Giants in Liverpool - Part 1
Photograph by Patrick
STARTING on Wednesday,
23 July 2014, the Grandmother Giant was revealed to the public
for the first time. The quew to see it was massive, and built up
extremely quickly, but that was only the start. As well as the
Grandmother Giant 'asleep' in a giant bed, in the
historic St George's Hall, over a 2 day build up to the main
event, flash shows popped up though out the City. These
flash-up-mob style re-enactments of Lord Derby's call to take up
arms in August 1914. Lord Derby's rally cry lead to one of the
most successful recruitment campaigns to Kitchener's Army, and
the formation of the Liverpool Pals battalions. Giant's
creators, Royal de Luxe, Director Jean-Luc Courcoult's stories
which the Giants read out were based on letters and memories
sent home from 2 of the members of one of those battalions.
Sadly, unless you had the luck to get to hear the acts performed
by the Grandmother Giant, it was kind of hard to see the
connection for the first 2 days of the main event, but on the
last day, Sunday, 27 July 2014, the show came together and
included the 1st World War aspect of the event with all 3
Giants. No matter if this did or did not work as a memorial
piece; it has still captured the imagination of thousands and
brought in lots of money to the City. So much so that,
Liverpool's Mayor Joe Anderson, who was the driving force for
their return has inequitably hailed the event as an "amazing
success" for the City, and we can't see many who could object to
that. So it is good news that we have heard that the Council is
already talking about bringing them back again! Also the
charismatic, eccentric Frenchman, Jean-Luc Courcoult is a well
known fan of Liverpool and he is understood to favour the City
ahead of other UK Cities, so will they return? Royal de Luxe is
now on its way to
Limerick, for 5 September
to 7 September as part of their City of Culture celebrations.
Then they are heading for Australia and then the US. One of the
reporters from Limerick said:- "Liverpool is amazing. We
just hope that this buzz can be copied in our City, but we will
not get this many people. Well, I don't think we will. We are
really looking forward to seeing them, and after experiencing
them here in Liverpool, we can safely say that our City is in
for an amazing time!" This was echoed by visitors from
the US and also Australia. Mayor Joe Anderson has said:-
"We need to take stock. Both Titanic Sea Odyssey event and this
one have been a fantastic success for the City and its image,
but we have got other plans for the City. Jean–Luc does love
Liverpool and we are looking at working closely together with
him in the future. When I last spoke to Jean–Luc, he was very
emotional as he was leaving Liverpool. He had tears in his eyes.
We are both looking forward to something. Watch this space."
But it was not just Jean–Luc who was filled with emotion, as the
climatic end of the event you remembering the 5,000 men who
joined the Pals and the 2,800 who lost their lives, never to set
foot back home again. As the giants sailed out and Xolo the dog
looked on and the actors playing the widows, actors playing the
Pals, together with a military band, from the Albert Dock, quite
a few in the audience had a tear or 2 in their eyes. Whether it
was the sight of the Girl and Grand Mother leaving in the boat
down the River Mersey, the story or a mixture of the 2, it was a
very moving and emotion climax. Please take a minute to remember
those brave men who have never returned and what they did for
Due to the extremely high numbers of photographs and amount of
video we have taken, we are splitting this in to 2 editions.
Part 2 will be in next week's edition, but for now please enjoy
Part 1, with lots of videos and photos...
Click on here now to see
We can sadly say, if you hold
with us and see Part 2, you will be in for a treat, but for now,
please enjoy Part 1.
to read on!
Click on to read on!
B.O.A. 70th Anniversary
video footage we have taken at
the 70th BOA events this year in
Liverpool has now been fully
edited is available to buy, on a
DVD, from our Online
on Mersey Reporter very soon.
For each DVD sold, £3.00 will go
to the Liverpool's Lord Mayor's
Charity Appeal. (Registered
Charity No. 229539) At
this stage we can only do UK
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Firefighters issue further 8 days of
FIREFIGHTERS have issued a further 8
day period of strike action as the
Westminster government have not improved
their pension proposals.
The current proposals in England and
Wales are still unworkable and mean that
firefighters will still face dismissal
simply because they cannot maintain the
high physical fitness requirements
necessary for their role until they are
The proposals would also mean that if
firefighters opt for early retirement,
the reduction in their pension would be
Matt Wrack, FBU general secretary,
said:- "It is absolutely ludicrous
that a government can impose a scheme
which means that firefighters will have
to ride engines and rescue people from
fires up to age 60. This is unsafe and
unrealistic for both firefighters and
the public. We know it, and the public
know it, but the government will not
listen to the evidence based case we
have made to them."
An improved position meaning that
firefighters can retire with more
flexibility from age 55 has been
considered and costed by the government
for more than 3 months, but has simply
not been offered.
The costings provided by the
Government's Actuary Department and
released by DCLG mean firefighters who
take early retirement would get a
reduced pension of around 10% to 13%
rather than the massive reduction that
the government currently proposes.
Proposals incorporating flexible
retirement options should be included in
an improved offer for the FBU for its
members to consider. Sean Starbuck, FBU
national officer, says:- "It's
extremely disappointing that we have had
to issue more strike dates but the
government are simply not listening to
our concerns. We have a new fire
minister but to date she doesn't appear
to have listened to our case. The
government still has an opportunity to
improve their offer which could avoid
the need for action."
No industrial action is being taken in
Scotland and N Ireland as improved
pension proposals are being discussed.
Starbuck added:- "Firefighters are
angry as the Westminster government
claims we don't want to resolve this
dispute. This is absurd as the situation
both in Scotland and N Ireland shows
this is simply not the case."
The strikes will take place for 8 days
from:- Saturday, 9 August 2014, until
Saturday, 16 August 2014, between:- 12pm
to 2pm and 22:59 to 23:59.