The recent Bank Holiday weekend saw the city of Liverpool celebrate 175 years of the Cunard Line, by welcoming the Three Queens cruise ships, back to their spiritual home. It was a wonderful occasion for the city and for the 1.3 million visitors including myself. The success of the event once again highlighted Liverpool’s successful ability in hosting such diverse and wonderful occasions. In addition, the occasion also reminded us of Liverpool’s cultural and maritime heritage.
Personally, I was eager to witness the festivities first-hand. This was not only an ideal opportunity to take photographs, but also to take in the atmosphere of the occasion. When I arrived at Princes Dock on the Bank Holiday Monday, I could instantly feel and smell the carnival atmosphere, the music and the takeaway food in the Mersey air. This was matched only by the sheer electricity generated by the excitement and anticipation of the gathering crowds.
As I made my way to Princes Dock, I was stunned and taken aback by the appearance of the Three Queens. Standing by the river’s edge with my camera pointing ahead, the size of the Queens was bigger than I had originally imagined. The Three Queens surrounded by many smaller boats, including the iconic Mersey Ferry, was an incredible sight to behold. Although I had seen pictures, I was amazed at how big and beautiful they looked, as they regally sailed and danced in the Mersey. Finally the sight of the Red Arrows flying by in a trail of blue, white and red smoke was the icing on the cake for me. The added bonus was that the weather held out, despite the clouds. In fact the only touch of water I felt was the spray off the tugboats!
To conclude, I really enjoyed the day and savoured every moment. With the volume of photographs I took, this was an occasion that I shall always remember fondly. As a proud Scouser, I am proud of my city that showed once again, that we can organise and put on a great and spectacular show. I am certain the vast majority of those 1.3 million visitors who attended over the holiday weekend, also feel the same way.
To round off, I shall sign off with these three special words…
Happy Birthday Cunard!