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Liverpool Life






Coronavirus threat leads to panic buying

© Grace Plowman

By ADAMMA SARGEANT Liverpool has been affected by panic buying as shoppers, worrying that vital suplies may run out if the coronavirus crisis continues, have emptied supermarket shelves. Across the UK stores have reported a rush on everyday items such as kitchen towels and hand santizer. Health Secretary Matt Hancock even took to BBC’s Question Time to attempt to calm fears of shortages after questions were raised regarding a lack of pasta, toilet roll and paracetamol. It is believed that this trend began in China but has now made it as far as Liverpool. Shoppers in Bootle’s Aldi took to twitter to showcase the empty toilet roll shelves and anonymous Liverpool blogger Amy who writes alchembyamuk.com told Liverpool Life: “It was exceptionally busy, a bit like Christmas.”

Store worker Chris Vick, who works at Asda Sefton Park Superstore, said: “ For the past few days we have been completely sold out of hand soap and sanitiser and we are now running low on toilet roll too!” He also said they had recently run out of paracetamol and ibuprofen. Over in Mossley Hill Co-op storeworker Ella Matthews, told Liverpool Life: “We have been running out of paracetamol and Ibuprofen for weeks now!” But, why toilet roll? According to a leading psychiatrist, because toilet paper is featured prominently in the aisles we are ‘psychologically drawn’ to purchasing it in times of crisis such as these. As people see empty shelves, they themselves then begin to panic, meaning the craze intensifies. It is not just the UK that is panic mode. All over social media users

have been posting images of shopping trolleys filled with toilet roll. In Australia footage emerged of a group of women arguing over a pack of toilet roll which led to police being called and a woman being charged. The ‘irrational’ buying of the large quantities of items has forced some supermarkets to begin rationing items that are being stripped from shelves. Tesco has put a five-limit ban on a number of so called ‘disaster goods.’ The outbreak is also affecting frequent flyers. Seanna Corr, from Wirral, has to travel to and from Milan for work. She explained that there were only around five people on board her most recent flight and said there where no special checks or precautions. She also described her time in Milan and said: “The streets are empty, people have started stockpiling. Bars and restaurants are closed.”

LIPA students protest over gender pay gap By TAMMY-LEE WALSH Staff and students of LIPA gathered on Monday morning to protest against the gender pay gap among teachers at the institution. The action comes as part of a series of 14 days of strikes that the University and College Union (UCU) have been carrying out in protest over pay, pension costs and working conditions. The strike followed International Women’s Day, and so protesters decided to dedicate it to the female teaching staff by raising awareness of the gender pay gap. Chair of the LIPA UCU branch, Matthew Elliott, told LL: “We’re currently out on the forefront of the struggle which is looking at workload model, more equal pay, the gender pay gap and the casualisation of contracts. “The staff at LIPA believe that pro-

viding a better work environment leads to a better education for students and that’s why we’re putting pressure on the employment association.” Another protester, student Anthony Scott, told LL: “We’re focusing on the pay gap which at the minute is 19 percent. “The senior management have said this is because the women are working in the lower paid jobs but we believe that should be seen as an issue and we should question why management roles are predominantly being fulfilled by men.” “They don’t do so lightly. Reasonable terms and conditions and fair pensions are the minimum they should expect, and their treatment is a stark contrast to the eye-watering pay packets of a few vice-chancellors.”



Womens Day p4

Charlotte Wellings P13

Eco theatre P7

From me to ewe! P15

Comic Con review P8

Mental health boxing P18

The LIPA protests © Tammy Lee Walsh A spokesperson from the UCEA have said: “UCEA has consulted all of its members in presenting new positive proposals addressing the important issues around employment in universities, focusing on casual employment, workload/mental health and gender pay gap/ethnicity pay. UCU is urged to consult all of its members, including the vast majority not taking strike action, and present these positive proposals to them.” The staff are currently awaiting response from their management. For now, the strikes are set to continue until next Tuesday.

Conference aims to tackle abuse By GRACE PLOWMAN Domestic abuse campaigners came together to raise awareness of the issue in Liverpool. A day dedicated to information, inspirational speeches, and an introduction into professional practices regarding domestic abuse was held last week at Liverpool’s Crowne Plaza Hotel, on the city’s docklands. Organisers Morecrofts Solicitors brought together many guest speakers, and a performance from the Certain Curtains Theatre Company. They included, David Challen a domestic abuse campaigner; Family Law Judge Marilyn Mornington; Frank McGuire, Consultant Clinical Psychologist; Morecrofts Solicitors’ Charles Millet and many more. The theatre company, founded by Claire Moore and John Woudberg, gave a performance of “Lady in Red” a piece that they have travelled all over the world to perform. They recently travelled to the Falkland Islands to stage “Lady in Red”, John Woudberg told Liverpool Life: “The issues of domestic abuse hadn’t been explored on the islands and there was a lot of cases of domestic abuse around.” “It was actually the police that asked us to go to the island to bring these issues to light with the play.” The theatre company has written eight plays around these kinds of issues of domestic violence. “We have been performing these kinds of issues for 25 years, so people trust that they can deal with the issues. The viewers are always welcome to ask any questions afterwards about the play .” This was the first time they had performed in Liverpool, however they hope to organise more performances around the city.



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EDITOR: Louise Jamison PRODUCTION TEAM: Matthew Nyland, Maisie Harvey, Sarah Almond, Tom Battison, Jada Jones, Lewis Batty, Mary Slowey, Luke Edwards, Dan Hopkinson, Stephen Rawlinson, Chloe Morgan, Lydia Baggs, Daniel Williams, Dan Jones FRONT COVER PHOTO: Paint Me in Colour.


EGG-CELENT How this five-year-old hatched an amazing Easter fund

The pool is now re-opening © Wiki Commons Ahl Baku

Pool re-opens one year after closing By CHLOE MORGAN

Tilly with some of the hundreds of Easter eggs she has collected By JOSE RUIZ A five-year-old’s Easter appeal has surpassed all expectations. Little Tilly Lawrenson launched her campaign on behalf of the Kira Gwillym Foundation in memory of her aunt, who died following an asthma attack. Tilly has been collecting the chocolate eggs for the respiratory unit at Liverpool’s Alder Hey Hospital. Tilly first set out to hit a target of 30 Easter eggs but after the last count she has collected 542 eggs. Mum Jordan Lawrenson told LL: “It amazes me every single day the support we have received, not only with the eggs but over the past five years and with the foundation. I thought Tilly may get about 50 eggs but the amount of people who have donated eggs and money has been overwhelming, even people we don’t know who have just seen this on social media or newspaper.” Jordan spoke about the importance of the foundation to her family, saying: “The foundation and Kira’s mem-

© Jordan Lawrenson ory has always been very special to us and to allow her memory to live on. We have always kept Auntie Kira an important part of Tilly’s life despite her only being one when she passed away so it’s so nice to know she is doing this and always helping others out.” Money has also been raised throughout the appeal, with £227 donated so far. The money will go towards buying dairy free eggs and craft items for the children’s hospital. Grandmother Lynn Gwillym, trustee of the charity, also spoke to LL saying: “I am immensely proud of Tilly.” This is not the only fundraising event young Tilly has planned. Mrs Lawrenson said: “As a charity we are working alongside Alder Hey with a music project, so Tilly’s next mission is to raise money for instruments. She is playing a Kids style bingo and disco in June time. Her next target will be £500.” If you wish to donate eggs then please get in touch with the charity on Facebook or enquiries@kiragwillymfoundation.org

The only 50-metre swimming pool in Liverpool has reopened a year after it closed for repairs. A light bulb exploded in the Olympic-sized swimming pool in April 2019 leaving shards of glass floating in the pool which needed to be drained to remove them. The draining process uncovered structural issues which ended up costing £500,000 to repair. A date was set last November for the pool to reopen but problems with the floor tiles led to further delays. In a statement Liverpool City Council said: “Engineers have now refilled the pool and tested the moveable floor, while water samples have passed quality tests.” The City of Liverpool Swimming Club has returned to training at the pool after its reopening on March 9. They were relocated to various local pools during the closure.

Love is on the cards for Lime Pictures By JESSICA RIGG Lime Pictures are set to produce a TV adaptation of the young adult novel, The Love Hypothesis. Written by TV presenter and journalist Laura Stevens, the novel is focused around a love story which follows the protagonist, a young scientist. The scientist discovers a breakthrough making you appear irresistible to everyone around you. Lime Pictures are one the UK’s leading TV production companies. Based in Liverpool, Lime Pictures are the makers of notable TV programmes including Hollyoaks, The Only Way is Essex and TV classics Brookside and Grange Hill.


