Liverpool was an eye-opener for everyone, including most of the Pinner members! The city looked inviting under blue skies on Friday and Sunday, and although distinctly colder and greyer on Saturday, we were spared any rain.
Based in the Albert Dock area at the Jurys Inn hotel, there was plenty to see and do whenever the busy programme allowed some free time, particularly as we had chosen the weekend of the ‘Steam on the Dock’ steam rally.
Our programme included a ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ exploring the areas of the city made famous by the Beatles and their contempories, visits to both the imposing Liverpool Cathedrals, a ‘Ferry across the Mersey’ and time to explore some of the world class museums and art galleries nearby. The programme with maps.
‘Meeting and greeting’ on Friday over beer and a salad at the Baltic Fleet pub set the tone of the visit, with plenty of laughter and catching up with old friends. Friday evening was a serene cruise round the docks on the Floating Grace barge, where we enjoyed a hearty meal of scouse to the accompaniment of a very special violinist, who rounded off a convivial evening with everyone joining in a classic Beatles medley. A great start to the weekend.
Saturday lunch at the ornate Victorian pub, the Philharmonic Dining Rooms, had us tucking in to fish and chips (with more beer). In contrast, the traditional formal Saturday evening gala dinner was held at the Athenaeum Club, with food and wine more appropriate to this distinguished setting. The gala dinner is the time for formalities, with gifts exchanged and speeches given, and one speech in particular brought laughter and applause: Filip Babylon, President of Brugge-West Rotary, produced a speech almost entirely made up of lyrics from Beatles songs - hugely entertaining! Filip’s speech
The ‘special moment’ at the gala dinner is always next year’s hosts announcing their proposed venue: much to everyone’s delight we are off to Bruges in 2018, with a special trip to Ypres to mark the centenary of the end of the Great War. A change of season was also proposed; as May is very busy for our Belgian friends, the Link Visit will move to September next year.
And so final farewells over lunch at the hotel on Sunday, with the sun shining again, new friends made and some enjoyable memories to take home. And a sigh of relief from the Pinner Team!
Pictures from Tony Moore and Cathy Kim
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