On a warm summer’s evening, we assemble outside of the magnificence that is Liverpool Town Hall to be met by our young guides, one male and one female, dressed in Victorian attire, who are set to take us on our promenade history gambol in the hope that – to those of us who know Liverpool and those of us who don’t – something new, different and somewhat surprising about the city that was once seen as the Second City of Empire will be unearthed.
Does the tour work? Well, yes, for the most part it does, taking in Exchange Flags, The Western Approaches, the offices of the rebel ship builders of the SS Alabama and along Hacking’s Hey, formerly the Quaker Quarter of the city and home of Liverpool’s oldest public house, Ye Hole in the Wall.
Our guides – Angela and Ryan – stick to their roles extremely well and are faultless in what can only be said to be difficult surroundings. In a theatre, the audience are compelled to silence and the actors have little need to shout. However, early evening Liverpool is packed along Tithebarn and Dale Streets, so to be able to hold together such a fact-filled tour that is amusing, informative and engaging is a real feat that deserves applauding.
As with all such tours, there are some historical aspects that are a little exaggerated, whereas others are not embellished enough. Yet given that the tour lasts an hour to finish outside St George’s Hall, Lovehistory’s Liverpool: A Tale of Two Cities entwines both the past and present admirably and is without doubt – in a city where themed tours seem to rise on a daily basis – an entertaining and charming sojourn through this great city’s past.
Liverpool: The Tale of Two Cities.
Liverpool City Centre
Friday & Saturday, from Liverpool Town Hall
Running Time: 1 hour