Known to locals as The Cazzy, the area runs from the Dingle to Otterspool and over the last 200 years has undergone huge change. From the 19th century as a beauty spot depicted in poetry, industrialisation, rescued for recreation in the 1980s, a period of neglect and its most recent incarnation as a place once again to breath fresh air and view the magnificent Mersey.

When I was 13 years old I went on a class outing to visit Garston Bottle Works which sat on the shore at the end of the River Mersey.

The beach was always muddy, and I do mean muddy, you sank six inches deep if you walked in it.

After touring the factory, the class dispersed taking a bus back to Liverpool. I decided I would explore the many rusting and decrepit tug boats that had been scuttled and left to decompose like so many rotting whales or shark carcasses. The bulk of them, were used to transport grain, sugar, nuts and flour, to name just a few of the many products stored or used in the grimy foundries that dotted the dock road at the bottom of parliament street in Liverpool 8.

The overwhelming stench of rotted grain, flour and sugar nauseated me, and in short order, I retreated but not without tearing hole in my jacket on a rusted and jagged hull. I walked back stepping in the foot prints I had made earlier and by the time I got to dry land I was three inches taller. I scraped the mud from my shoes but by the time I had finished I had decorated myself from head to toe in thick stinking mud. Had I tried to board a bus I would been ejected with a sneer by any conductor on any bus.

I trudged the five miles home and along the way, I was shunned by all who came within smelling distance.

In 1961  I went to work for a salvaging company dismantling the very same tug boats. As soon as the acetylene torche hit the steel, it released that all too familiar rancid odor many times worse than with my first encounter.

I a few short years I would see the meteoric rise of the Beatles and the explosion of the British rock scene, namely The Mersey Beat.  Soon after that, it was exported to America and the rest of the world. The second British invasion onto American soil albeit this time it was a non-violent one, would bring great change and progress and unity all across the globe.

In a few more years I would meet a beautiful American university student , we would marry, she would bear a son, and we would also leave for America, hot on the heels of  the Beatles and the uniquely British version of Rock n Roll music.

Priory Woods from Southwood Road

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