Liverpool’s Grand Designs really impress!!

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Yes, this week has seen thousands of visitors flock to the Echo Arena Labour Party Conference and stop….think, and take a closer look at Liverpool in all its glory.

I have heard so many comments about Liverpool’s fantastic waterfront, the historic buildings, entertainment, hotels and brilliant shopping facilities. Positive comments have abounded day after day and rung in my ears as I flit from conference to conference.

Involving myself in the many Fringe events connected with Culture, Brexit, and…… ‘How can we engage more young in their local communities’ gave me an opportunity to tune into the many visitors positive perceptions of the city during breaks, when we explored the ‘complimentary food and refreshments’ on offer.

Many visitors had travelled from the south and were on a first visit, but having seen what the city could offer……… promised a more in-depth visitation later in the year, to sample the ‘culture’ and the many museums, art gallery’s, and theatres; some even suggested a need to tread the many trails of the Beatles, or seek out educational establishments such as the LSTM in the Georgian or now also known as ‘the Knowledge Quarter’ some suggested even traveling further afield to the football mecca’s of Liverpool and Everton.

During the week, I became immersed in many of the public debates with leading politicians and thinkers, centering around bringing people together to strengthen communities through art, culture and social cohesion. L8 and the Biennial became a discussion point with ownership and belonging: reclaiming and reinventing public space a serious issue of discussion.

In one such meeting, favourable comments about Liverpool were voiced by Anna Turley MP during her ‘instilling skills, uniting communities’ conference debate chat.

Anna made it clear how the fantastic value a city’s heritage could make to the economy and the well-being of everyone, with Liverpool seen to be a perfect example of this.
I was pleasantly pleased when she recommended that Redcar her local constituency, look to Liverpool as an exemplar turn-around city using its wonderful historical assets.

‘Preston on Sunday’ did wonders too and gave the Titanic Hotel a good plug. The future of that area is really opening up and dissolving the city’s “divided” aspect. Hopefully more investment will pour into the Vauxhall and Bootle areas so we can become a more inclusive city and try successfully for the ‘European Green City Award’ with the Atlantic Corridor area fully serviced and developed with a development drive right up to Crosby.

During this week our TV has given us a constant nightly drip feed of impressive Liverpool backdrops giving the nation a full view of Liverpool’s iconic seafront and grand designs during casual interviews of political characters.

No matter what your politics though, this Labour Conference event was a showcase for the city. I was proud to be a Liverpool citizen while seated in the Tate sipping an espresso surrounded by envious southern colleagues.
I retold the old, old story of standing in the same warehouse room, windows smashed and pigeons galore flying about, telling Michael H. what a fine architectural city this was.

The vision in those early days was to clean up the Mersey, create the Mersey Forest and develop a Garden Festival. This was the blueprint for today.

The future plans for the city on both sides of the Mersey look stunning…. but that’s for another day.

Liverpool’s biggest festival of history and culture- Heritage Open Days!

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I think this is one of the most exciting cultural events of the year on Merseyside. An event which many Merseysiders look forward to and plan with relish. It’s one of England’s largest voluntary cultural events and it gets underway right across Merseyside NOW!.

Heritage Open Days celebrate England’s outstanding architecture and culture by offering free access to properties that are usually closed to the public, or normally charge for admission.

Every year during September, buildings of every age, style and function throw open their doors. Properties ranging from castles to factories; town halls to tithe barns; parish churches to Buddhist temples.

It’s a once-in-a-year chance to discover hidden architectural treasures and enjoy a wide range of tours, events and activities which bring local history and culture alive for everyone.
Check on-line for the local heritage events happening near you this weekend.
http://www.heritageopendays.org.uk

Today at the Albert Dock, heritage did come alive for me and another few hundred people attending one of the “Heritage” on the Dock events.
I opted for several tours such as ‘Meet the engineers’ on board the newly restored Steam Ship Daniel Adamson, a Heritage Walk, Tate architectural tour, and the Pagoda arts Guzheng ensemble sound.

