Wednesday, 30 September 2009

EXCLUSIVE;An Epic poem on the knackering up of the Liverpool World Heritage Site as William McGonagall writes for Chronic Calls.

By Jove Missus!  Thanks to Mrs Hewitt's Ouija board we present a special edition of Professor Chucklebutty's Liverpool Chronic Calls, as we publish an ode to our developing city, the historical waterfront and the "Three Graces" as dictated from the other side by the late great  poet and tragedian, William Topaz McGonagall.

Luckily, my friend, Liverpool Poet and former member of The Scuffles, Reggie McCough, was on hand to tidy it up a bit, as McGonagall kept shouting "Are ya tellin' me am deed?" More on McGonagall

The Beautiful World Heritage Site On The Silvery Mersey

By William McGonagall
"Oh what a beautiful sight to behold"
many people would say, as their stories they told
Of the time they arrived in fair Liverpool
And their eyes lit up and their mouths did drool

The world came here, from all cultures and races,
Welcomed ashore by our fine three graces.
Though I feel that I must point out to you,
Before 1911 there were only two.
So without wishing to be at all pedantic
Not everyone who has crossed the Atlantic
Would have been met by the graceful three
When they ended their journey across the sea.

But I am sure the experience was not diminished
By the Liver Buildings not being finished
But all who do see them it has been said,
From Shanghai to Peru or Birkenhead

Do loudly cheer and we must surely agree
That it is a most beautiful sight to see
So highly in fact did the visitors rate us
That now it is granted World Heritage status
We take Pride in and love in equal measure
Our port, an architectural treasure
Best viewed from the river or the Albert dock
But what is this people cry out in shock?

For they are constructing something new
That has destroyed what was the finest view
Where once their image was reflected
Two great dark slabs are being erected

Misshapen blocks of cold shining black
A featureless mass stops you dead in your track
For what was once a site of celebration
Has suffered a heinous desecration
A rising monstrosity that now defaces
The land around our proud three graces
What kind of demented fools approved
With the risk of our status being removed?

The construction of these soulless towers
Like great black slugs amongst fragrant flowers
A great architectural travesty
Like two new Concourse Towers on sea

And who of sound mind would buy or rent
Next to the great Mersey Tunnel vent
For a healthy living must be in doubt
Where the carbon monoxide filters out.
How many new flats we should be told
Are now occupied or remain unsold
I offer a quick unscientific test
Hands-up if you live in One Park West

If you bought one of those, what price did ye pay?
And what may I ask is it valued at today
Had ye been at the demon drink when ye signed the cheque
For a home that looks like Wigan Tech?
The city skyline that now we see
Devoid of art and symmetry
A rising mess of concrete and glass
From the architectural dunces class
And where we yoyage on our famous ferry
They’ve created a heap that looks built by Jerry
Winner of the great carbuncle cup
Like a caravan with it’s downside up

Is there nay reached a point of saturation
For the city planners to have some hesitation
Or is it the fact each planning application
Is a gift to property speculation?

Wrapped in the term regeneration
Yet with the city’s falling population
It does nothing to address our real housing need
For the driving force for this is greed

And while the ink on one application’s still damp
The next one’s there for the rubber stamp
To keep adding more common sense can’t deny
We are building ghost towns in the sky

"That will be three shillings and sixpence please."



Tatty Bye Everybody Tatty Bye

Be nice to each other.

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Matthew Street Special Festival Report with John, Paul, George and Tesco lookalikes on every corner. Surprise guests make big impact and Mysterious Shopping trolley apears in Cathedral Font

By Jove Missus what a weekend! Liverpool’s Meryl Streep Street Festival bigger and better than ever before. More bands than Arriva Conductor Vassilly Pertbottom could shake a stick at, which seems to be an obsession of his. Of course it was all started around those four cheeky mop tops from Manchester. Every year it attracts thousands of music fans to the city, many who dress-up for the ocassion. Swarms of them everywhere, it seems you can't go down any street without finding a John, Paul, George or Tesco on the corner.

And the success of this years event  has already been hailed by Wally Bradlow, Leader of the Silly Console. Wally says he is already looking at ways to make next years bigger and better including promising to enter a World Mug bid. Do you know they are even talking about changing the name of the Park known as The Mystery?  It's going to be called "Christ we are losing millions on this new olympic size swimming pool, who costed this up?"

Ham Fists? makes a change from putting your foot in it and you don't need to go all the way to Tesco.  Every Lib-dum helps.

It really is remarkable how this major free festival has come back to life after the fiasco a couple of years ago when Jason Orange decided to Take That £230,000 and we were left with just Jacko Plinky Plonk and his cardboard guitar standing on a bin in Williamson Square in front of the bemused crowd of 20,000 Japanese and American tourists.  Sadly, due to health & safety concerns,Jacko Plinky Plonk was prevented from continuing with his performance meaning that the crowd were forced to watch Chas & Dave singing Grabbit Grabbit Grabbit from the roof of the 08 Place.

