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Southport and  Mersey Reporter -  Your free online newspaper service covering the Merseyside region - (Greater Liverpool).
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Issue:- 28 July 2011

Saturday on the Waterfront in Liverpool - 2011
Report and photographs by C Trollope and L Trollope

OVER the period of 22 July to 24 July 2011 the lucky people of Liverpool were treated to a splendid weekend’s entertainment, all for free, helped along by fine weather. To celebrate the opening of the new Museum of Liverpool and the 100th anniversary of the famous land-mark, the Liver Building; the On the Waterfront Festival offered three great open air concerts. On Friday, well loved Merseyside singer, Connie Lush, treated the crowds to a well received medley of songs whilst on Saturday, the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Carl Davis, resplendent in golden coat, played an evocative programme; largely of Beatles compositions cleverly arranged, but culminating in an encore of Land of Hope and Glory, along with which the audience sang enthusiastically. They also introduced a brilliant, young Norwegian trumpeter and she stole the affections of the audience. During her introduction sympathies were directed to all those suffering as a result of the terrible events in Norway, from the city not unfamiliar with tragedy itself. Sunday’s entertainment was by popular group 6ixToys. After each of the concerts, once darkness had fallen, a bewitching spectacle enthralled the watching thousands (estimated as 60,000 over the whole weekend). A talented group of Czech artists, The Macula, used their wizardry to portray a brief history of Liverpool’s key events including the construction of the Liver Buildings, on its frontage, using visual mapping which results in gripping 3D images and truly captures the imagination. Having “disintegrated” the building and showing the fleeing Liver Bird, Liverpool Castle then appeared complete with soldiers and coach, then the spectre of war and pestilence, shipping and slavery on to the WW2 Blitz, and then to the Beatles. The projection finally transferred to the new museum. Also illuminated were the other 2 Graces, the Cunard Building, and the Customs House. Other happenings included a display of illuminated lanterns also highlighting the City’s historical events and lit figures floated in the new canal. Street artists also entertained the waiting throng.

During the daytime, the new museum seemed to be set to break visitor numbers. All were eager to look the building over and to discover its treasures of bygone Liverpool. Also the Liver Buildings were open to the public with pre-booked tours and an exhibition of its own history and contemporaneous Liverpool life. Started 150 years ago as the Royal Lyver Friendly Society whose members sought to help with burial costs for an impoverished society when the average adult life expectancy was 26 years, Royal Liver Building Society rapidly expanded. New premises were required, and were designed to maximise its income by letting a large proportion of its space to others. Built using reinforced concrete, it became a blue print for future skyscrapers throughout the world. Its iconic Liver Birds which perch ever vigilant are not statues but an integral part of its construction. This portrayal of the well known birds was designed by Karl Bernard Bartels. There is great controversy about the actual bird which forms the basis of the mystical creature, be it a misshaped eagle, cormorant or whatever, but most Liverpudlians have heard that should they fly away, disaster will ensue.

This was another exciting weekend for Liverpool and there are plenty more in the offing.  We can not wait to see what's next!

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