I slightly eccentrically had to come to Southport to get the car mended; but at least it has given me an opportunity to see the faded grandeur of the Lancashire seaside resort, established in 1792 to provide facilities for sea bathing, helped by its proximity to the recently constructed Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

Slightly implausibly, its main street, Lord Street, with its pedestrian arcades, is said to be the model for Haussmann’s Paris, on the grounds that Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte lived in exile here from 1846 to 1848.

What survives is not exactly Parisian, but has obvious traces of its Victorian wealth:-


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