.

In early 2000 was planned the development of the under-utilised land at Kings dock. Initial reviews considered a range of options for the site and a concert arena and convention center facility was identified as likely to make the biggest impact on employment, the local economy and Liverpool’s national profile. So it was built the Echo arena and the Wheel.
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The Liverpool Cathedral seen from the docks. We went with Festus there, a few months ago.
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Queen’s dock, opened in 1785 and it’s the largest.
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The waterfront continue with the Royal Navy Headquarters (RNHQ) Merseyside, the HMS Eaglet establishment of the Royal Naval Reserve. This and the other docks in the southern system are owned by British Waterways.

Costume Drama tour

Sudley house has a special exhibition: Costume Drama – Fashion from 1790 to 1850. Costume Drama tour it’s a part of the special exhibition and we had the pleasure to listen to Pauline Rushton talk about the dresses.

I like the house, it feels warm and welcoming even if it’s a museum. The staff it’s great too.cdt_01

This white dress had a nice story. It’s from 1820, but it came with a letter and the owner was a daughter of a captain from slave trade. He wrote that letter to his wife, telling her nice things about her, their kids, his mother in law. The letter had a PS where he said half of the slaves were brought on board, which was very cold comparing to the tone of the letter.
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This daytime dress was worn by a new bride, after her wedding.
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The dresses were made from cotton and most of them were donations. The curator explained so nicely the big differences between dresses and it was amazing to see how the fashion evolved so much in just a few years. The evolution was due to technological progress and trends.
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Dolls’ house on stand, from 1850-1880. The furniture is English, the glassware and metal chandeliers are French and the kitchen utensils, the ornaments and the tea set are German. It looked great.
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Now it’s the tea room but in the past it was the kitchen. The homemade cakes looked yummy but we didn’t had time to try them, maybe next time.
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We went for a stroll in the garden. It’s big and nice, with beautiful trees and very upset and fighting squirrels.
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Women’s day

In Eastern Europe the 8th of march has a very special meaning: women’s day. It’s a day that celebrates the woman regardless if she is a mother or not. Of course we celebrate this year too. I asked hubby to make it a special day out and he said yes. Fortunately we had a lovely weather and our walk was great.

First of all we went to Williamson tunnels. I saw the website before moving to UK and I really wanted to visit the tunnels. The reviews on tripadvisor were great too.

We had a guide that told us the lovely story of Joseph Williamson (born on 10th march), a very eccentric man, who succeeded to get from an orphan child that arrived at 11 years in Liverpool to a wealthy tobacco merchant. He was, from my point of view, a great philanthropist too. The lady-guide talked with such enthusiasm and we loved the tour. If you came in Liverpool, make a stop to the tunnels, you will have a great time.

Some pictures. This is the entrance. I had to wear a helmet, but there are no risks.
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We paid attention to the tale and forgot to took pictures of the tunnels. After Williamson died in 1840 the tunnels were used as a dumping site, but, as the lady told us, it’s just a matter of perception… now every piece is an artifact 🙂
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This was a pot for steamed vegetables. The holes were made so the steam could go out so the vegetables wouldn’t get mushy.
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Jam jars with the inscription: “Not genuine unless bearing W. P. Hartley’s label”. We saw Hartley jams in store, but I’m not sure we’ve tried it.
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The entry fee is just £4.5 per person, it’s a small price considering they receive no public funding and the guide is included!

After we saw the tunnels, we were headed to World Museum when I saw that St. George’s Hall is open. We stepped in and enjoyed a short visit.
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I was standing near the judge’s chair.
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The hall looks amazing.
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St. George’s Hall is the first building with air-conditioning in the world. The engineer David Boswell Reid designed this system in 1851. He named it “Systematic Ventilation” system, and he designed the one for the Houses of Parliament too.
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The hall from outside. The hall has no entry fee.
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Near the hall is the World Museum.The museum is huge! There are five floors and many exhibits and it’s free! On the first floor we saw the Aquarium. The pictures have a lower quality because hubby didn’t use the flash (it was a requirement and a polite thing to do).

