Architecture A few days ago I talked up the Pevsner Guide To Liverpool, rewritten by my old friend Joseph Sharples. Catherine Jones of the Liverpool Echo took Joseph for a walk around some of the buildings mentioned in the book, including the old Royal & Sun Alliance Building:
"Sharples has a sneaking admiration for the concrete lines of the Royal & Sun Alliance building in Old Hall Street ... at pavement level "its blank walls give little pleasure, but from a distance - and especially from the river - its rugged bulk and distinctive silhouette contribute greatly to the skyline. As a monumentally selfimportant head office of a local insurance company, it follows worthily in the tradition of the Royal Liver Building." But, over a cup of tea after our blustery, rain-splashed walk around the Canning Street conservation area, Joseph says: "Oh dear, does that sound critical? It's not meant to be."
Its alway odd when you read quotes from people you used to know well in print because often they don't sound like themselves at all. On this occasion II can here the man say the words and can't wait to bump into him at Lime Street Station or on a bus (as I usually do) and congratulate him on what is a really great read.

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