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Southport Reporter® covering the news on Merseyside.

Date:- 16 July 2007

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THOUSANDS of schoolchildren will be making Liverpool the UK’s party capital this week to celebrate the city’s 800th birthday.  Almost 25,000 pupils aged between 4 to 11 years old are dressing up in historical costumes and staging huge parties – with some using the birthday occasion to raise money for charity.  The final week of school term will be one of extra special festive spirit right across the city beginning on Monday, 16 July 2007.

To kick-start the celebrations, all 145 primary schools have received special party packs form the Liverpool Culture Company, including hats, bunting, balloons, hand waving flags, button badges and 30 x 4 metre bunting.  Here’s a selected 15 schools parties from Monday to Friday, 16 July to 20 July  2007:-

Monday, July 16

9.30am:- St Sebastian’s Junior & Infants, Holly Road, Kensington, L7

All children dressed in WW2 outfits and doing songs and performance. And old fashioned PE lesson and lunch in afternoon with cake and jam sandwiches.

11.45am - 2.15pm:- Bishop Martin, Church Road, Woolton, L24

Writing a Liverpool song for the city. Burying the school’s time capsule then fancy dress parade.

Starting 12noon:- Our Lady of the Assumption Primary School, Hedgefield Road, L25

Party followed by a pageant, with each year group dressing up to represent a time from Liverpool's past i.e. Foundation Stage - Lords and ladies & King John; KS1 - Victorians and their buildings. Yr3 - Sailors & ships; Yr4 - Vikings; Yr5 - The 1960s; Yr6 - Evacuees from Wartime. Talent show to follow.

1.15pm to 3pm:- Lister Junior School, Green Lane, Old Swan, L13

Children will be dressed in red, white and blue to celebrate patriotism and school’s French connections

1.30pm-3pm: St. Cuthbert’s Primary & Nursery School, Aviemore Road, L13
To celebrate city’s multicultural heritage children and staff are to wear as many different colours as possible.

2pm onwards:- Blackmoor Park Junior School, Leyfield Road, West Derby, L12

Blackmoor are celebrating with a garden party and fancy dress parade - of famous Liverpudlians and clothes from the last 800 years.

Tuesday, July 17

From 9.30am - All Day:- St. Hugh’s Primary Earle Road, Edge Hill, L7

All children in the school are producing art for a gallery celebrating the 800th birthday. Themes include the Slave trade, Liverpool’s sky line, rivers, the sea, and fish

From 9.30am - All Day:- Stockton Wood School, Stockton Wood Road, Speke, L24

All day events ranging from drama, art exhibitions exploring heritage ending with party.

12.30 to 3pm:- Pleasant Street Primary, Liverpool City Centre, L3

Dual party as school is also 200 years old in 2007. Staff and pupils will be in period costume from 1807-2007. Children also re-enacting key events from Liverpool's history

Wednesday, July 18

9.15 to 11.45:- Ellergreen Early Years Centre, Ellergreen Road, Norris Green, L11

As Liverpool had the first Lending Library in Europe in 1757 and the school has a Lending Library for children, children will dress up as their favourite character from a book.

2pm onwards:- Heygreen School, Taunton Street, Wavertree, L15

Birthday hat parade - Year 5 children have created a Liverpool rap in which they sing about the different places in Liverpool.

Thursday, July 19

1.10pm onwards:- Anfield Juniors, Anfield Road, Anfield, L5

Fancy dress parade with steel band to perform Liverpool songs, Beatles etc.

1.30pm:- St. Matthew's Primary, Queen’s Drive, Walton, L4

Party and live band playing in the playground.

Friday, July 20

2pm: Gwladys Street Primary, Walton Lane, Walton, L4

School street party

To mark Liverpool’s 800th birthday, which is on Tuesday, August 28, all 74,000 pupils at Liverpool’s primary and secondary schools will also receive a birthday present - the official 2007 commemorative coin - courtesy of the Liverpool Culture Company.

Councillor Warren Bradley, Leader of Liverpool City Council and Deputy Chairman of Liverpool Culture Company, said:- ''Liverpool's 800th is a chance for everyone to celebrate the history and achievements of this city. Schools are at the heart of our communities and it is vital pupils are at the heart of the party."

Councillor Mike Storey, who is overseeing the city's 800th celebrations, said:- ‘’I'm delighted to see that schools and pupils are investing a huge amount of energy into these parties – their passion and creativity bodes well for next year’s European Capital of Culture celebrations.’’


FAMILY relationships appear to be under threat as parents across the North of England struggle with the demands of work, raising concerns over how much time they can spend with their children, a new poll commissioned by The Children's Society highlights.

