Tuesday, 12 April 2016

UK’s biggest killer

Today I walked back to look at what was reputedly the biggest killer in the UK.  It was that huge brick building we cruised past yesterday on the way in to our mooring in Salthouse Dock.  The entrance gates on Waterloo Road provide a clue.

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Tobacco is a seasonal crop and to avoid fluctuations in price increasingly larger warehouses were constructed as demand grew.  The MDE Tobacco Warehouse was opened in 1901 with the ‘MDE’ reputedly meaning Mersey Dock Estates.  The building has been used for various purposes, including a morgue for US service personnel during WW2.  From the south side a tower crane can be seen but it appears to to located on the north side.  When you walk to the north side the crane appears to be on the south side.

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That’s when I realised the crane is in the middle of the building.  Some media articles from last year report the building is to be redeveloped as residential apartments.  The plan includes removing the centre to create a garden courtyard.  My assumption is the centre has already been demolished hence the location of the crane.  Various reports state it will contain between 450-550 apartments with shops and other commercial premises on the ground floor.

My furthest destination was the Victoria Clock Tower for a closer inspection.

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Unfortunately I couldn’t find any public access.  However I did notice a number of public taps set into the Liverpool Docks brick boundary walls.

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Apparently there were 33 of these drinking fountains which were installed in 1859 to provide dock workers with a free source of drinking water; reputedly in an effort to keep them away from the pubs.  I wonder how successful that initiative was?

I had already passed a large building with what appeared to be an exhaust stack.  I thought it might be a waste furnace but when I glanced across the river I noticed there was a duplicate on the far bank.  My assumption is they are the exhausts for a tunnel under the river.

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After looking at my map I now realise the bridge over the river shown on the map isn’t there.  So it must the the Queensway Tunnel.

The original dock gate posts are still in place and the vertical groove in the stonework provides an indication there must have been substantial gates.   The height of the boundary walls suggests security was a concern.

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The riverfront was popular with families and groups of young people out enjoying themselves.  I recognised this group of four.

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The family looked like it was leaving

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Monument to the families of emigrants' who left from Liverpool for a better life in the New World.

A couple of swans were wandering around in Salthouse Dock enjoying themselves in the warm weather.

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Paul, I’ve been out four times checking the anodes.  Still no sign of them fizzing in the salt water.  Maybe yours were duff! Winking smile

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