I have recently been on a trip to Southport. There was a specific reason for this trip which will become clear in the third and final episode of this trilogy. I shall try and maintain an air of mystery and suspense until then, though I add a caveat of prepare to be underwhelmed at the big reveal. Also, I might add, as in common with another great trilogy, this story involves a lot of walking.
I have never been to Southport before, I know Lancaster and Morecombe fairly well, but this bump in the coastline I had no knowledge of so my pre-journey preparation involved Google to see if there was anything interesting I should know. Well there was and I knew I had to investigate and experience this for myself.
Napoleon III, when he was exiled in Britain between 1846 - 1848. Now I admit to a shakey knowledge of french history and a vague idea that there was more than one Napoleon, but much more than that I did not know. Napoleon III was re-exiled later to England and he died here and is buried in Chislehurst. His story involves several wars, the Crimea being one and the Franco-Prussian being another and the latter one led to his downfall at the Battle of Sedan. His last words were to his doctor: 'were you at Sedan?' Anyway, I digress, the reason why any of this matters at all is that when not involved in wars Napoleon III was instrumental in the redesign of Paris, where the small narrow roads were replaced by wide tree lined avenues that were less easy for revoluntionary barricades to be erected upon and also bore a striking resemblance to Lord Street in Southport, his home for those two years. Co-incidence you say? Well non - not at all.
This photograph shows some lovely woven fencing. The notice on the fencing explains that it is there to protect the planting from the weather. This would be much needed and was an attractive way of dealing with the issue.