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Liverpool Life ISSUE 8 MARCH 7 - MARCH 20

Behind the scenes on



The social media sensation that shows the city as never before

Liverpool Life

contents Vol 6 Issue 8 MARCH 7 - MARCH 20 2018 Birkenhead College is top of the class

Honey I Shrunk Liverpool, with Cathryn Appleton



New look for North Western Hotel

Treat your mum this Mother’s Day



Taking a stand against knife and gun crime

Everything is going vegan



Rugby through the ages

A night with Cilla The Musical


28 Detail of Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral window © Chantelle McKeever

LL Production: Alex Amadeo, Anisah Arif, Ed Baldwin, Jo Cunliffe, Jade Culver, Matty Davies, James Farrington, Chloe George, Shelby Hamilton, Amy Harding, Jessica Hughes, Jasper Hunt, Becky Jones, Shaun Keenan, Steph Kettle, Daniel Moxon, Sara O’Hagan, Jordan Reais, Suzy Sankey, Daisy Scott, Matthew Skelly, Tim Spencer-Tanfield, Tom Sutton, Tom Swift, Danielle Thomas, Shaniece Thompson. Cover photograph: Minature lambanana © Cathryn Appleton



College named top of the class By MATT SKELLY Birkenhead Sixth Form College has been named number one in the country. The college won the title of Best Sixth Form College of the year 2018 at the TES Further Education awards in London. In 2009, when Principal Mike Kilbride joined the college, Ofsted ranked it as a provider grade 3, with fewer than 20% of students achieving high grades. Fast forward nine years and it boasts an ‘outstanding’ rating from Ofsted, with 45% of students hitting high results. Mr Kilbride told Liverpool Life: “It felt magnificent to be named the best in the country. I felt personally happy, because I’ve had to fight a lot of people to keep on this path. Many people did not believe in what we were doing.” Focussing heavily on a philosophy based around positivity and ambition, which the Principal mentions regularly, the college has seen a huge improvement. He said: “When I came in 2009 I was given a specific job of driving standards and what I found was an institution that lacked not only confidence, but also ambition. “Because of that, a certain culture had been allowed to

Winner’s Banner© Matt Skelly dominate, which was one of ‘It’ll do’, a willingness to accept what was there.” Suggestions were made in his early days at the college about becoming more selective when accepting students. “Some schools transform their results drastically within a year or two, but quite often how they’ve done that is by changing the students, by becoming hyper-selective, which, for me, was always an dangerous path,” he said. “But in my view, if you do that you’re immediately saying you can’t change these people, you cannot improve them. “By doing that you don’t become a developer, but a processor. I

want us to enjoy and benefit from developing people.” Despite receiving a similar number of students with the same average GCSE points score, the college has more than doubled its high-grade achievement since 2009. Mr Kilbride said: “It’s all about positivity. You’ve got to believe that people can achieve. I’ll keep on believing in someone until they make it impossible to.” He said the college cannot rest easy now it is at the top and insisted that more work has to continue to maintain those standards that have been set. “As soon as you think you’ve done it, then you’ll lose it. So

‘Hollywood of North’ gets closer By SEAN KEENAN Liverpool City Council are set to approve £1.8m for 4.64 hectares of land next to the former Littlewoods HQ to create ‘Liverpool Film Studios’. The multi-million pound contract, which will be built by Capital & Centric, will become the heart of any creative media in the city and deliver comprehensive regeneration, creating jobs in the process. The MTL site, which is also part of Liverpool Innovation Park on Edge Lane, aims to promote further investment across the central Liverpool Mayoral Development Zone. John Moffat, of Capital & Centric, told Liverpool Life: “We’re well on our way to delivering a world-class filming destination for the UK, with one of Liverpool’s most iconic buildings at its heart. “Demand for the space has blown us away and we can’t wait to announce our first residents in the coming months.”

Liverpool is already one of the


most filmed places outside the capital and 2018 is expected to be even more jammed packed with the film and TV industry. In 2017 Liverpool’s film office recorded its busiest year ever with 289 films and TV shows film

in the city, including BATFAnominated Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool and BBC TV favourite Peaky Blinders, resulting in over 1300 hours of film and an £11m boost to the local economy. Mayor Joe Anderson said: “Liverpool’s digital and film industry has reached a tipping point where a major film studio would complete our world class offer and supercharge our plans to create one of Europe’s leading creative centres.” He added: “This is a growing multi-million pound industry with the potential to deliver hundreds of highly-skilled jobs and the purchase of the MTL site ensures the future growth of these studios and is a major statement of intent to cement our reputation as the Hollywood of the North.” The studio, when built, would lie two miles from the city centre and is expected to provide huge growth to the creative industries currently in the Baltic Triangle and the Ten Streets.

Principal Mike Kilbride © Matt Skelly every day you come in and say, ‘What’s working and what’s not working?’ “It’s not like being at the top of the mountain it’s more like a conveyor belt, you’ve got to keep moving.”

