Friday, 25 July 2008

Liverpool Second Hand Book Jaunt

'The Land of Lost Content' went on a trip to Liverpool the other day and had a great time. The original intention was to visit the second hand bookshops, have a wander up to the Anglican Cathedral, sup a pint of Cains and leave it at that. Unfortunately the day did not quite go to plan! Firstly the bookshop by Lime Street Station has closed – the entire site is being redeveloped. So that was that.
Then it was off past Lewis’s and the Adelphi Hotel and up Mount Pleasant. Reid’s Books of Liverpool was a great place to browse the last time I visited – so all was not lost. Alas, they were closed for the day. Only one thing to do – a walk down Hope Street. At least the Anglican Cathedral would be open, I mused.

Of course it wasn’t - at least not quite. There were graduation day ceremonies in full flight – so no-one was allowed in. However, the verger did tell me that the Tower was open. After nearly forty years of visiting Liverpool I managed to get up to the highest point in Liverpool. The view was fantastic – if a little misty. So, no prospect of Blackpool Tower, the Welsh Hills and the wretched wind farms (thank goodness!) But the city itself was FAB! What a wonderful place Liverpool is! And I could even see Anfield

Down I came and headed towards Bold Street. And found the Oxfam Shop. And this is where the musical thing happened. In this shop – which specialises in books and CDs I found three excellent and valuable (to me at any rate) pieces of music.

Firstly, was a lovely vocal score of Gustav Holst’s Hymn of Jesus- a strangely compelling work to an apocryphal text. It was in the Carnegie edition. Then there was the Sonatina for piano by Edward Elgar – originally written for his niece, May Grafton. A lovely piece that is a little harder that it ought to be to play; but well worth a bit of effort. And last but not least, there was a fine score of Jack Moeran’s Rhapsody in F# for piano and orchestra in a two piano reduction.

And finally two books made the haul complete – Interpretation in Song by Harry Plunkett Greene and (not musical) John Betjeman’s Uncollected Poems. The whole lot cost just under £13!

Clutching my prize, I finished with a little walk around the shopping centre, paid my respects to the Cavern and Mathew Street and headed back to Lime Street and home.

Although I missed evensong at Sir Giles Gilbert Scott’s masterpiece I was not too aggrieved- I had a few ‘treasures’ to add to my library.


Can Bass 1 said...

Treasures indeed! It's often the case that initial disappointment can be swiftly turned to joy with a few fortuitous finds.

Kevin Musgrove said...

Lucky man. I'm still mourning the passing of the excellent little second-hand bookshop that was in the parade next to Lime Street. The area's being "improved," probably to make space for even more fast-food retail outlets.