Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Ahoy QE2

Hartlepool's Mayor appears to have enjoyed his trip to the Tall Ships Conference in Liverpool. He seemed very impressed by Liverpool's success in attracting Cruise Liners to the port, something he has often mentioned he would like to see in Hartlepool and good luck to him with turning an aspiration into a reality.

Unfortunately, what Stuart failed to mention was that Liverpool has had cruise liners docking there for over a century. Liverpool’s Pier Head was opened in the late nineteenth century specifically to serve the trans-Atlantic liner service. A small outfit called the Cunard Line (anyone heard of it?) had its European headquarters in Liverpool from 1914 until the 1960's when it was taken over by British shipping and industrial conglomerate Trafalgar House. The grand neo-Classical Cunard Building was the third of Liverpool Pier Head's “Three Graces” (Royal Liver Building and Port of Liverpool Building being the other two).

It might also be of interest that a statue on the waterfront in Halifax (Nova Scotia) commemorates Samuel Cunard and the founding of the Cunard Line. There is also a special display on the Cunard Line in the Steamship Gallery of the city's Maritime Museum of the Atlantic. No doubt Hartlepool's Globe Trotting Mayor will be able to see these things first hand during his visit to the 2008 Tall Ships Conference, which will be held in, Halifax, Nova Scotia.

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