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Trip to Liverpool

Posted 26-10-2009 at 15:41 by shillelagh

Spug told me about hms illustrious coming to liverpool and i got to thinking about this. My brother likes stuff like this .. always has done plus his daughter who he normally has at weekend had gone off on a school trip to Italy .. so knew he'd be on his own this weekend .. so i found out more of the details and i gave him a ring and told him about it. He said yeah we'll go it'll be a day out ..and something to do. We'll go about 10.30am ..

Saturday night about 9pm the phone rang .. brother .. if its weather like this we're not going!!! I'll be there to pick you up at 10 if its fine!!! Well everyone knows i dont do mornings. Ok when i have to i will get up but not without complaining!!! Arranged a wake up call with spugs - he always gets up early .. When i went to bed about 1am (the clocks had changed) it was raining and it was windy .. well you never know what its going to be like when you wake up do you. Now it had took spug 7 missed calls to ring me on sat morning .. to get up and take the pics of the stanley walkers and id offered them the use of my house as a break .. Anyway they didnt use it .. but i got all the pics of the stanley walkers and theyre in the stanley section on the thread for the rochdale sponsored walk. But when arranging my early morning call for sunday - spug said .. are you going for 10 missed calls .. well i answered on the 10th call!!! Anyway got up and brekkie and went for the paper .. and made sure id got spare batteries for the camera .. most important make sure i had the camera!!! lol Brother pipped his horn at 10 am outside my house .. and rang my mobile at the same time.. just give me a minute .. and off we went.

Now i know Liverpool aint that far away but id only ever gone to liverpool to catch the ferry to belfast or to fly to belfast .. never really got out of the car and gone shopping in Liverpool or looked round. My sisters hubby comes from there .. but i never went. In september me and spugs went on the train to liverpool for the day...and looked round, got lost, so i knew my way from the train station in liverpool .. but driving no way. My brother's the same .. he has been to everton and liverpool football grounds and hes flown out of liverpool airport same as me .. but thats it .. so yesterday was an experience for both of us.

Well we got lost as soon as we came off the M6 and the M58 ... dont ask .. Anyway we landed at the docks about 11.20 .... and we were following a police van .. bang onto the front .. police van pulls into a car park .. and the steward said public parking? bro said yeah - follow this road round keep to the left its over there pointing across the bridge - what about on here .. no sorry thats reserved .. and off we went again .. kept left all the way ..and ended up on the car park .. cost 2 per hour for car parking .. not even tarmaced ... just a dirt bit of land .. We paid for 3 hrs .. and off we went down to the ship .. We werent that far from the docks and hms illustrious.

The Flight Display had already started .. the helicopters were flying fast and reversing and upside down .. but you couldnt see as much because they did the display over the river mersey .. and the ship was in the way and all the good places to see any of it was taken by the people already there. It was packed. So we walked down to where they had the helicopters on display and had a nosy around them. Thought they would have had a harrier there .. but it was all helicopters on the static display .. and they were recruiting for the army, navy and raf and marine commando's etc .. kids were having a field day on the computer simulations that were there, they had a dinghy that simulated being in the sea .. the kids were all having a field day on that - the marine commando who was in charge of that was getting one kid to shout out commands to the other kids to lean to the left, to the right etc ...

After nosying round there and bro asking the questions of the pilots etc who were there to answer questions about the helicopters. We decided to walk up along the front ..and find out where the queue was to get on the ship and if we could find out how long it was to get on. We walked up the front .. got a coffee and bro got a mince pie from one of the vendors on the front .. they must have made a killing on there yesterday .. got into a conversation with an everton supporter while we were waiting to be served .. and carried on walking up the front .. When we got to the walkway down there was a group of people there stewards, navy personnel ..and bro said how long is it that we will have to wait? One of the sailors said god knows .. you will have to wait to go on but you can stay on for as long as you want there isnt a time limit for you on the ship .. and you arent took round it and then he pointed to the back of the queue .. which was right along the front to where the flats were and across the bridge .. but he said we are letting 200 or so on at a time .. said thanks and carried on walking along the front to the back of the queue. It was 12.30 by this time ... they hadnt changed the clocks on the liver building ... It was a good job it was a lovely day in liverpool yesterday .. but it was windy.. very windy - was nearly blown off my feet at one stage .. kids were being held onto by their parents . doubt if it was raining there would have been that many queueing to get on!!

The stewards were there telling everyone to shift to the side and to move up ... and they were doing a good job. There were 2 mums behind us with 4 kids ..and 1 of the mums went to get coffee and something to eat for them all took 2 of the kids with her to help carry and leaving the other with 2 kids. She was away for about 30 mins .. the little one in the buggy had wanted an ice cream ..she got him the ice cream and he eat that before she even got served at one of the vendors for the coffee!! We were talking to the one who was left behind while she was away .. and bro said she's probably having sunday roast in one of the pubs when she hadnt come back ... by this time though we had moved down the queue quite a bit was moving pretty fast ..then it would stop for ages ..then moved down pretty quick .. we were in the queue for about an hour and half .. a woman with 3 kids picked the wrong place to try to push in ... right in front of the steward ..who grabbed hold of her and said you go to the back of the queue . she said we only want to have a look at the ship .. pointing to the smallest kid .. who said i want to go on the big ship ... and the steward said sorry you need to go to the back of the queue.. but the woman wasnt for moving but the steward pulled her out .. and she wasnt happy .. muttering and calling the steward allsorts .. couldnt be repeated here its a family forum!!! While we were waiting one hardy soul was out on a jetski on the mersey .. he must have been mad was choppy out there!!!

Anyway we got to the front and walked down the gangplank onto the floating dock, along there, then to the gang plank at the far end .. at the bottom of that was a sign saying CT threat heightened .. and the lifebelt saying hms illustrious. You got to the top of the gangplank and what greeted you were 2 sailors with machine guns .. and just looking at them you would have guessed they were loaded and ready to shoot!!! Then you went through another door and you were into the main part of the ship. This was all set up with computers, was a mini gun that they had kids firing .. no bullets in it, dinghy, all the best china was out, all the different jobs and uniforms were there, one of the pilots were putting helmets on people .. an engine for the propeller was there, the engine room staff were there, the firemen were showing their stuff with the nuclear kit as well, torpedos. Then you went up onto the flight deck and there were a few helicopters up there and a harrier on deck. Then back into the bowels of the ship and out onto another gangplank and off. We were on the ship for about 50 mins... might have something to do with the time of the car parking running out!! Even then we were late back .. but we got away with it.

We found our way back onto the motorway one slight detour .. but we got back onto it without too much hassle and bro said we'll go out for tea we'll go to the windmill at salmesbury and just as we hit the turn off for preston we ran into rain. It had been fine all day .. but windy .. Anyway we got our tea .. and home for about 6pm.

All in all it was a nice day out .. but brother said i'd have liked it more if we'd been up onto the bridge and seen how they lived etc .. but it was still interesting ...
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Posted in Uncategorized
Views 760 Comments 1
Total Comments 1


  1. Old Comment
    Northern Monkey's Avatar
    You're day out sounded absolutely epic! I love the military and how they perfome their duties etc. rather fascinating!

    Your pictures are top notch too.

    Glad you enjoyed yourself =)
    Posted 16-11-2009 at 21:04 by Northern Monkey Northern Monkey is offline

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