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Liverpool Life

A GIANT SUCCESS Spectacular send-off for city’s visitors

Liverpool Life contents Vol 7 Issue 1 OCTOBER 10 - OCTOBER 23 What’s on in Liverpool this fortnight

Avon buses cease trading after 35 years


The reality of working abroad

St George’s Hall lights up for infant loss



First look at new Merseyrail trains

Liverpool Fashion Week returns

Autism Hour celebrated in Liverpool

Winter Garden awarded grant


Final visit for Liverpool Giants




14 Movement to close gender pay gap in sport


8 Autumn colours at Albert Dock

© Adele Matthews

LL Production: Annie Williams, Adele Matthews, Emma Fegan, Megan Tattersley, Chantelle McKeever, Nick Ware, Stephen Killen, Ben Higgins, Tiarnan Quigley, George Adams, Liam Plumbley, Seanan McSheffrey


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Rivals step in to save bus routes By ELLIE WATKINSON A number of Merseyside bus routes have been saved by rival bus companies after operator Avon ceased trading. Arriva North West and Stagecoach have taken control of some of Avon’s 36 bus routes, which cover Merseyside through to Cheshire, following its sudden announcement last week. On Twitter @Merseytravel tweeted: “Avon Bus Ltd has informed us of its commercial decision to cease operations. We understand that this will be inconvenient for customers and we advise them to make alternative arrangements.” A spokesperson for Arriva North West clarified that the company have provided limited services for bus routes 10A, 83A and 122. Meanwhile bus company Stagecoach will take over bus route 22/ X22, which runs from Moreton to

Chester. Another company, Al’s Coaches, will cover bus routes 17S and two out of the three journeys to Hilbre High School. In a statement, Avon Buses said: “It is with great regret that we have to inform you that after 35 years serving the local community, Avon Buses will cease operations on Friday, October 5, 2018.” The bus company linked its decision to running costs and fuel prices, together with reducing the price of tickets. The company said youth tickets had a lasting impact on revenue and it had also been subject to increasing insurance premiums. On Facebook,users shared their disappointment for the company. Ralph Williams said: “As we don’t have a car we used Avon buses a lot. It’s a real blow to people like us.”

New Café Tabac Avon Bus on look: its route Facebook user Philip Barton wrote: “What a shame. They had the most polite and well-trained drivers I have ever met.” Another user said: “Aren’t Arriva helpful? Forcing the smaller companies out of the business.

Severn crossing toll scrap sparks fury amongst Mersey commuters By SUMMER GEDALL A decision to scrap the toll charge on the Severn bridge in Wales has sparked fury amongst commuter groups in Liverpool. The ‘Scrap Mersey Tolls’ group has been campaigning against tolls on the old and new bridges between Runcorn and Widnes since new fees were introduced to the Silver Jubilee Bridge in Halton in 2017. They are now putting pressure on the Government to take back control of the Halton crossings from local authorities and to remove all tolls across the Mersey. It follows the announcement that the tolls would be scrapped on Severn Crossing, which connects southern Wales to the West of England. John McGoldrick, leader of the Mersey protest group, said: “In our area local Labour politicians are supporters of tolls and these are the people that dominate all the authorities in our area. “So instead of seeing tolls scrapped, last year we had them tolling the previously-free Runcorn to Widnes crossing. “We would like to see control of the crossings taken away from the local authorities and given to the

©©Sam WikiO’Hara Commons” “So much for competition keeps down fares.” The remaining routes are currently being reviewed, which includes the C5 from Dingle to Royal Liverpool Hospital and the 145 from Moreton to Birkenhead.

Giants visit set to bring £12m economy By NADIA BREEN

Approach to the Kingsway Tunnel Government and for the Government to then remove all the tolls on the Mersey, because at the moment it seems all the major parties support using drivers in our area as cash cows.” Regular users of the Mersey Gateway will spend about £900 a year to commute over the bridge and the ‘Scrap Mersey Tolls’ want to see this come to an end.

© WikiMedia Commons

John McGoldrick said: “As you might expect, tolls are subject to regular increases. “In 2004, Merseytravel managed to persuade Parliament to give them more power to raise Tunnel tolls and to spend the profits as they like. Since then the cash toll for cars has increased by 50% from £1.20 to £1.80 and I don’t want to see the same thing happen at the bridge.”

Liverpool’s third and final visit from The Giants, French team Royal de Luxe’s massive puppets, boosted the city’s economy by tens of millions of pounds at the weekend. Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, predicted that over a million people would come to watch The Giants. Before the event, he told Liverpool Life: “There will be crowds in the Wirral and in the city centre. The Giants bring to the economy about £12m pounds. Hotels, restaurants, transport and bars are packed, so it is great.” It has been estimated that an extra 300,000 spectators visited this year compared to their last visit in 2014, which was called Memories of August, 1914. • Selection of pictures from the event and full report: p8-9.


