Sunday, 27 February 2011

The leaving of Liverpool..

HMS Liverpool 1980-2011

Today I went to visit HMS Liverpool, which is berthed at Liverpool docks for the very last time with Dan and my nephew Stan.

Launched in 1980, Liverpool will be decommissioned [ie scrapped under government defence cuts] later this year after an illustrious service history, this is despite a full refit in 2009 which cost millions of pounds.

HMS Liverpool's nickname is "The Crazy Red Chick" derived from the Liver Bird which appears on her funnel badge which, in common with other ships of this class, features some aspect of the crest of the namesake city.

She was part of the Naval Task Group 03 (NTG03), intended to take part in exercises in the Far East as part of the Five Power Defence Arrangement. The task force was, instead, sent to the Persian Gulf where they took part in the 2003 Iraq War and later in the Caribbean.

The number of people queueing to visit the ship showed the affection the people of Liverpool have for 'their' ship and talking with the crew and some of the old seafarers and ex crew who were present today justifiably proud to have served this ship or her predecessor, there will be a few tears shed when she slips her mooring and leaves the Mersey for the last time tomorrow.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Irton Pike to Boot

My friend Karen and I enjoyed a grand hike today whilst on holiday in Eskdale.

We were rewarded with some great views of Scafell, Yewbarrow, Pillar and Great Gable.
The Mountain Rescue helicopter was hovering around Scafell, hopefully all involved are safe.

We walked from Irton Pike up to Whin Rigg, along Illgill Head and swooped down to
Burnmoor Tarn and thence to Boot where we refreshed in the excellent Boot Inn.

My lovely wife Francie and Karen's partner Nigel joined us at the start of the walk and met us at the pub!

Great news when we got back to hear that the Forestry Woods sell-off has been cancelled.
The Government are taking notice of some the people in this country at last .

Day 2

A short 4m trip, we walked up the River Esk from Brotherikeld Farm to Lingcove Bridge and back.
With all the recent rainfall the waterfalls along the route were at their best, and at the bridge you get magnificent views of some of Englands finest mountains.

I used a Lumix DFC-FZ38 camera for these pics; it's a 'bridge' camera, ie not compact or SLR, with an 18x optical zoom, and I am very impressed with it so far. The zoom is sharp at its maximum, and the built in 'anti-shake' function works well.

The Scafell Massif from Hardknott Fort