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No appeal to our vital visitors; Shipping LINES PETER ELSON charts life on the Mersey National Shipping Writer of the Year.

Byline: PETER ELSON

LIVERPOOL'S new cruise season is now heading to its midsummer peak as 15 ships call in to the city over the next 12 weeks.

Yet again one has to say what a sad, shoddy appearance the Princes Parade area must give to these foreign visitors who pour off the liners and pass through it into the city.

The cliche about first impressions is entirely relevant as Liverpool is still very much in the early stages as a tourist destination, so there is no room to be complacent.

How come the Titanic Memorial is still not repointed, regilded, cleared of growth and has no information plaque? Why are the large greenheart jetties still fenced off with temporary barriers when they could so easily be refitted as viewing platforms, instead of being another riverfront eyesore? Why do the stage gangways look so tatty and festooned with barbed wire? The entrance to the Mersey Ferries is worst, resembling a gateway to an internment camp.

Why are Liverpool council, Peel Mersey Ports and Merseytravel not taking this seriously for the visitors who drive our economy? .While on the topic of inaction, what will be the fate of the 200-yearold White House pub, on the corner of Berry and Duke Streets? It was sold for pounds 114,000 at auction in February.

Not only is it decorated with the trendy street artist Banksy's giant rat, but this was the confectioner's shop and home owned by Liverpool's great sailing ship owners, the Baines family.

New owners Sina Moradian and Billy Palmer said they knew they were destined to buy the derelict property.

But so far the Grade II-listed end terrace property lies derelict. Why not reopen it as a bar themed on the Baineses - who were immortalised in the '70s BBC hit series The Onedin Line? .FRIENDS of the Ferries Across the Mersey will run their annual river and dock cruise on Saturday, June 19, from Pier Head, Seacombe and Woodside. Fares: adult pounds 21, child pounds 11. Please book on tel: 0151 639 1435.

.NOT only will we lose Fred Olsen's Boudicca next year, but already gone is the annual summer calls by the veteran motorship Balmoral on day excursions.

With Llandudno Pier closed to ships, the nearest trip is round Anglesey on June 29 from Menai Bridge Pier and Caernarfon. Call Waverly Excursions tel: 0845 130 4647.

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Publication:Liverpool Echo (Liverpool, England)
Date:Jun 7, 2010
Words:401
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