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Southport Reporter®

Edition No. 171

Date:- 09 October 2004

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Government backs Friend Ship voyage

LIVERPOOL'S innovative Friend Ship has a £250,000 treasure chest to travel around Britain after the latest government appraisal.

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has awarded a grant of a quarter of a million pounds for the Friend Ship to work in schools in eight other cities across the UK.

The Rt Hon Tessa Jowell MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, said:- "We want all young people to have the opportunity to take part in cultural activity.

Liverpool, as European Capital of Culture 2008, is well placed to make this happen through projects such as the Friend Ship. 

That's why I am delighted to support this project. It will help to link the cultural work going on in the different cities and keep the momentum of the Capital of Culture competition."

Thousands more children will now get the opportunity to engage with the unique education project in the cities which unsuccessfully bid alongside Liverpool to be European Capital of Culture 2008. 

Education and arts officers from the eight cities have climbed on board after seeing the Friend Ship in action last week at St Oswald's Primary School in Old Swan.

The Friend Ship has been the talk of the playground since its launch earlier this year, capturing the imagination of more than six thousand children in Liverpool, with another ten thousand excitedly waiting for it to dock at their school this term.

Kathy Heywood, Liverpool Culture Company's Friend Ship skipper, said:- "It has been a huge success and is incredibly popular with the children in Liverpool's schools.

It is another example of Liverpool leading the way to make education stimulating and engaging for our children." 

The multi-coloured, six metre-long boat carries a number of treasure chests containing lesson plans, designed to teach the pupils about a wide range of issues including friendship and cultural diversity, under the flag of Faith in One City.


ON Sunday 3 October, Tony Summers from Liverpool and the crew of BG SPIRIT embarked on the challenge of a lifetime, as they powered across the start line of the Global Challenge 2004 / 2004 round the world yacht race. 

The striking orange hull of BG SPIRIT, sponsored by global natural gas company BG Group, looked dominant on the water, crossing the line off Southsea Castle in Portsmouth at the start of its circumnavigation of the globe. 

Before BG SPIRIT slipped its lines and led the fleet out into the grey Solent Tony described how he felt on this incredible day:- "After the build up to Race Start over the past few weeks, I think that we all want to get out there and do it for real - the boat is ready and we are ready. 

In the final crew briefing by Sir Chay Blyth on Friday, we heard that a weather front is blowing in, sure to provide us with some interesting conditions on the start line today. The forecast is 25 - 35 knots, with squalls of up to 50 knots making it quite exciting out there, especially tonight on the boat. Having said that, I'm really looking forward to the adventure ahead - next stop, Buenos Aires!" 

Alongside BG SPIRIT and the fleet of 11 identical Global Challenge yachts were hundreds of spectator boats all eager to watch the start and soak up the atmosphere of this momentous race. Around 600 BG SPIRIT friends, family, and BG Group employees were on board Balmoral, one of the most impressive support boats on the water.


LAST week our office computers were hit by a bug in Microsoft Service Pack 2 that took down our systems. Windows XP Service Pack 2 is meant to proactively make your computer more secure. This is fine, except for, as Microsoft says... "A small problem that is easily fixed." For that reason we have lost most of our main Southport Content yet again and we strongly apologies to our readers again. The bug, for anyone who has XP, is with Service Pack 2 itself and not XP. The service pack affects your software and slows the system down. This is caused by the Service Pack taking up most of your virtual memory if you already have a firewall in place and a few other things can happen.  One of them is your hard disk fails!   The symptoms are not constant, so no computer reacts quite the same way, so sadly the effect if any can not be guaranteed.   It affects computers that are over 6 months old mainly.     Our advice is that if you have a network or a computer that is over 6 months old, do not install Service Pack 2. That is until Microsoft has solved the problem. So rely on your good old trusty Norton or other firewall system.

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