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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 137

Date:- 31 January 2004

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1,000 Muslims celebrate Eid in Sefton Park

MORE than 1,000 Muslims are coming together at Sefton Park to celebrate the festival of Eid. It is the first time in the history of Liverpool that the Eid prayers are being held at a major public venue in addition to the city's mosques.

The hosting of the important Islamic Festival at one of the city's most beautiful areas of open space has been hailed as a landmark in Liverpool's Faith in One City celebrations.

City Council Leader, Councillor Mike Storey, said:- "We are absolutely delighted the Muslim community has taken a lead role in bringing their Eid celebrations out to the wider community. 

It is wonderful that these expressions of faith are taking place at Sefton Park, and this decision should be welcomed and encouraged. I can't think of a better way to show how tolerance, understanding and friendship between all religions are a fundamental part of life in Liverpool."

Members of the Yemeni community decided to hold this year's Eid celebrations at Sefton Park, to mark Liverpool's year of Faith in One City, and ease pressure on the city's mosques.

They have worked in partnership with the city council, and received sponsorship from Glendale Grounds Management, who maintain the park, and Enterprise - Liverpool, to set up a giant marquee in Sefton Park, which will hold around 1,000 worshippers. 

Eid-ul-Adha, which is celebrated this Sunday, is a major Muslim celebration, and marks the day when Muslims make the pilgrimage to Makkah (correct spelling), the birthplace of Islam.

Eid-ul-Adha (the Festival of Sacrifice) is celebrated throughout the Muslim world as a commemoration of Prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son for God. 

Mr. Abdul Nasser Al-Joury, Chairman of the Yemeni Community Association (YCA), said:- "The Muslim community thought it would be a wonderful idea, in the council's year of Faith in One City, to hold our Eid prayers at Sefton Park for the first time.

The city council has been very supportive, in particular council leader, Councillor Mike Storey. We are also very appreciative of the efforts made by all our Muslim communities, especially the Somali community. And I am very grateful for the individual efforts of two community members, Dr. Nabil Sultan, and Mr. Mahmood Ali, who played major roles in bringing the Eid celebrations to Sefton Park." 

The Eid festivities begin at the park on Sunday 1 February at 8.30am. More than 1,000 Liverpool Muslims will unite in prayer, before an afternoon of relaxation and social activity, including games for the children.

Merseyrail's Electrifying History
Report by Chris Amery

MERSEYRAIL have confirmed with us that plans are underway for the centenary celebration of the electrification of the Northern Line, which runs from Liverpool to Southport. 

Early estimates suggest that the celebration may occur towards the end of March 2004. What is planned is being kept under wraps until confirmation of the date/s of the celebration.

The Mersey Railway was the first railway in Britain to convert from steam to electric operation when they electrified their line from the Liverpool to Birkenhead and Rock Ferry, in 1904. By 1915 Merseyside had an electrified suburban network that was only bettered, in terms of mileage, by London.

Prior to electrification the Mersey Railway were on the verge of bankruptcy, due to low patronage caused by the choking atmosphere created by the steam trains in the tunnel under the river.

Electrification continued during the pre war years with the Wirral lines from Birkenhead to West Kirby and New Brighton being electrified in 1938. Linking up with the Mersey Railway system gave travellers from these districts an uninterrupted journey on swift and efficient electric trains directly into Liverpool.

The opening of the underground tunnels and extensions in the late 1970's created an integrated suburban system that set a new standard of urban and suburban transportation, from which other cities have taken their future policy.

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Southport Reporter is a registered Trade Mark of Patrick Trollope.   Copyright © Patrick Trollope 2004.