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Family owners of 122 year old Carousel 'immensely proud' of Hidden Gem recognition

THE owners of the legendary Silcock's Carousel in Southport say they are:- "incredibly proud" at seeing it shortlisted as a Hidden Gem in this year's Liverpool City Region Tourism Awards. Now they are asking as many people as possible to take a couple of seconds to vote for them to win! Please vote here. The incredible 122 year old Carousel, which was built in 1901 during the reign of Queen Victoria, is among 10 Hidden Gems shortlisted, 4 of them from Southport.  Voting will close at 5pm, on:- Friday, 27 January 2023.

The Carousel stands proudly at the entrance to Southport Pier, next to Silcock's Funland, offering fun for people of all ages as they spin round and round to the sound of the historic Gavioli fairground organ.

This 18 ton ride is 42 ft in diameter, 18 ft tall and has 3 Cockerels and 33 Horses, each of them named after a member of the Silcock family and family friends. The 3 Cockerels and the horses on the inside of the ride are original Anderson carvings and date to when the ride was built at the turn of the century. The rest of the horses have been replaced by copies due to wear and tear.

Silcock's Operations Manager Serena Silcock Prince said:- "We are incredibly proud as a family that our Carousel has been recognised in the Hidden Gem category in this year's Liverpool City Region Tourism Awards! We want to thank everyone who has nominated us this year. There was a real buzz on Monday when the shortlist was announced and we realised that Silcock's Carousel was among the nominees. Lots of customers and members of staff have been messaging and phoning us with their support and congratulations. The Carousel is a real landmark for so many people who live in Southport and for visitors from across the UK, many of whom have wonderful memories of riding on it as children, and who are now bringing their children and grandchildren. Lots of people tell us that it is the 1 thing they remember doing in Southport when they were younger. It is a really fantastic attraction that is enjoyed by people of all ages. We are absolutely thrilled to have been shortlisted. Now I'd like to ask everyone; please vote for Silcock's Carousel to win!"

The other 3 Southport nominees this year are:- Cranberry's Cafe; Southport Bijou Cinema; and Tik Taco.

The other 6 Merseyside nominees are:- Future Yard, Birkenhead; Home Farm Restaurant; Speke Hall, Liverpool; Red Brick Market, Liverpool; 10 Streets Social, Liverpool; The Welsford Bistro, Liverpool; and The Wheelbarrow, Liverpool.

This award, sponsored by The Guide, is decided solely by public vote. The winner will be announced at the Liverpool City Region Tourism Awards, at Liverpool Cathedral, on:- Thursday, 2 March 2023.

The 'Golden Gallopers' Carousel on the Southport Pier forecourt is the local family run firm's flagship ride. This astonishing piece of mechanical engineering was built at the turn of the century by Savages of Kings Lynne. It was purchased by the Silcock family in 1989, and it took 3 years of painstaking restoration to return it to its former glory. The Carousel made its opening debut at the Shirdley Show at St Helens in July 1990. The beautiful Gavioli organ at the Centre of the ride, built by Gavioli in Paris in 1901, is worthy of being nominated as a Hidden gem in its own right.

Herbert Silcock's 122 year old Carousel is open throughout this winter, open every weekend. The remarkable ride has entertained hundreds of thousands of delighted families over the years. The Carousel plays a very supportive role in the local community too.

On Sunday, 8 January 2023, the Pier Forecourt area was a sea of red when the annual Southport Santa Sprint took place, raising money for Queenscourt Hospice. Silcock's once again sponsored the Santa Sprint, with a £1,000 donation to the charity and free rides for every Santa taking part.

Other than the Santa Sprint, tickets for all riders on Silcock's Carousel are just £2 each. Small children must be accompanied by an adult.


Consultations launched for 2 "new" Schools

LIVERPOOL City Council has launched 2 consultations on whether 2 "new" Primary Schools should be opened. The proposals are that Gilmour Infant and Gilmour Junior Schools, Garston, should be amalgamated to form Gilmour Primary, and for Sudley Infant and Junior Schools, in Aigburth, should merge to form Sudley Primary.

Both consultations run for 6 weeks, until 25 February 2023, with the Council's Cabinet considering results at its May meeting. If approved, there will be a 4 week representation period in June with a final Cabinet decision made at the July meeting.

The proposals have come about as in both cases the Headteacher of the Infant School retired at the end of December 2022. Under the proposals, the current Junior School heads would become the heads of the new Primary Schools.

If the plans are approved the old Schools would:- "close" at the end of August 2023, with the new primaries seamlessly opening their doors for the new School year. The new Schools will be in the existing School buildings

If the recommendations are approved, all children currently at the infant and Junior Schools would be offered a place at the new Schools.

Following amalgamation, the Schools would have the following places:-

Gilmour - 630 School places with 60 Nursey places.

Sudley - 840 School places.

Council Officers will be engaging directly with:- staff, Governors and parents and carers, with the opportunity to also attend face to face sessions.

Anyone in the wider community who is not contacted directly is also welcome to send feedback.

Full details and how to comment are on the Council's consultation webpage.

Cabinet member for Education and Skills Cllr Tom Logan said:- "Whenever an opportunity arises the Council is committed to exploring the possibility of amalgamating infant and Junior Schools. All through Primary Schools are beneficial as they offer consistency for pupils and mean that parents and carers do not need to apply for a Junior School place, but no decisions will be made until we have consulted fully with everyone affected. At both Gilmour and Sudley the Headteacher retirements have afforded us a natural opportunity to think about the future and consider amalgamating the existing Schools."

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