Category: Visits

Visits-Tonight At Noon-Liverpool Central Library.

I came across this exhibition by accident on a quick visit into Liverpool Central  library to drop my books off. I always like to have a look round as it is lovely and I am very glad that I did.

Tonight At Noon is a series of exhibitions and events to celebrate 50 years since the publication of ‘The Mersey Sound’ by Liverpool Poets Adrian Henri, Roger McGough and Brian Patten. I discovered Brian Patten’s work in my early 20’s after splitting up with a boyfriend. I read Love poems until the spine fell out of the book, but I still have it and I occasionally revisit it.

The first thing you notice is the amount of colour in the exhibition. All 60’s fonts and mixed colours and there is a sense of deep nostalgia looking through it all.  The exhibition has been curated by Catherine Marcangeli, who is the partner of the late Adrian Henri  My quick visit turned into an hour and it was the best hour.

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The font on this book and the design is beautiful and is completely timeless.

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I like on this cover, that all bases are covered, Birkdale for the golf, Runcorn Bridge, New Brighton, Bidston. I looked to find out more about the festival as I wanted to see the artworks and literature they used and what was shown but there doesn’t seem to be that much. There are mentions HERE and HERE. I will keep looking.

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Look at this cover! I have been looking for a copy ever since but it is not this one I have seen. I have lots of bases covered so it will be mine one day.

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Summer with Monika, I read years ago and I think there is still a copy in the loft. It is weird really how much I associated this exhibition with things in my life from years ago. Maybe as Liverpool is near to me or that my family are from there, the places I used to go to or the company I kept. I don’t know.

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The atrium of Central Library.

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I took a small trip before I left to see my favourite book cover of all time. George Maws- The Genus Crocus. I have always been fascinated by it and Faith Shannon’s cover design is perfect. She is someone I really admire and the breadth and design of her work is wonderful. You can read more about her HERE.

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Exhibition leaflet- The exhibition is on until the 15th July 2017 in the Hornby Library. More about the events surrounding it are HERE. There is also a radio show on BBC Radio 4 where Roger McGough and Brian Patten discuss the making of The Mersey Sound. Listen HERE.




All websites and links accessed- 13th June 2017.

Visits- Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral- William Mitchell and John Piper.

I like a good Cathedral and I am lucky that less than 10 miles away I have two to look at!

Last month I visited Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral as they have so much William Mitchell goodness on the outside, it is made of concrete and has some very impressive glass work on the inside. All of my favourite things. I must have been in countless times and each time I see something else that I have missed. It was only a quick passing trip as it was closing soon but I saw all of this;

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You can read more about William Mitchell’s pieces for the cathedral here;– accessed 30th May 2017

Inside is a right treat and you are greeted with beautiful stained glass windows that throw coloured light everywhere. You can’t stop looking at them.

From searching I found the best thing I think I have ever seen, a film showing footage of John Piper and Patrick Reyntiens who were commissioned to design and make the stained glass windows for the Cathedral.

It is just lovely and I fell into a trance watching it.

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The Cathedral is celebrating its Golden Jubilee this year and you can find out more about the events they have planned HERE.

You can read more about John Piper HERE, Patrick Reyntiens HERE and in the autumn there is an exhibition of John Pipers work at Tate Liverpool which you can read about HERE. Exciting.

All websites and links accessed 30th May 2017.

Visits- Picasso Lino Cuts, Lady Lever Art Gallery, Port Sunlight.

Back in January I went to see the Picasso lino cut exhibition at The Lady Lever Gallery in Port Sunlight. It was my first trip there and also my first time driving through the Birkenhead tunnel so lots of new things to see.


The Lady Lever is a lovely place and Port Sunlight was a treat as I had never been before and had no idea what to expect.

‘The village was founded by ‘Soap King’ William Hesketh Lever in 1888. The village was built to house Lever’s ‘Sunlight Soap’ factory workers, but today is home to a fascinating museum, beautiful architecture, a world-class art gallery, stunning parkland and a thriving community.’ 29th May 2017.


‘The Lady Lever Art Gallery houses one of the UK’s finest collections of fine and decorative art. It has the best collection of Wedgwood jasperware anywhere in the world and its collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings is internationally renowned. 

