January Ramble – The Gormley Men
There is now a tradition for the first walk of the year to be a promenade stroll and this year we decided to walk along the Merseyside coast from Hightown to Crosby and have a look at the now famous Gormley statues.
Antony Gormley produced one hundred of these metal reproductions of himself and have been exhibited in Germany, Norway and Belgium, before being sited in the sands at Crosby over an area of 3 Kilometers along the beach and 1 Kilometer out to sea.
We parked our cars at the end of a housing estate and started walking along a good path that later joined the Sefton Coastal Pathway a paved route between the sand dunes and the sea. Later, at Blundellsands, this pathway gave way to a proper promenade and a leisurely stroll down to Crosby, enjoying the splendid weather which was dry, clear with a strong, low winter sun which we found dazzling. The tide was well in as we neared Crosby and the metal chaps couldn’t be seen, so we continued down to the lake and our lunch stop, in a sand dune, protected from the cold easterly wind.
Our elevated dining room gave us a good view over the Mersey estuary and as it was high tide. We watched the ships entering and leaving port. Local IOM and Irish ferries went out and three large container ships arrived, heading for the Seaforth Container terminal. Beauty of line doesn’t seem to be part of the design of modern cargo ships and compared to the vessels of old, they are positively ugly.
Lunch over, we returned to the coast and by now the tide was out and most of the men were visible. They present an odd site, one hundred men all gazing out to sea, looking somewhat like zombies in a Hammer horror film. We walked out to have a close look and have our photo’s taken with them, a strategically placed cap providing a degree of modesty!
Now it was time to return and as the sun had slipped behind a cloud, it was now quite chilly. The twitchers observed a number of birds, including Redshank, Common Tern, Waders and Oystercatchers.
This was a pleasant day out, something a little different and ideal for this time of year. We now hope that the countryside can dry out to enable us to return to our traditional type of walking.
Linda & Eddie Grange