Bishop of Liverpool and Merseytravel unveil artistic tribute to
“Amazing Grace” writer John Newton
THE Bishop of
Liverpool, James Jones, joined Merseytravel to unveil a brand new
commission by artist Stephen Broadbent dedicated to the memory of
reformed slaver, former Tide Surveyor of Liverpool and author of the
hymn “Amazing Grace” – John Newton.
It is the first memorial to Newton, a former slave ship captain who
found the faith and campaigned with MP William Wilberforce to
abolish slavery, on this side of the Atlantic.
The commission is one of the last phases of the new £10.5million
Pier Head Ferry Terminal building, an exciting new addition to the
spectacular regeneration of Liverpool’s waterfront.
Merseytravel commissioned the work as part of its ground breaking
public art programme.
Councillor Mark Dowd,
Chair of Merseytravel, said:- “The Pier Head has transformed
in recent times and we are absolutely delighted to unveil this
wonderful piece of art at our new Pier Head Ferry Terminal.”
Neil Scales, Merseytravel’s Chief Executive and Director General,
said:- “We are very proud of what we have achieved with the
new terminal building, we are proud of our public art strategy and
we are proud of this magnificent new installation, the only honour
to John Newton in Europe. We are trying to give our facilities and
infrastructure a unique and memorable quality. Travelling shouldn’t
just be a journey, it should be an experience.”
The Bishop of Liverpool, James Jones, said:- “I’d like to pay
tribute to Neil Scales and the leadership of Merseytravel in
creating this installation at the Pier Head. For many years, ever
since I came to Liverpool, and knew the history of John Newton I
have felt it was appropriate that there should be a memorial to this
extraordinary man. John Newton commanded a slave ship and didn’t
realise the inhumanity that he was guilty of. John Newton was the
only slave ship commander to give evidence to the Parliamentary
Commission that led to the abolition of the slave trade. On the
streets of this city the battle was fought to abolish the slave
trade in the British Empire. So when we unveil this memorial for
this universal anthem we do not do it lightly. By unveiling this
tribute to this anthem we pledge ourselves to continue to strive
against the racism in our society and throughout the world.”
Liverpool and NW-based artist and sculptor Stephen Broadbent, who
specialises in public art, is well known internationally with
numerous projects including the ‘Reconciliation Triangle’
confronting the legacies of the slave trade.
In Stephen’s words, the artwork celebrates the connection between
the lyrics of Amazing Grace, written in 1772 by John Newton as part
of a volume of hymns called the Olney Hymns in 1779.
Stephen added:- “Creating this work has been a journey. As an
artist you get taken into these worlds and the story of Amazing
Grace is one that has travelled across three continents. The lyrics
are John Newton’s and the melody came from the southern states of
The artwork is
comprised of three pierced steel plates which represent the three
continents, Africa, America and Europe.
They are connected by a glazed panel representing the Atlantic and
etched with patterns of the former slave trading routes.
The words and musical notes from ‘Amazing Grace’ flow through the
The Sense of Sound Choir, finalists in this year’s BBC Choice of the
Year competition, performed Amazing Grace at today’s dedicated
ceremony, as well as “Happy Birthday” to artist
Stephen Broadbent, who was 48 on the same day.
The new Pier Head Ferry Terminal building, in front of the Three
Graces on Liverpool’s World Heritage waterfront, now boasts a new
Mersey Ferries ticket office, shop, improved passenger facilities,
Hamilton’s café and a new extension to the Beatles Story, with its
Fab4D experience and world first “White Feather: The Spirit of
It will also soon have a new rooftop restaurant with stunning views
of Liverpool’s world renowned waterfront.
The project was funded by Merseytravel with grant funding from the
European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Northwest Regional
Development Agency, through the Mersey Regional Waterfront Park.
The project was also supported by Liverpool City Council and by
Dave Moorcroft, Director of Economic Development at The Mersey
Partnership said:- "The investment in the new Pier Head Ferry
Terminal has been a priority for the Mersey Waterfront programme.
