One Magnificent City!

This bank holiday weekend coincided with Cunard’s 175 year celebrations here in Liverpool. The city witnessed a three day spectacle as Cunard’s three Queen passenger ships visited the River Mersey.

On Sunday the Queen Mary 2 docked at port and in the evening there was a laser display projected onto the three Graces followed by fireworks.

Monday was the main event! The Queen Mary 2 was to leave Liverpool to meet and greet her sister ships, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria. So, David and I decided to go to Crosby Marina in anticipation of seeing the ships. I am afraid I got carried away with all the excitement around this event.

Crosby Beach

Crosby Beach

So on a cloudy, cold Monday morning (25th May 2015), we headed to Crosby. We arrived just after 9am. We managed to find a street to park the car and walked towards the beach. Other sightseers were walking the coastal path, laden with chairs and binoculars, both of which David and I could have brought with us if we had thought on. However, we had to be content with standing as we overlooked the beach dotted with Sir Antony Gormley’s Another Place statues and brave the relentless onslaught of the chilling wind. It felt more like winter than late spring!

We stood in total for three hours during the spectacle. I could not feel my fingers they were that cold! Other spectators also shivered as we all waited for the Queen Mary 2 to leave her berth and make her way to the mouth of the Mersey to greet her two sisters. The crowed swelled. Many even went out towards the edge of the tide (that was going out) to get a better viewpoint. Where David and I stood was good enough, over looking the coast but high enough so no one could be in the way!

In the Irish Sea out in the distance we could see the Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria as they made their joyous approach to the city. Seeing them draw ever closer gave us something to distract from the cold. The sun briefly made an appearance before being blanketed by a thick bank of cloud that did not shift. I was afraid that none of my pictures of the event would come out due to shivering too much!

Then from around the headland the top of the Queen Mary 2 could be seen, she looked so close! She had left Liverpool at 10.45am. The crowd seemed to buzz with excitement. Cameras started clicking and I juggled with three!

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The Queen Mary 2 lead by the mighty Mersey Ferry stopped opposite where David and I stood. She sounded her horns to her sisters. The horns sounded so forlornly to me. The crowed cheered in response! As Queens Elizabeth and Victoria came closer along the coast, Queen Mary 2 pivoted and faced her bow back towards Liverpool. Queen Elizabeth was the first to pass Queen Mary 2 heading along the river, followed by Queen Victoria. Queen Mary 2 brought up the rear as they both followed Queen Elizabeth in a cavalcade towards more awaiting crowds in the city! With the Queens’ departure the spectacle at Crosby was at an end!

While David and I returned home, the Queens paraded up the Mersey and turned 360° before lining up side by side in front of the Cunard building, one of the three Graces. The ships seemed to dwarf the city’s skyline! There was even the obligatory fly over by the Red Arrows en-route to Blackpool! Their flight path took them over our house. A thundering sound announced their approach but it was over too quickly for me to get my camera out. I saw nine red jets flying in arrow formation from my living room window!

I watched the remaining festivities at the Pier Head via webcams. After the three Queens had lined up before the Cunard building the city said its farewell to Queen Mary 2. Queen Victoria docked and Queen Elizabeth anchored in the middle of the river, but she too would leave the city after the second showing of the laser show and fireworks. Queen Victoria would leave the city on Tuesday.

I thoroughly enjoyed witnessing the three Queens from Crosby beach, even though I was frozen to the bone. Spectacles like these truly show what a magnificent city Liverpool is. It’s street cred is definitely on the increase and quite rightly too! 😀

© 2015 Christine Lucas

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It wasn’t the Best…

…but the 2013 Southport Airshow was entertainment enough for one day. We arrived at Southport around 12 noon and found that there were more people about than usual. Probably because they had cancelled the Sunday display as bad weather was due… though I don’t think the Autumn storm was as bad as the Met Office suggested it would be!

After lunch we headed towards the beach or more truthfully towards the boundary fence. On one side people paid £9 and on the other, it was free! You can guess which side of the fence we were on?? 🙂

The wonderful Red Arrows opened the event with their eye catching display of acrobatics. I simply love them, they make me feel so proud to be British!

Some of the aircraft did nothing for me, like the helicopters. I don’t know why but they leave me feeling cold. We waited for The Blades, another aerobatic display team I like. However the last time I saw them they were blue! This time they crept up on us and were painted red and totally threw me!!

Then the highlight of the show appeared roaring through the air, it was the Eurofighter and though the display was short and sweet, it left you wanting more! The Battle of Britain Memorial Flight then followed and I was glad they were amongst the planes on display.

My favourite plane was last on the flight schedule, the Hawker Hunter, Miss Demeanour! Why do I like it? Because its a fighter jet, but ultimately I love it because of the colours! To me it looks like a supernova! 🙂 

I did enjoy my day at the Southport Airshow, David even got a sunburnt face!! However it was not as enjoyable as previous events, though if you have not been before it is well worth the visit! I wish the Tornadoes had been present, and also would love to see some different aeroplanes, as the lineup is now getting a bit stale for me! Let’s keep fingers crossed that 2014’s airshow is even better!!! 😀

 

Is is a bird, is it Superman? No it’s an Aeroplane!

Back to work this week from a lovely weekend away almost killed me!! Although I will get used to the early starts and long days in the office. I am just not looking forward to the dark mornings and cold days of Autumn/Winter.

This weekend is the Southport Airshow and for the past two years David and I have been attending. This year we will be there on the Saturday as I love seeing the Red Arrows and can’t wait to see the Typhoon again (it was rather thrilling last year!) and the return of my favourite plane of all, Miss Demeanour! Although it looks like the Tornadoes won’t be there this year which is a shame. I will try and get better footage than I did last year as I had the wrong setting on my camera!

miss demeanour

Flying Times

Aircraft – Saturday Time Duration
Model and light aircraft landing 10:30 60 mins
Red Arrows 13:00 22 mins
Autogyro 13:27 8 mins
Spitfire XI 13:37 10 mins
Royal Navy Historic Flight Swordfish 13:49 4 mins
Navy Swordfish 13:54 6 mins
Black Cats (solo display Lynx HMA8) 14:02 8 mins
Red 10 & 11 – Squirrel HT1 14:10 2 mins
RV8tors 14:13 10 mins
Strikemaster 14:25 8 mins
Sea King 14:35 15 mins
Tucano 14:51 8 mins
The Blades 15:02 15 mins
F-86 Sabre 15:19 8 mins
Xtreme XA41 15:29 8 mins
Lynx AH7 15:39 8 mins
Typhoon 15:49 8 mins
Battle of Britain Memorial Flight 16:00 18 mins
Bulldog 16:20 8 mins
Merlin 16:30 10 mins
Miss Demeanour 16:42 10 mins