Women take to the streets for equality By CHRISTOPHER MEGRATH Liverpool’s Bombed Out Church was the gathering place for women all over Merseyside to protest against misogyny and sexism for International Women’s Day. The march brought together invited women and non-binary people, including Trans Pride, to stand against rape culture, the violation of LGBTQ+ rights, gender-based violence and fascist movements that threaten Human Rights. The protest was part of the annual global celebration to raise awareness for gender equality, with Liverpool playing host to events throughout the city. Thirty-one year old Charlotte Hennessy, along with her wife, Molly Atkinson, 36, attend the event every year, telling Liverpool Life that it is an important part of their life. She said: “There’s been a lot of TERFs (trans-exclusionary radical feminist) appearing in the media and it’s sending a really bad message out to people who aren’t informed in women’s rights, let alone trans rights and movements.


“We both identify as trans and having people so publically deny your identity and say you’re not a part of this community, and should even be excluded and put into an LGB community, denies our womanhood. Trans women are women. “Events like these help us fight that by allowing us to be here and share our story because we are women. We fight the same fight women do. It’s not just a shallow radical feminist protest, we truly do still need events like this for women like us to be heard, because were just not.” The march started at the Bombed Out church and made its way down Bold Street and through the city centre. Protesters carried signs and chanted with megaphones, holding speeches throughout the city, accompanied by the samba drum group, Katumba. African representative demonstrators joined the event to show their defiance of the treatment of women in Sudan, calling for an end to the government and regime currently in place. Chanting outside the church called for the release of women being held by the government and alleging receiving physical abuse for protesting standards in the country.

Business tribe empower each other By GRACE PLOWMAN

GIRL POWER: Crowds gathered for international womens day © Charlotte Chappel.


Protest song unites nations By HANNAH MARTIN Crowds in Liverpool joined others across the world to chant a Chilean protest song for International Women’s Day “Un violador en tu camino, el violador eres tú” - A rapist in your path, the rapist is you - was first performed in late November during Chile’s nationwide uprising against social inequality. The anthem protests the impunity of gender-based violence, condemns the judicial system’s failure


to protect women and their rights, and raises awareness on the culture of violence intrinsic to the fabric of our society. The performance piece was born out of feminist struggle in Chile, where 42 cases of sexual abuse are reported each day (almost two every hour). Only eight per cent of all reported rapes result in conviction. International Women’s Day saw videos of the song and its accompanying choreography spreading across Latin America and the world. The

powerful anthem was performed in hundreds of cities globally, including Liverpool. Violence against women is a global issue: according to UN data, a third of all girls and women suffer physical or sexual violence at least once in their lifetime. International Womens Day may be over but the fight for gender equality continues every day. Details of several of the movements can be found on twitter with the hashtags #unvioladorentucamino #bethechange #yesallwomen #effyourbeautystandards #metoo.

BUSINESS women in Liverpool have formed their own monthly “tribe night” to help empower one another. The Women’s Business Club organises the events to share their experiences and encourage each other in the world of business. The meetings are held in the Malmaison Hotel in Liverpool. The lonely world of business can be daunting for newcomers, but through the tribe night women can meet others who are in similar positions. Judith Hastings, Tribe Leader for the Women’s Business Club, told Liverpool Life: “It’s basically (a way) for all different women, in all different areas to come together and form an ecosystem of support for each other. “Even though we are quite new, we have a few ladies who have been to all the meetings. We have women who are in the health and beauty organisations, we also have women who are in the raw food business. So, most of our women who attend are surrounding those areas.” The national business aims to connect women of “all different shapes and sizes dressed in a variety of styles and passionate about all sorts of things.” Tickets are also being sold online for other events such as Mocha Mornings and Business Lunches. To find out more, visit www.womensbusiness.club/meetups.


Plucky fundraisers walk miles for the homeless All the vitamins a vegan could want © Scott Clarkson

Indie vegan brand needs your cash By SCOTT CLARKSON

Men, women and dogs set off at dawn to comple a distance of five miles By SCARLETT O’TOOLE The Whitechapel Centre has hosted its first ‘Waterfront Walk’ fundraiser to try and raise money to help combat homelessness in Liverpool. The sponsored event, which took place on Saturday, saw participants walk five miles along Otterspool Promenade. Hettie Miles, community fundraiser at The Whitechapel Centre, told Liverpool Life: “Our outreach team go out from six o’clock in the morning to 10 o’clock at night to help people who

are homeless. “On average they walk five miles so that’s why we’re doing five miles.” Registration for the event took place at 6:45am. Miss Miles said: “The city wakes up early with bin lorries and deliveries and things like that. “So if someone is sleeping on the streets, generally, they’ll be up early too which is why we did it as a dawn walk.” The walk started at Crowne Plaza Liverpool and ended at the Sitting Bull Sculpture in Otterspool.

© Scarlett O’Toole

Participants were treated to a breakfast butty to celebrate their achievement. Otterspool Touch Rugby Club, which practices near the finish line, took part in the sponsored walk. Simon Wilson, committee member at the club, told LL: “We thought it would be a really interesting way to walk over to training this weekend. “It was a really good way to help out the charity and still do our regular rugby training.” If you, or someone you know, could use help call 0151 207 7617.

Scouse mum applauds council’s tyre pledge


A pledge by Liverpool City Council to ban old tyres has been welcomed by a Liverpool mum who lost her son in a coach accident. Frances Molloy, whose son Michael was killed when a tyre on a coach he was travelling in blew out, has commended the city council for the move. Since Michael’s death Mrs Mol-

loy has set up the Tyred campaign, where she has been working to get tyres on licensed vehicles banned if they are over 10 years old. The city council has pledged to adopt the campaign and in the past year prosecuted 144 drivers for illegal tyres according to the Local Department Reporting Service. They have said that trading standard officers will be inspecting places

selling part-worn tyres and would run spot checks on vehicles. Although Mrs Molloy has described the move as a “step in the right direction” findings from a government consultation have yet to be published. The Department of Transport said: “We’re currently analysing more than 1,100 responses to our consultation.”

Vegan start-up Vegums has begun crowdfunding in order to hire new staff and introduce new products into their line-up. Co-founder John Rushton told Liverpool Life they wanted to make veganism as healthy, easy and accessible as possible for everyone, so by crowdfunding it might be possible to turn what some view as a “trendy diet” into something genuinely sustainable. The company launched in 2018 with their signature product - a vegan multi-vitamin which caters to the deficits in a plant-based diet. The goal was to make it easier for entire families to get a sufficient dose of the essential vitamins so that they wouldn’t have to worry about the potential side-effects of a plant-based diet, such as anaemia, tiredness, and depression. The St. Helens-based team of five have struggled to keep up with demand and owners John and Abdul, who are both plant-based pharmacists, take no salary from the business. So, in order to keep the company driving forward, they have turned to crowd-funding. The company is certified by the Vegan Society and markets themselves at different events like Veg Fest and Plant Power Expo throughout the year to gain more traction, as well as using Instagram and Facebook.

Refuse collectors could be set to strike in pay dispute By ADAMMA SARGEANT

Refuse workers in Wirral could go on strike - meaning streets could be piled with rubbish in the grip of the coronavirus crisis. Members of Unite, the largest union in Britain and Ireland, employ around 180 drivers, loaders and sweepers, and are employed by Biffa Waste Services. But they are in dispute with bosses over pay. The dispute is a result of Biffa refusing to meet pay claims of Unite members for last year. Tensions were raised when Biffa

accounts revealed a company director was paid £1 million in a year. Steve Gerrard, Unite regional officer stated, “If strikes go ahead it will cause considerable disruption and rubbish will quickly start to pile up on the streets of the Wirral.” Previous negotiations have failed to result in an agreement being reached. However, Unite remain committed to on-going discussions in hope that a settlement can be made. Steve added: “Even at this late stage Biffa can still avoid a strike by making a reasonable pay offer and enter

into proper negotiations on monthly pay.” Unite have prepared a postal ballot for its members which will open today and close next Wednesday. It is expected that the workers will vote in favour of strike, if this is the case a strike will be inevitable. If the plans to strike go ahead, strike action could taking place immediately after the Easter Holidays. In a statement last month Biffa said it had offered a “generous” pay rise which is “in excess of the current wage inflation indices”.