From this survey of UK adults, in the North of England, 61% said that parents nowadays don't get enough time to spend with their children while about 45% of those questioned said that parents had to put their career first even if this affected their family life. These results reflect the growing dilemmas over childcare parents from the North can feel when trying to juggle the many demands of modern life in a country that already puts in some of the longest working hours in Western Europe.  When adults were asked if a pre-school child was likely to suffer if his or her mother worked, about half of all participants from the North (49%) disagreed, although 39% of those questioned were in favour of this position. 71% of respondents said they didn't believe that parents should stay together when they didn't get along, even when there are children in the family.

Children contributing to The Good Childhood Inquiry however, saw a happy home life as one in which they spent time together as a family. Although several submissions from children spoke of parents being too busy to spend time with them, saying:- "When your parents are always arguing or have full time jobs they don't spend any time with you. You feel lonely with nobody to talk to and all you can do is play on the computer or watch TV."

Overwhelmingly, both the GfK NOP survey and the submissions to the inquiry at a national level identified love as the most important component for a happy childhood (67% of adults polled and 70% of children's submissions respectively).

Bob Reitemeier, chief executive of The Children's Society said:- 'Family is hugely important in the lives of all children yet modern society appears to be pulling them apart. Only by taking a closer look at how a child's need for family can be met in the context of the 21st century, can we ensure a good childhood for all children. Without this fresh perspective and a better understanding of how to support families, we risk damaging the successful growth and development of future generations.'

The topic of family is the 2nd of 6 key themes to be considered by The Children's Society's Good Childhood Inquiry. A summary of the evidence about family submitted to the inquiry by the public, adults and professionals can be downloaded from

Kathleen Kiernan, inquiry panel member and professor of social policy and demography, University of York said:- ''Family life is changing with rising rates of parental separation, more working parents and different parenting styles. We know these factors affect children's lives and that when children feel loved and secure they build up resilience to life's challenges. This gives us a context to debate the difficult experiences that some children face and learn from research about the impact of these changes on children and how they can they be moderated.'

Over the next 12 months the inquiry will hold meetings on the remaining themes of health, learning, lifestyle and values before publishing its final report in late 2008.

The Tour of Britain announces route through England’s Northwest

ENGLAND'S Northwest will this year once again play host to the prestigious Tour of Britain Cycle Race, and the route is set to take in some of the region’s most stunning scenery and spectacular views. 

The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) has been instrumental in securing the region’s position on the Tour of Britain map since its successful re-launch in 2004, and this year the penultimate stage of the tour will pass through the Northwest on 14 September.

Kicking off in Liverpool’s historic Sefton Park at 10:15am, the riders will then make their way up to Southport before skirting Preston through Leyland and Bamber Bridge. Crossing the stunning Ribble Valley the cyclists then head for a tough but scenic climb at Grizedale, in the beautiful Forest of Bowland. 

After lunch you could catch a brief glimpse of the sprint at Hornby before the last section of the route heads into the picturesque South Lakes via Kirkby Lonsdale.

With several climbs in quick succession, this will be by far the most gruelling part of the race, before the finish line at Beast Banks in Kendal.

Riders can expect a gruelling 165km route up the west coast. The stage should take the riders just over 4 hours to complete and they can be expected to ride at an average of over 25 miles an hour, not bad for their 6th consecutive day of racing. 

Last year the Northwest stage of The Tour, from Blackpool to Liverpool, attracted 60,000 spectators.

Peter Mearns, Director of Marketing and Communications at the Northwest Regional Development Agency said:- “England’s Northwest has an enviable record for hosting major sporting and cultural events.  The Tour of Britain has proved an overwhelming success over the past three years, and this year will be no exception.  This exhilarating race generates great economic benefits for the region and never fails to attract visitors to enjoy the spectacular scenery of the Northwest.”

Free drama workshops for young people in north Liverpool

AN exciting new youth theatre has been set up for north Liverpool 14 to 19 year olds. Organised by award-winning company, Collective Encounters, the project gives young people the chance to work with professional artists, make their own shows, and perform in local and national venues.

Sarah Thornton, Collective Encounters’ artistic director, said:- “This will give young people the chance to have their say about things that really matter to them. It will be challenging, fun and just a little bit different.”

Weekly workshops are being held on Wednesday evenings 6.30 to 8.30 pm, at the Cornerstone Theatre, Everton and are free of charge. All courses are accredited, so participants will achieve recognised qualifications while also doing what they enjoy.

If you’d like to find out more call Fiona on 0151 722 4581 or text 07758569108.

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