Southport Reporter (R) Online Nespaper for Merseyside

Read our Tracking & Cookie Usage Policy


Terms and Conditions

Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
Covering the news in and around Merseyside


Click on here to email our news room today!



Your free online newspaper for Merseyside
This website is licence to carry news from and UK Press Photography.



Latest Edition



Order Photos  Help Client Admin Advert Options

Updated over every Tuesday night...  Your news...  Your words...

Issue Date:- 17 February 2009

Unique Tourism Attraction

THE world famous Mersey Ferries has a new addition to its fleet, a Second World War German U-Boat.   U-534 is housed in a special berth at the Mersey Ferries’ Woodside Terminal as the centrepiece of a unique tourist attraction – the U-Boat Story – which opened on Tuesday, 10 February 2009.

The U-Boat, one of only four remaining in the world, was rescued from an uncertain future by Merseytravel, which owns and operates the ferries.  She is now the centrepiece of a stunning exhibition, both informative and educational, which is designed to appeal to visitors of all ages.

U-534 was acquired by Merseytravel after her previous home, the Historic Warships Museum in Birkenhead, went into voluntary liquidation. 

To move her to the new berth it was necessary to cut U-534 into four sections.   At Woodside each of these sections has now been illuminated from the inside and glazed panels installed over the end of each section.  A specially built viewing platform allows visitors to see inside as never before and alongside the U-Boat is one of the three T11 Zaukonig advanced homing torpedoes found on board.  These were the most advanced torpedoes in the world at the end of World War 11.  An adjoining newly-built exhibition centre contains artefacts from U-534 including an enigma coding machine, interactive displays, filmed interviews with survivors, a pictorial history of life on board and personal effects of the crew including clothing, cigars and playing cards.

Councillor Mark Dowd, chair of Merseytravel, said:- “This is a unique attraction which will enhance the Mersey Ferries’ popularity as the Region’s most popular paid-for attraction. 

With Spaceport at the Seacombe Terminal and a Beatles attraction coming to the new Pier Head Terminal we will have a tourism triangle that will make a day out on the Mersey Ferries even more memorable.”

Neil Scales, Chief Executive and Director General of Merseytravel added:- “We designed an attraction which reinforces the Mersey Ferries links with the history of underwater warfare – and we have further plans to extend this theme.

The Ferries themselves were awarded the prefix ‘Royal’ because of the role their predecessors’ played in the raid on German U-Boat pens at Zeebrugge during the First World War.”

The U-Boat Story is open Tuesday to Sunday, from 10.30am to 5.30pm with last admission at 5pm. 

Admission Prices:-  Adults £5, children aged 5 – 15 £3, family tickets (two adults, up to three children) £15, concessions £4.  A River Explorer ticket which includes the U-Boat Story is £9 adults,£5 for eligible children, £25 for a family ticket and £7 concessions.   A River Explorer which takes in Spaceport and the U-Boat Story costs £16 for adults, £10 for children 5 to 15, £6.50 for children aged 3 to 4, £45 for a family ticket and £12 concessions.

Brief History of U-Boat U-534

U-534 was launched in February 1942 and for the first year and a half of its life never appears in the records of the combat flotillas.  It is thought that during this period it was used as a school boat, kept in the Baltic to train new crews and test new systems. 

In May 1944, U-534 was released for operational duty but it was not sent on offensive patrols.  It was assigned the duty of weather reporting and required to avoid contact with the enemy to ensure regular reports. 

On May 5th, 1945 U-534 was sailing in the Kattegat, North-West of Helsingor and although Admiral Dönitz had ordered all his U-boats to surrender as from 08:00 May 5th, U534 refused to do so.

She was heading North towards Norway, without flying a flag of surrender, when she was attacked by a Liberator aircraft from RAF 86 Squadron which dropped depth charges.

U-534 took heavy damage and began to sink by the stern.  Forty-nine of the 52 crew members survived including five who escaped via the forward torpedo hatch as she lay on the sea bed.

The wreck was discovered over 40 years later and rumours began circulating that, as U-534 had been the last U-boat to leave Germany, she possibly had Nazi leaders or gold secretly hidden onboard. 

A wealthy Danish publisher, Karsten Ree, decided to get involved with U-534 and he mounted a project to raise the U-boat from the ocean depths and in August 1993 U-534 surfaced once more. 

Eight surviving U-534 crewmembers and four men from the Liberator G for George were on hand to witness this spectacular recovery. 

Thirteen torpedoes and 450 rounds of anti-aircraft ammunition were safely evacuated and blown up while three T11 Zaukonig homing torpedoes were taken away and stabilized. 

Careful inspection of U-534’s interior revealed uniforms, documents, personal belongings, even wine; but no gold or any hint of secret passengers. 

In May 1996 U-534 was moved to the Historic Warships Museum in Birkenhead.  Now she has a permanent home at the Woodside Ferry Terminal. 


LOCAL authority directors responsible for a substantial part of Britain’s road network where warned that potholes will be an inevitable consequence of recent ice and snow and urged motorists to take special care.

