International Slavery Museum To Open

August 14, 2007

Liverpool’s new International Slavery Museum will open on 23 August – Slavery Remembrance Day. “This unique and thought-provoking museum explores the slave trade and Liverpool’s involvement, while addressing issues such as freedom, identity, human rights, racial discrimination and cultural change,” says National Museums Liverpool. The new museum replaces the Transatlantic slavery gallery, and is the first phase in its three-stage development encompassing ‘Life in West Africa’, ‘Enslavement and the Middle Passage’, and ‘Legacy.’ The museum includes a walk-in audio-visual display to graphically illustrate the appalling conditions on slave ships. Opening times Thursday 23 and Friday 24 August, extended opening hours of 9.45am to 7pm. The museum will open early from 9.45am to 5pm from Saturday 25 August to Tuesday 28th. From Wednesday 29 August it will open dialy 10am-5pm, excluding Christmas Day, Boxing Day and News Year’s Day.

New Anfield Stadium Revealed

August 3, 2007

Having been away on holiday, I was sorry to miss the revelation of Dallas-based HKS’ architects’ design mock-ups for the new stadium. As I said in the previous post, the design promised to be something quite exceptional, and so it has proven. Hopefully, work will now start on the stadium by the end of this year, with completion set for 2010.

New Liverpool Stadium Design ‘Amazing’

July 3, 2007

The new design for the Stanley Park Stadium – the new Anfield – is described at ‘amazing’, by a person familiar with the plans. LFC co-owner Tom Hicks last month revealed that ‘spectacular’ new designs for the club’s new home would be submitted to the council for planning assessment by the end of June. Earlier designs, viewed as unambitious by Hicks and George Gillett, were completely overhauled, and the latest design is now described as like a ‘spaceship’, with a glass structure for the kop – which acts as the centrepiece and focus of the design – and four unequal stands that mirror the organic way in which many UK football stadia have developed over the years. The total costs are now estimated at around £300 million, the person familiar with the plans said, and the financing is being sought from US banks and capital markets. The new design is expected to feature seating for 68,000, 7,000 more than the original, but Hicks hasn’t discounted further expansion to accommodate “somewhere in the mid to high 70s,” subject to planning and transport issues being ironed out.

Pirates of the Caribbean, Liverpool Style

June 11, 2007

It’s Liverpool’s Maritime Heritage Weekend next weekend, June 16-17, and pirates will feature large beside the more stately attractions of the tall ships themselves, including one of the world’s tallest – the Dar Mlozdiezy from Poland. For ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ fans, there’s a chance to meet Captain Rollick & Bilge and to board the tall ships with a crew of pirates, so come dressed prepared! The best-dressed pirate will win a Nintendo Wii and Pirates of the Caribbean game (on Saturday only). But all those prepared to dress up will get a gift. There’s also an inflatable village, art workshops and heritage vehicles. There’s a free park and ride (10.45am-5.30pm Sat & Sun) from Paradise Street Interchange (Stand 4), Wellington Dock and Canada Dock (where HMS Albion will dock 1pm-5pm Saturday).

If Liverpool walls could talk, what would they say?

June 7, 2007

Find out, by seeing what is being billed as one of the artistic highlights of Liverpool’s 800th birthday year. Wall Talks, by Jen Hayes and Andrew Sherlock, takes place at the evocative Heritage Market site at the Stanley Dock. Exploring Liverpool’s past and identity, the performance takes the audience “on a journey of memories, shadows, dreams and half-seen pictures.” Liverpool 08 is giving people a chance to win one pair from a total of 10 tickets it’s giving away. To be in with a chance, email your name, address and daytime contact number to info@walltalks.com. Winners will be chosen at random and closing date for entries is 14 June, 2007. Tickets for previews running until 9 June can be bought for £7, or for the period 12-30 June for £12 (£10 concessions), from the Royal Court box office on 0870 787 1866. Performances start at 7.30pm.

Arabic Arts Festival

June 6, 2007

Liverpool’s annual Arabic Arts Festival launches July 1st, and with artists from Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen and Palestine, among others, it’s never been a more important time to experience the culture of countries who appear in the media daily but about which our understanding can, at times, can be limited. The event kicks off with a free family day at Sefton Park Palm House, between 12.30 and 4.30pm, with a blend of music, dance and food. The entire festival runs for two weeks. For more details, visit the Arabic Festival website.

