Weekly City Spotlight: Liverpool


Liverpool’s Royal Liver Building

Liverpool is a fantastic location for a city break, situated in the north west of England in the County of Merseyside.  A UNESCO World Heritage City, Liverpool welcomes thousands of visitors to its endless attractions including its amazing Waterfront, St George’s Quarter and Cathedral, as well as its many museums and galleries and fine examples of architecture.  A key location for those with an interest in sport, the city is home to both Liverpool and Everton Football Clubs, with Aintree Racecourse which holds the Grand National each year also proving a popular attraction.  In addition to offering excellent shopping facilities at the Liverpool One complex, Liverpool is famously known as the home of The Beatles, and today offers visitors a lively and varied nightlife with a wealth of restaurants, clubs and bars, many offering live music.

Historic Liverpool
Liverpool was originally part of Lancashire, and was granted city status in 1880.  Throughout the 18th century, Liverpool was a successful port trading with European countries and through continued growth eventually would facilitate 40% of the world trade as it passed through its docks, and as such became a location with a culturally diverse population.  The increased levels of trade enjoyed by the port where also boosted by the introduction of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, with the twin tracks pioneering railway enabling the efficient transportation of raw materials and goods for export as well as passengers.

However, due to the prime location of the city as a port, during the Second World War Liverpool experienced extensive bombing with many homes and commercial premises destroyed and the sad loss of over 2,500 lives.  Rebuilding efforts following the end of the war would see the creation of Seaforth Dock, the largest in Britain as well as extensive building of residential properties.

With significant redevelopment in more recent years, Liverpool has seen completion of regeneration projects bring many changes to the city, including the completion of Liverpool ONE the UK’s largest open air shopping complex, which also includes leisure and residential facilities.

Liverpool’s Music Scene
Guinness World Records referred to Liverpool as the World Capital City of Pop, with more Number One hit singles originating from Liverpool than any other city.  With the likes of Gerry and the Pacemakers and Billy Fury forming part of the merseybeat scene, the city is of course most famously associated with The Beatles, with John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr all born in the city, and venues such as The Cavern Club famously playing host to The Beatles early gigs.  Liverpool continued to produce many successful bands with The Christians, Echo and the Bunnymen and Frankie Goes to Hollywood all originating from the city to name but just a few.  The city is also home to LIPA the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, co-founded by Sir Paul McCartney which works to develop the talents of its students in the areas of Music, Singing, Dance and Acting.

Popular Culture
Liverpool is a historic and cultural city, and has also been a focus in popular culture.

Films & TV
The 51st State (2001) – an all-star cast including Samuel L. Jackson and Robert Carlyle feature in this comedy which is set in Liverpool.  A web of deceit is unveiled as the drug deal of a lifetime by the American master chemist goes woefully wrong.  This comedy hit was filmed on location in Liverpool, as well as Manchester and California.

Alfie (2004) – this remake of the classic Michael Caine film from the 1960’s starred Jude Law and Sienna Miller and follows the womanising Alfie.  Charles Shyer wrote, directed and produced this film which was shot on location in the UK including Liverpool.

Shirley Valentine – written by Willy Russell, Shirley Valentine tells the tale of a housewife from Liverpool and the transformation of her life following a holiday abroad.  Initially a play which was staged in the Everyman Theatres in Liverpool, Shirley Valentine also enjoyed success at the West End and Broadway and was made into a film in 1989.  Pauline Collins and Tom Conti starred in the film which was shot in Liverpool as well as London.

Red or Dead (2013) – this novel by David Peace is set in Liverpool and reflects on the life of Bill Shankly, Manager of Liverpool Football Club from 1959 to 1974.

The Grave (2000) – written by James Heneghan, this mystery novel focusses on the life of Thomas Mullen as he is abandoned in Liverpool as a young boy. Following the discovery of a mass grave, Mullen is transported to Ireland in the 1840’s where we see the lives of those affected by the potato famine.

An Awfully Big Adventure (1989) – this novel sees author Beryl Bainbridge writing about the life of Stella Bradshaw, a teenager from Liverpool who becomes part of the production in a regional playhouse and all the unexpected intrigue which goes with it.  Bainbridge is said to have based elements of this novel on her own life when part of the Liverpool Playhouse theatre, which later was made into a film.

Social Media
Additional information on Liverpool can be found on its official website Visit Liverpool as well as its Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube accounts.

Famous Faces
John Lennon – the iconic singer, songwriter and musician was born in Liverpool on 9th October 1940, famously a founder member of The Beatles, Lennon was raised in Liverpool, initially by this Mother and then by her sister Mimi Smith.

Tom Baker – Born in Liverpool on 20th January 1934, Tom Baker has been a star of stage and screen and most famous for his role as Doctor Who, which he undertook from 1974 to 1981.  The award winning actor is recognised for his distinctive voice and as such has taken many voiceover roles including working with Matt Lucas and David Walliams in Little Britain, as well as a featuring in a number of video games.

Frank Hornby – born in Liverpool on 15th May 1863, Hornby was an inventor and businessman whose pioneering inventions would see him launch Hornby Model Railways, Meccano and Dinky Toys, all of which have remained hugely popular and bought Hornby great financial reward.  This year marked the 150th Anniversary of his birth and events were held in Liverpool and Brighton to celebrate the life of this remarkable man.



St George’s Hall

St George’s Hall
Located opposite Lime Street Station, the magnificent St George’s Hall dates back to the mid 1800’s and is a Grade I listed building, which houses concert halls as well as law courts.  A young architect named Harvey Lonsdale Elmes won a competition to design St George’s, which is recognised as one of the finest examples of Neoclassical architectural design.

Royal Liver Building
Dating back to 1911, the Royal Liver Building can be found at the Pier Head at the city’s Waterfront and was custom built to house the Royal Liver Assurance Group.  One of Liverpool’s iconic landmarks, the Royal Liver is 300ft tall and was recognised as the tallest building in the UK until 1961.  The building also features the famous Liver Birds on its towers, which represent the city of Liverpool, and was the work of Walter Aubrey Thomas and one of the first ever examples of a reinforced concrete building.

Radio City Tower
Providing amazing views of the city of Liverpool, Merseyside, the Wirral and even further afield, the Radio City Tower was built in 1969 and is 425ft tall.  Now open to the public, the tower also houses the studios for Radio City 96.7, Magic 1548 and City Talk 105.9, as well as a café and daily tours are available to learn more about this iconic Liverpool landmark.

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