Evening at Liverpool’s Waterfront

Long before the Beatles created headlines for Liverpool, the skyline of the “Graces” was a skyline recognised over the world. But as of 10am this morning, those, who so called know all about culture, i.e. UNESCO, stripped Liverpool of its World Heritage Status.

Why…. because Liverpool has done its best to develop the City, fit for the times we live in, whilst protecting its heritage. In that process it has had its history, commerce and the economy of its citizens at its heart.  Liverpool, a City that has had to undergo many dramatic changes, which at times has seen its citizens suffer hardships, yet still remain proud of its long history and their unique culture.

So what do we have to understand from this decision.  That progress is frowned upon and we should view our history  pickled in aspic in a glass jar.

Liverpudlians are a tough and philosophical breed…..  they will take this blow in their stride.  Just a shame that they have to.

Where ever you are today and whatever you  doing…

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

21st July

(C) David Oakes 2021

The Sun came out… eventually (better late than never)


Darley Mill Complex and Weir on the River Derwent, Derby

As they say…. “Better Late than Never“.   It was very late afternoon before the cloud broke, rolled back,  allowing the sun that had been in hiding all day, to break through.  It was low, and just like a searchlight, its penetrating beam lit up Darley Mills.  The receding clouds still dark added some drama to the evening.   The Mill complex has been recently restored and now home to a wide variety of businesses.  It is all part of the World Heritage Derwent Valley Site.

Not a bad finish to what had, until the very end, been a rather drab day


Maybe tomorrow will be so much better… we will have to wait and see

No matter what tomorrow brings….

Please Remember ….

Stay Safe …. Be Kind…. Look After Each Other

25th November

(C) David Oakes 2020

A (not so) Silent Sunday…and off to a Palace, Mosque and Castle (all in one!)


The Royal Palace of Alcazar, Seville

It is understandable a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Its origins go back to before the 8th century BC. To say it has had a chequered history is perhaps an understatement and after much religious turmoil it is rather surprising that anything remains. Most of the Palace you see today is based upon the Castilian construction of the mid 1300AD.  But much of the foundations are upon the much earlier Abbadid Muslim Residential Palace and Fortress.


But Alcazar is in fact more then one Palace, several are seamlessly inter-linked.

The Architecture incorporates much of the Mudejar style and design.  The stonework is creative and skilful in its execution in places replicating intricate Lace work, in others much more like stalactites from a cave. The colour will also leave an impression, all heavy and vibrant, Ochre, Yellow, Red , Blue and of course Gold. The tiles themselves are yet another art form to be admired… they are much more than a decorative feature but tell a religious Muslim story.  It is though the ceilings that are so spectacular, the rich gold and jewels reflecting light to the darker interior.


Alcazar is till used as a Royal Palace by the Spanish Royal Family, so occasionally there are visitor restrictions.  At other times you will find it very busy but not unpleasantly so. The best advice is to book your tickets in advance top avoid the long queues and if you can,  join a guided tour to maximise your visit.

30th September 2018


Daffs in the Park……and an industrial heritage


Darley Abbey Park

Derby isn’t a big City  (I always insist its more a large town), historically the pioneering home of much industry, a good deal of which is still operating in the city to-day. But we are also fortunate in having large areas of green open spaces and parks.  In fact Derby can boast the first ever Public Park in Britain…Known as ‘The Arboretum’ it was the first of many Derby Parks donated by local industrialists and their families…   Strutts, Mundy, Maxwell and Evans being just a few of these benefactors to the city and its people.  Yes, those were the days when we had true ‘benefactors’

It is Walter Evans to whom we have to say thanks for Darley Abbey Park (above) a swath of wooded land that runs alongside of the River Derwent.  There is a small arboretum, some formal gardens but mainly just space to walk and relax alongside the river.



River Derwent, Darley Abbey




The-Abbey-1 The Abbey, Darley Abbey Village


But why Darley ABBEY for as search as you will there is no Abbey to be found. The Abbey itself was destroyed in the Dissolution of the Monasteries in Henry VIII reign. There are though two buildings of the original Abbey estate remaining in the village, one is a private residence the other has a much higher profile and is a Pub… The Abbey.

The Legacy created by Derby’s Industrial Heritage has been recognised internationally.  The Derwent Valley has been designated a World Heritage Site.  Water powered Mills were established all along the River Derwent, they were that start of the industrial revolution and mechanisation of manufacturing.  One of these mill site can be found here in Darley a sprawling complex of building by the river weir.



The Toll Booth and Workers Cottages, Darley Abbey

All of this within one mile of the City Centre; Industrial Heritage, a Lost Abbey and lots of space to relax and enjoy the Spring…..and a ‘Pint’!

28th March