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Wednesday, 8 October 2014

M is for The River Mersey and Roger Mcgough

Life goes on day after day  hearts torn in every way

So Ferry 'cross the Mersey 'cause this land's the place I love

and here I'll stay..........

The above lyrics to a well known sixties song performed by Gerry and the Pacemakers.
Liverpool people are passionately proud of their city and for good reason.

 Dare I mention The Beatles again? Gerry and his band and used to play along side them in the early days when the banks of The River Mersey was awash with Music.

The Mersey is  70 miles long and spills out into The Irish Sea to mix with the Mighty Atlantic Ocean. For centuries the port served as the second largest dockland in the UK where traders earned their millions whilst the dock workers were paid a pittance which, in more recent year caused a lot of industrial strife.
 Eventually the Container ship came to the fore and the docklands became derelict, until Margaret Thatcher's government invested large sums of money and they have been regenerated into a wonderful development of apartments, shops, restaurants and a marina,
 There is an arena where a host International stars perform and a large exhibition centre. All this is housed in The Albert Dock (pictured below).


Liverpool has a host of creative writers, many first appeared during the cultural renaissance in the sixties.

 One aspiring poet was a chap called Roger McGough. Roger was my form tutor at college, he was a terrific teacher and I learned so much from him. To appreciate poetry and the classics, modern literature, even contemporary writing too! This was very much frowned upon by the 'establishment'.

Roger hosts a wonderful programme on BBC Radio 4 called  Poetry Please, where listener can request reading of their favourite poems.
He writes quite a lot of quirky satirical stuff, he reminds me of Edward Lear another of my favourite writers
Here is one of my favourites from Roger.

We're the Mafia cats

Bugsy Franco and Tony

We're crazy for pizza
with hot pepperoni.
We run all the rackets
from gambling to vice
On St Valentines Day
We massacre mice
We always wear shades
to show that we're meanies
Big hats and sharp suits
And drive Lamborghinis
We're the Mafia cats
Bugsy Franco and Toni
Love Sicilian wine
And cheese macaroni
But we have a secret
(and if you dare tell
You'll end up with the kitten
at the bottom of the well
or covered in concrete
And thrown into the deep
for this is one secret
you really must keep). 
We're the Costa Nostra and
run the scams and the fiddles
but at home, we are known as

Mopsy Ginger and Tiddles !


My thanks to the magnificent Denise for devising Abcw and also to the masterly Roger for administrating this marvellous site.


  1. Gosh Di what an enriched upbringing you had - fame!
    Yes I love Roger's work too.
    Denise x

  2. You can mention the Beatles and the Mersey beat anytime you want. BTW, your Linky worked right away!

  3. Great post with lots of interesting info - thanks for sharing.

  4. Denise: Roger McG had a shock of auburn hair and a lovely neat beard, Lots of the girls in the college had a crush on him....I didn't as he was about 25 and I was only 16...wasn't that a song? I remember, sung by a young milkman from the Isle of White called Craig Douglas! I think.
    You're so right about my upbringing Denise it was wonderful to be a teenager in the sixties and my parents were reasonably fair with me as long as I was honest with them and told them where I was going at nightime and got home by 11pm.
    Do you remember The Scaffold, the group he formed with John Gorman and Mike McGear.... Lily the Pink... comes to mind! Gosh I've almost started another blog...there's lots more to come lol Di xx

  5. Hi Roger,
    Wow ! The link worked hurrah !
    I was just saying to Denise ,'there's lots more to come, if you don't get tired of my rambling!
    The Mersey Beat was also a local paper with lots of info about gigs and what all our famous bands were doing, Also it covered all about our aspiring writers and poets on the Mersey scene, including Roger McGough.
    Best wishes,
    Di. xx

  6. Hello Hildred,
    Good to hear from you again and thank you for your kind words.

    Best wishes,
    Di xx

  7. I find the docks area of Liverpool fascinating although the bit where they have put all the offices is rather soulless now, I prefer something that reuses or reflects the past.

  8. Dear Di! Thanks for your wonderful post. Thanks also for your comment! Yes money has always been an important issue. The fact that so many people sang about it shows that it is for some people the most important thing in life. People do anything for money. That Britain and the Scandinavian countries didn't accept the euro was to be expected. Britain is traditional and feels safe in the old way of life. Fair enough, for there are lots of Dutch people who think the same, but more and more Dutchmen prefer to change.
    Another thing that keeps our minds busy is the war in the middle east and the ebola epidemic. Let's pray with all our might that God saves us and helps the leaders of our countries to solve these problems and dangers.