This could be the state of the streets © Lori Dunlevy



Success all sewn up



ontemporary Threads, a textile artsgroup based in Liverpool, has opened its first exhibition. The Palm House in Sefton Park is the venue of choice and the focus of the artwork. Maggie Pearson, chair of Contemporary Threads, told Liverpool Life: “The Palm House has got so much that you could interpret in textiles. It’s got plants, architecture, the spiral staircase and the story of it as well. “I’ve done one of the derelict dome and somebody else has done one of the Palm House when it was all boarded up and had banners on it.” The group was set up almost two years ago in Ms Pearson’s back garden. It now has just over 20 signed up members and regularly sees 15 people at their monthly meetings. The exhibit features artists such as Sue Cogan, Ann Beech and Pat Rodriguez. Ms Pearson, who is a trustee of the Palm House, said: “One of the things I’m really pleased about is the wonderful mixture of people from the

© Scarlett O’Toole Staircase at the Palm House quilting tradition and the embroidery tradition.” She added: “The whole purpose of the group was to give each other mutual support and to really push our boundaries so we extend our practice. It’s certainly worked.” The work on display ranges from embroidery, eco-printing and felting. There is a wide range of individual exhibits on display and one group piece.

The whole purpose of the group was to give each other mutual support and to really push our boundaries

Ms Pearson told LL: “There’s a group exhibit where we’ve each taken an outline of the Palm House and done an A4 piece interpreting it.” She said people can expect “lots of colour, quite a lot of excitement and incredible diversity of textile techniques. “There’s been some lovely interpretations of things.” The 67-year-old added: “I hope people will be surprised by what artistic

Photo © Scarlett O’Toole creations can be achieved with textiles, rather than paint. “I think it’s a fantastic way of bringing people into artistic expression who wouldn’t think it was for them. I hope we’ve achieved that.” The exhibition opened on Monday and runs until Wednesday 18 March. Entry is free.

Tattoo shop hopes to make difference


A tattoo studio in Liverpool has started hosting ‘swap shops’ where visitors can come in with clothing items they no longer use and swap them for something different. The Painted Ladies on Hope Street, Liverpool, is a tattoo studio with a twist. In the past, they have utilised their outlet to spread awareness on causes such as period poverty, asking visitors to donate sanitary products for women’s charities, and hosting themed flash days to raise awareness on causes such as feminism and fighting animal cruelty. Now, they’re welcoming customers to participate in upcycling. To, reuse old clothes rather than investing in fast fashion. Tattoo artist, Niamh Aisling, spoke

SWAP SHOP: People bring unwanted clothes and exchange them to LL about the inspiration behind this idea. She said: “My friends and I have this box in our house that we call the ‘swap box’ and basically when people come over to visit, we tell them to bring stuff they don’t want and then they can take something from the box. From there, we just started

taking the box to festivals and parties and over that time we’ve gathered so much stuff.” Niamh said she mentioned this idea to the other artists at the studio when they were discussing ways to represent a more sustainable life. She said: “We were talking about how we could spread an eco-friendly

message and then I mentioned the swap box and said let’s do this. “Of course, there are a lot of great charity shops in Liverpool, I get a lot of clothes from them, but this is also an activity that’s just about having fun and not needing to spend money.” The studio has now been hosting swap shops every month. Their most recent one took place last Wednesday. After a regular day of tattooing, the studio transformed into a makeshift charity shop, with a variety of clothes displayed along the counters and a dressing room for customers to try items on. Next, Niamh plans to host a similar event where customers can bring in clothes that need to be stitched up and fixed in conjunction with the swap shops.

The LL podcast is here!




Creating the ‘waste wall’ and, below, the team, photos by Chrissie Handley

Curtain up on climate change Drama students take their eco play to the fringe, SCARLETT O’TOOLE reports


he planet is in the middle of a climate emergency. The United Nations says we have just 10 years left to limit a climate change catastrophe. Now, an eco-focused theatre company is using drama to raise awareness of the climate crisis. Tenderfoot Theatre, based at Edge Hill University, was established in 2019 by drama students at the university. The team is about to take their debut show, Balance, to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in August. Georgie Cunningham, company director, told Liverpool Life: “The work that we make tries to instil ecological practices into the arts industry, which has always been notoriously not very climate friendly.” The company tries to make their costumes and sets in sustainable, eco-friendly ways. Kate Carey, aesthetic designer, said: “The clothing industry is notorious for being very unsustainable and harms the environment with dying practices and fabric.” Their costumes are often made from second-hand materials and techniques such as knitting and weaving. Tenderfoot Theatre also uses natural dyes on their costumes. Miss Carey said: “There are so many dying properties that we don’t really know about in fruits and vegetables. “Onion skins, for example, give a great orange colour.” They hope to inspire others to make clothing and costumes out of natural and vintage materials. The design team has also explored alternatives to using leather in their costumes, with the use of Kombucha tea. Joseph Roberts, technical designer for Tenderfoot Theatre, told LL: “In

brewing Kombucha tea, what’s left behind is a bacterial colony called a SCOBY that you can dry out and turn into a leather-like material. “It’s essentially a complete leather substitute. It’s brilliant.” When it comes to the set, the theatre company do purchase some of their materials brand new. Mr Roberts said: “The key thing with set, that you don’t run into as much with costume, is the safety. “The plan at the moment is for us to have a raised area on stage which we are achieving through scaffolding. But you don’t want to buy your scaffolding second-hand because you’re going to have people up there.” He added: “If we need to buy new for the sake of safety then we will.” As well as creating climate-focused theatre, the students also take part in protests and strikes. So far, they have attended events set up by YouthStrike4Climate. Tom Kendall, events manager, said: “We wanted to take an active part in the community. “We didn’t want to just create a show, act it someplace, tour it, and be done with it. We wanted to really engage with the message we were trying to convey.” 16 year-old Laura Levy, spokesperson for YouthStrike4Climate Liverpool, told LL: “We can’t vote yet and this is one of the most effective ways of making our voices heard.” Fran Clover, production manager, added: “It’s given us the opportunity to meet people that we wouldn’t have met if it wasn’t for the activism side of the company.” Earlier this year, the theatre company created what they called a ‘waste wall’. Using a sheet of old MDF and spare plywood planks, the drama

students attached a months’ worth of recyclable waste to the two metre high structure. Miss Cunningham said: “We wanted to show people if you don’t recycle, this is how much it adds up.” The group is encouraging people to come and take pictures with the wall to raise awareness about recycling. Tenderfoot Theatre will be at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival from Monday 17 August until Tuesday 31 August. The play focuses on possible solutions to the population crisis. Jamie Boulton, director, said: “There is still a lot under wraps that we’re not allowed to talk about but if you keep an eye on our social media, you’ll find out.”

It is vitally important for young people to be involved in climate change protests 7


LIVERPOOL: ASSEMBLE! Danielle Wilson visits The North West’s biggest comic con


omic Con Liverpool welcomed 25,000 guests at the weekend for itsthird and biggest annual event yet. Numerous types of tickets were sold out to attendees hoping to catch a glimpse of the star-spangled line-up that included Lord of The Rings’ Elijah Wood, Stranger Things’ David Harbour, and Flash Gordon’s Brian Blessed. Fans were able to get items signed by, and take selfies with, their favourite stars and professional photo opportunities were also available. Iconic sets from film and TV were made especially for the convention, including Bilbo’s Hobbit Hole and a retro Del Boy’s living room from Only Fools and Horses. Over the weekend, guests were dressed up in magnificent costumes, many taking hours to perfect theirs, a personal favourite being Leshen from the

Witcher game series. The number of stalls was astounding. As someone who has attended the Con since its inception in 2018, it was easy to see how much it had exploded into a major event. With more artists, merchandise, comics and games; it really ticked all the boxes. Panels with a number of celebrity guests gave fans a chance to ask any must-know questions to their favourite star - unless you’re a Brian Blessed fan, as he spoke for so long he only had a chance to answer one fan question! David Harbour made a comment during his Q&A to say how lovely Liverpudlians are and that he was enjoying his time in the city, and at the convention. When asked about the much anticipated Black Widow movie, he said: “I’m going to see the movie in its full entirety next week, but it’s One of the key guests, Stranger Things actor David Harbour. incredible from what I’ve seen. I am © David Siddall really excited about this movie and what we shot.”

