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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 12 February 2007

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Extreme Cuppa:- ActionAid wants your mug shots

WE Brits are famous for taking time out for a cuppa - no matter what's going on around us.  ActionAid, as part of its annual fundraiser for tea and coffee farmers in the developing world, plans to put this theory to the test.

The charity wants readers to send it photos of themselves having a cuppa in extreme and unlikely situations.  The best mug shot will win a top of the range digital camera. 

How about a cuppa in a swanky nightclub while everyone around you is quaffing champagne, or on the Oxford Street pavement during rush hour?

You can submit your entries online or by texting the picture with the word ‘cuppa’ to 60300.

Entries go up on the Tea and Coffee Break website where you can also find how you can make a difference to the lives of tea and coffee farmers in the developing world.

Andy John, ActionAid Tea and Coffee Break spokesperson, said:- “Throughout the world the farmers who pick most of the tea and coffee we drink face low wages and appalling working conditions.  Posing for a picture while drinking a cuppa in a sauna or during a game of football is guaranteed to turn some heads. But by entering the competition and donating to Tea and Coffee Break 2007 you will also be helping poor farmers work their way out of a genuinely extreme situation.”

Kids have say on play

YOUNGSTERS are helping design a brand new playground.   The new play area being built in Stanley Park will be one of the largest in the city and local kids, residents and businesses have been consulted on what facilities they would like to see in the park.  Pupils from Hope Valley and Anfield Junior schools were shown 3 designs and asked to choose which one they like best and would be more likely to use.

The winning design not only consists of slides, swings, roundabouts and see-saws, but also features The Matrix which is a monster climbing frame. It is the first of its kind to be installed in the UK and thanks to its height and complexity, will appeal to older children.

Liverpool city council’s executive member for the environment, Councillor Berni Turner, said:- “We’re investing a huge amount of money in this area and it was important to make sure we got the layout just right. It made sense to consult with the children and families who use the area.  The top-of-the-range equipment we’re will give greater access for children with disabilities.  The city council is committed to investing in our green spaces, and this means making them as child friendly as possible.   We want to do as much as we can to encourage youngsters to turn off their television and get out into their local playground because we know that not only will it benefit them physically but it gives them the opportunity to interact with other children and develop their social skills.”

The city council has invested £160,000 in the playground which will replace the existing play area.  It will cater for children up to the age of 14, with separate defined areas for infant and junior users, and will be open by the end of March 2007.

Kids charter city’s history

800 years after King John, Liverpool has a new charter - thanks to a group of schoolchildren.  The next generation of Liverpudlians have devised a charter for the future to mark a major exhibition on a fascinating, historical paper trail which celebrates the city's landmark anniversary.

7-year-old pupils from Matthew Arnold Primary School, Toxteth, will present the Lord Mayor, Councillor Joan Lang, with their charter to help get the city’s 800th birthday ‘Charters Exhibition’ underway at Central Library.  Marking the 800th anniversary of the grant of Letters Patent by King John in 1207, the exhibition will give local people, tourists, historians, schools and community groups the chance to join Liverpool’s birthday celebrations and delve into the city’s fascinating past. 

It will provide everyone with a rare opportunity to view the original 1207 Letters Patent from King John - the foundation for Liverpool’s astonishing growth from a humble hamlet to a major port and one of the world’s great cities.  And it will feature the 23 key royal charters granted to the City of Liverpool from medieval times onwards, including the 1229 Charter from King Henry III, which remained the governing charter until the 17th century; the 1797 Grant of Arms which officially confirmed the city’s coat of arms; and the 1880 Charter from Queen Victoria which conferred city status on Liverpool.

The Lord Mayor, Councillor Joan Lang, said:- “It’s a wonderful honour to be Lord Mayor of this great city in the year it celebrates its 800th birthday. Liverpool is a city like no other, with a story that is unique, powerful and truly fascinating – and the charters exhibition will share this story with thousands of people.  I’m delighted that the children, who are the future of this city, are presenting a new city charter. I can’t wait to see it!”

As part of their 800th birthday lessons, the year-2 Matthew Arnold pupils decided they wanted to create their own version of the original King John Letters Patent.  King John obtained possession of Liverpool from Henry Fitzwarin in exchange for other land on 23 August 1207. 5 days later he issued the so-called 'charter' at Winchester. It is in fact a form of deed called Letters Patent, an open letter or proclamation, inviting settlers to come to Liverpool and promising certain privileges as an inducement.

While King John’s Letters Patent aimed to attract 150 ‘good and true men’ into the city, the youngsters’ charter aims to attract ‘paramedics, builders, doctors, nurses, police and teachers’. And while King John offered ‘liberties and free customs’ to those who came, the youngsters offer simply ‘friends, food, schools, flowers and healthy lives!’  The pupils’ framed Charter has been produced on parchment paper and sealed with wax and ribbon.

Council Leader Warren Bradley said:- “This collection will give people from inside and outside Liverpool a great opportunity to view the city charters which provided a foundation for the dramatic growth of the city. It’s a fantastic exhibition, and an important part of our anniversary celebrations.”

The exhibition, which will be open until 30 June 2007 in the Central Library’s Picton Reading Room, also includes medieval deeds and 18th and 19th century maps.  And people will be able to view bank notes from the 1790s, the city’s first directory, dated 1766 and material from the 700th birthday celebrations in 1907.

Liverpool Record Office Manager, David Stoker, said:- “Liverpool’s meteoric rise from humble hamlet to a major port and city is a fascinating tale. The exhibiton unlocks some of the extensive collections held in our archives for everyone to see.”

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