The warning comes from CSS, which represents the strategic directors involved in crucial transport, waste management, environment, planning, energy and economic development issues.  Its members are responsible for three-quarters of the road network and just under half the population of England and Wales.

Matthew Lugg, chair of the CSS engineering committee said:- “The harshest winter for nearly 20 years has had a devastating effect on our road network with average night time road surface temperatures remaining below freezing throughout January and February.  The repeated freezing and thawing with the abrasive impact of grit has caused carriageways to split and potholes to form.”

The problem in urban areas is exacerbated by the damage caused by reinstatement of utility trenches.  CSS Research identified that the long term integrity of the road surface has been severely affected by these works and advocated that utilities pay the full cost of this damage.

Mr Lugg continued:- “Whilst it will take time to assess the true extent of the damage, we do know that local highways teams will have to prioritise the resources needed to make immediate repairs.

Local authority highways teams across the country are working to ensure roads are kept safe.  In the meantime, we are advising our local authority members that the worst affected roads must take priority, but some stretches will need more extensive resurfacing and that will take time.”

The public are encouraged if they do come across a dangerous pot-hole to report it as soon as possible to their local highway authority.

Mr Lugg added:- “Recent weeks have been a challenging time for local highways authorities and the end to the current spell of bad weather does not mean that we can relax.  I think the roads teams have done exceptionally well and have played a crucial role in keeping the nation moving.  We have contingency plans but this tests them to the limit.”

Two traditions ‘Roll’ into one

ON Pancake Day on Tuesday, 24 February 2009, Chester city centre will host the eighth annual Cheese Rolling Competition. However, this year, it will be followed by a traditional Pancake Race, creating a ‘Flipping Fantastic’ day of activities … this isn’t as cheesy as it sounds.

Leaders of the new Cheshire West and Chester Council will start the events by passing a wheel of Cheshire cheese around the city Walls. The race, where home team Cheshire is hoping to retain the world-renowned cheese rolling title for a record sixth year running against mature competition from Stilton, Made In Cheshire and Cheshire Cheese Ladies Team, will start at 11am by The Cross, Bridge Street.

Cheshire cheese is one of the region’s most famous exports and the Taste Festival, which runs from 11 April 2009 to 13 April 2009 at Chester Racecourse as part of the Chester Food and Drink Festival, is celebrating this in its launch event - the ‘infamous’ Cheese Rolling Championship.

As cheese rolling lands on Shrove Tuesday, the Festival organisers have added an extra event to the programme: Pancake Race Day will see local businesses prove their pancake tossing skills while negotiating an obstacle course to win a coveted golden frying pan.

Sue Harrison, Chair of Chester Festivals, said:- “I am delighted that so many of our leading politicians and business heads have agreed to take part in the unique event that is cheese rolling in Chester. This ancient ritual of cheese rolling dates back to the Romans and as the opening event for the Taste Festival it is symbolic of a fresh attitude that shows everyone within the city and county all working together. This year’s new addition of pancake tossing adds to this important event and provides a full day of activities in Chester. I am pleased that once again the wheel of cheese will be blessed in Chester Cathedral before it is passed from dignitary to dignitary on its journey around the Walls. This really signals food and drink as one of Cheshire’s most important products.”

The Chester Food & Drink Festival is taking place from April 4 to April 18 and will include many activities and events such as the very popular Cocktail Competition at Cruise nightclub, St. John Street, Chester, where the city’s finest bartenders will reveal their latest creations.

Also helping to bring the tastes and smells of the Festival to the city centre, a series of theme nights, special family offers and accommodation promotions in city centre restaurants and hotels will all help to make Chester the focus of food and drink within the UK.

For more information about other events happening over the Chester Food & Drink Festival, please visit:-

Our radio station phone in message line...   Call us now!

Sign up to our Daily Email News Service BETA Test by clicking here now...

Highlighted events that are taking place this month:-

If you have an event and want to get it noticed, let us know by emailing us to:-

Click on the event title displayed above to find out about lots more events, as well as dates & times!

Our websites in our online series.   Group navigation, information and useful none group links...
Southport TV - Our online video archive. Liverpool Reporter - Our online music station. Mersey Reporter - OUR HUB WEBSITE.
Southport TV Liverpool Reporter Mersey Reporter Formby Reporter

Add to Google

This is what the moon is doing tonight.  Click on to find out why.

See the view live webcamera images of the road outside our studio/newsroom in the hart of Southport.

Our live Southport Webcam.  To see click live, click on image.


Show us your location
Please sign our map and let us know where you are  from....


News Room Phone Number

(+44)  08443 244 195
Calls will cost 7p per minute, plus your telephone company's access charge. 

Calls to this number may be recorded for security, broadcast, training and record keeping.

This online newspaper and information service is regulated by IMPRESS, the independent monitor for the UK's press.

How to make a complaint

Complaints Policy  -  Complaints Procedure  -  Whistle Blowing Policy

© PCBT Photography & PBT Media Relations Ltd. - Southport Reporter® is the Registered Trade Mark of Patrick Trollope