We’ve spent quite a bit of time around the dockland area’s of North Liverpool during this project. A lot of our group have very personal relationships with the sea like many scousers, having gone to sea themselves or been the children and grandchildren of seafarers and dockers.
What’s really specific to Kirkdale and Vauxhall communities is this true and unbending relationship with these Northern Docks. Bramley Moore, Trafalgar, Salisbury, Sandon, Canada, Huskisson, Stanley, Clarence and Wellington. They are the reason these communities rose up from the rural idyll Kirkdale and Vauxhall once were and a place of work for hundreds of thousands of people.
Now, the docks are mostly quiet aside from the tugboats, water treatment works, canoeing centres, outdoor cinemas, swanky hotels and the odd festival. Gone with the communities who once populated the docks road went the pubs of the dock road – the A1 at Lloyds, the Seven Stars, the Sandon Lion, the Americas amongst many, many others.
Once these pubs thronged with a musical sea-shanty culture which existed up until the 1980’s which many of our group remembered. As part of our exploration of the culture of the dock road (by that I mean Regent Road) our group descended on one of the last two remaining pubs, namely the Bramley Moore, built c.1758.
Our intention was to hold a traditional dock road pub sing-a-long which we hope we achieved. It certainly was a lot of fun re-creating it!
Hughie penned a short ditty after this visit inspired by the Bramley Moore:
I’ve sailed the mighty oceans and crossed the China Sea,
I’ve been down to the Argentine and on to Waikiki,
I’ve walked the street’s of Liverpool and down the Cast Iron shore,
But there’s nothing better I can tell, than a pint in the Bramley Moore.
We’d sit down by the fire with loads of tales to tell,
Like seeing great big sharks and things and a tortoise with a ten foot shell,
Then there was the Octopus twenty tentacles or more,
As we sipped another pint down at the Bramley Moore!
Come on now lads it’s time to go we hear the barmaid say,
Not you little Jimmy you still have to pay,
So picking up me coat an hat I headed for the door,
Thinking just how cozy it was as I left the Bramley Moore.
(N.B this is supposed to be sung with the emphasis on Bramley Moore!)