Artists set out their stalls for fans



ocal teacher and freelance artist, Beth Armstrong had a colourful stall in the middle of the busy convention hall. The illustrator, also known as Cindacry, had a number of different products on her table, from colouring books featuring her favourite creation Ham the Dragonpillar (a caterpillar-dragon hybrid who lives in a bucket!) to earrings with her designs on. She said: “I studied artwork all through secondary and a-level and then I went to university and studied illustration with anima-


tion, specialising in children’s book illustration. “I sell a range of things, I do a lot of little freelance books, badges, stickers and prints. I’ve started doing earrings and things with charms with my artwork on, so there’s a mix but there’s a general theme of sea life conservation. That’s my unique selling point. Beth has had an interest in sea life and has adopted through Whale and Dolphin Conservation, a sea life charity based in Scotland, since she was young. The trust carries out conservation work across the world, as well as educational panels. After each event Beth is at, she sends a percentage

of her profits to Whale and Dolphin Conservation.

Your Favourite Plushie

Your Favourite Plushie’s stall was next to Cindacry’s in the bustling centre of Comic Con. Artist Kirsty has always been interested in art, but has only just started her art career. She said: “I’ve drawn since I was 16 years old, so nearly a full decade now. It’s only recently I have had the courage to put myself out there and put my work online and go to conventions to sell my work.” Kirsty creates prints, badges and jewellery amongst other items to display and sell at conventions.

Cindacry’s stall in the heart of the action at the Liverpool Comic Con


Diamond performance for Betty’s Funny Girls

DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER: The Funny Girls have been on the stage for more than 25 years © Katie Preece

KATIE PREECE reviews the famous Blackpool girls as they star in their first ever UK tour


fter a quarter of a century in their Blackpool home, the Funny Girls have begun a UK tour and their opening night at Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre was nothing short of fantastic. From the moment the show began, Betty Legs Diamond, the night’s host, had the audience in the palm of her hand. I was surprised enough to be able to get my hands on some last-minute tickets, but what surprised me even more was how faultless the drag show was. The popularity of the show was obvious from the beginning. Betty asked the audience who had seen the show before. When I saw the amount of hands which were raised I knew that this show had a strong following for a reason. Funny Girls has been running since the July 1994, so it is no surprise that Betty Legs Diamond knows not only how to keep an audience interested, but also how to really entertain a crowd. The group’s professionalism was second to none. From the moment the Funny Girls came on to the stage they

were in character. The Blackpool show truly lives up to its name of being the best night in the North West. What truly shocked me as an audience member was the speed of the performers’ quick changes. Throughout the performance there were only seven performers. Each performer had not only Betty’s level of professionalism, but her talent too. Betty’s Funny Girls did not miss a beat from All That Jazz to Hey Big Spender, there was not a dancer out of place. The group’s talents really did seem almost endless. The number of different dance styles they incorporated into one show was truly impressive. The dancers spun, flipped and pirouetted across the stage, with the highest energy and biggest smiles throughout the performance. For me, the funniest and best part of the show was Betty Legs Diamond’s performance of ‘The Hotdog Song’. I’d certainly never heard this song before, but the performance Betty gave made me feel like I knew every word as I laughed along to her comedic performance. Funny Girls are visiting the entirety

of the UK with their 35-date tour, spanning across three months and covering almost all of the North and South. If you missed a night with the Funny Girls this time, they are back on May 24 this year for another full night of fun, laughter and surprises. There is not a bad thing I could say about Funny Girls. As a group, they had me in stitches for the whole night. I absolutely loved Betty Legs Diamond’s innuendos and slapstick comedy - she really did pull the whole performance together and made the audience feel part of the Funny Girls family with her hilarious anecdotes. I will definitely be going back again.


NATIONWIDE: The tour is set to cover 35 dates across the UK © Katie Preece

TAKE ME TO CHURCH: The show gave a variety of performances from All That Jazz to The Hotdog Song © Katie Preece

All dogs go to heaven



n artist delivered a unique twist to the story of Jesus at a Liverpool Cathedral art exhibition. Gary Bunt gave a fresh interpretation of the New Testament through the narrative of a pet dog and his fictional owner, Bert. ‘Bert, His Dog, Our God’ tells the life story of Jesus with the British

countryside as its backdrop. Whether you’re religious or not, the style of Bunt’s work, combined with the atmospheric venue of the Anglican Cathedral, offers a sense of comfort. From Bert ‘feeding the five thousand’ from a chip van alongside Christ, or being visited by Gabriel in his living room, seeing these familiar biblical stories intertwined with everyday settings invokes a sense of

nostalgia and comfort. The cathedral only complements this feeling by providing at low-lit and quiet space for the work to be observed. This is the perfect space for getting some time away from busy work life to reflect and relax. The exhibition is set to visit cathedrals across the UK.


THIRD DAY: The exhibition gives a modern twist to the story of Jesus © Tammy-Lee Walsh



Wartime drama hits the mark



ollowing a hugely successful run at the Liverpool Empire theatre last year, the latest work of Liverpool-based playwright, Helen Forrester, ‘By the Waters of Liverpool’ has been brought back on stage for a 17-theatre tour of the UK. Set in 1939, with Britain teetering on the brink of a world war, we see Helen trying to balance the intricacies of family life while dealing with the poverty caused by her father’s bankruptcy. The show provided a wave of nostal-

gia with anecdotes of times gone by. Helen’s life was certainly an interesting one as clearly depicted by this play. Never one to sugar-coat the harsh realities of life in the city of Liverpool, it was very easy to sympathise with her character. Although fascinating, this play lacked the sequential nature that I had expected to see. There were a number of characters who would be introduced, never to be seen again. Helen’s love story with a seaman was introduced rather late into the play, making me feel like it didn’t

register fully with the audience. The cast performed extremely well however, especailly considering they had to play many parts each. Aside from the frustrating third-person narrative at times, the use of story theatre in the play did a convincing job of conveying everyday life for Helen, with a lot of scenes including adaptations from her book “Little Miss”. The new production is produced by Pulse Records Ltd in association with Bill Elms, written by Rob Fennah and directed by Gareth Tudor Price.

LL guide to what’s on at the theatre


he Liverpool emerging festival of theatre Left Festival celebrates its 25th birthday this year. Presented and hosted by Liverpool John Moores University’s drama department, the festival will take place from March 26 until April 4. Audiences can watch up to three shows a day across a packed two weeks of original theatre, created by



the next generation of theatre makers and writers and exclusively for an audience of curious minds and adventurous souls. Screen, TV and stage writer Helen Blakeman will speak on Thursday March 26 and Lorne Campbell, newlyappointed artistic director of National Theatre Wales, will speak on March 27. More details at www.left2020.com



You can see the show at: WARRINGTON PARR HALL Saturday 14 March – Sunday 15 March 2020 ST HELENS THEATRE ROYAL Tuesday 17 March – Saturday 21 March 2020 SOUTHPORT THEATRE Friday 27 March – Saturday 28 March 2020 EPSTEIN THEATRE LIVERPOOL Monday 4 May – Saturday 9 May 2020

BC Radio 4’s smash-hit podcast will come to Storyhouse this spring for a live performance from the broadcasters behind the show. Fortunately ... With Fi and Jane has gained the broadcasting pair (pictured, left) a loyal following due to the show’s frank, razorsharp style and wit. Now fans can enjoy the experience first-hand with the live show spin-off experience nobody knew they wanted, until now. Here for one night only the show will appear at Storyhouse on Wednesday March 25. With an alleged 238 years of broadcasting experience between them, Fi and Jane guarantee you an evening of

behind-the-scenes revelations and inconsequential, but strangely compelling, chat about living some of their lives behind the microphone. A very special guest at each venue will join the indistinguishable pair, and together they promise to take midlife by its elasticated waist and give it a brisk going over with a stiff brush. At a time of uncertainty, what you need is the wisdom and experience of two women who haven’t got a clue what’s happening either. If they can find their way to the theatre, it promises to be an evening of mildly entertaining stuff. To book, you can visit www.storyhouse.com or call 01244 409 113. Tickets are £26.50 and subject to a £1.50 booking fee.

Buenos art all the way from Buenos Aires


arta Minujin’s La Menesunda, is a labyrinth like installation, inspired by Buenos Aires street life and is being presented as Tate Liverpool’s autumn 2020 exhibition, writes Jose Ruiz This will be the first time the Argentine’s solo work will be on display in the UK and only the third time it has been exhibited since its creation in 1965. Tate Liverpool’s Communications Manager Dominic Beaumont told LL: “It’s fantastic to have her first solo show in the UK, it feels long overdue for us.