The lovely Clownfish, that unfortunately it’s considered an endangered species.
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Another endangered species, but I forgot the name. They look so funny.
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Near the entrance of the bug house is the giant bug. A little scary 🙂
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Two scorpions.
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Ants. Their display is very interesting, they get the food in one place and the ants move it to their habitat. I think very organized and lovely.
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The bug house has a huge number of butterflies! A lot of the insects are put in special drawers-insectariums. I’ll go again to read about them and take pictures. They are so many, so I think only this exhibits will take 2-3 hours to see properly.
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After the bug house we went in the Clore Natural History Centre. There were many children so we moved faster. I’ll go back another time, fortunately it would be a smaller crowd. I loved this exhibit. On the wicker chest is wrote: “Dare you open the box to see the most DANGEROUS ANIMAL in the world? Watch out it is alive!” and inside there is a mirror…
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On the ancient world sector I saw for the first time a mummified crocodile. There are a few mummies as well because Liverpool is a center for research of the Egyptian archaeology and here was founded the first institute of archaeology.
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I also found my ancient Egyptian name: weser nefer sat.
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Very beautiful arrows. The middle one is just lovely.
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Interesting pairs of sunglasses made by Eskimos.
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Here I was searching for the right runes to write my name. It was pretty hard because the difference between the runes wasn’t so big.
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my name
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In the Natural World section there were many warnings about our endangered planet. For example: “Every year an area of forest the size of Yorkshire is deliberately destroyed forever. It is estimated that in 30 years these enormous forests may have completely disappeared. Can the world afford to pay this price for “progress”?”
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A fossil in stone. At the museum there are a few fossils and they all look lovely, at least from my point of view.
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Wild geese

update! wild geese by night:
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Today we went in St. Helens. Hubby and a friend had a meeting with Paul Sculthorpe, former Saints captain, at Saints Stadium. A picture taken at the stadium.
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Meanwhile I went shopping in the town for a while. I got a nice compliment from a old gentleman: “you look like a flower, love”. It was very nice and this was the first time I actually enjoyed what I was told by a stranger on the street. It made my day much prettier.

After the meeting I managed to convince hubby to make a short trip to Knowsley, but when he turned back the car we saw a swarm of not-so-wild geese.
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A dad and his kid were feeding the birds, so I had to do the same. We dropped the plans to go to Knowsley and went to Tesco to buy some bread (whole wheat, of course). After a small discussion about the number of breads… we got 2 and went back to feed them. As soon as I got out of the car the geese approached us with no hesitation.
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I hopped the geese would came near me, but my expectations were too small.
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The geese came very close and they had no problems steeling the bread from my hands and getting into a lot of fights. This is the 2nd time I’m so surprised birds can be so aggressive. The first time I saw some very “upset” penguins and now the geese.
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As I said…they fought a lot. If one of them caught a piece of bread, another one or maybe two would pinch her.
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One tried to get the breed from the wrapping and a few tried and succeeded to get some bread from my hand.
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Another fight…
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I really enjoyed feeding them. It’s a shame they are so far from us.

Formby sand dunes

We went at Formby – Sefton’s Natural Coast.

Laura mentioned it and today we went there. Here is the parking lot near the sand dunes.
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It looks great, but it was a little windy and we didn’t stay too long. We liked the walk on the beach and the sand dunes are nice, so we will definitely go again, maybe with Festus. There is a very large beach with sand dunes near pine woods.
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Laura mentioned in the morning here is water, but during the day the sea withdraws. Unfortunately we were unable to reach the sea because there were some mesh waters.
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This dunes were near the parking lot. The sand was loose, but for a small photo-shoot it didn’t matter.
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oops! but nothing happened 🙂
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Me & Laura
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This is a panoramic view of the sands & sea. Click to see a larger version. Enjoy!
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In the woods there are 5 routes, but we didn’t try them today. Next time I’ll drag hubby on the “red squirrel walk” trying to get a glimpse of the lovely squirrels.

Museum of Liverpool

Today we went to Museum of Liverpool with some friends.

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I wanted a picture with Lion railway locomotive, but it was too crowded, so I got a picture with the kids train.

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Hubby and I tried some Chinese clothes.

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Overhead Railway motor coach, the only example that survived is on display. This coach is one of a batch built between 1892-1899 and it served until it closed in 1956 and was preserved by British Railways.

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And the inside of the motor coach.

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If you visit Museum of Liverpool you should try on the helmets, it’s so funny.

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In the football section Laura discovered an exhibit from Romania, a bill from 2000. The description was funny: “biggest bill we ever paid: 1,5 million ‘things’ “.

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Karaoke section… lots of fun…

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The way life was in 1870 in 26 Court, Burlington Street, North Liverpool.