LL NEWS Pink and blue to remember loss By ORLAITH CLINTON

LJMU hosts exclusive film forum By HARRY LEAHEY LJMU’s Redmonds building was hostng a film convention today. Titled ‘How to Make a Micro Film and Sell it’, the event gave an insight into what it takes to make a small film on a limited budget and pitch it to a potential audience. Organiser of the event, John Maxwell- a film maker, producer and lecture at Liverpool John Moores University - told LL: “It really involves bringing together a lot of my contacts that I have made over the years from Los Angeles and the American film market, so we’re bringing a little bit of Hollywood over to LJMU.” The meeting provided a Q&A with a panel of well-established film makers, including Carlos Gallardo, who has starred in many cult independent films, including Desperado, Once Upon a Time in Mexico and Antonia Banderas. Shortly after the Q&A was an exclusive screening for new film Redcon 1, which is an action horror picture that Mr Gallardo both starred in and produced. Mr Maxwell said the aim of the event was to cover everything involved in micro-budget filmmaking.

St George’s Hall in Liverpool has turned pink and blue to support grieving families. Last night, the building was specially illuminated to raise awareness of the pain of losing a baby. The 16th year of Baby Loss Awareness Week aims to allow bereaved parents and their families and friends to unite with others across the world to commemorate their babies’ lives. It was launched on Monday. Caron Lappin, Director of Nursing & Midwifery from Liverpool Women’s NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We hope turning St George’s Hall pink and blue will spark conversations about baby loss which is still seen as a taboo subject in today’s society and can be a very isolating experience for families to go through. “We hope this gives bereaved parents and families an opportunity to talk about their precious babies.” The annual campaign aims to

Campaign’s official logo raise awareness about the issues surrounding pregnancy and baby loss in the UK and let the public and key stakeholders know what charities and other supportive organisations are doing on bereavement care and support around pregnancy and baby loss. This year more than 60 charities across the UK are getting involved with the campaign to raise awareness about the key issues affecting those who have experienced pregnancy loss or baby death in the UK.

Baby Loss Awareness Week is calling for tangible improvements in research, care and policy around bereavement support and highlights bereavement support and services available for anyone affected by the death of a baby at any stage. Other buildings taking part in this Pink & Blue lighting campaign this year include Blackpool Tower, The Kelpies, Portsmouth Spinnaker Tower, Belfast City Hall and the Millennium Bridge at Gateshead.

Don’t get your winter woollies out yet

Liverpool’s Indian Summer is expected to continue, with weather forecasts predicting temperatures hotter than Mexico this week. Temperatures have continued to soar from the beginning of the month, with Merseyside sitting comfortably in the high teens It’s set to continue as the Met Office has predicted highs of 21C this week. Words & picture: Annie Williams


It’s hallelujah for Heswall’s church plans BY HARRY LEAHEY Ambitious plans for a new £1.8m modern church and community centre in Heswall have been given the all clear. Proposals by the parish council concluded that the physical inadequacies of the existing church, on Telegraph Road, no longer delivered the needs of the community and said the only solution was to start afresh with a new building. Dubbed the ‘Parish Building Project’, the plans will see the current church transformed into a spacious and welcoming community hub. Although primarily for worship, The Lighthouse Church will also provide space for a café, after school clubs, counselling sessions and exercise classes.

The outside of the new church will also feature a wideglazed frontage, giving off an “open-hearted invitation” to join in with everything the new Lighthouse Church will have to offer. David Rushworth, who is the churchwarden and in charge of fundraising the project, said it was crucial in extending the church’s role in Heswall and drawing more people to the area. He said: “Currently, we have this building which is just not fit for purpose. The wiring is shot to pieces, the heating doesn’t work, the plumbing is awful “The front is a solid brick wall, people stand outside and say, ‘Where is the church?’.” “The Lighthouse Church could extend the church’s community

Submitted plans for £1.6m to £1.8m modern church and community centre in Heswall. © Lighthouse Shedkm work in Heswall and hopefully draw more people in from a lot of other areas.” The cost of the estimated plans are £1.6 to £1.8 m, but members of the Parish and the local community have already pledged £1.1 m. It is hoped that the huge budget generated will make it more likely to receive grants to fund the rest of the project. If the grants are given to the scheme, the building work could begin next October.