“Something the Tate’s necessarily looking to do is revaluate what is the traditional western cannon and so I think that’s helping us bring more diverse artist into the gallery and present people with artist that our audiences might not ordinarily be aware of.” La Menesunda, slang for ‘mayhem’, will take visitors on an immersive journey through eleven distinct spaces, including a tunnel of luminous neon signs. Dominic said: “Once you go in you are technically inside the artwork. You will go around lots of different rooms where there are performers in there, instead of the more traditional passive viewing of an artwork that is framed

Argentinian artist Marta Minujin on a wall. Visitors will become more of an active participant and I think that is the sort of thing audiences are looking for these days.” Having emerged as one of the strongest voices in Latin American art, Marta Minujin has been at the forefront of experimental art.

©Sol Navedo para AXP Dominic added: “Back in 1965 this really was ground-breaking it foreshadows a lot of these more modern structures that get built.” La Menesunda will be accompanied by an archival display and films documenting Minujin’s career from 1960 to the present day and will run from October 28 until January 17 2021.

Maggie’s creations are second nature By SCARLETT O’TOOLE


ne of the biggest questions that an art lover can ask is what inspires people to create

©Scarlett O’Toole Maggie Pearson and, right and below, some of her artwork

art? For Maggie Pearson, her inspiration comes from Liverpool’s natural environment and its exotic botanical diversity. She creates her pieces using eco-printing, the act of applying plants to textiles to add colour and patterns. Using plants and leaves from Liverpool, Ms Pearson creates individual pieces such as pillows, tote bags, scarves and paper prints. She is currently the only eco-printing artist in the city selling her items. She told Liverpool Life: “I Googled how to make elderberry dye and this whole world opened up to me. It was amazing. “It’s a brilliant example where social media is a real force for good because there are several Facebook groups that are international and people post their methods. I’ve learnt loads from that.”

Prior to her work as an artist Ms Pearson, who is on the Palm House’s Board of Trustees, worked in senior management in higher education. As well as creating botanical prints, Ms Pearson delivers both introductory and advanced workshops on the art form. The workshops usually take place at the Palm House, Speke Hall, or Cedar Farm. She told LL: “The workshops seem to sell out really quickly.” To make her pieces, she puts together locally grown leaves, flowers and natural fibres. They are then steamed over water or simmered in a dye bath. Ms Pearson said: “I do all of this botanical printing with natural dye. You can get the most fantastic effects.” Ms Pearson has had some of her work on display in the Amorous Cat Gallery in Lark Lane. She sells her work at Lark Lane’s Makers Market and online at www.bymaggienaturally.co.uk. She sells her work at Lark Lane’s Makers Market and online at www. bymaggienaturally.co.uk.



The band adding a splash of colour to the charts LIVERPOOL LIFE’S JADA JONES speaks to Liverpool band Paint Me In Colour as they release their latest single



Musical trio: Paint Me In Colour


ust three months after launching their debut single ‘Feel It’ Liverpool band Paint Me In Colour have launched their second – ‘1968’. Paint Me In Colour started when Matt Johnson joined couple Olivia Springer and Sam Pierpoint who had already been in a cover band. The three decided that they didn’t want to just cover songs, they wanted to come up with their own original music. And now they are doing just that. Olivia told LL that she has wanted to sing and perform since she was six years old. Although she lost focus for a little while as she studied dance and musical theatre she always found her way back to music. Olivia said: “If you grow up wanting to be a musician, you don’t see anything else. It’s really hard to understand why you’d want to do anything else.” The musical trio have been writing


© debbie ellis

since 2017, recording and producing in their own studio space. Paint Me In Colour felt they were finally ready to perform their content last year and they are very passionate about the music they create. Olivia said: “Music is everything. It’s the reason we all get out of bed in the morning and put up with our day jobs hoping that one day it will all pay off. “You know music is the right choice for you when you get excited listening to your favourite song because you want that to be you one day.” Both singles are available for streaming on Spotify, iTunes and Amazon. That’s not all for this one to watch, with them headlining on March 27 in EBGBs basement. A five track EP is on track to drop later on this April and the band can be found on Instagram @paintmein colour.


on we all get Music is everything. It’s the reas t up with our out of bed in the morning and pu will all pay off day jobs hoping that one day it

Both singles are available to listen to on Spotify, iTunes and Amazon You can follow Paint Me In Colour on Instagram at: @paintmeincolour


Pictures in harmony TILLY KENYON talks to Charlotte Wellings, the proud creator of the first solo exhibition at The British Music Experience, where her work captures music through the lens


new exhibition featuring photos of some of the world’s most famous music artists has now opened in Liverpool. The British Music Experience is presenting ‘Capturing Live Music Through Photography’, a solo exhibition by photographer Realm of Pixels/Charlotte Wellings, the first solo photography exhibition to be held at the venue since it opened in 2017. A special launch party included an onstage interview, a Q&A with the audience and live music from band Jenna and the Gs. Speaking to Liverpool Life Charlotte Wellings described how she got into the music scene: “After university I didn’t know what to do, a lot of my friends moved to Brighton and had moved in with the Maccabees and the Kooks. So I just happened to walk into that scene and thought music photography just seems to make sense.” Charlotte’s work shows a keen eye for detail and capturing vivid colour. Alongside her photography she produces eye-catching photo-manipulations which are being showcased for the first time during this exhibition. The exhibition features a series of photographs including some of the world’s most iconic musicians. Charlotte told Liverpool Life about it: “This exhibition is an accumulation of my favourite works, we’ve got Grace Jones, KISS, Iron Maiden and

Charlotte Church. “It is a lot of festivals, I shoot for Manchester Evening News so it has a lot of events they have sent me to as well, but, yeah, it is a big collection from all my favourites from the last two years.” Most notably Charlotte photographed The Charlatans for a number of years at concerts and festivals. She then went on to become Head of Photography and Marketing at British Drum Co, a popular drumkit manufacturer, before leaving to pursue her dreams as a music photographer. “It is incredible to have my work here, I was so happy to be here. To be the first photographer to have an exhibition here since it opened is insane. “The manager here is a massive Charlatans fan and I met her at one of their gigs because I have been working for them for five years now, so that’s how they knew me. “I think my most memorable moment is Grace Jones, she’s incredible. I photographed her when she was 67 and she hula hooped for an entire set, an entire hour whilst she was singing. “I’ve never seen anything like it, you meet a lot of divas, a lot of crazy band that think they are good but she just put them in their place, she was amazing.” • The exhibition will run until Sunday. May 3, 2020.

A look through the lens: Charlotte’s Exhibit © Tilly Kenyon

Charlotte has a rare eye. What can I say? She makes me look good

Gene Simmons, Kiss

In the hot seat: Charlotte answering the audience questions

© Tilly Kenyon


A day in the land of the Liverbirds


Maybe your holiday has been cancelled and you need to find a way to occupy the family this week? LIVERPOOL LIFE has you covered By SCOTT CLARKSON


iverpool’s visitor economy is now worth almost £5bn year with millions of people arriving in the city every week to find out what it has to offer. With so much to see the only problem is fitting it all in - so where do you start if you want to ‘do’ Liverpool in a day? Begin in Bold Street, one of the city’s most bustling streets, full of independent eateries and quirky shops. Once you have had your artisan coffee and your vegan sausage roll, and would like to see something different, a short hop over to Hope Street will mean you can see John King’s creative display. A set of concrete suitcases labelled by their creative owners, including each one of The Beatles. While you are here, take a look at the two cathedrals. From there, stroll along Pier Head following the ‘love locks’ which guide you to the Mersey Ferries and Cruise Liner Terminal where the HMS Prince of Wales is currently docked. Along the way you’ll find the Museum of Liverpool, the newest addition to the National Museums Liverpool group. This museum showcases the unique geography, history and culture reflected in the City. Lining the waterfront are the ‘Three Graces’ one of which is the Royal Liver Building that overlooks Pier Head, a true city icon and hard to miss when you’re on the waterfront itself. A grade I listed building, it’s worth taking a moment to appre-


ciate its significance and note the two Liver birds that keep a look out over the city. The red-pillared warehouses of Albert Dock are well worth a visit. They are home to some of the most quaint and diverse restaurants, bakeries and bars in the city. Amble along at dusk with your ice cream or fresh doughnuts from the vendors at the waterfront in their revitalised vintage busses and vans. If you go at sunset the red pillars light up and give new meaning to ‘golden hour’, grab a drink or 12 along the way and end your night there. If you aren’t one for drinking then take a wander round the acclaimed branch of the Tate Gallery, which houses international contemporary and modern art. It’s free entry so there’s no excuse!


