~ October 2007
Birkenhead Priory was built circa 1150 by one of the
barons of the Earl of Chester- Hamo de Massey of Dunham. The priory
was run by Benedictine Monks who, in its early years, provided free
hospitality and passage across the River Mersey for travellers to
Liverpool. Later, in 1318 and 1330, the monks were granted a Royal
Charter by Edward II that granted them the rights to build a hostel
and charge their guests for food, drink and passage across the Mersey.
During the Dissolution of the Monasteries in 1536,
Birkenhead Priory was closed down and the property seized by Henry
VIII. A legend exists that some monks tried to escape or hide the
treasure from the monastry but when they were accessing a tunnel
with the treasure a massive stone trap-door fell on them and sealed
them in for eternity. The location of this trap-door is still unknown
today, as is the location of the treasure.
I was interested to hear of Templar connections with
the priory and was particularly intrigued to see what appear to
be etchings of templar swords carved into grave slabs on the floor
of the Chaper House. This is the oldest building on the site and
dates back to around 1150.
My visit ended with the long climb up the spire of
St Mary's Church. Despite the cold, I was able to take some great
photos of Liverpool.
Summer 2007 found me visiting Malta for some research
and scene setting for my next book - the second in The Mdina
During this visit I was interested in what had
gone on in the past. The book will be set around the end of the
18th Century and the beginning of the 19th Century. One of the places
I was particularly keen to see was the Inquisitor's Palace in Vittoriosa.
I was unable to visit the Grand Master's Palace
at Valletta during this trip but I had the opportunity to visit
St John's Co-cathedral - home to some of the fabulous art and treasures
of the Order of St John. Carravaggio's painting - The Beheading
of St John - was both massive and spectacular.
A visit to Gozo was a must and I took the opportunity
to revisit some of the places I had seen on my previous trips to
Malta. Xlendi and the Nun's Steps hadn't changed and the Moby Dick
Restaurant is still there. I also revisited the Inland Sea and the
Azure Window as well as the medieval Citadel before returning to
My visit to St Agatha's Catacombs afforded me the
chance to make a short video of the crypt and a walk through the
passages. The video will be uploaded as soon as editing and production
As Liverpool celebrates its 800th year since the
granting of its Charter by King John, I will continue to add photographs
to this section that record the events of what promises to be a
spectacular year. This will lead us nicely up to the Capital of
Culture events in 2008.
On September 21st the cruise liner Queen Elizabeth
II visited Liverpool for the last time before completing its last
voyage and heading to Dubai where she will serve as a floating hotel.
For the first time ever this massive ship was able to dock by using
the new cruise ship terminal recently completed at Princess Dock.
In June, St Peter's Church, Woolton, celebrated
the date that made history when John Lenon met Paul McCartney and
the Quarry Men played at the Church Fete.
The celebration included a weekend of events and
the church hosted a fabulous flower show with each entry being themed
around the Beatles and their songs. The displays ranged from small
to large with one or two massive arrangements and each one was truly
a work of art. Themes included, Eleanor Rigby, Strawberry Fields,
Yellow Submarine, Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club, Penny Lane, Help,
and many more.
Kos - 2005
Kos is a beautiful island in the Greek Dodecanese
archipelago. The main town has grown up around the picturesque castle
built by the Knights of St John in 1315.
When I visited this castle I noticed that many
of the crests of the Grand Masters of the Knights of St John, under
whose command the various bastions were built, carried typical Templar
devices. Could this be further evidence that the Templars had already
penetrated the Order of St John before their dissolution and suppression
The Knights of St John also had a castle across
the water in Ephesus in Turkey. This meant that they could control
the important water channel that runs between these two countries.
The island of Kos is also famous as being the home
of Hippocrates, the founder of modern medicine. The plane tree under
which it is said he took shelter while administering his healing
skills can still be seen today.
- Cavern Club - Liverpool
Misplaced Childhood Tour
The Apprentice has become the Master
On Monday 2nd May, Fish, once again,
treated Liverpool to a masterful performance. Fans packed The Cavern
Club to capacity and Fish, with his omnipotent presence prowled
the stage as he eyed the audience and was truly King of all he surveyed.
During the performance, Fish embraced
the crowd with his passionate rendition of Kayleigh and drove the
sweating, heaving mass to a frenzy.
As a man that will stand up and
be counted, Fish wears his politics on his sleeve and is applauded
for his outspokenness. His true skill, however, is the way he engages
his fans. To be in the audience as he leans menacingly out over
the crowd you know for certain that you are in the presence of Fish.
In an interview once, Fish described
himself as an apprentice learning a new trade - the Apprentice has
truly become the Master.
- Charles Kennedy - Liverpool Visit
On 17th February 2005 Charles Kennedy made a visit to South Liverpool
(pre 1995 - 2006)
Liverpool was once the gateway to the World and
it is difficult to stand on the banks of the Mersey and not feel
a connection with far-flung exotic places. I've often imagined what
it must have felt like for the sailors of old when they returned
from long voyages at sea and sailed up the Mersey to see the Liverpool
skyline for the first time in many years.
Liverpool is a city of which I am proud to be on
its sons and after long periods away I feel like those old sailors
must have felt like at their homecoming. We have some wonderful
buildings that grace our waterfront and spread throughout the city
are buildings that echo Liverpool's maritime past, both good and
notoriously not so good.
Here is a selection of photographs spanning many
years. Some are from my earliest experiments in photography.
I visited Malta for the first time in 1997 and
discovered a country so rich in history and culture. I have revisited
this country many times and it forms the backdrop for part two of
The Mdina Touch.
Much has been said about Malta elsewhere on this
website and there is still much left for me to discover on this
tiny group of islands in the Mediterranean Sea. I am planning another
visit very soon so for now I will leave you to enjoy the photographs
from my previous visits.
1997 - 2004
Egypt and its ancient history remains one of my
passions. Each time I visit this country I discover something new.
This has resulted in a very large collection of photographs, so
many of which, have not yet been published on this website. It is
my intention to rectify this omission during the early part of 2007.
In the meantime I will leave these older photographs for you to
- On Location