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Like many it’s been such a long time since I’ve been able to travel so, when the UK relaxed it’s locked down rules, I ventured on a day to Liverpool.
With no time to waste I booked a £5 return ticket with National Express . I had no idea what to expect or if many places were going to be open. I was just happy to get out of the house.
There was only around 5 other people on the coach all the way there, and back for that matter. If I’m honest, I really enjoyed that there wasn’t many people on board, It was the most peaceful journey ever!
If your not familiar with Liverpool
Liverpool is a port city and metropolitan district of Merseyside in the North West of England. The Docklands and many other areas of the historic city centre were named a UNESCO world heritage site in 2004. It’s home of the world famous Beatles, Liverpool football F.C, Everton F.C and is an incredible attractive and popular city due to its stunning Albert docks, buildings, museums, culture and it’s witty people.
Whilst I was on the coach, I managed to book myself on a £10 2-hour walking tour of the city on TripAdvisor.
The tour started at 11am and we were to meet at the Beatles statue at pier head. The tour was based around the culture, architecture and of course, the beatles.
We started at pier head taking in the views of the seaport and rich surrounding buildings, whilst listening to the stories and history behind them.
As you may or may not know Liverpool played a crucial role in the slave-trade. Our tour guide spoke on Liverpool’s slavery links.It was a topic that often popped up during the tour as Liverpool largely earned it’s first wealth through its links with the slave-trade. London, Bristol and Glasgow were other major cities with crucial links in the UK in-fact, the UK earned it’s first Capitalism through it’s links with slavery.
Links to slavery
The city expanded rapidly during the 18th century due to its trade with America and The West Indies. The profitable trades involved the trading of slaves in west Africa, who were traded for spices, sugar and other plantation corps in the West Indies.
The cities Maritime played an important role in bringing Liverpool to be a global force and power. The trading of slavery made the city and it’s slave traders rich off the back of human suffering. Mersey ships forced almost 1.5million African people traded in West Africa into slavery, who were sent to America and the Caribbean.
The slave ships were often built in Liverpool or repaired in-fact, ‘Liverpool Merchant’ was the first slave ship recorded leaving for sail from Liverpool.
Very few slaves passed through Liverpool but, the slave-trade made this city rich and powerful as Liverpool became the number one port, taking over London and Bristol.
This is very evident in the city as we walk around and have the buildings and streets pointed out. Liverpool is filled with rich buildings and grand houses built with slave money, many of the cities prominent streets and buildings are named after slave traders and merchants such as Bold street, named after Jonas Bold a slave merchant who became mayor of Liverpool in 1802, the port of Liverpool Building which has stone carvings of slaves ships on the facade, penny lane is another, named after James Penny a slave trader and many more.
We arrive at bold street. Bold street is one of the nicest shopping streets I’ve ever seen.
Full of independent stores, cafes, pubs, bars and restaurants where you can sample food from all over the world, it’s most definitely a great place to visit.
What was most striking to me, was the richness of this street and the architecture of the buildings, they’re spectacular.
We learnt that sailors used the street back in the 18th century, to measure rope for the sailing ships needed for the busy port industry.
We move through the city being shown a number of buildings and monuments, until we reach a more modern Liverpool, where we walk through Liverpool One shopping centre.
Liverpool one is the largest open air shopping centre in the UK. All the shops have been designed by different architects, so every shop has it’s own uniqueness making it quite interesting.
Leaving it here….
In order to not make this blog too long, I’m going to leave it here for now.
A little uncomfortable
Although it is hugely uncomfortable talking about Liverpool’s slave links, Nonetheless I feel I can not write a blog without mentioning it, especially in the times we are living in right now. Despite it’s past history, I find it to be one of the most beautiful, interesting and historical cities in the UK.
In 1999 Liverpool apologised for its involvement and the affects it has had on the black communities.
In 2007, Liverpool opened The Slavery Museum to commemorate and offer education and understanding of the slave legacy.