Women's Hour presenter JANE GARVEY on growing up in Crosby, Merseyside, and why there's nothing better than falling asleep to the sound of the sea. Interview by Alex Reece
I’m from Crosby, although oddly enough, when you grow up so close to something, you take it for granted, don’t you?
The beach is quite dramatic – the sky is really enormous, because it’s so flat. And its potential has been realised because of the Antony Gormley installation, so thank God for him.
I remember interviewing Antony Gormley once, and his way of describing his installation on the beach – it’s called Another Place – is that it’s all about these figures gazing out to sea and thinking about possibility and other places.
I guess Liverpool does symbolise that, as somewhere that people came to from Ireland (in fact, my family did – a classic Potato Famine story), and then other people left to go to America. I find it a very moving thing.
I’ve got a picture of Crosby Beach in my bathroom in London and it’s one of my prized possessions. My parents are still there, and they’re 80 and nearly 80, but it’s where they go walking every day, because there’s a really flat footpath. So when I’m there, we take my kids along that path.
During the day, there’s never a time when there isn’t a car in the car park and it’s often just people gazing out to sea with a Thermos flask. On a clear day, you can see Blackpool Tower or the wind farm and you can just about see the Welsh mountains and New Brighton on the Wirral.
The only problem, and it’s something I’ve said before, is that there isn’t a café on the beach and I just don’t know why.
I visit Gower in South Wales quite a bit and I don’t think there’s anything better than falling asleep when all you can hear is the waves. Growing up by the sea has more influence than we realise.
If I had money to invest, there are some swanky new flats overlooking Crosby Beach, and I could see myself having a bolthole somewhere like that when I’m older. I don’t know whether it’ll ever happen – but it would be nice.
Jane Garvey presents Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4.
"I remember interviewing Antony Gormley once, and his way of describing his installation on the beach – it’s called Another Place – is that it’s all about these figures gazing out to sea and thinking about possibility and other places."