Children’s social care system is facing an ‘absolute crisis’ BY ORLAITH CLINTON Children’s and Social Care Cabinet Chair Barry Kushner has rejected criticisms of Liverpool City Council from a High Court Judge. Liverpool City Council received condemnation this week after an autistic teenager was placed in Alder Hey Children’s Hospital for months, without suitable accommodation. On seeing a shrine for toddler Alfie Evans, the girl suffered a breakdown, which resulted in the injuring of nine nurses and a security guard. The ward had to be vacated and six members of the staff then took sick leave while another resigned after the incident, the court heard. Mr Justice Hayden said: “Much of her extreme behaviour may be in consequence of whatever she witnessed in Iraq”. He added the case was “atrocious” and “must never happen again”. The Labour Councillor praised the work of Liverpool City Council and team at Alder Hey in the care of this teen.


Mr Rushworth added: “It is a church for, and in, the community, that is the emphasis of it. So it’s very much a community-based project. But we’re also building for the future and young people very much.” He said that older members of the community needed to look to the future. “The fact is we are funding most of it because we have disposable income, young people haven’t. “So, we’re building it for them and for the future.”

Pepper spray for prisons BY ORLAITH CLINTON

Alder Hey Hospital. © Wikimedia Commons “We have been trying to find suitable accommodation for this child’s specialist needs. Unfortunately, these placements are not available in this country. “I am pleased to say that we have put pressure on a local provider to speed up the accommodation placement process and this girl will be homed on 22nd October in Liverpool City Centre. “This hard work and pressure from the council is not seen.

“Only the bad is picked up on in the media.” Cllr Kushner explained his frustration at the lack of support for children’s services in the UK. He said: “I have personally written letters to the Government, explaining the absolute crisis we have in children’s social care. “I haven’t had any response from these letters. The Government don’t get it.”

Liverpool prison officers will have pepper spray cannisters at hand to tackle violence behind bars from next year. Prisons in England and Wales will be issued with the cannisters from 2019 to help tackle violence and danger. This comes after what the Ministry of Justice says was a “successful” six-month trial at selected prisons. Her Majesty’s Prison Service have announced that Liverpool prisons will be making this available to officers. Prison officers welcomed the introduction of the spray but some members of the public opposed it. Phil Taylor, the former governor of Wormwood Scrubs, told the BBC: “I think it’s a much wider picture that we need to consider and it’s fair and proper that prison officers should be protected.”



All aboard Merseyrail’s new fleet of ‘state of the art’ trains By HARRY LEAHEY

Left: A look inside the new trains. Below: The sleek new exterior.

© Harry Leahey JMU Journalism

Commuters can now step onboard a life-size mock-up of Merseyrail’s new state of the art trains, which are expected to roll out in 2020. Built by Swiss manufacturer Stadler, the mock-up enables visitors to step inside, walk along the aisles and sit on the new wider seats. Like the real trains, it also features electronic doors, as well as the new sliding step technology, which eliminates the gap between the train and the platform edge. Cllr Liam Robinson, Merseytravel chair said: “As the Combined Authority and Merseytravel will be buying the new trains directly, they’re going to be owned by the people of the Liverpool City Region - so it’s brilliant to be able to invite everyone along to see and experience what will be their new

trains. “And the term ‘mock-up’ really doesn’t do the carriage justice – the carriage is so realistic; you’ll be expecting it to start moving off the moment you get on board.” The mock-up is available to view at Pacific Road in Birkenhead and will be available at Lime Street from November 5th-18th between 7am-6.30pm. David Wilmshurst, from Birkenhead, said: “The current fleet I think is about four decades old, so I can’t wait for these new ones to roll out. “They’re also keeping the train guards too on these new ones, which I think is very important. It’s reassuring and it’s safe - that’s my view anyway,” he added. Thomas Vaughn, from Bromborough, was also eager to see the new replicas.

“Since these trains were announced, I’ve been dying to try them out, and this does exactly that,” he said. “I’m impressed actually of how accurate it is too, I feel like I’m on the real thing. “The wider aisles are something I like most, because they’ll be able to accommodate more people. The current ones just feel so much

narrower than this.” Meanwhile, Sophie Bennet, from Birkenhead, welcomed the new platform feature among other improvements. “I have a close friend who actually uses a wheelchair, so I know he’ll really appreciate the fact that he’ll no longer need like a ramp anymore to get on and off,” she said.