Of course the 08 place has come in for some stick recently, well actually since it was built. Suddenly everybody is wondering what it's for.  Fortunately, in between saving the finances of the city for the future and putting aside any party differences with a personal private and heartfelt plea that he copied to all the local media, to unite people around him as the obvious leader of a new coalition, Councillor Richard Cramp, hero of the Boot Estate development (posthumous award) is to lead an enquiry into the 08 place. He has promised to examine absolutely everything that went on with it and what its purpose is...well except for the financial goings on when it was built, the reports to the Executive Board, the overbudget refit that was sneaked through, the use it has been put to and who gets to park there for free etc.

 COUNCILLOR CORKY  thinks Wally is finished. A case of  Bootsie and Fudge

Anyway back to the plot. Now prior to the start, of the weekend festival, I had been over to Manchester to collect some dear friends of mine, Elsie and Gladys Sissons, (No relation to Peter Sissons, although he'd never let on) who just don’t get the chance to see such major festivals or top acts on their own doorstep and both of them have been big fans of Jolly Marsden and the Pacmakers ever since his days on the Sooty Show.
Elsie and Gladys Sissons from Cheadle
Now the funny thing is, the day before, I had mentioned to a friend who works in the new Culture department, who took over from Harbottle and the Custard Company, that as a big surprise I was bringing the sisters to the festival. Now my culture friend Clara, got very excited about this for some reason and asked if they would do a few numbers live on stage. You give them a mic and an audience and you’ll never get them off the stage I said. Right she said if we sort it, you could put them on the centre stage at 8.00pm the crowd would love it this is going to be brilliant!!! Really I said? Well all right I’ll keep it as a surprise for them as well.

So with Elsie 87 and Gladys 83 in the back of the car we were hurtling down the M62 on our way to the festival with them both singing “Jerry Cross the Mersey” at the top of their voices. I keep telling them it’s ferry but they always start shouting that Ferry was Rexy Music and poke me in the back of the neck and then tugging my hair saying "get it cut, you're like a girl - he is a girl.."   blah blah yak yak....Old sods!
                                                     FERRY and THE PACEMAKERS

So anyway we just got off the M62 and Gladys says she wanted a six pack of Red Bull to keep her energy levels up. Fortunately there was a Tesco Express on Queens Drive so we nipped in there and then set off again. Just as we got to Old Swan Elsie wants some Extra strong mints (she thinks it disguises the hip flask effects) fortunately there was a big Tesco on the corner so I ran in there for them and off we set again.

Elsie offers the mints around and Gladys says she only likes the spearmint ones so we headed towards Allerton as there is a big Tesco superstore there but they didn’t have any in stock. Fortunately just around the corner in Rose Lane there is a Tesco Express so we popped in – no luck again - but as luck would have it there was a Tesco Metro on Greenbank Road who had a box of them at the counter. By this time I was getting dizzy and took the wrong turn. It was only when I saw the Tesco Metro on Aigburth Road I knew where I was. I don’t like going into Town via Park Road although the area should improve once they open the new Tesco store so we headed back across Sefton Park to Wavertree Road and stopped off at the Tesco Metro in Edge Hill to get some sandwiches.

Then I remembered that I had been asked to officially open that store and I recalled that within minutes of me speaking the crowd started to shout and protest. I think it was something to do with the freshness of a sandwich somebody had bought as they all shouted “Ya awful Chickenbutty Off Off Off!” or at least that’s what it sounded like. I didn’t get the chance to find out as Sir Terry took the microphone from me and pushed me off the stage. So I thought no, sod them we’ll go somewhere else for our sandwiches.

I think Sir Terry was a bit annoyed with me from the off anyway, because of the little accident I had when parking the car.
But I don't hold grudges, missus no I am full of plumsiousness and whimsy (its the marrowfat peas) and anyway I understand that Tesco has made a great donation to this years festival that may be auctioned for charity. Yes they commissioned an oil painting of the classic Beatles album cover Abbey Road, the one with the lads on the zebra crossing . They have updated it a bit though for the modern audience.
ABBEY ROAD ALBUM 2009 Every Beatle helps

Luckily just by the Uni on Brownlow Hill, there was a convenient Tesco Express so we picked up a few sarnies to see us through until lunch.
As soon as we set off Gladys says did you get me a scotch egg? Well I wasn’t going back for that.  If only i could find another convenient shop selling scotch eggs. I’m not a fan of them myself, strikes me as a mutation – what do they feed the chickens on?

I couldn't believe my luck, there just a few hundred yards round the corner on Mount Pleasant was another Tesco. Hang on while I nip in here. They had them in six packs so I got two for the greedy mare.
Here are your mutant chickens I said as we drove away again.

