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A Day in Liverpool

October 30, 2012

Liverpool Docks

So off we (my son and I) set from Wolverhampton to Liverpool. We are due to catch the train from Wolverhampton and a train duly arrives – just two carriages. It is not a Virgin train, who we had booked with, but London Midland and it is earlier than expected. Both of these things lead us to conclude that this isn’t our train and there is no announcement. Having let it go we realise that this was our train and we have missed it. In the old days this wouldn’t have been a problem but these are the new improved times of a ticket only valid for a specified train. So we live in fear that we might have to pay extra for the ticket on the next train. It is a mental system benefitting no-one but the train companies who have made it all so complicated that you are certain that you, the customer, are  losing out. It is a system also open to bullying. I have been on a train when a passenger thought he had the right paperwork (and he had a lot), was told this wasn’t in order and he would have to buy a new ticket from Wolverhampon to London. The man protested his innocence but the  guard simply had him met by the Police when the train got to Euston. The sight of this man being escorted by two policeman made me shudder. A ticketing system with no common sense at the core.
Anyway, all was well and we arrived at Liverpool in good time. The purpose of our trip was to see The John Moore’s Exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery. This is a biennial competition for artists, known and unknown, to compete on level terms. The overall winner based her painting on Stevie Smith’s poem, ‘Not Waving, but Drowning.’ Personally I preferred the poem but there we are.
Then off to the Tate to see what’s on. Unfortunately it was in between shows but we had a wonderful time here. One of the most fun things was a display of photographs in a totally darkened room. The artist was Pak Sheung Chue and the idea was that in total darkness you couldn’t experience the display at the time but if you took photographs with flash you could see them afterwards. Looking at the people in the room they are relaxed and unselfconscious. No-one can see them so they are free to be themselves.

Pak Sheung Chuen Exhibition
Finally to the Bluecoat Gallery, to our shame, just for a cup of tea and then heading back to the Station I spot this writing on a wall. “Child’s Welfare Station.’ What is the date I wonder, 2nd World War or just after?

Liverpool 2012

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One Comment
  1. Catching trains is a very stressful occupation. A friend of mine was travelling from Wolverhampton to Norfolk a few months ago on her senior rail card ticket and was accosted by a jobsworthy ticket collector after she changed trains at Cambridge. She was told she had the wrong ticket and he demanded she paid £80 or risk being put off the train at the next stop. She paid it because she felt she had no option and then it took her weeks to claim it back. Guess what she did have the right ticket after all! She said she felt extremely embarrased at the time.

    Congratulations Jane on your new blog. I look forward to reading more of your adventures!

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