Liverpool named as entrepreneurial hotspot By REBECCA THOMAS Liverpool has been ranked the third most entrepreneurial city in the UK, behind London and Birmingham. This is according to new data collected by the Start-Up Loans Company (SULCo) who provide a government-backed personal loan which helps individuals start a business in the UK. Aspiring business owners in London received the most start-up Loans, while Liver-

pool came in third and received £4.8m. Merseyside is home to the Women’s Organisation, which isthe Women’s organisation, which is a managing agent of the Liverpool City Region’s Enterprise Hub, which provides easy access for anyone within the city region who has business ambition to get expert advice and guidance. Joanne Austin, who is the engagement and marketing manager for the Women’s Organisation, said: “Through government austerity measures many of the grant

pots that were available to start a business no longer exist.” Discussing the grants available, Mrs Austin said: “At present, the main scheme available is Start-Up Loans through which businesses can apply for up to £25,000 in the form of a loan. “This can be helpful to those who would be turned down for traditional funding routes due to lack of own capital to invest or other reasons.” Asked what advice she would give aspiring entrepreneurs Mrs Austin said: “Always get advice

before getting started and take time to put together a business plan so you know what you are doing and the direction you want to take. “Always get advice before getting started and take time to put together a business plan so you know what you are doing and the direction you want to take. “If you Google top ten reasons businesses fail, I guarantee you lack of advice and poor planning will be up there.”




Stores open up to Autism Hour BY ABIGAIL LAWRENCE Stores across Liverpool are taking part in ‘Autism Hour’, a campaign creating a week of autism-friendly shopping times. The campaign runs until October 13th and aims to make day-today shopping more inclusive for those with autism. For an hour each day retailers will turn down music and tannoy announcements, dim the lights and educate people about autism. The campaign was launched last year by the National Autistic Society to improve shopping experiences for those with autism, as research has shown 64% of autistic people avoid the shops alltogether. Last year, more than 5000 retailers took part and this year that figure has doubled with wellknown high street stores backing the campaign include The Entertainer, Sainsbury’s, Argos, Schuh and Halifax. Mark Lever, Chief Executive at the National Autistic Society, said: “It’s wonderful to see so many well-known high street retailers signed up and ready to make the

world a more autism-friendly place.” There are around 700,000 autistic adults and children in the UK, as well as three million family members and carers. Being autistic means seeing, hearing and feeling the world in a different, often more intense way to other people. Tom Hewitt, who is autistic and works as a journalist, said: “It’s important we have these kind of events, because I have experienced severe anxiety issues when walking around a large shopping centre from a young age.” Tom added that Autism Hour will not only give a platform for those on the autism spectrum to embrace themselves and enjoy a stress-free shopping experience, but also highlight the challenges those with autism face. The National Autistic Society hopes that the initiative will lead to better long-term understanding of autism. • For further information, advice or support with Autism please visit the NAS website at: https://www.

Tom Hewitt

© National Autistic Society

It’s important we have these kind of events

Greens welcome litter scheme BY SUMMER GEDALL The popular student areas of Wavertree and Kensington are in the top 10 parts of Liverpool where litter enforcement company ‘Kingdom’ is handing out £80 fines. Liverpool City Council have had a partnership with the private enforcement company since March last year and in July 2018 alone, 820 £80 Fixed Penalty Notices (FPN) were issued in attempt to reduce the amount of litter being dropped in the street. Following a successful sixmonth pilot, Kingdom’s contract with Liverpool City Council has been renewed on a permanent basis. The environmental offences include littering, dog fouling, graffiti and smoking in smoke-free premises. But the most common reason for a FPN being delivered is dropping cigarette ends on the floor. The company aims to deliver a ‘cleaner, safer and greener

environment for members of the community’ but the council’s zero tolerance approach to litter dropping has gained mixed reactions from the community. Lawrence Brown, a Green Party representative for Wavertree is in full support of the company. He said: “For now, I think they’re very effective. We’ve seen a huge decrease in litter in the city centre and I do think they’ve achieved what they set out to do.” Enforcement officers have been known to operate in plain clothing in a bid to catch more people out and are also equipped with hidden cameras to record evidence of the offence. Controversy has also centred on the commission that enforcement officers earn for each FPN issued. Of each £80 fine, 53% is paid to Kingdom and the remaining 47% is reinvested by the City Council in wider Environmental Services. “With regards to the anger people are feeling towards the commission that enforcers can

earn, I can understand why people feel that way and as a councillor I’m prepared to represent anyone who feels like they’ve been mistreated or targeted unfairly by Kingdom or by any other enforcement activity,” said Lawrence Brown. Psychology student Julia Thornton described the time she was issued a FPN for dropping her cigarette end on the floor whilst on campus as ‘distressing’. She said: “I honestly had no idea that this was even a thing. I use biodegradable filters so I didn’t think I was doing anything wrong, but the man who fined me was extremely rude and wouldn’t even let me explain myself.” Wavertree resident James Lever added: “I know people shouldn’t be littering but even when we offer to pick up whatever we’ve dropped, it’s still not good enough. “They can be quite intimidating at times where they’ve pretended to phone the police.”