This investment will further enhance the Pier Head as a world class
STATEMENTS FOLLOWING THE SENTENCING OF GARY FINLAY
following the sentencing of Gary Finlay on Friday, 10 July 2009, at
Liverpool Crown Court Merseyside Police Detective Inspector Andy
O'Connor said:- “These were particularly vicious attacks
against a father and his son resulting in the death of a man who had
his whole life ahead of him. This has been a very difficult time for
Michael and his family. I would like to thank the members of the
public who assisted us with this inquiry having witnessed such a
horrendous attack. The intervention by members of the public during
this attack undoubtedly saved Michael's life. I would like to
reassure members of the community that incidents of this nature are
rare and robustly investigated. My thoughts go out to the family and
hope that the sentencing today will help them in part come to terms
with their tragic loss.”
A statement from Gillian McKenna, the wife of Graham McKenna who was
murdered in January, also has been issued. She told the media that:-
"Graham was a wonderful husband, father, son, brother and
friend. "Graham served 22-years-in the armed forces in various
places and different combat conditions. He loved the army and
continued to play an active role in the forces through the
Territorial Army. Since his death our lives have been turned upside
down. His death has totally devastated all of his family and
friends. Graham and Michael received similar injuries during the
deliberate and brutal attack by Finlay. Graham died from his
injuries and Michael almost did. I will never ever forgive him for
what he has done. Finlay killed a defenceless man and attacked an
innocent 14 year old boy in the street. Only a coward would and
could do that. He will never know what love is as a man who is
capable of killing a loving father and destroying a young boy's life
cannot know the meaning of the word. He also destroyed my sister's
life through physical and mental abuse whilst they were married. I
have lost my soulmate, the love of my life, the father of my
children and nothing will ever bring him back. It is better to have
loved him than to never loved at all. My daughter Amy, reminds me
that her dad will live on through her and brother Michael and future
generations and so will never be forgotten I would like to thank the
two men who came to Graham and Michael's aid after the attack. I
don't know who they are but I would like to meet them as I am
incredibly grateful for what they did. I would also like to thank
the residents of Speedwell Road, the paramedics who attended, the
hospital staff who cared for Graham and who saved my son, and the
police. Our friends, family, work mates, Michael's school and the
local community have all been incredibly supportive too. Our
memories of Graham continue to give us the strength to deal with his
loss and to help come to terms with what has happened. The
sentencing of Gary Finlay today sees justice done in the eyes of the
law, but it will never bring Graham back to us, his murder is
something that we will never fully recover from and there will never
be a sentence long enough for that brutal, cowardly man.”
Greenbank High School rolls out the red carpet for cycling film
ground-breaking short film about cycling made by students from
Greenbank High School in Southport will be premièred at a special
event at Southport Arts Centre on Wednesday, 15 July 2009 at 6.30pm.
A group of girls aged 12 to 14 from the school have spent six months
producing a film called:- ‘Pedal Power – The Way Forward’, which shows
how they have explored cycling and the role it can play in local
Around 150 guests from the local area, representatives from other
‘Cycling Towns’ in England and dignitaries will be attending the
première. The young filmmakers will make a red carpet entrance,
before they watch their film’s first screening.
The film project was organised by the North Sefton City Learning
Centre and CTC’s Cycle Champions Officer for Sefton Juliet Jardine,
who has been working closely with the school for over a year. Juliet
said:- “The motivation of these young women has been
fantastic. They have seen the very real benefits of cycling and made
it their mission to spread the word.”
Sections of the film were shot using ‘helmet-cams’, enabling viewers
to appreciate first-hand the road safety advice and practical
cycling tips offered by the girls. There are interviews with local
people, healthcare professionals and cycling experts from CTC and
Sustrans’ local Bike It officer.
Following its première, ‘Pedal Power – The Way Forward’
featured on various websites, including
Southport and Ainsdale, as one of Cycling England’s Cycle
Towns, is a lively hub for cycling activities, becoming a real
centre of cycle expertise in the North West. Introducing ‘Bike
Club’ – enabling even more young people to use cycling to improve
The success of young people’s projects like this has prompted an
exciting new initiative to ensure that more young people have
similarly rewarding experiences. Bike Club is a new programme
aimed at encouraging children and young people to explore the
possibilities and freedom offered to them by cycling. Just
like the girls of the Greenbank High School, young people in youth
clubs, after-school clubs and other settings around the country will
be given chances to enjoy new experiences, freedoms and
responsibilities, simply by seeing how much fun they can have on a
Whether children and young people are meeting at a ‘biking breakfast
club’, learning road cycling skills, having a go at riding off-road
BMX, repairing old bikes, or finding ways to express themselves on
two wheels, Bike Club will aim to give them these opportunities.
