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18 November 2006

General Forum meeting

There will be a general meeting for organisations and individuals at The Quakers Meeting Room, School Lane, Liverpool at 5.30 for 6 pm on Thursday 30 November.  The meeting will be a joint meeting with the Merseyside Civic Society.  There will be an update of the plans of Liverpool Culture Company for 2007 and a focus by members of the Forum on the work of performing arts groups.

Official plans for 2008 unveiled

On 6 November, the Culture Company had a lavish and exotic presentation in St George’s Hall of its plans for 2008. There were huge balloons anchored to the floor by ropes buried under piles of bags of sugar. There was modern ballet, live music and poetic speeches in praise of the diverse cultures of the city and two scantily clad young ladies lying on a bed. The event received much coverage in the Post and the Echo and in the Daily Telegraph.

There was food and drink, including very tasty scouse served in cardboard cartons. There was discussion in the queue about what souse actually is. Some argued that it had to be made of two different cuts of lamb with some beef, others that it should be just lamb. One man said it was essentially the food of poor people and could be made of anything to hand, but particularly scrag end of lamb. There were apple cakes, beetroot cakes and carrot cakes (made in Liverpool).

The objective of the exercise was to announce what will be happening during 2008. A large booklet describing the plans can be obtained from the Culture Company by phoning 0151 233 2008. For lovers of classical culture, highlights of 2008 will include Donizetti’s opera Emilia di Liverpool, the University of Liverpool’s Shipping Lines Literary Festival, the Turner Prize exhibited at the Tate, a Gustav Klimt exhibition: Painting, Design and Modern Life in Vienna 1900, also at the Tate, and an exhibition of paintings, textiles and other work by Le Corbusier at the Metropolitan Cathedral. The Victoria building at the University will open as an art gallery and museum.

National Museums will host, at its various locations, the 25th John Moores exhibition, an exhibition entitled Monet to Hopper: the artist and the railway (including works by Van Gogh and Pissaro), an exhibition called High Society featuring work by James Tissot,  and 800 years of scouse history in The Magical History Tour. Various events will be held at the international Slavery Museum, which is due to open in 2007. A new Customs & Excise Museum will also open.

For music lovers, there will a visit by the Berlin Philharmonic with Sir Simon Rattle, Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem in the Anglican Cathedral and much more at the Phil.

There will be a south Asian arts festival, an Irish Festival, Brouhaha, Latin American music, the Hope Street Festival and a school’s Shakespeare Festival. Plus fireworks, the Beatles, parties and festivities of many kinds.

This is a large and varied programme with something for all tastes. Local supporters of classic culture will hope classic cultural events will be marketed to people of similar mind nationally and internationally uncluttered by other types of festivities which, whatever their merits, might turn off traditional lovers of history and the arts. Much of Liverpool’s case for becoming European Capital of Culture lies with its outstanding architecture, wonderful galleries and performances of classical music.  These are the attributes which will keep people coming to the city after the celebrations of 2008 are over.

New standard work on Liverpool’s history published

Liverpool 800 Culture, Character and History edited by John Belchem was published last month in celebration of the city’s 800th anniversary next year. This book, of 500 pages and including over 300 photographs, was sponsored by the City Council and the University and drew on many resources including those of the Liverpool Record Office. It has chapters by various authors, on “Celebrating Liverpool”, “Small beginnings: Liverpool 1207-1680”, “Civic Liverpool:1680-1889”, “Living in Liverpool; The Modern City”, “Maritime Liverpool”, “Cosmopolitan Liverpool” and “City of Change and Challenge: Liverpool since 1945”.

Group’s New Web sites

Following Rob Ainsworth`s recent request to Liverpool and Merseyside groups and societies asking if they would like assistance creating a web site, two groups have taken up the offer and created their own web sites.   The groups are:

Walton On The Hill created by Jim Bonney

Old Christ Church Waterloo the work of John Bramham   Although these web sites are still under construction please give them a visit.

New appointments

The Chief Executive Officer of the Phil, Mick Elliott, was seconded to the Culture Company as Cultural Advisor from 7 November. He will be concerned with the Culture Company’s planning and with its links with cultural organisations locally and nationally.

TEAM, the Marketing and audience development agency for Merseyside’s cultural sector, has reorganised the roles of it Account Managers. As regards Liverpool organizations, Janey Moran is responsible for the Empire, FACT, the Biennial, the Culture Company and the Unity Theatre.  Andrea Nix so the Bluecoat, Milapfest, National Museums Liverpool, the Phil, and the University of Liverpool Art Gallery and Carolyn Murray for LIPA, Liverpool Comedy Trust, Liverpool and Merseyside Theatres Trust, Open Eye Gallery and the Liverpool Tate.

Forthcoming events

    * There will be a Dickensian Fayre run by the Friends of St George’s Hall, at the Hall, from 2 pm to 5 pm on Sunday 3 December.

    * Birkenhead History Society has a talk by Mike Jones on “The Great Mersey (Docks and Shipping)” at the Williamson Gallery in Slatey Road at 7.30 pm on 21 December.