ids have their specs for creativity and some of the most iconic names in art history are on display throughout the year. Currently residing are works from Salvador Dali, David Scott and Simon Patterson. No visit to the city is complete without noting its rich musical heritage, especially The Beatles heritage, so if you are a bit of a Day Tripper and fancy Something to do why not check out ‘The Beatles Story’ in the Albert Dock and your day will Come Together nicely. Liverpool certainly has more to offer than what you might see at first glance, but regardless of the weather report, it’s probably best to bring a coat and maybe pack a brolly… All pictures © Scott Clarkson




e is the cartoon animal loved by millions of children across the country. And now kids and adults alike could get the chance to star alongside Shaun The Sheep - thanks to LJMU. Speaking to Liverpool Life, Peter Woodbridge, Programme Leader for MA Immersive Arts today reveals how he is behind an exciting new project. The £1m project will see him export an immersive Shaun the Sheep experience from this university...all the way to China. When completed it will allow audiences to directly interact with a Shaun the Sheep adventure in real time. Those taking part could play a major role in how the story progresses as they navigate through the experience, without the need for headsets, gloves or a personal device. Speaking about Liverpool John Moores University’s role, Peter said: “ LJMU is part of the core leading team to develop the experience. We will be coming up with new interactions and designs whilst thinking about ways we can create responsive media mechanisms to enable people to interact with characters and content in new ways.” Talking about the project being immersive and how new technology is different to more traditional tech used in movies, Peter explained: “Immersive is about putting people into a float state where you’re having a deeply engaging experience. With the newer technology you can actually involve the audience, you are part of it, you can touch it and what you do as a member of the audience has an outcome on the story.”

Peter Woodbridge

© Jose Ruiz

For me this is the really promising aspect about immersive technology

“So it’s about forms of media which are much more involving, engaging and interactive in stories that you are a part of rather than just stories you are observing. For me this is the really promising aspect about immersive technology.”Shaun the Sheep: Immersive Experience recently secured £500,000 in funding from the UKRI (UK Research and Innovation) Fund for International Collaboration (FIC). The team will now work alongside Aardman – the UK’s leading, BAFTA and Oscar-winning animation studio – and the Shanghai Theatre Academy. Speaking about Aardman, Mr Woodbridge added: “They are a really interesting company; they’ve grown to become one of the most well-known animation studios in the world. They do really important work outside of the film world looking into how animation can contribute to other things so it’s really cool to work with them.” The University of Liverpool’s Centre for Architecture and Visual Arts (CAVA) will deliver the eighteen-month long project after winning support from the AHRC Research-Industry Creative Partnership. This is the second stage of a new international programme seeking to build creative industry links between the UK and China.




er tweet provoked an extraordinary reaction. After Holly Hagan posted her message, more than 1,000 people retweeted it. In it she revealed how her life-long body issues started after being weighed in front of her primary school class. “I remember in Year 3 primary school we were all weighed in front of the whole class,” she wrote. “I remember mine being six stone. One of the highest. If I try to pinpoint where I started worrying about my weight, I would say it was then.” The tweet sparked hundreds of reactions on social media with people commenting on their own experiences. It also created a huge reaction locally with one mother from Liverpool saying that she was “outraged” when she was sent a letter home telling her that her child was overweight, she also posted a picture of the ‘overweight’ child and people flooded to the comments to come to the boys defence. One girl shared her story describing that she was forced to write her weight on the board in front of the class. She then developed anorexia and said the cause of her eating disorder was ‘100%’ down to being weighed in class. The government policy ‘National Child Measurement Programme’ was introduces to assess overweight and obesity levels in primary school children. As part of these children in reception class and year six are weighed and measured. The NCMP and Child Obesity Profile released data this month. The main findings showed that obesity is prevalent in the most deprived areas with

Liverpool Life reporter Adamma Sargeant opens up about her personal experience with body image

Geordie Shore star Holly Hagan © HollyGShore many parts of Liverpool being affected. The screening programmes are supposed to help identify children who may be at risk of health problems associated with obesity. The results of the weighing are then sent to children but in some cases, other children in the school are also made aware. For those who are already vulnerable to eating disorders, the potential humiliation of being weighed in front of their peers may tip them over the edge. A number of primary school children have been hospitalised for eating disorders in Merseyside. Children as young as young as 10 have been admitted into hospital. The true number is thought to be even higher due to figures having to be repressed under patient confidentiality. Just recently, Liverpool was listed as one of the providers with the longest waiting times for children waiting to be referred to mental health services such as CAMHS, with the Alder Hay hospital in Liverpool having a median wait time of 124 days.


s someone who suffered with eating disorders at a young age, I am especially concerned about the long-term mental effects of such policies as I know just how much small comments can affect ideas about body image. For me and many other people who suffered with eating disorders at a young age, having your weight be subject of scrutiny on either end of the scale would result in high levels of anxiety. Fat-shaming children will not help solve the obesity problem in young people. Teaching children that the numbers on the scale define them will not solve the obesity problem in young people. Obesity amongst young people is a direct result of a lack of understanding and education on healthy eating and living.


Ending Staffie stigma


LAURA KELLY writes of her love for her Staffordshire bull terrier.


t’s unfortunately common when walking my dog, Axl, that people cross the street to avoid him or make snarky comments when they walk past. Why? Axl is a Staffordshire bull terrier, a very misunderstood breed. I’ll admit I was a bit wary about my brother getting a Staffy, but it was instant love when I met Axl who is the most affectionate and loving dog. He’s also a massive wimp, who has to be carried across a bridge during our walks and won’t go to bed unless he’s tucked in. The breed has suffered in recent years, due to overbreeding and bad press. According to the RSCPA, the Staffordshire bull terrier is the most common breed of dog in rescue homes. They also wait up to 80% longer to be adopted. One of the animal rescue centres that experiences this all too often is Freshfields in Liverpool. Debbie Hughes, PR and communications officer for Freshfields, said: “People get them as ‘status dogs’ because they’re very muscular so it’s makes them look tough, that couldn’t be further from the truth. They are the most daft, softest and affectionate dogs. “They have an adorable personality; any dog can be aggressive if it’s in the wrong hands. There used to be an issue with dog fighting but not so much now.” The Liverpool Freshfields centre currently has 37 dogs, with half of these being Staffies or cross-breed of Staffies. The centre is aiming to encourage the adoption of dogs with a new ‘Get that stat’ campaign over the next five years. The campaign aims to reverse the current statistic in which 22% of

pet dogs are rescues and 55% are brought from private companies, like Gumtree or puppy farms. Debbie added: “Staffies will be the breed to get an advantage from that. Bluebell has been with us for 10 years, people are looking for a calm dog and calm she is not. She could be a bit full-on for some but now as she’s getting older she sleeps a bit more. “If it wasn’t for my pet cats I’d have her home myself, she has such a fantastic personality. “She’s been added to our sponsorship, which is one of the best ways to support her. It helps us with vet bills and you receive post from her twice a year keeping you up to date with what she’s been up to along with some photos.” Another resident of Freshfields is Neo, an 11-year-old Staffy who ended up in the rescue home in 2017 after being attacked by his owner with an axe. Despite his heartbreaking past, Neo is described as a sweet and friendly boy. Things are starting to look bright for the breed, in a survey conducted by Eukanuba (pet food company) it revealed that Staffords and West Highland White Terriers are the “most communicative and affectionate breeds” with the Stafford being the “‘waggiest’ (80%) and most partial to a belly rub (62%).” The breed was recently voted the most popular breed in ITV’s ‘Britain’s Favourite Dogs’. Debbie added: “We want to celebrate our Staffies, last weekend Billy Bob was adopted after being with us for a year and a half. He would be in the operational manager’s office and I’d pop in and get my cuddles from him. We’ll miss him but we’re happy for him.”

Fellow Staffie lovers have shown their support on social media



Caravan of love for Red memories


he daughter of Liverpool legend Jimmy Case has launched a crowdfunder appeal to help make a mobile community archive of Liverpool fans’ photos and stories, Tilly Kenyon reports. The £23,000 Emma Case aims to raise through Crowdfunder will be used to help renovate a 1969 vintage caravan, turning it from Everton blue to Liverpool red and to take it on tour. The idea for The RED Project began three years ago when Emma started a personal project documenting modern-day Anfield, capturing photos of the way it looked before it changed. She met fans and through listening to their stories realised there was a piece of history missing - the fans’ perspective. She wanted to learn more about their experiences and living through the ‘glory days’, so she began asking fans to send her their photos of match days, road trips, new kit portraits and more.

