Bombed Out Locations: Liverpool’s Dock Road and the Bramley-Moore Dock.
Above Photo: The old entrance to the Bramley-Moore Dock on Regent Road, Liverpool.
As recounted in Bombed Out!, of my many late-night/early morning walking routes back home from Eric’s Club, as a young Punk in Liverpool, my favourite walk used to take me right along Liverpool’s deserted Dock Road. Liverpool’s docks stretch for over seven miles north, and at 3 or 4 am, back then, the whole area was usually totally deserted. No cars, no people; just an incredibly intense feeling of timelessness and privilege to be out there alone.
It was a joy to be out so late and to have all that fantastic Victorian industrial and dockland architecture to myself.
Even though I’d just been down in a sweaty Punk club, and I was usually hungover, I was very conscious that these old buildings, even the Victorian red brick warehouse that hosted Eric’s club itself, were a part of the rich historical life of the city, and would outlive us all.
We were just passengers, gratefully using the space that others had paid and toiled to build a hundred years earlier, in the pursuit of our own brief but important pleasures.
The Dock Road plays a vital part in the proceedings of Bombed Out!, so I thought I’d feature some of the high spots of that long walk home in this article.
The interesting thing is, besides some wonderful buildings that were demolished in the 1980s and 1990s, the actual Dock Road remains much the same as it did back then.
One of my favourite parts of the walk was past the enormous retaining wall of the Bramley-Moore dock.
Built in 1848 and named after the then-Chairman of the Dock Committee, John Bramley-Moore, I was always fascinated by its castellated dock entrances and towers. So much so, that I have used this wall as a location in the Bombed Out! screenplay, if the film ever gets made.
It was built primarily as a coal dock for exporting coal from South Lancashire, although when these coal fields were closed in the 1980s, the dock also closed, in 1988.
Fortunately the city council didn’t demolish the magnificent retaining wall and hydraulic tower that still soars from the dockside, which used to provide power to operate dock gates and locks. (See the brick building in the headline photo).
The view of this wall sweeping along the Dock Road is still an impressive sight, much as it was back in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when I was doing my late-night walks home from the club.
Buy a signed copy of Bombed Out! here: http://www.bombedoutpunk.com/buybook.php