I should have kept my mouth shut. What's in this sandwich? Is this cheese? shouts Gladys I wanted chicken sandwiches. Cheese brings me heads on she said. So I had to stop the car on Renshaw Street and run down Bold Street to the Tesco Express for her and her chicken sarnies.
Back in the car, she says did you get me any Neurofen? That cheese has given me a migraine. Well what did you eat the bloody things for then ? I said. Some of them were for me!! You've scoffed the sodding lot! So anyway I had to jump out again by the precinct and nip into Clayton Square to try and find somewhere that sold painkillers. Nearest place I could find, thank goodness, was a a large Tesco store.
It’s very salty this chicken, says Elsie as we set off, spitting bits down the back of me shirt, did you get any mineral water?........

Luckily just along the road there was a Tesco Express on Lord Street. It was either that or back up to the new Tesco on London Road, so I popped in there for a bottle. All the time the two of them stuffing their faces and singing their heads off. Suddenly Gladys gets a coughing fit and starts complaining of a sore throat. You’ve got Swine Flu I said! I’ll have to shoot you. You’re the only swine we know, she said, we must have got it off you. Well what do you want for your throat - besides my hands round it? I asked.  Well I don’t want Tunes, she said, they have mental in them, what’s the ones with no taste a bit like Tunes? I know, Hacks she said.  But they're strong I said - all throat lozenges have a strong taste. No,no she insisted, you could get them now with no taste. Right I said so you want some Hacks with no taste, well there is only one place for that these days, Old Hall Street.  Yes, they have a Tesco Express.
By this time we had missed half the performances at the festival and it was nearly 8 o’clock when we just got to the main stage. As soon as I approached the VIP section (Virile Ingenious Professors) some frantic stagehand grabbed me and said have you brought them? Cogloose has smuggled in the all the nationals, BBC, Sky news, MTV and everything to cover it. Blimey! I said, yes they are with me. Are they ready to go straight on? asked the anxious stagehand, only word has leaked out and there are thousands waiting to see them. Really I said, doesn't say much for the rest of the acts. Anyway you try stopping them, I said.

I went back to the ladies and said right Gladys, Elsie - a big surprise for you - they want you on stage to do a few numbers. There's a big crowd here just to see you two. That turn you do at the bingo on Fridays must have caught on since Mr Clack put it on You Tube. You know the one where your teeth fell into your cleavage when you were singing Hello Dolly. Seems they are all waiting for you. Do you think you can do a few of your numbers?
Well they were up onto the stage like a shot fighting over the microphone behind the curtain. Meanwhile I could just make out my friend Cogloose starting an announcement to the crowds.

We have a Brilliantly briliant surprise!  she gushed
Liverpool...Are - You -.Ready?....... (huge roar of yes from the crowd)
Ready to welcome on stage at the Matthew Street Festival (sic) Two Thousand and Nine..
The fabulous, fantastic,
brilliant and amazingly…. er ..brilliant…. a huge Liverpool welcome for.........

The Scissor Sisters!!!!

The crowd went wild with cheers as the curtains began to open.  I kept tapping Cogloose on the shoulder saying Sissons…not scissors it’s Sissons .... the Sissons Sisters -  from Cheadle, but she couldn’t hear me for the cheers.  As they took centre stage Elsie and Gladys started to belt out “You are My Sunshine” - lovely harmonies as always - one starts the first line after the other you know how it goes - the crowd fell suddenly silent but only for a few moments.

     Crowds turn nasty at Oldham Street Festival Photo courtesy of Oldham Chronic
Anyway as we were speeding back up Canning Street, a few minutes later, trying to find somewhere that sold bandages, TCP and elastoplasts or at least something to take the swelling down.
I turned into Hope Street hoping we could find a late night shop or convenience store. And do you know what? There wasn’t a single bloody Tesco to be found.

No wonder this city is going down the pan. Pull the front off one of those old terraced houses and it would make a lovely Supermarket. I certainly didn't have time to drive a few hundred yards up the road to the next Tesco.

Fortunately there was a small convenience store on the corner that sells everything you might want. Thank goodness for small businesses. They need our support.

It can be done you know.

STOP PRESS:       4th Sept. Tesco were planning to open a store in Hope Street but have withdrawn following a spirited sensible campaign by the former Monkees guitarist and actor Mike Nesquick. Three cheers for common sense and well done Tesco for listening to the people of the city.  I for one will still be buying my Scotch Eggs at your shops everytime Elsie and Gladys come to visit.  What do they feed the chickens on?

Tatty Bye Everybody, Tatty Bye.

P.S. Just in celebration of the ladies brief performance, here is a link to a rather different version of You Are My Sunshine with an important message from those busybodies in GREENPEACE.

I know it's a bit blue for me but then so are me bruises at the moment