Speaking to Liverpool Life, Emma said: “We need funding to renovate the caravan, unfortunately it is currently Sky Blue! We want to transform the caravan into a mobile exhibition space, also a space to chat, record interviews and scan new images to add to the archive. “We then want to take it on tour, across Merseyside to libraries, community centres and local events. Fans can drop in, meet other fans and share memories together and both enjoy and contribute to the archive.” The crowdfunder launched on March 2 and it runs for four weeks until March 30. It has been launched

A quick selfie with the van and how it currently looks © Emma Case

on an all or nothing basis, meaning that if the target is not reached by the end of the campaign all the money will be returned. The project also has benefits in terms of tackling issues such as social isolation, loneliness and mental health. The money raised will help to establish ‘Down Memory Lane’ sessions, which were piloted in January, taking the archive to dementia groups and residential homes across the city. Emma explained how last summer they successfully created an exhibition of fans’ photos in the garden at Hotel Tia, compiled entirely of disposable film camera images from the champions league final in Madrid. “I did a last minute shout out on twitter saying I’d cover the costs if they’d take their cameras to the final and boy did they come up with the goods! “The energy and atmosphere all beautifully brought to life. They were taken on disposable film cameras which all ties in perfectly with the archive images of old, so we are really keen to make that an integral part of the project too.” The project wants to build a team of volunteers to help facilitate the running of the sessions and to help them create the next chapters of the project. Emma added: “I am extremely excited that we could potentially bring this incredible project to life and make a fitting, lasting legacy not only for fans of Liverpool but also the city itself, which has such a rich history of socialism and community.” Jimmy won four league championships and three European Cups among a host of trophies in a six year Anfield career between 1975 and 1981. • You can find the crowdfunder link at https:// www.crowdfunder.co.uk/theredproject

Speedo Mick is on a new mission By ADAMMA SARGEANT


he man who made his name by completing runs in his swimming trunks is launching his own charity. Mick Cullen, more famously known as Speedo Mick, is launching a new charity to help young people. He told Liverpool Life it would be launching in a couple of weeks. He said: “(It is) about giving young people more opportunities, they may not otherwise have had and widening their horizons as well as mental health and well-being.” Last month he finished a 1,000 mile walk for charity and celebrated by dancing to the Proclaimers song “I would walk 500 miles.” The 55-year old battled wind, rain and storms Ciara and Dennis to raise more than £500,000 for community projects that help disadvantaged young people. Along the way he attracted plenty of attention and

hit the headlines. The Everton fan has been hailed as a local hero and was met by large crowds of well-wishers. He was given his nickname after raising £30,000 by swimming the English Channel and in 2016 he walked from Everton’s Goodison Park ground to Wembley stadium, raising more than £50,000. Explaining his motives, Mick said he spent a period of his life as a homeless addict. “I’ve suffered with mental health issues myself and was addicted to drugs and alcohol while on the streets. “For a long time, I was in need of that very same help and support that I am now offering to others.” The Speedo Mick homecoming ball will take

©Speedo Mick Twitter place at Camp and Furnace on Saturday March 21. Tickets are on sale on Skiddle. You can also still donate to his run on his gofundme page. 17


Men encouraged to let their guard down by putting it up Reporter Hannah Martin went to meet everyone behind the grassroots mental health community project ... From the outside it looks like any other gym. But step inside and you soon realise that the 4 Corners Combat and Fitness Gym on an industrial in Walton is nothing like the norm. Today Liverpool Life reveals how the people inside are fighting the good fight. The inspiration behind the project is local charity, New Beginnings, Improving Lives CIC. It is run and self-funded by a former NHS worker who left her role to focus on people in need. After working in various GP practices as a link worker between the NHS and the community, Michelle Roach saw first-hand the lack of appropriate services and the long waiting lists. The Liverpudlian recognised the desperate need for more resources so she made the move to invest her expertise and finances in the fledgling charity. LL spoke to Michelle about why she decided to set up the boxing and peer support group. She said: “Male suicide statistics made me realise this is a huge problem area that I wanted to try and help. “With the boxing, we’re bringing some services that you’d get from your GP to the men’s doorsteps, without the waiting lists, in to one lovely and safe environment. “Men just don’t talk at all and we want to help break that stigma.” Helping Michelle on her mission is

Inside: 4 Corners Combat and Fitness Gym coach and mentor, former British boxer Courtney Fry, coaches Peter Ball and Calum Hilton and owner of 4 Corners gym John Gillies - without whom Michelle says the project wouldn’t be possible. Coach Courtney Fry said: “I’ve been through mental health issues myself and this is a great way to get people talking, having a laugh and breaking down barriers. The work I do now is mainly based around mental health

New football finance podcast hits 250,000 streams in five months

© Michelle Roach

because it’s an epidemic, it’s going through the roof and something needs to be done.” Coach Peter Ball added: “It’s been great so far, but we need more men getting up and out of their houses, getting moving and working on combatting loneliness, depression - whatever it is.” After the boxing, the men have an option to stay and talk about their life and mental health in a relaxed envi-

Liverpool Basketball Club girls youth teams seal victories on court



A podcast which shines a light on the world of football finances has been listened to more than a quarter of a million times just five months after its launch. Football finance expert and University of Liverpool lecturer Kieran Maguire, together with comedian Kevin Day, follow the money to find out what is really going on behind the scenes of the often secretive side to the sport, and it has listeners gripped. Maguire has been labelled “Football finance’s f@!king Rain Man” by one club owner. The controversial podcast was created by Manchester-based podcast production company Dap Dip, recently founded by BBC broadcast journalist Guy Kilty. With gigantic sums of money involved in the football world, it’s a point of interest many fans don’t usually get to see. By turning the spotlight on dubious deals - such as clubs being sponsored by taxi companies that don’t own any

Liverpool Basketball Club girls celebrated this weekend with victories in both home and away matches. The winning streak started after the LBC U16 Girls won during an away match against Newcastle. During the first Quarter LBC U16 girls were leading by 32-9 points and eventually won with the overall points scoring 82-64. LBC girls then enjoyed another victory whilst playing at home against local rivals, the Mersey Mavericks. With a similar scenario to the Newcastle game, LBC Girls were leading with six points ahead during the first quarter of game. The game ended in triumph for the U16s with the overall score of 96-53. LBC’s under 18s also saw a victory over the weekend. In a fight for the top spot in the league, the U18s were head to head with the Lancashire Spinners. Leading throughout the majority of the match the U18s faced difficulties in the crucial final 10 minutes of the game. Despite the Lancashire Spin-


The Price of Football podcast taxis and the extraordinary cash fountain involved in football - there is ample opportunity for a constant flow of new material. Continued accounts of the secretive, back-door world of football finances look set to keep listeners interested.

ronment. Talk Liverpool joined the peer support group one week, who commented they’d never seen a conversation such as this flow so organically. Michelle told LL: “We’re struggling to get funding - right now we are totally self-funded. We’ve applied for numerous grants, and we’ve been rejected over and over, even for small amounts like £500. “Sometimes it is really hard and it can get you down but the feedback we get back from our service-users keeps us going. We’re already making a difference to communities and people’s lives, but funding would allow us to make more of a difference.” According to a study done by the London School of Economics in 2012, mental health accounts for almost half of UK illnesses in those under 65. The study states that within the NHS, mental health represents the greatest areas of unmet need both among adults and children. For any men considering joining the group - which is held every Friday at 1:30pm at 4 Corner Boxing and Combat Gym in Walton - the charity offers full support all the way from getting you through the door and after. For more information, find @NewBeginningsImprovingLives on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. If social media isn’t for you then you can email the charity at newbeginningsimproving lives@gmail.com

Liverpool Basketball Club ners fighting back, LBC U18s finished the game with a success of 75-72. LBC U16s girls will playing against Newcastle on Saturday, this time at home. All LBC games take place at Archbishop Beck Sports Academy on Long Lane in Liverpool.


Futsal Netball squad set course for success team grab huge win By DAN JONES

By JESSICA RIGG Liverpool’s 5-a-side indoor futsal club celebrated a success over the weekend with a 4-2 win against Leicester. Peter Sharples, interim manager of Liverpool Futsal club, said: “The win was a fantastic result against Leicester. Our team is very young but very talented. “The lads gave me everything and I couldn’t be prouder. They have laid their marker with the best performance of the season and now we have to use this as a minimum for every game.” Futsal is a small-sided football sport which is recognised and supported by both FIFA and UEFA. Established in Uruguay in 1930, the game is played indoors on basketball-sized courts. Liverpool Futsal Club play at the IM Marsh Campus of Liverpool John Moores University, howeverthe development team play at the Anfield Sports and Community Centre. Peter added: “We are in partnership with LJMU and JOMA and are in discussions with LFC Foundation and LCC to grow the sport.”