    * Liverpool History Society has a talk by John Tiernan on “Benevolent Patronage – Liverpool Libraries” at Hope at Everton in Shaw Street commencing at 1.30 pm for 2 pm talk on 17 December.

    * The Liverpool branch of the Victorian Society will hear Paul O’Keefe give John Ruskin’s Lecture on Architecture, Edinburgh 1853 in the persona of the great man at The Friends’ Meeting House, 18b School Lane on Saturday 25 November at 2.15 pm. Admission £3.

    * The Travelling People are performing a Celtic Carol Concert for Save The Children Charity at Lady Green Garden Centre Ince Blundell on Fr 1st Dec at 7.30pm.  Ticket details 01704 831198

    * On Sunday, 28th January, 2007, there will be a Viking display in St John's Gardens, Liverpool by the Vikingasaga group.

    * The English Speaking Union has its Christmas Dinner on Friday 15th December. (Enquiries 0151 342 6157).

    * Speke Hall National Trust) has a Tudor Music Evening on Saturday 2 December and a traditional Christmas Evening on Saturday 9 December, both at 6.30. (Booking: 0151 427 7231).

    * Mrs I. Profffitt will address the Dante Alighieri Society at the Friends Meeting House, 18b School Lane, on “Raphael” at 7 pm on Tuesday 28 November.   (Contact 0151 342 6749)

    * The tenth series of the Roscoe Lectures continues with a lecture on Liverpool’s history by the Very Revd Nicholas Frayling, Dean of Chichchester Cathedral formerly of St Nicholas Church, Liverpool on the 14th November 2006 at17:00 in the Banqueting Hall of the Britannia Adelphi Hotel, Lime Street.   Tickets are available free of charge from Barbara Mace email:  Tel 0151 231 3852.


Around and about

    * Edge’s butchers shop in New Ferry has a tiled mural of the buildings at the main cross roads. A panel records that in 1800 a ferry to Liverpool was established in New Ferry and a pier erected it in 1865. A Dutch vessel collided with it in 1922 and brought about the ending of the service. Birkenhead had the first electric trams in Europe (brought from the USA). The service was extended to New Ferry in 1901, replacing horse trams.

    * Journalists from south of Watford are fond of saying that, as a port, Liverpool is in a deep decline. The Mersey Dock and Harbour Company tells me that in 1984, the year the port was granted Freeport Status, it then handled 9.2m tonnes of cargo. Today, the throughput has grown to 33.7 m tonnes – an all time record, even surpassing the volumes of the 1960s which are often described as the port’s heyday. . Roll on/roll off traffic to and from Ireland grew six fold 1984-2005.

    * As promised, the small brass cross set in the pavement outside Top Shop in Church Street, denoting the site of the former St Peter’s Church, has been replaced after its temporary removal to permit resurfacing work to take place.  Thank you, somebody!

    * Wirral Council is going to web cast meetings of its planning committee.

·        Sefton Council seems to have been surprised at the outcry against it decision to get rid of the 100 Anthony Gormley figures on Formby Beach. Some councillors don’t seem to understand that the public actually likes good art and heritage.  Wirral Council’s attempt to block the view of Fort Perch Rock with a supermarket and its allowing of the Historic Warships in Birkenhead to be dispersed will be recalled.  Bury Council has been selling off a Lowry painting, symbolic of its area and a rare piece of culture in the town. Education of Councils in furthering art and heritage seems to be necessary.

    * A website has been set up to try to save the historic Woolton cinema: www.

The Forum’s website (

The Forum is making good progress with its website. The aim of this website is to signal what the Forum is doing, point the way to websites and other sources of information about what organisations participating in the Forum are doing and to give a snapshot of Liverpool’s history and culture. There are of course many websites which provide information about Liverpool, but we think that the Forum’s site provides a unique and convenient packaging of information about Liverpool, in digestible form, of interest to heritage and culture enthusiasts. It contains sections on notable people, events, articles and buildings in Liverpool’s history. As regards the more well-known entries, the website points to other existing sites which give full information.  As regards people and buildings which are of interest, but are not of sufficient size to feature in other websites, the Forum’s site will give fuller information.

The new Forum web site currently includes the following content::

    * News
    * LHF meetings information
    * Events
    * Articles The Dante Alighieri Society, Friends of Real Lancashire, John Newton, slave ship captain & writer of hymns, Galkoff's Kosher Butcher's, John James Audubon, American Painter of birds in Liverpool. Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, The Bluecoat Centre
    * About 2007  Liverpool’s 800th Anniversary
    * About 2008   European Capital of Culture year
    * About Liverpool.
    * Notables and Famous (48 added with more required. Please)
    * Societies and Groups
    * Publications
    * Useful Links
    * Previous LHF Newsletters.
    * Information about the Liverpool Heritage Forum.

To date 46 notables and famous have been added to the LHF web site.  We are still asking for suggestions of Liverpool notables and also articles for inclusion.

We are very grateful to Edward Pearce for having constructed the website, to Rob Ainsworth for helping with the collection and input of data, to Brenda Murray for collecting material and to those who have contributed articles and information.