© Wikimedia Commons

Cigarette ends are causing most fines © Wikimedia


Parade: The Giant ©Nadia Breen

Sefton Street: Visiting the crowds ©Ellie Watkinson

Dog: Xolo wows visitors ©Ellie Watkinson


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Giant: On the move ©Nadia Breen

Hall: The Little Boy Giant ©Nadia Breen

Boot: Journey begins ©Nadia Breen

A giant turn out for the Giant parade By ELLIE WATKINSON AND NADIA BREEN


he Giants brought over a million visitors across Merseyside this weekend. The spectacular titled ‘Liverpool’s Dream’ was run by French company Royal de Luxe, who have visited Liverpool twice before. This year they expanded to the Wirral. Sunday’s parade was their

final performance after owner, Jean-Luc Courcoult, announced his family’s retirement from the production. The Little Boy Giant and his dog, Xolo, kicked off the show from St George’s Hall Plateau and ended up at Queens Wharf on Friday. The Giant woke up at Canning Dock and joined the two puppets at George’s Dock Gates

on Saturday. The final parade began at 2:30pm on Sefton Street where the Little Girl Giant made a surprise appearance. Together the Giants travelled through The Strand and bid a final farewell at Canning Dock. Chris from Pyramid Power, the company that supplied the power for the event, told Liverpool Life:

“The show was really good this year because it was also on the Wirral, people on the other side of the Mersey got to see it too.” Explaining how much dedication went into the show, he said: “Approximately 140 French people came over to work on the Giants, putting them together, building them and rehearsing for the parades.”


Bringing the butterfly to life

new play based on the best-selling autobiography by Helen Forrester premiered at The Empire Theatre on Wednesday 3rd October. ‘By The Waters of Liverpool,’ written by Rob Fennah acts out the next stage of Helen’s life, following the success of ‘Twopence To Cross The Mersey’ which was seen by over 170,000 people when it premiered as a musical in 1994. ‘By The Waters Of Liverpool’ has sold more than a million books. With parents who are irresponsible with money, Helen is angered that her and her siblings are not adequately fed and clothed. At the age of seventeen, Helen fought with her parents for the right to educate herself and to go out to work.

NADIA BREEN speaks to writer Rob Fennah about his adaptation of Helen Forrester’s best-seller Helen’s life becomes more positive as she develops a social life and finds love with a seaman at the age of 20. Rob Feenah, a musician from Liverpool explained why he brought Forrester’s autobiography to life. Rob, who has a background in music, met Helen in the late 1980s and had written a song called ‘Butterfly in the Rain’ based on a line from one of her books. He said: “The band and I were asked to play the song for Helen at a charity event and we got chatting and became friends, when she asked to use the song to promote

her books across the world. "I mentioned that I had dabbled in theatre and she gave me a twoyear option period to develop a script.” Rob decided to write a play on the sequel as Helen’s loyal and strong fan base asked when the next part of her story would come to stage. He said: “Helen’s story is both intriguing and fascinating, it’s not only her life story but it gives a rare and honest insight into just how difficult life was for so many families in wartime Liverpool. I hope it really strikes a chord with audiences.”


© Nadia Breen, Liverpool Life

By The Waters of Liverpool is set at the beginning of the Second World War and explores the life of Helen Forrester. The play begins with an announcement from the Prime Minister on the radio declaring war with Germany, which sets the mood of the play immediately. Maria Lovelady plays Helen and holds the stage successfully throughout. She narrates the story between different scenes and effectively makes us feel empathy

Drama offers a sweet taste of success


ow into its 60th year, Shelagh Delaney’s Taste of Honey has a fresh lease of life. In keeping with its self-aware comedic theatricality and astute observations on sexuality, race, and class, director Daniel Taylor reminds us why the ‘50s hit became such a classic. Soft jazz, blue lighting and the bare outline of a house open the stage for what becomes the modest semblance of a home for absent mother Helen and her teenage daughter Jo. Intentional in its minimalist design, Sean Gibbons’ set does not leave anything to be desired as the grey background with the worn, yellow sofa overseeing the events of the play bring audiences closer to the narrative being told. Under the guise of comedic moments and

playful jibe, neither Delaney nor Taylor shy away from the reality of working class life and its portrayal. Accentuated by the punchy and thoughtful performance of Sharon Byatt as selfishly selfless Helen and Sophie Coward as her lonely dreamer of a daughter, Jo, there is a certain rawness and vulnerability we as the audience get to witness. Despite the complex elements at play, Delaney’s strength lies in her portrayal of the mother-daughter relationship between Helen and Jo. At the end of the day, as Helen so beautifully puts it: “We’re all at the steering wheel of our own destiny, careening along like drunken sailors” By SIMRAN ROY


