Blake, Smith and The Waterfront

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Blake’s Heaven, The Colonnades, Albert Dock

Finally, some sunshine and blue sky so it seemed like everyone on Merseyside was out on the streets with a smile on their faces and a spring in their step. The plan was to visit Blake’s Heaven, The Site, hop on the free bus from the Pier Head to The Hub Festival then dash back for the Waterfront Films at Greenland St.
Something had to give, so we plan to go to the Hub tomorrow instead, we were far too relaxed sitting in the Site gallery at the Albert Dock listening to folk (and antifolk) music from the likes of the fantastic John Smith and David Cronenberg’s Wife.

john smithWe even took advantage of the nearby newly-opened Costa Coffee where I managed to cause confusion amongst the inexperienced staff by realising halfway through the over-complicated coffee-buying performance that I’d neglected to mention that it was to takeaway. So 2 cupfuls got thrown out and we started all over again.

Before that we had a look at the Artfinder’s new gallery called Blake’s Heaven which is just a couple of doors down from Tate Liverpool which is, of course, showing a major retrospective of Sir Peter Blake’s works. This is an excellent idea, the Tate is selling all the usual, predictable merchandise and books but Blake’s Heaven is selling the real stuff, originals, limited editions, badges, postcards, vintage magazines, screenprints etc. etc.

We got to the Afoundation’s neat little cinema in Greenland St in time to see Cristoph from the Tate and the guys from the City in Film project at Liverpool University introduce a short film of bits Liverpool footage followed by The Waterfront which is a good old black and white movie made in 1951 by M Anderson. 1951 is well before the scouse accent was invented so most of the characters (including a young Richard Burton) had Lancashire accents, the father sounded cockney and the rest had that awful posh BBC Alexander Palace twang.
It was a most enjoyable film which sadly is rarely seen as its not been officially released on video or dvd.

This City in Film project sounds really interesting, they’re compiling a huge database of every bit footage concerning Liverpool they can find, dating from the late 19c to the present day. This will eventually all be accessible to the public via the website.

More details of The Waterfront film series via The Tate