Mathew Street, world famous location of The Cavern Club, where The Beatles played 292 times.
This is my third ES-Say about my trip to Liverpool during George Harrison's 75th Birthday weekend. By the time Sunday, 25th February 2018, George's Birthday came around, I was pretty much "all Georged Out."(having spent the previous day on an enjoyable George-themed 8-hour Coach Tour).
The final day of my time in Liverpool, I was planning to take a train to Manchester, and attend a record show, but I changed my mind and decided to stay local in Liverpool on foot. My previous experience of nearly fainting in Manchester, two nights previously after attending the Pure McCartney Tribute, convinced me to take it easy. I pulled out the three free tourist maps I had sitting in my hotel room and roughly planned the day. Sunday morning seemed like a good opportunity to find Beatles merchandise around the local shops and going to Mathew Street, first, made sense to me.
Spot The Paul- I spent a lot of time taking photos of building art featuring Paul McCartney
I brought a few plastic bags with me, expecting to make out like a bandit, despite having no clue what memorabilia I wanted to purchase on Mathew Street. I get to The Cavern Quarter and there it was...
From a safe distance away-I'll admit it, I was not going to go inside for the 3rd opportunity to visit the popular music venue. Like a spell was going to break or something...who knows?
A long shot of the view to the Cavern stage(booths are located through the archways both left and right)
I did take some photos of the stage and it does have that familiar feeling of not looking very wide or deep. The floor space can clearly hold many people with a narrowed view of the stage and it's easy to imagine how teenagers of the early 60s could feel cramped in with large crowds in attendance. Walking through further into an archway to the right, the bar could be seen on the right from the back of the room. Opposite the bar was an extension leading to another room that was to hold the 2nd Annual(and Sold Out) Cavern Ukulele Festival Celebrating George's Birthday that afternoon. I didn't get far enough to see the room because there was several glass displays leading up to it with items for sale. I bought a logo coffee mug and a shot glass before leaving to look for more tourist places to visit.
Something that I hadn't noticed back on street level caught my eye as I walked past the area set aside to inform where the original entrance to the Cavern had once been located. It is called Cavern Walks and it's a small shopping centre right next door. I could count on half my hand how many places were actually open, but I can't say that during peak times this little gem would have been busy at all. I had previously thought that looking outside from Mathew Street, next to the Cilla Black statue and the original entrance spot, that's all you would get to see of The Cavern prior to 1973. Nope, inside Cavern Walks was a big treat to see this plaque-
Get this printed on a T-shirt and i'll happily buy one!
This "Lucy In The Sky" from as far as I could tell, was formerly a pub of some sort. It was hard to tell because it looked like the owners had packed it in a long while ago and not much could be recognised to be in active operation(aka business was shut down with some left behind furnishings). I can't lie and say "oh yeah, that makes perfect sense-The Cavern Stage was here!" but I was impressed to say the very least! And then there was Cavern Walks Beatles Statue-
Yep, It's another Paul McCartney's statue, some of the other statues of Paul in Liverpool actually look like him.
But, I think the recognition to the Beatles,overall, in Cavern Walks are pretty interesting and well worth seeing. It seems to have potential as a tourist attraction despite feeling empty and hidden away.
....I also bought my very first George Harrison CD there, Dark Horse, and I still have yet to listen to it. But anyway...
I wanted to return to the scene of the crime at A Case History(see ES-Say 109) where the George Harrison plaque had disappeared the day before. But, to find this area, located nearby Liverpool Institute, I was going to walk there and also make an attempt to find another interesting point of interest.
The Bombed Out Church that caught my eye on the tour bus. I can't believe I hadn't heard of it previously, but I definitely had to see this for myself. It was very intriguing to view and photograph. Pity that it was two days before the big snow storm predicted and I was FOOKIN FREEZING MY TAIL OFF. I would have stayed longer and I continued on to A Case History.
I didn't see many people around the statues honouring Liverpool's famous names, probably due to the cold weather. I decided I wanted to photograph my Dark Horse CD Booklet that I just bought next to George's guitar case sculpture(both the flowers and plaque were now gone). Maybe my glasses were freezing to my face but I made the snap decision to leave the Booklet at the spot and slipped away. (So, now I own 50% of a CD copy of Dark Horse. Had this been a Paul McCartney CD I would have never exposed it to outside air.)
I'm not making this up, but two minutes later, The Magical Mystery Tour Bus pulled up in front of the George spot while I was heading down the street to the Liverpool Institute. It stopped for a couple minutes as they were obviously on a tour, but I think I saw two people get off and leave the bus. I don't why I find this funny. I think the cold really did start to eat my brain but previously it had looked like George fans had stayed indoors and I was an early visitor for his birthday. I did not expect the tourist bus to show up at 11am on a Sunday but it really shouldn't have surprised me.
The remainder of my Sunday in Liverpool involved Museums. The Tate Liverpool, Beatles Story, Museum of Liverpool. I recommend all of these museums but I cannot believe I walked like 88 steps to the top floor of the Museum of Liverpool and The Beatles gallery section Wondrous Place was closed! I stomped back down the 88 steps to ask why this was so, and I did not get a re-opening date.
Well, at least I found the Cavern Club to be better than I had imagined. I would like to go back there in the future with the goal to buy another Beatles coffee mug that I cannot find anywhere else.
Forget the experience of seeing an actual band play there, I want another coffee mug!
Liverpool, it's what you make of it!
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