Rob believes the story of Helen’s life is so special and intriguing as the well-off family who lost everything in the depression came to Liverpool to rebuild their fortune - but in fact the opposite happened. He said: “Helen Forrester still has a loyal and strong fan base, and over the years I’ve always been asked when the next part of her story will come to the stage. "Helen entrusted me with her most famous work and I am delighted that her family have fully endorsed the new play." Rob feels proud that Helen’s son has travelled from Canada to watch the play. He imagines that Helen has always stood over his should as he has put pen to paper.

 towards her as she shows how hard Helens life was. Her anger towards her life at the beginning of the play is apparent. We see how gloomy and dark Helen’s house was as her parents wasted money on cigarettes while the children were left with hardly anything. Although the play is full of sadness and anger, writer Rob Fennah cleverly added humour to the script, so the audience was left laughing even though it was set during harder times.


Chocs away for fantastic festival



illy Wonka meets Wonderland for the first event of its kind in Liverpool at Hinterlands this October. Time is a precious thing, and The Fantastical Chocolate Festival is definitely not one to miss. It is safe to say that as a nation we love our scran with chocolate being at the top of ‘cheat day’ list! Consumers eat an estimated 660,900 tonnes of chocolate a year. That is an average of 11kg per person per year. Brought to you by the curators of ‘The Great British Gin Festival’

and ‘Rum and Reggae Festival’ this is something that is going to satisfy your sweet tooth. James Hamilton, spokesperson for the event, said: “Mega Events have put a lot of effort into it and have spent more money on the characters and entertainment than all the other spectaculars they have organised which are very production-driven. "It is going to be a fantastic time for everybody.” Kids can get creative in the arts and crafts section where they join in on chocolate egg decorating and dive into a world of fun in the Chocolate Factory play zone.

Whereas if the big kids are thinking “candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker” there will be a chocolate-themed bar for the big kids among us filled to the brim with indulgent chocolate booze including vodka, wine gin and alcoholic hot chocolate. The fun doesn’t stop there, as the festival will continue to entertain and delight with singalong live sessions with themed characters, story corners and free photobooths so the memories will last a lifetime. Tickets begin at £6 and guests can register via the website www.

Pics: Courtesy of James Hamilton

Shiver me timbers, Silver! By CHRISTA DALEY


n a world where ‘girls aren’t meant to be pirates’, Long Joan Silver sets out on voyage to prove the world girls can do it do for the world premiere of the first musical in The Hope Street Theatre. Monty Python meets pirates as The Liverpool Arts Society are diving into a new setting away from their usual theatrical nights in club venues. The event will be hosted on 17th – 20th October and will be filled to the brim with an array of quirky characters and songs that are more infectious than scurvy, and promis-

es a vibrant evening for all. Director, Alex Medlicott said: “It has been amazing to work with so many local talented performers on such a hilarious script." The play focuses on the topic of equality and highlights many struggles that women have faced in their fight for equal rights, a topic that we both as a company and individually feel very strongly about. "It’s great working with the writer in the room and being able to develop the script to truly showcase our actors’ abilities," Alex said. "I can promise you two things, this play will definitely send you home singing the songs and you’ll be laughing for days.”

With previous events such as Sin City, Le Cirque Magnifique and Homecoming. The company are now excited to be working on a script rather than creating and concocting new material themselves Artistic Director Sam Donovan said: “It is fantastic to see that companies are pushing boundaries and making bold decisions when creating new work in our theatre, something that was at the very heart of why we set up this venue. It’s safe to say we’re all really excited to see how a full-scale musical works in our space.” Tickets are selling fast and can be found at - or walk the plank!


The do’s and don'ts of work experience across the pond From Chester to Toronto, a traveller's guide on what to expect ...

Above: Rogers Stadium, home to baseball side Toronto Blue Jays By CHLOE TOMKINS


aking a gap year before university is becoming more and more appealing to students. Who wouldn’t want a break from reality to travel the world after the pressure of A-Level exams? But what about taking a gap year during uni? Dana Roberts, 22, from Chester, is a Psychology student who made the brave choice to apply for a placement in Toronto, 3,142 miles away from home. Meeting her in Dana’s favourite coffee shop in Chester City Centre allowed her to recall her time over there. After taking a year out from uni, Dana secured her dream job as a counsellor for a feminist organisation which runs girls-only summer camps. Here’s her guide to getting a placement, and what to expect when you get there. •DO your research. “There are a lot of companies online offering placements abroad so you have to make sure they are legit,” says Dana, “especially when you are handing over that amount of money (around £600 in her case). You want to make sure you’re actually going to make it over there.” •DON’T expect to get exactly what you want. Dana didn’t get something directly linked to psychology at first, but luckily for her that fell through and Girls Inc. came to the rescue.