  9. Ferry 'cross the Mersey - love that song! Such great times you have enjoyed in Liverpool - what wonderful stories for you to reminisce and share with us, always a treat.

  10. Hi Joy, I agree with you about the modern offices but then, still much better than a derelict dock. I think had the planners known just how popular the Albert Dock would be they may have made the site larger. Liverpool has become a magnet for tourists which is good for the economy. There are more new hotels being built to accommodate the demand for extra beds. There are more cruise liners berthing too at the new terminal, so, at last things are looking good for Liverpool!
    Thank for stopping by,
    Best wishes,
    Di x

  11. Hi Wil, good to hear from you and thanks for your kind comments.
    I think we both sing from the same song sheet!
    It's a terrible worry about all the dreadful acts of terrorism and then the outbreak of Ebola.
    Let's just pray that a vaccine will be discovered to counteract it!
    Fond memories of my youth really make me feel happy, even on a grey day like today.
    Hope all is good with you,
    best wishes,
    Di x

  12. Hi Susan, good to hear from you. The Ferries sometimes play the song when crossing the Mersey, particularly when they are carrying tourists.
    I loved you post about Marrakech, the pictures were wonderful.

    best wishes,
    Di x

  13. Now I have something to associate with that song which I LOVE. I met Ray Hildebrand from (Paul and Paula) singers of the 1960's a few weeks ago who sang along side the Beatles too. I will blog about it on the letter P.

  14. Hi Ann, I used to love their song Hey Paula.
    Were they a support group with The Beatles when they toured The States?

    Small world and all this happened before the internet!
    Good to hear from you again,
    Best wishes Di x

  15. How's 'The Beatles Hotel' doing these days, Trubes?

    It should be up there with the best methinks!

  16. Hi Di. ..a brilliant post ..I agree with you about the modern offices much better than an empty place ..shame they could not of incorporated old and new. You certainly have given us a huge insight to Liverpool ..and I am sure there is a lot more to come.

    I have never been a huge Beatles fan but Gerry and the Pacemakers Liverpool FC song is great. My eldest son is a massive Liverpool fan and has been since a very young age and never budged. And at his wedding his wife named all the tables after the team in one way or another. ..

    Thank you for your lovely comment on my blog ..Yes the colours are simple but effective. Take care xox

  17. On the Mersey is fine, under it is a pain...well today it was! ha!

  18. Hi Michael,
    The Beatles hotel is doing well with the hoards of foreign tourists, particularly Japanese youngsters.
    My daughter took her children to a kiddies party there, they enjoyed it but daughter was glad to get away, she said the constant playing of loud music drove her potty. I assume it was The Mersey Sound...More for the kids methinks.
    There's certainly an upsurge in the demand for hotel rooms.
    As much as I loved The Beatles et al, I would prefer for the culture of the wonderful Museums Art Galleries and fine architecture to be promoted more.
    But then, people may visit the city to see one thing and end up seeing a lot more!

    love Di xx

  19. Hello Anne,
    Good to hear from you again. I seem to remember you saying a while ago you weren't a great Beatles fan.
    I'm more into classical and sacred choral works these days but I always feel a certain buzz when I hear one of their songs!
    Fancy your son being a Liverpool FC fan, we're Everton FC fans...ha ha!
    Hope you're keeping well,
    love Di x

  20. Hi Thud,
    When I worked at The Port of Liverpool Building and lived on The Wirral the traffic used to be a nightmare at the Mersey Tunnel.
    I certainly enjoyed the trip on the Ferry on a warm sunny day but took the train in bad weather...
    It could get quite rough on the ferry at high tide, water would often wash across the decks. Sometime the ferry would be so low down in the water you would think it was going to capsize!
    I don't think that has ever happened....must check.

    love Di xx

  21. What a wonderfully interesting post. Learned a lot.
    Thanks for stopping by as well.

  22. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  23. Hi Beverley, thank you for your comments and I'm so pleased you enjoyed my tale of my beloved City of Liverpool,

    best wishes.
    Di x


I usually like to reply to your comments but for some reason when i do post a reply it just diappears, any advice would be most welcome,Thanks Di x

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