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Mum in the Mersey

Posted 10-15-2011 at 11:27 AM by ChrisGeorge
Updated 12-23-2011 at 07:01 AM by ChrisGeorge

Photographs by Kev Keegan (see more photographs here)

It was a cool and damp Saturday at noon last week as my wife Donna plus a few cousins and friends gathered on the Mersey Ferry to bid farewell to my mother, Yoria George. The rain held off and visibility cleared as the ferry stopped in mid-river for the ceremony. The moment was emotional for me given that my Mum and I departed Liverpool from the Princes Dock Landing Stage to emigrate to the United States in January 1955 aboard the Cunard liner Saxonia. My Dad, Gordon B. George, who had preceded us to Baltimore, Maryland in September 1954 to take a position as a physical therapist at a hospital in Reisterstown, was waiting for us in New York as we landed. The scattering of her ashes within sight of Wallasey Town Hall was appropriate because my father grew up partly in Wallasey and partly on the Isle of Man. The song "Ferry 'Cross the Mersey" by Gerry and the Pacemakers was played during the 50-minute ferry ride. One of our friends, Neil Shinkfield, on board for the occasion had been an extra in the 1964 motion picture of the same name. The next day, I was able to purchase from the Imagine store in the Ferry terminal building a couple of CDs of Merseybeat music, including hits by Gerry such as "Ferry 'Cross the Mersey." On one of the CDs are tracks by Faron's Flamingos, whom the late Liverpool poet Adrian Henri and others at the reopening of the (rebuilt) Cavern in 1984 insisted were better than the Beatles! See here for a YouTube video of Faron's Flamingos performing "Do You Love Me" in the Cavern in 1964. Enjoy.

Cunard liner Saxonia, in the Mersey near Liverpool
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