“I was extremely lucky to get placed with Girls Inc. You can sort of specify what kind of thing you want to do but don’t expect to get your perfect job, but whatever happens it’s all experience.” •DO pack clothes practical for the time of year. This may seem obvious, but Canada’s seasons are way more defined than ours. “My suitcase was way over the allowance,” she says, laughing, “but when it’s that hot you’ll be glad of spare clothes. I’ve not been in winter but I’ve heard it’s absolutely freezing. “ Summer in Montreal is often a case 30 degree heat and 70% humidity. Not fun. •DON’T forget to apply for visas. This is the boring but EXTREMELY important bit. It’s super easy to get your e-visa for Canada, fill in a form online, pay $6, done. However, if you’re thinking about crossing the border to America, it’s a whole different story. If you’ve got some free time after your placement, of course you’ll want to explore, no doubt Niagara Falls will be on your list. Just don’t make the same mistake that Dana did and walk over the bridge to New York State without a visa. You will be met by a terrifying man with a gun, who will take your fingerprints and make you feel like a criminal. •DO be prepared to gain a few pounds. Its inevitable, the food over there is INSANE. Everything is covered in maple syrup (no complaints) and even a salad nor-

Above: Niagara Falls mally verges on the 1,000 calorie mark. Oh and get ready for Tim Horton’s, Canada’s answer to Starbucks, they are everywhere. The coffee chain has 4,613 stores across the country and you cannot escape from them, so save yourself the heartache and just buy the donut.


ON’T be afraid of meeting new people. “A lot of the people you meet on work placements, especially summer camps, will be your friends for life,” says Dana. “You spend every day with these people and you’ll rely on them a lot if you’re feeling homesick.” •DO remember to call home every once in a while: “Being

Above: Dana and her team

five hours behind UK time made it hard to call my mum and dad. I think they would have maybe appreciated a text every now and then.” And finally … DO stay and explore! If you’re lucky enough to hang around for a bit after your work placement, see as much as you possibly can. Dana managed to get around Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal and Quebec City but that’s just a drop in the ocean compared to what else is out there. The hostels out there are great value and it’s an amazing opportunity to meet new people from all over the world. So, if you haven’t been persuaded you to start looking for work in Canada - what is wrong with you?


All pictures © Annie Williams

Fashion Week is back ... but the high heels aren’t By ANNIE WILLIAMS


iverpool Fashion Week has returned to the city but this time without high heels. The three-day event kicked off in style with a grand opening at the city’s British Music Experience. This year’s event boasts a theme of ‘real people’ with models of all shapes, sizes and appearances walking the catwalk. The annual occasion, which launched on Monday, is also unique to other fashion shows as it is the first to ban high heels from the runway. Founder of Liverpool’s annual occasion Amanda Moss told Liverpool Life: “I use models of all heights, sizes, shapes, I don’t believe that skinny is best or plus size is best, what is plus size anyway? Everybody wears clothes, everybody wants to look good and that’s what my shows are all about and I use designers that share the same ethos.” Since its debut year in 2008,

Liverpool Fashion Week has always promoted the message that fashion is for everyone regardless of your body shape and now the influential show is encouraging models to leave their heels at home and wear flatter shoes. Talking about her decision to ban heels from this year’s fashion week, the Lifestyle editor says: “I think heels are so 1990, if you look in the shops now everyone is wearing flats. Flats are not only comfortable and practical, but heels have a place and that is not every day. “Why should women suffer for fashion, you don’t see men having to suffer for fashion. Why should we have to dress in a certain way to fit this idea of what is attractive.” Model Joanne Leigh Hewitt, 27, of Liverpool, took part in the opening show walking in multiple collections. Miss Hewitt said: “I think it is an amazing idea, I think we should introduce shorter girls into the industry. “Skinny, larger, it doesn’t mat-

ter what shape and size you are so I think having flatter shoes is also promoting that.” Designer of leather brand GoGairy Hand Painted Leathers, Richard Gair, thinks changing the models used in fashion shows will have a positive impact in improving mental health and the growing number of body image issues in today’s society. Mr Gair told Liverpool Life: “I’ve noticed a change in the modelling industry. Real people.

Brands are now using everyday human beings. I see mannequins now with bellies, it is about time!” Lingerie retailer, Boux Avenue, known for its promotion of models of different shapes and sizes received an electric applause from spectators at the showcase as models from a size six to 16 took to the runway with confidence in beautiful intimates. The events continue at the British Music Experience until tonight.



