To be published in September 2007


"The huge clock still hangs in Lime Street station, Liverpool, and marks a convenient spot for travellers to be met. During World War II, almost every girl in Liverpool must have written to a serviceman coming home on leave, ‘I’ll meet you under the clock at Lime Street.’ There were always women there, dressed in their shabby best, hair long, curled and glossy, pacing nervously under that indifferent timepiece."

An older man

"Now for a word or two about the master of all these marvels, with whom I am most horribly in love. He is a man of from fifty to fifty-five years of age; his face is fine, though careworn, and bears an expression of deep thoughtfulness; his mode of explaining his ideas is peculiar and very original, striking, and forcible; and although his accent indicates strongly his north-country birth, his language has not the slightest touch of vulgarity or coarseness. He has certainly turned my head."

The magic

"Why I fell instantly in love with Liverpool was that in Liverpool I no longer had to lead a double life. The magic of Liverpool is that it is such a conglomerate of people who all insisted on being themselves. There was a Chinese quarter, the Jewish quarter up Brownlow Hill, the Afro Caribbeans down by the river, the Protestants and the Catholics. I felt like a bird released from a cage. I no longer had to pretend that I was in the governing, educated class."