SUCCESS: The LJMU Netball fourth team

© Emily Jones

LJMU Netball’s fourth team will be going for the win tonight at the Northern Conference Cup. The team, who play in the Northern tier 8 league, have had continued success this season, winning five out of seven games so far, putting them third in the league. LJMU Fourth team captain Emily Jones, an MSc Clinical Exercise Physiology student, said: “I’m extremely proud of 4th team, I’ve been really lucky to captain the team throughout this season. “Whilst each player tries their hardest each game and commits to training every Monday, “I truly believe that’s what has caused our success this season. “Wherever we end up in the league once all of our fixtures are played, I already know I’ll be completely satisfied due to the 100% effort that’s put in by the team each week.” The Northern Conference Cup is being held in Durham and the team will play against Northumbria’s University 4th team for the cup.

The curious case of Liverpool’s forgotten motorsports team By ALEX METCALFE The year is 2008. The late-summer sun beams over Leicestershire, roasting the ground below. In the distance, the hum of V12 engines whirring into life emasculates the air. Donington Park is playing host to a quite unique spectacle. The inaugural Superleague Formula season is ready to burst into life, the first motorsport division in which teams were to be sponsored by association football teams. One of those teams is Liverpool FC. Their car, emblazoned with the famous Liver Bird and eternal flame crest, was a symbol of Liverpool’s intent to expand their marketing beyond the beautiful game. Competing with other sides across Europe, such as Tottenham Hotspur, Borussia Dortmund and AC Milan to name but a few, the competition presented a unique opportunity to break into an industry which could be very financially rewarding. Their Superleague Formula team, much like their football-playing counterparts, was a successful one. Despite an average start in their maiden season, finishing fourth in the Championship’s Standings, the Reds rallied to be victorious in 2009. The title-winning season was not as flamboyant as one would imagine,

with the Reds only claiming victory in one race. This win was the season opener at Magny-Cours in France, meaning that the team would simply cruise to midfield results for the rest of the year. Regardless of this, inconsistent results from opposition teams meant that Spanish driver, Adrian Valles, would eventually lift the championship trophy. Only competing for three of the competition’s four seasons, it is likely that this expedition did not prove as profitable for Liverpool’s then Chief Executive, Ian Ayre, as was once hoped. Despite Mr Ayre’s claims that it would not cost the club any money to have their branding on this team, that being subsidised by the competition organisers, it was still not beneficial enough to invest their long term future. In 2011, the organisers increased prize money in order to make the tournament a more attractive and competitive proposition. This, however, was not enough to convince Liverpool and most others to stay. This season saw only four of the football branded cars remain, not including the Merseyside team. Liverpool understood that there was a hunger from their expansive fan base for race wins, which perhaps led to their decision to pull out from

the competition. When they initially signed up for the tournament, Ian Ayre said: “We’re taking it very seriously, but unfortunately the on-track performance is largely in the hands of the driver and the team. We’ve got a professional race team and we’ve got a great driver, so we’re very excited and are expecting results.” This would prove the end of Liverpool’s short-lived romance with motorsport. A similar escapade is yet to come to fruition, and with Liverpool’s current worldwide dominance, it is unlikely they would need to invest in this kind of exercise again.

The car in action © jo3hug

UNCANNY: The car’s design was very similar to the football kit © jo3hug


LLSPORT Virus fears halt U23 game

Everybody is Muay Thai fighting Adam Holden with his trainer before entering the ring at the Macron Stadium By ASH ROWE Adam Holden still isn’t 100% sure how he ended up with a spot fighting in front of thousands of people at Macron Stadium in Bolton on Saturday, but his third consecutive win more than proves he earned it. Yokkao is the biggest Muay Thai event in the UK, a massive opportunity for any of the contenders lucky enough to grab a place on the fight card. The 25-year-old from Fazakerly has been fighting for just over four months, but has already laid the foundations for a promising career in Thai boxing. His first fight in November 2019 was stopped in the second round when his opponent was unable to continue and his second bout the following month saw him win by knockout within 40 seconds. Fans received a little more value for their money this time round, treated to three full rounds, out of a possible five. Holden and his opponent Elliot Gray made up one of the ten “Next Generation” fights at Yokkao 47/48 at the weekend, which highlight promising contenders in the sport. The two scousers went head-to-head at 90kg in a C-class matchup. (No knees or elbows to the head. No padding. Five one and a half minute rounds). Liverpool Life caught up with Holden shortly after Saturday’s win to talk training and staying in the right mind-set, all while balancing it all as a fulltime trade bricklayer. He told LL: “[Gray] was 100% the



toughest opponent I’ve had. He told me that every fight he has is a war, he’s not scared to fight. “I’m not scared to fight. I knew it was going to be a war. We both knew what we were letting ourselves in for that night.” Despite a steady back and forth between the fighters on Saturday, which saw each of them taking some heavy shots, Holden says he was confident after each round, especially once he noticed the deep cut taking shape above Gray’s right eye. He said: “At the end of the day, you’re going in there to try and put someone to bed. You’re going in there to test yourself against another man. If you can give yourself the advantage by cutting him, you’re then going for that cut.”

REMORSE After the referee put a stop to the match in the break between the third and fourth rounds, Holden described a feeling of “complete ecstasy”. When asked about any form of remorse or guilt in hurting an opponent Holden said: “He would do the exact same to me if he had the chance. If he had have cut me, he would have tried to open it up more. “If I was hurt, he would try and put me to bed. You’re going in there against someone that’s trained a full fight camp to beat you. There’s no remorse.” Holden spoke in depth about the physical demands, mental toll and importance of a solid fight camp. He said: “Not many people know

Liverpool’s forgotten motor racing team


© Ash Rowe

about the mental aspect of it. The physical aspect is absolutely gruelling - you’re pushing your body to its absolute limits, but you don’t realise the mental state, when you’re sat at home, in bed, in the middle of the night thinking ‘S**t, I’ve agreed to fight in four week’s time’. “Nothing really comes close to that feeling of knowing that you’re going to get in the ring in front of your friends and family.” He added: “A fight’s a fight. You’re going to get in there, and you’re going win or you’re going to lose. As long as you’ve left no stone unturned, pushed yourself to your physical limits, and you know you’ve tried your absolute best, the result is whatever it is on the night. It is what it is. You deal with it. “Eat clean and train hard, because at the end of the day, whoever you’re stepping in that ring with isn’t going to show you the slightest bit of sympathy.” Holden started training at The MMA Academy Liverpool in 2015 and took on a coaching role in 2019. He touched on the influence of the men in his corner: “There’s levels of respect in the game, and you’ve got to give credit where credit’s due, our head coach Peter Davies has had 54 fights and lost 3. The level of experience of that man and everything he knows is second to none.” He added: “Now I’ve had 3 C-class fights and I’m coaching in the gym, Thai boxing is becoming so much more than just a hobby. It’s a very big part of my life.”

Mental health boxing club

Liverpool’s Under 23s match due to be played last night has been called off due to coronavirus. The team were due to play against Wolfsburg in the Premier League’s International Cup. However, the game was postponed because of fears over coronavirus. The quarter-final match, which was meant to be held at the Academy in Kirkby, was called off on Monday morning before the German football team began their journey to Merseyside. It is believed that Wolfsburg players were reluctant to travel with fears of coronavirus increasing. This would have been the U23s’ first appearance following the departure of the team’s former coach, Neil Critchley, who recently departed the Reds to fill the Blackpool manager’s vacancy. Increasing fears regarding the coronavirus are becoming a major threat to sporting events in various locations around the world. Several Champions League games will be played behind closed doors this week while in Italy the Serie A has been suspended. The ban is in place until the April 3, with hopes the league can return to normal after this date. UK Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has said: “At this stage were not in the territory of cancelling or postponing events. “We will be driven by the advice of the chief medical officer as we continue.” A new date has not yet been set for the U23s match against the German side.

Success in sight for netball squad

Profile for Steve Harrison

Liverpool Life 8:14 March 11 2020  

Liverpool Life is a weekly news magazine written and produced by third year journalism undergraduates at Liverpool John Moores University's...

Liverpool Life 8:14 March 11 2020  

Liverpool Life is a weekly news magazine written and produced by third year journalism undergraduates at Liverpool John Moores University's...