The gallery was founded by William Hesketh Lever (1851-1925) and is dedicated to the memory of his wife Elizabeth.  Lever wanted to share his collections with the public. At first he used the library for small displays, but he needed a bigger building for his collections. Lever personally selected works of art from his huge collection for the gallery. The gallery still contains the best of his personal art collection.’– accessed 29th May 2017



Arriving at the gallery I saw the beauty of The Leverhulme Memorial, designed by James Lomax-Simpson, and the sculptor was William Reid Dick. It consists of an obelisk with a figure on the top, with a separate group of four figures beside it. The memorial was unveiled in 1930. It is recorded in the National Heritage List for England as a designated Grade II listed building.- 29th May 2017.

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Napoleons death mask.

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DeidreJacob Epstein– Bronze, modelled in 1942.

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The linocuts are owned by the British Museum and some of them have never been seen outside of London before so I was excited to be able to see them. They all focus on the later part of Picasso’s career from the 1950’s and 60’s.

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Pablo Picasso (1881–1973), Nature morte sous la Lampe (Still Life under the Lamp). Linocut, 1962.-– accessed 29th May 2017.

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It was really beautiful up close and I only had my phone to take sneak pictures so they really don’t do it justice.

‘Colour linocuts are usually made with a different block for each colour, but Picasso was unique in his use of a single block to achieve the same effect in what is known as the ‘reductive’ method. After printing the first colour, the lino plate is cleaned before cutting away the areas that will not be printed in the next colour. This process is repeated for the subsequent layers, until the print is complete.’ 29th May 2017.

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Picasso – Nude Woman at the Spring- 1962

Picasso Jacqueline Reading- 1962

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There is an interesting piece HERE about the British Museum acquiring the work and a video about them below.

All websites and links acccessed 29th May 2017.

Visits- Hull City Of Culture 2017-Part 6.

Our final day in Hull, started with another Lenny’s breakfast and gratis Marmites. After packing our things and waving goodbye out of the window, we consulted our itinerary and headed to the university to see the Gulbenkian Centre. This is unfortunately where this story ends as we couldn’t park, couldn’t find it and became cross and hot. This is OK though as we can still see Martin Chalk, but again we drove past it, couldn’t turn round and ended up on the road to Beverley so all in all the last bits of itinerary were spoiled. However we did have a lifeline in Burton Constable Hall so off we went.



The problem we had here was that the main house only opened in April which was most upsetting as we had planned on the drive up to sashay away down the grand halls, see velvet curtains and nice wallpapers to go ‘ooh’ at but instead we had a cup of tea and a piece of cake and walked around the grounds.







Loyal beastie.








After covering the grounds and chatting to our new sheep friends we decided to head back and maybe this time stop at Ferrybridge for more tea and ‘the experience’ and maybe an egg out of the machines that give you a ring with jewels on. But STOP! We drove through a mini high street and saw a shop that made us make a noise. There were knickers and flipflops in the window and a haberdashery section and we immediately parked up and ran to it. Boyes isn’t somewhere I have been in before, there aren’t any near me but I have since learned my nearest one is in Royton so I I have noted this down.

Lace, Tweed and Panache. All good things a lady needs.






The best thing came from the charity shop which now sits on my collection of Galt toy things shelf.




With our Boyes bags filled to the top with Astral and Yorkshire mix we said farewell and made our way back to the motorway. Here is a picture of Ferrybridge under the gantry to the North. We again missed the turning so no eggs with rings in or experience.


©Sarah Fordham


My final thoughts of Hull have been great, its a great city with lovely people and lots to see and do. We will definitely be back by the end of the year to see the things we missed, drive on the bridge and eat more buffet. There’s lots more to see during the culture year but don’t just go for that, go regardless as it’s dead good.

All websites accessed 30th April 2017.

Hull City Of Culture 2017, Part 5.

It was starting to become apparent on the incredible journey to the Fruit Market that resting is important. We tried our best to keep chipper but we were falling into the hungry, maybe getting a bit tired, need my ear muffs, shoes are hurting, too many leaflets in the bags- insert other things in the bag that we didn’t need to carry. ‘Its fine though as we can eat there Sarah!’ I said. Still with hope in our hearts that Sarah Lucas would be there for us to see, we continued through the very clean streets and saw these things;






I bought some stamps in here. Very pleasant and orderly.