Growing into a community



fter being awarded nearly a quarter of a million pounds from the Arts Council England, Granby Four Streets Community Land Trust (CLT) has begun working on its winter garden project. Working alongside a team of horticulturalists and Winter Garden architects ‘Assemble’ to imagine Granby Four Streets CLT’s vision, local ceramicist Nina Edge is pioneering Cairns Street into a beautiful indoor garden. By renovating two derelict and beyond-repair homes, the project aims to provide a sustainable, creative community space for the locals while also encouraging outside interest into the area. Alongside Granby Four Street CLT’s community endeavour to create a safe space for its locals, the Granby Winter Garden Project holds monthly workshops collaborating with different, Liverpool-based artists for its pilot project. Sufea Mohamad Noor, the curator for Assemble who pilots the workshops, said: “Because

creativity has always existed in the area, alongside gardening, we thought it would make sense to just create an art space in the neighbourhood.” In order to diversify the skill set and knowledge base of all visitors, the workshops encourage people to connect while also providing an open space for conversation about the growth and changes in Granby from the plants to the people.

Top: Vision board. Above: Sophia Mohamed talks to workshop participants. © Simran Roy

Above: Creating art. Left: Rendition of future winter garden. © Simran Roy



The man behind MMA champs LIAM CORK meets Paul Rimmer, mixed martial arts trainer, at his city gym The rise of ever-controversial Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) star Conor McGregor has kept the sport in the headlines. As a result, Liverpool has seen its own array of hopeful fighters wanting to reach the ranks of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). At the forefront of the city’s MMA scene is trainer Paul Rimmer. The 38-year-old Liverpool native started training at Next Generation gym in California at the age of 22, before opening his own UK-based branch shortly after. He said: “I didn’t want to open my own gym at first, but I was one of the first in Liverpool to do it.” Now with more than 16 years of experience, Paul, who was awarded his Brazilian Jiu Jitsu black belt in 2014, has been responsible for a number of young champions, including Paddy “The Baddy” Pimblett, Chris

Paul Rimmer, Founder of Next Generation MMA Liverpool Fishgold and “Meatball” Molly McCann, who has recently seen her UFC debut. “Paddy’s personality puts him at the forefront of things; it makes him controversial,” he said, “Molly’s female - if she were male then she would have to win more fights to get into the UFC.” Chris Fishgold, Paul’s most ex-

perienced fighter, will be making his UFC debut this month after previously falling absent from fighting back in 2013 following a battle with depression. “Chris has been around for a long time and he’s had a lot of wins,” said Paul. He added: “Everyone has their own problems, it could be

anything from financial issues to people trying to push them in the wrong direction. “Mental strength is definitely more important than their technical ability.” The next big event in the mixed martial arts calendar is UFC Fight Night 138: Liverpool on Sunday 27 October.

Gameplan to tackle gender pay gap BY SIMRAN ROY

Serena Williams, the highest paid female ahlete, has earned over $88m in prize money © Wikimedia

Efforts to bridge the gender pay gap in the sporting industry have been boosted thanks to the Football Association’s Gameplan for Growth initiative. It aims to double female participation in the sport by 2020. The hourly pay for a woman in the sporting industry has always been notably lower than a man’s. With a wage gap of 23.2%, the average woman is set to earn only £76.80 for every £100 which men earn. Over at the Lawn Tennis Association this gap is at 31% - however, there has been progress throughout the years. Baroness Campbell of Loughborough, the Director of Women’s Football at the FA, said: “We are putting in place the infrastructure through which outstanding bespoke programmes can be

delivered which engage, excite and encourage women and girls to make football a part of their lives.” According to a study commissioned by Women’s Sport Week, around 83% of sports now pay men and women equally. The major issue comes about when talking about coverage and general recognition of sportswomen. Many think male footballers deserve greater pay than their female counterparts despite there being statistical evidence suggesting female players perform consistently better than males. The women’s football team from England stand strong as 3rd best in the world, whereas the men’s team rests at 6th yet, despite this difference, the average prize money won by male footballers nears £20 million while women see between £400-500 thousand for the same effort.

LL Liverpool Life

Picture of St George’s Hall by Orlaith Clinton

Produced by LJMU Journalism Students

Liverpool Life 7:1 October 10 2018  

Liverpool Life is a fortnightly news magazine produced by final year undergraduate students on the Journalism and International Journalism p...

Liverpool Life 7:1 October 10 2018  

Liverpool Life is a fortnightly news magazine produced by final year undergraduate students on the Journalism and International Journalism p...