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john davies
notes from a small vicar
from a parish
in Liverpool, UK

    Tuesday, July 31, 2007
    Tunnel visions
    Good day for a walk around Birkenhead, especially good as I've never, ever, walked around Birkenhead before in my life. A plain indication of the great rift across the River Mersey, that I've never before been drawn to the truly wonderful and historic Birkenhead Park, the big water and big docks, the miles-long grid of vast Victorian avenues and the townscape's seductive hints and views of the changing Liverpool waterfront. It's an engrossing place.

    I walked in the good company of Jim and Dave and a highlight of our four-hour derive was the discovery of the entrance to the Birkenhead dock branch route into the Mersey Tunnel, now unused and barred to traffic but still open to pedestrian access. Not an Entrance to Hell, this, more a route back to a fairly recent time when these docks merited a direct link to the city 'over the water'.

    When college campuses and arts centres move into the former commercial buildings you know that the form and function of the town has altered radically. But there's plenty of small businesses dockside, modestly getting on and hopefully getting by.