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Tuesday, July 23, 2024

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Local Author, Matt Jacobson reflects on a walk to Liverpool’s Georgian Quarter

“Save a seat for the pop star”

The weekend ‘walk of promise’ to Hope Street was fully planned in the mind and the journey began well from my home in South Liverpool. But on the edge of town, engineering and roadworks halted my progress and added unwanted journey time to my destination, the Georgian Quarter.

The satnav in the brain stuttered and struggled to keep up with the sites of diversions and emergency traffic lights. Men in steel toe cap boots and bright orange jackets dug deep as diggers and pneumatic drills caused my teeth to rattle and the thunderous noise from Tonka toys washed out the wondrous music in my headphones. Crumbling cement and an overpowering smell of tarmac triggered an agitated mind, so I walked past the wire mesh and cardboard warning signs with Olympic speed. But there was no warning as a whirlwind of dust and disaster coated the pathway and also my jacket at the same time. However, within a few yards I was through the grit storm and I continued my journey.

Local Author, Matt Jacobson reflects on a walk to Liverpool’s Georgian Quarter
Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral – Photograph by Michelle Marshall

At the Metropolitan Cathedral, visitors gathered around the main door as photo snappers peered into the lens capturing the beauty of the strong solid and sturdy cathedral. I sat on the steps looking down at the city below and watched as the world zipped around the base of the Cathedral. From where I was sitting, I could see the places that, until now, have never stood still. I was in awe of the city built with tenacity and conviction, dedication and loyalty. The day had started with a cold, bitter wind, but the sun appeared and I noticed a calming air began to reach a searching soul and for a while I felt at ease with this breeze of contentment.

Local Author, Matt Jacobson reflects on a walk to Liverpool’s Georgian Quarter
Matt Jacobson – Photograph by Michelle Marshall

I decided to move on and crossed the road from the Cathedral to the corner of Hope Street. As I walked across the road, I felt the buildings almost lean in and embrace each other, declaring their love for each other and declaring their love for me and for you. Romance was here in abundance with bricks and mortar in love with Liverpudlian voices and culture. The stage was set, and I moved forwards past the Everyman Theatre where I contemplated a drink in the mouth-watering Philharmonic Pub… but I was accompanied by willpower so I headed left and walked towards Falkner Square.

The streets were busy with families, workers and students living their lives. As I approached the square, sunlight glistened on the cobbles and chiseled them into diamonds. They were glowing in unison across these gorgeous Georgian streets. The air was now warm, gracious and calm as I reached Falkner Square Gardens which is surrounded by protective elegant terraced houses. Inside the gardens, children played on three wheeled bikes zooming past me with beaming smiles whilst a couple sat on a bench eating ice creams, cuddling and laughing. And opposite me, a music listener tapped his feet and took to his stage with a short air guitar solo.

Local Author, Matt Jacobson reflects on a walk to Liverpool’s Georgian Quarter
Matt Jacobson – Photograph by Michelle Marshall
The Goergian Quarter – Photograph by Michelle Marshall

I left the gardens and made my way to Percy Street where I was greeted by the graceful and gracious St Brides Church. I took in the architecture of this hidden gem. A stranger stopped and nodded to me and said: “good afternoon”. We exchanged a brief chat about St Brides and his eyes lit up with pride as he discussed the area and the surrounding community.

St Brides’ Church – Photograph by Michele Marshall

I then walked to the Anglican Cathedral taking in the magical scenery and triumphant construction that brings in tourists and visitors from around the world. Many were here today with eyes fixed to the craftsmanship and applauded the professional excellence to design and create the colossal Cathedral. Tourists around me externalised internal feelings as they congratulated the brick by brick efforts in creating this masterpiece.

Liverpool Cathedral – Photograph by Michelle Marshall

I sluggishly walked back onto Hope Street and thankfully willpower left my side for the bus home. The feet needed a rest and the lips needed a drink, so I opted for food, drink and music and then to repeat this sequence for a couple of hours. I chose a bar next to the invaluable, supportive and community serving Blackburne House.

Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral – Photograph by Michelle Marshall

I sat outside the bar and ordered a beer and a small plate of food as the two Cathedrals waved to me in the distance. The beer and food were delivered quickly with a hearty, friendly nature and within minutes I ordered another drink. The waiter gave me the look of ‘you must be thirsty, or have you dropped the bottle?’. He was right, I had just dropped the bottle and I was still thirsty. We both smiled as I bashfully blushed and blamed my hand eye coordination because I couldn’t think of anything witty to say – it was early Sunday afternoon and I am only witty on a Friday. The next drink was delivered, and I secured it safely in my hand. Here I was, my thoughts and I, on a chair on the pavement amongst such salubrious scenery with beautiful blue skies and Georgian architecture.

I would never deliberately listen into conversations as I hope no one would listen to mine (mainly because mine have no substance or direction) but with the tables close to me, I overheard one set of customers talking all things football. Another table discussing a neighbour’s new car and the impact of the vulgar vehicle on house prices. On the furthest table away, a group of adults talking about all things children, school and their children avoiding school. After my food and drink I was full and fulfilled. I walked to the till and played the usual game of ‘can I remember my pin number?’ – Thankfully, I could and I settled the bill.

I then noticed the couple from the bench in Falkner Square Gardens were both sitting near the till. They were still smiling and holding hands across the table, talking about all things music and their plans for a concert. The young lady then asked her partner: “If you could save a seat on the bench in the gardens with anyone in musical history, who would you choose to sit with you?”

The young gentleman struggled to provide a specific name, so his partner threw out suggestions in the air like rock and roll confetti: Bowie, Lennon, McCartney, Dylan, Elvis, Jagger, SInatra, Cash , Morrison, Harrison, Franklin, Mercury, Simon, Garfunkel,Wonder, Faithfull ? He didn’t reply to any of the names suggested, but I could see he considered the question carefully and he was trying to select a name from his very own chart topper A-Z. He was still thinking about his answer by the time I left the bar, but I had answered the question in no time, one bench, one seat, one name – Morrissey.

Matt Jacobson – Photograph by Michelle Marshall

I’ve asked many the same question and received various answers and it must be noted, I also received later amendments to their original answers. So, the question is now yours, over to you…….

With Love and Peace,

Matthew Jacobson

Explore Liverpool

READ MORE: Local Author, Matthew Jacobson reflects on a recent walk down a South Liverpool promenade

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