Robert Hampton

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27th May 2013

Atlantic Fantastic
Posted by at 11.49pm | Liverpool | No responses

Ship Tied UpBlogging has been rather light this past month, for which I apologise. I have been studying an Open University maths module which draws to a close on 3rd June with the final exam. Studying for that, and finishing my final assignment, has taken up most of my time. Hopefully, this time next week I will be free to spout nonsense as usual.

I did make time yesterday afternoon, however, to go into Liverpool city centre for the Battle of the Atlantic 70th anniversary commemorations. The Battle of the Atlantic was crucial to the Allies during the Second World War, as Merchant Navy ships carrying essential supplies attempted to outmanoeuvre the German U-Boats which were determined to sink them. Liverpool was very much at the forefront of the campaign – the city’s docks handled much of the cargo, and the command centre responsible for co-ordinating the shipping movements was located in an underground bunker just round the corner from Liverpool Town Hall. It suffered for its strategic importance, being bombed more heavily than any British city outside London.

It has been agreed by all concerned that the 70th anniversary will be the last large-scale commemoration, and tens of thousands of visitors poured into Liverpool over the bank holiday weekend to see the events, which included visiting ships from the countries involved, military displays on the waterfront and a service of remembrance at Liverpool Cathedral.

I arrived at the Albert Dock on Sunday afternoon in glorious sunshine, which had certainly brought out the crowds. Even getting around the dock was slow, due to the sheer number of people.

Crowds at the Albert Dock

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9th May 2011

A kök and a narrow passage
Posted by at 7.06pm | Out and About | No responses

Kiek in de KökBelieve it or not, this is part 5 of the Tallinn blog. Read part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4.

Tallinn’s medieval city walls are still largely in existence and have been lovingly preserved. At various strategic points towers were built. One of the largest is Kiek in de Kök in the west of the Old Town. The name is low German for “Peek in the Kitchen”, because from the windows on the tower’s upper floors it was possible to see straight into the homes of many of the city’s residents.

(Incidentally, we didn’t visit it at night as the picture suggests – the photo here was snapped by Andrew during our nocturnal wanderings the previous night. Between us we managed to miss taking any photos during our actual visit. D’oh!)

The tower has now been rebuilt as part of the city museum, housing various artefacts, mainly of a military nature. Excellently the internal structure has been preserved, meaning the various rooms and galleries are accessed via the original medieval stairways. That means – yes! – more steep, narrow passageways.

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8th May 2011

The Past in a Foreign Country
Posted by at 4.15pm | Out and About | No responses

The Victory Column in TallinnThis is part 4 of my Tallinn blog. Read part 1, part 2 and part 3.

Yes, I’ve run out of Tallinn puns. Never mind.

Wednesday was our only full day in Tallinn and we were determined to make the most of it. We headed down to breakfast, which excitingly was served in the railway station’s restaurant. The breakfast itself was (as hotel breakfasts often are) not particularly special, being your bog-standard help-yourself buffet, but it was adequate to start the day.

We headed first towards the the Occupations Museum, dedicated to Estonia’s history between 1940 and 1991, when the country was occupied by the Soviet Union, then Nazi Germany, before the Soviet Union invaded again. This small museum contains numerous artefacts from this fifty year period of oppression – everything from army uniforms to cars to Josef Stalin-themed matchboxes.

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