Bike Club is a partnership between CTC – the national cyclists’
organisation, youth club experts UK Youth and ContinYou, who
specialise in providing rewarding experiences outside a conventional
school environment. Bike Club officers will offer on-the-ground
support in eight locations around England, including an expert based
around the towns of Southport and Chester, both designated as
Cycling Towns by Cycling England.
Additional funding for Bike Club has been pledged by supermarket
chain ASDA, whose Pedal Power campaign will raise £1 million through
activities such as chairman Andy Bond’s Land’s End to John O’Groats
ATTEMPTED RAPE - BLACKTHORNE ROAD, WALTON
Police have issued an appeal for witnesses following the attempted
rape of a 37 year old woman on Blackthorne Road, near to Walton Hall
Park, on Wednesday, 8 July 2009.
At just before midday the victim was taking some items out of the
boot of her car on Blackthorne Road when a man approached her from
behind. He put his hand over her mouth and tried to pull her towards
some bushes. The victim fell to the floor and the offender assaulted
her and tried to remove her clothes. She managed to fight him off
and he ran away in the direction of Walton Road.
The victim was taken to hospital with minor injuries and she has
since been discharged.
The offender is described as being white, in his early to mid 40s,
around 6ft 2in tall, of slim build with shaven mousey hair and
facial stubble. He was wearing a black T-shirt and a pair of navy
Adidas tracksuit bottoms.
Detective Inspector Mark Guinness said:- "This was a dreadful
attack on a woman going about her daily business. She has been left
shocked and distressed by what happened to her and we are doing
everything we can to find this man. I would like to reassure the
community that this type of attack is rare and I am appealing for
local people to come forward if they can help our investigation."
Anyone who recognises the description of the offender or who saw
anything suspicious yesterday in the Walton Hall Park and Hornbeam
Road areas is urged to call police on:- 0151 777 4567 or
Crimestoppers on:- 0800 555 111.
POLICE APPEAL FOR HELP IN LOCATING WANTED MAN
Police are appealing for everyone to help in finding 64 year old
Hull man Joseph CHAPMAN who was found guilty for numerous sexual
offences at Hull Crown Court, Friday, 10 July 2009.
On Monday, 6 July 2009, Mr Chapman, who is also known as Thomas
COURTIE, was due in Hull Crown Court to face the charges but failed
to appear. On Tuesday, 7 July 2009, the Judge choose to start the
trial in his absence.
Mr CHAPMAN was found guilty of seven counts of indecent assault
against a girl under the age of 14 years, two counts of gross
indecency with a girl under the age of 16 and three counts of rape
of a female under 16 and was sentenced to 16 years in prison.
It is believed that Mr CHAPMAN left his home address on Pollard
Court, Beverley Road, Hull at around 0820hrs on Monday 06 July 2009.
He is described as white, 5ft 7ins tall with a stocky build. He is
bald, has green eyes and speaks with a Liverpool accent. Officers
believe he may have a two to three week grey/white coloured beard.
Attempts by police to locate Mr Chapman have been unsuccessful so
Detective Constable Adrian Adamson from Humberside Polices Public
Protection Unit in Hull, said:- "Mr Chapman offended against
children over a substantial period. This man groomed and threatened
his victims. Mr Chapman did not face up to his victims in court and
his current whereabouts are unknown. He left his home address just
hours before the trial began and is currently wanted by police. If
anyone knows his current location please contact police on:- 0845 60
60 222 or Crimestoppers on:- 0800 555 111."
Police do not believe he poses any threat to the general public, but
he should not be challenged.
Anyone who may know of his whereabouts is asked to contact
Humberside Police tel:- 0845 60 60 222.
ARRESTS FOR THE MURDER OF JOSEPH LAPPIN
Police on 14 July 2009 have confirmed that six people had been
arrested for murder and attempted murder in relation to the Joseph
The six males, aged between 16 and 23 from the Vauxhall area, have
all been taken to police stations across Merseyside where they will
be questioned by detectives. This was shortly followed by a further two arrests
made by Merseyside Police where a 22 year old man and a 17 year
old male, both from the Vauxhall area, where both detained.