We we were drifting and becoming lost, we were overwhelmed and needed a shortcut and we chose a very nice one at that. You can read all about Hepworth Arcade HERE. I especially like this part-

‘Joseph Hepworth took the first steps towards building his dream arcade in 1888.’  

and this bit-

 ‘The original intention to name it Victoria Arcade in honour of the reigning monarch had, by then, been dropped by Hepworth in favour of naming it after himself.’

A dream arcade of your very own.








Outside into the light we saw more fish and some lovely glass on Holy Trinity Church.



In the distance after crossing over we arrived at the Fruit Market (quarter). They said change is happening, we believed them, we had come here special, we had come to see Sarah Lucas.


We checked our dates- check, we consulted our map- correct and we viewed the timetable- present, however through the windy street we found that it was very quiet. Where was everybody? We looked at The Female Gaze exhibition window, right place and we wanted to see it. We tried the door-closed.




Oh look, we wanted to see this- closed- (However upon checking it had moved to a new location back where we had originally started from at 10am that morning, so closed.)


It is OK though as these oranges are nice and the Humber Street Gallery is here and we can eat first and see Power in Woman and Sarah Lucas. Stop going on about it, we eat and look.


I would like to tell you that we saw the Sarah Lucas sculptures, the one big thing that we were excited about seeing and one of the main reasons we visited. I would like to say that we spent hours in there and laughed and pointed at things all the time thinking yes, this is very good, THIS IS IT!

What I can tell you is that we went inside and looked at the menu, we ordered halloumi wraps and a cup of well deserved tea. Sarah asked about the exhibition that was on and where about it was and like a bolt of lightening we were told it had been taken away. Just gone. As if Grotbags had flown in, clicked her fingers and turned it into dust. Just gone. We repeated these words throughout eating our wraps which were swallowed whole in temper. Just gone. We gathered our thoughts and tried to smile but we couldn’t. I didn’t smile again until I thought about what I was going to have for my tea later but it took a lot of doing to make that happen.

Just gone.

We left and we felt flouncy and cross. Everybody had gone, just like Sarah Lucas. Just gone. The only light in this terribly dark tunnel came from a man with a 21st birthday balloon. He had decided to come out on his birthday, have a nice tea, wander round the fruit market and probably wanted to see Sarah Lucas but as it was gone he kept walking. On closer inspection it seemed he had done what we have all done at some point, new shoes without socks. His poor heels were a mess and we wanted to help, offer plasters but they were all gone.


Deflated and not sure of our facial expressions we decided to seek solace back at Lenny’s. We saw The Deep which we realise now we should have visited instead to avoid the earlier events but I’m trying to gloss over it as it is just too emotional. In fact no I am right pissed off about it and I want a turtle teddy and a pencil and to see the stingrays. Oooh I tell you.


The Hull flood barrier calmed us with its beauty and guided us back to Lenny with feelings of ‘not wanting it to be spoilt but…’





Barrier of beauty.



Just gone.



Back at Lenny’s we sat and plotted but then ended up sitting until teatime. Here are some nice out of Lenny’s window pictures- The two tall poles in the distance are part of the Humber Bridge.



If you look closely next to the church on the left you can see coloured lights. This is called ‘I Wish To Communicate With You’ by Italian artist Silvio Palladino. Here are some words about it from The Goodwin Trust

I Wish To Communicate With You is an ambitious mass participation project engaging local residents in a major art installation. Over the upcoming weeks Thornton Estate will get a full colour makeover with the majority of the 600 residents, living in 240 homes, across the five high-rise tower blocks participating in this large-scale light installation.

Tinted filters will be fitted in the communal lighting areas and coloured sheets will be stuck in the window panes of each property. As darkness falls a collage of colour will be created across the estate, free for all to view.’

Ideally we should have gone to see it properly but once spotted out the window and looking at our comfort wear and cardigans we decided we had seen it so it was OK.