Good Luck To The Red Men!

May 22, 2007

Can we make it six in Athens tomorrow night? With the support of the fans and Rafaology behind the team, there’s probably little the side can’t achieve in a one-off cup game. Rafa’s already thinking beyond Athens and next season’s premiership race, but in taking an arguably stronger and more experienced squad to Athens compared to the 2005 final in Istanbul, at least we shouldn’t be 3 down at half time.  I’m relishing the clash between Gatusso and Gerrard already.  To get in the mood, and showing why LFC fans are the best in the world, have a look at the LFC flags we’ll be seeing tomorrow evening. Go on you Red Men!

Wow Festival 2007

May 14, 2007

The Writing on the Wall Festival 2007, a programme of events that celebrates writing, diversity, tolerance and humour through controversy, inquiry and debate, gets into full swing in Liverpool this week. Among this year’s highlights: Maozzam Begg, who was detained at Gauntanamo Bay for three years, will be talking to Mirror journalist Brian Reade tonight, May 14, at Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre, 34 Princes Road, L8 1TH – entry £4/£2 on the door; History Day, Tuesday, May 15, including talks, walks, drinks and discussion (full details here); Pulp Idol, an event in which unpublished writers get a chance to shine (heats Tuesday to Thursday, with final on Friday May 18th, at Hemingways, 52 Duke Street, L1 5AA); Louis de Bernieres, author of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, delivers poetry and accompanies an array of instruments (Thursday, 17th May at Blackburne House, Blackburne Place, off Hope Street – tickets £10/£8 from the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall box office); Hillsborough Screening with Jimmy McGovern, the Hillsborough scriptwriter, and Professor Phil Scraton to discuss notions of ‘truth’ as they relate to the disaster (Thurs, May 17th at 7.30pm, the Lighthouse, Oakfield Road, Anfield L4 OUF. Tickets from the Lighthouse box office on 0151 476 2342). There’s much else besides. Visit the Wow Website.

“Some teams make headlines others make history”

May 2, 2007

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho cut a forlorn figure after Liverpool FC defeated a side on which the Portuguese has lavished over £600 million in three years, over £30 million on Andrei Shevchenko alone. That’s a monumental sum for such mediocre returns. Not only are Chelsea  lagging Manchester United in the league, having spent nearly half a billion pounds more on the team, but their football hardly sets the world alight, despite the obvious talent available. Mourinho’s strange posturing in recent weeks, met with seemingly wry amusement – and some bewilderment – by a sanguine Rafa Benitez, now looks even sillier than it did before Chelsea crashed out of Europe’s major football prize in the unparalleled roar of Anfield. Much as Mourinho achieved at Porto, his ‘special’ talents haven’t extended to the Premier League or the European stage; Benitez’s tactics were better last night, and Alex Ferguson has wrung wonders from his dazzling youngsters. How Jose would love to manage a team with Liverpool’s pedigree, fanbase and spirit. It’s at least good to know that money only gets you so far. “Jose, Special 1 My Arse” read one Liverpool banner last night. Meanwhile, Liverpool Football Club has written another chapter in its august history and a May 23rd Champions League Final against AC Milan, beaten finalists in 2005, or, more tantalizingly, arch-rivals Manchester United, beckons after yet another glorious European night at Anfield. If Liverpool face AC Milan, seeking revenge for 2005’s nail-biting defeat on penalties, I’m sure a sixth star, representing another European Cup, will adorn Liverpool FC official merchandise. United will be a different prospect, not least for the security services in Athens, inevitably and sadly. Stevie G, Carra et al will have to put in an Olympian performance in Greece, not least to ensure bragging rights go to the right end of the M62. I don’t think it’s beyond a team that has extraordinary belief from its scouse heart to its Iberian wings. What a prospect. (pic c liverpoolfc.tv)

Liverpool Business Fair

April 27, 2007

Next Tuesday, May 1st, sees Liverpool Town Hall host the sixth Liverpool Business Fair, offering free seminars and advice to businesses large and small. Highlights include: free business seminars; support and advice for manufacturers; 60 exhibitors; free wine tasting and head massages; general business information and advice; public sector contracts seminar and speed networking. Best of all, it’s free and there’s no need to book. The sessions begin at 10.30am.