Later in the afternoon yesterday, I joined the knowledgeable tea expert Alison Appleton who guided a group of visitors with a fascinating talk and session of memorable Chinese tea tasting!

We sampled several South China teas such as the Fuding White tea, a pressed, brick white tea from the same plantations that produces silver needle tea; a Phoenix mountain Oolong tea, an exceptionally rare tea from a family owned single tea tree, not a plantation; a beautiful Bohea tea with a naturally fruity smooth with caramel after taste and a Lapsang Souchong, a classic and favourite tea of Winston Churchill.

This was all new to me and the experiences gained will no doubt drive me to seek out the more flavoursome varieties instead of the usual Yorkshire tea bag. Well, they do say ‘variety is the spice of life’.

At its peak, the Albert Dock was Liverpool’s chief port for Chinese and East Asian trade so, it was definitely a fitting place to hold this presentation and an innovative way of bringing history alive.

Sitting in an airy, fireproof Albert Dock warehouse room surrounded by antique 18th Century fold over tea tables and designer chintz fabrics, provided us all with the ideal historical location were this valuable cargo,tea, was once stored. The setting and atmosphere made the afternoon.

We all thoroughly enjoyed the authentic loose teas, all served in beautifully flowered ceramic cups and certainly became a ‘devotea’ of the exquisite leaf while socialising and enjoying the afternoon.
This is certainly an acquired taste I will develop further, now that my taste buds have been tantalized.
I recommend a trip to the Tea House!
@_TeaHouse http://www.alisonappleton.com 21 Lark Lane L17

Another exciting visit on my Heritage quest, took me somewhere completely different but a place I’d passed many times on the E. Lancs……. the Gillmoss Materials Recovery Facility tour…. to see at first hand what happens to the items I put into my recycling bin.
This was a very interesting and informative talk and guide around the working site conducted from the level and covered walkway.

Using the latest technologies in mechanical sorting, mixing recyclables from the kerbside collections of Halton, Knowsley, Liverpool and Sefton are delivered to the MRF for sorting.

This hour long tour provides you with a second by second all action viewing of the whole process from beginning to end with 25 tonnes of material an hour processed before your eyes.
uk.veolia.dicoverycentre@veolia.com
http://www.veolia.co.uk/merseyside-and-halton
If you wish to have an interesting alternative to the weekend then log onto the above websites and take a tour…all FREE
Tomorrow…….. Croxteth Park, Speke Hall, Liverpool Old Dock, several churches and the Waterhouse University complex tour.

Japan Day Sat 20th August 10.30-5.30pm

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Busy on Saturday 20th August?
Are you interested in Japan?
Its people?
Its culture?
Its language?
Looking for a very special holiday surprise for the children?
Look no further and your dreams will come true.
You can spend a very exciting day of Japanese culture courtesy of the co-organiser……. the Embassy of Japan.

Try this FREE admission day out at the Liverpool Guild of Students 160 Mount Pleasant.
Full details….. JapanDay.org.uk with performances on the main stage starting 10.30am.

The special festival of Japanese Culture will be a showcase showing both old and new Japanese culture and will be the birth of exciting new ventures in Liverpool, in the future.

On display will be martial arts demonstrations of Kyudo, Kendo, Aikido and Ju-Jutsu which will certainly excite the children and adults alike.

There will be exhibitions featuring Japanese swords and armour, Ikebana, origami, kimono, bonsai, railways, braiding, Go, calligraphy, crafts, kanzashi and exquisite embroidery.

Be entertained by Japanese folk songs, Koto and the deafening beats of the Taiko drumming which will get the hairs on the back of your head standing on end!

View and take part in the modern Japanese culture associations of Cosplay, Manga and the visual Anime.

Live entertainment on the main-stage with Diane Kichijitsu who will give a performance of “Rakugo” the traditional Japanese art of storytelling….10.55 Awa Odin dance……1.30 SOAS Min’yo Group performance and many more booked on the website for you to arrange and time your visit so that you will get the most out of this jam packed exciting cultural event.

Be early and you will not miss the delicious Japanese food sushi, obento and Oh!…… those sweets!!!!!

‘A Festival of Japanese Culture’

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