We ate our big proper tea of fish, chips and peas in Lenny’s and waddled back upstairs for Inspector Frost and rest. Until the morning came of our departure day, we planned our last few activities to be completed and tried to unset our faces. PS- Inspector Frost wasn’t on.

All websites and links accessed 15th April 2017.

Visits- Hull City of Culture, Part 4.

Tiredness had struck us but we still had things on the Hulliday list to fulfil, like The Streetlife Museum and their exhibition about cats.

It was very nice in here with lots to see and it smelled nice and oily.



Thomas Sheppard- A very important man- Read HERE.




After 5 minutes of holding the lever it decided I was modest. I took my hand off in the end.





The Fabulous Felines exhibition was great and it focused on the work of Violet Roberts who was a musical theatre performer and postcard artist in Hull. I liked that her postcards ‘feature comic, fashionably dressed cats.’ I had seen these postcards before but I never knew who they were by and now I do and so do you.



These post-its were very good and my favourites are awesome white cat, super fat cat, pussy bear and kbam.
















Amy Johnson – read HERE all about her and about A Moth for Amy that are dotted around Hull. We saw three and they were most exciting. You can download the moth map HERE.



Lovely stuff.


Saying goodbye, the outside hurt our eyes as the sun had come out. We wanted pizza.


Good frog, nice frog.



Next stop was The Hull and East Riding Museum.

This is Malcolm, we are going steady.



Mosaics, do you know what, they still astound me all these years later.







Mammoth. My dad found a mammoths tooth on the beach once.


By now we were failing at our list. We needed to eat, my feet needed plasters and we probably needed the toilet but weren’t sure if we did. We consulted our oracle and found that we needed to be on the other side of town in a place called The Fruit Market….

Visits- Hull City Of Culture, Part 3.

Following on from the Maritime Museum we looked at things like this;





We entered Queens Gardens and when you type it into Google, this comes up,

‘Queen’s Gardens is a sequence of gardens in the centre of Kingston upon Hull.They are set out within a 9.75-acre (4 ha) area that until 1930 was filled with the waters of Queen’s Dock. As the dock was not fully filled in, the gardens are largely below the level of the surrounding streets.’,_Hull-accessed 9th April 2017.

Well fancy that.


This was peculiar and we couldn’t work out what it was at first. Looking for more information about it, I found this-– It’s the Hull 2017 logo but only half a H, so the reflection makes the rest. Well flipping heck.








First mural excitement of the day came from Robert Adams, untitled concrete 1958/1959. The 20th Century Society says-

‘Commissioned in the late 1950’s, the panels were designed by Robert Adams (1917-84) and represent the only example of English modernist  sculpture in Hull. They are also one of the few examples of the artist’s work in Britain. The mural forms a feature within Queen’s Gardens, and was part of a commission that also included six carved stone panels by Kenneth Carter, then a lecturer at Hull College of Art’

It could do with a wash and I will do it for free as it is so special. Call me.



This was also peculiar, I thought it was something off a ship at first but after trying to find out more this happened;

Queens Gardens drinking fountain.

‘A large circular sculptured table featuring several individual push-button drinking fountains is still located in the north-east corner of the gardens, and dates from the c.1960 refurbishment of the gardens, although it has not worked for many years.’– accessed 9th April 2017



I wished it did work.


The excitement became almost too much, once we turned to see Hull College designed by Frederick Gibberds & Associates. A complete beauty.





Yes! we are as chuffed as you! At least we think that is what he was trying to say.


But it wasn’t over yet as there was something else, so big and exciting I needed to reapply my lip balm and fast.

The William Wilberforce monument was very grand but I was too close obviously and only had my little lens, so here is the bottom of it. Read more about it HERE and HERE and HERE.



Cue, The Ferrero Rocher music.


William Mitchell goodness.


There is not that much about this sculpture, it is definitely a Mitchell and shows a protractor and some tools, scissors and pliers, but I do not know its name or date. I’m glad I saw it anyway. I felt special.


After a small comfort break and pamphlet collecting, we decided to head off to the museums in the Old Town. Here are some things that we saw on the way.






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© Sarah Fordham





It had stopped raining by this point but we so wished we had packed our easy peel satsumas for strength.

All websites and links accessed 9th April 2017.