LIMF back for a fiver


Liverpool International Music Festival has announced the line up for this year’s dates, along with a new charge for entry. The festival will be fenced off and ticketed after Liverpool City Council said it could no longer keep funding, they have also said that the fencing will allow more control over what can be brought on site and reduce the potential for anti-social behaviour. Advanced tickets will start from £5, with entry for those aged 11 and under free. Saturday July 21st will see Example & DJ Wire, Wiley, Stefflon Don, Jax Jones, Not3s, Mahalia and many more take to the stage with more to be announced. On Sunday 22nd ticket buyers can expect to see Hacienda Classical Basement Jaxx Dj Set, Aurora, Young Fathers and Rae Morris, from 12 - 9pm.


Council defends £1 homes scheme By BECKY JONES Liverpool City Council has hit back at claims that Channel 4’s recent series surrounding the £1 housing scheme, which aims to revitalise the deprived area of Wavertree, has created the wrong ‘impression’. The Homes for a Pound project began in 2013, aiming to bring 6000 properties in the Wavertree area back into use. Around 40 properties are being released per phase of the scheme, with those who buy their homes for £1 agreeing not to sell the property for five years. The scheme is aimed at improving the Garrick Street/ Webster Road/Bird Street/ Richardson Street area of the city and Channel 4’s recent three-part series, ‘The £1 Houses: Britain’s Cheapest Street’, followed a number of families on their journeys whilst applying for, renovating and moving into their homes. Despite the show’s popularity, the Council has decided to speak out in order to defend the scheme, after C4 was said to have left local viewers

feeling sour. In response to the series a council spokesman said that only a certain number of families could be followed during the programme due to “time constraints”. As a result, he said: “The viewer was left with the impression they are the only ones in the scheme, which is not the case. “Equally, the TV company started filming more than two years ago, so some of the footage broadcast was out of date and does not reflect the current situation.” Recent updates provided by the Council show 26 families moving into the scheme’s area, with work for 24 other houses under way. Liverpool John Moores University PhD student Victoria Brennan who starred in the series, spoke to Liverpool Life and said: “I think the programme outlined the scheme well and highlighted several issues which meant progress was slower than anticipated. I have enjoyed being part of the process, but have definitely grown some thicker skin from some not so nice

Renovation: £1 houses © Google Maps comments.” The public have taken to social media to express their views. One twitter user spoke of his uncertainty towards the scheme: “The streets look war-torn, with the odd tidied up house here and there. I feel sorry for the families

Metro mayor’s bid to help the unemployed By BECKY JONES Liverpool metro mayor Steve Rotherham has launched a £4.5m initiative to help local households into work. The programme is part of the Combined Authority’s Devolution agreement with the Governmentwhere funding is to benefit the overriding needs of locals. The Households into Work scheme is set to benefit more than 800 unemployed families across Liverpool. A team of 24 advocates from regions across the City have been appointed to help with the project and have recently started a twoweek induction programme at the combined authority. The advocates will work together with households where two or more adults are unemployed. Under the scheme, they will identify day-to-day issues that affect people’s work ethic, such as

Team: The advocates © Liv Combined Authority Facebook travelling, childcare, debt or lack of skills. After these issues have been identified, the programme aims to put steps in place to help each individual reach their career goals. The public have taken to social media to state their opinions on the scheme. One Facebook user showed an interest in making apprenticeships more readily

available, saying: “What this country needs is to go back to apprenticeships, like in the ‘70s, so we can find jobs for those who want to work but don’t have the necessary skills to do it… now wouldn’t that be brilliant?” Other users seem to be in support of the scheme, simply commenting “brilliant idea”, or “Great”. The programme was set to begin work with households this week.

that have invested their £30k +in the scheme.” However, other twitter users gave an alternative view to the project, with one saying: “So many derelict council homes across the country councils could adopt the same scheme.”

Progress for terminal plan By SHAUN KEENAN Liverpool City Council have approved the first stage of the new proposed Cruise Terminal Facility on the Mersey. John Mariner, McLaughlin & Harvey’s Contract Director, said: “We are delighted to have been appointed to deliver this prestigious and iconic project on the Liverpool waterfront and look forward to working collaboratively with Liverpool City Council.” The new facility will enable the city to welcome the world’s biggest cruise ships to its UNESCO World Heritage-listed waterfront. McLaughlin and Harvey are to finalise the design, supporting Ramboll UK, and dismantle the existing derelict Princess Jetty, which has been gifted to the city by Peel Land and Property. This year, the city expects to welcome 100,000 passengers and crew aboard 57 vessels.



Campaigners’ shock at housing plan go-ahead ©

By MATTHEW DAVIES Campaigners opposing Redrow’s plans to build a new housing estate on Allerton Priory have been left reeling after the building company successfully appealed a planning permission refusal. ‘Save Allerton Priory’ held multiple protests and public meetings and could have been forgiven for thinking they were winning the battle against the building firm after the city council blocked plans to build 160 homes on the site in December 2016. The proposal was rejected due to the impact that the work would have on nature and wildlife in the area, but despite five different petitions, and over 190 objections to the proposal from various

individuals and businesses, following the successful appeal the work now looks likely to happen Anne Roberts, 62, from Allerton, said: “I’m outraged by what’s happening. “I think this is the start of something terrible and I now fear for the future of other nearby greenspaces like Allerton Towers and Clarke’s Gardens.” Graham Marshall has lived in the area since he was 15. The 39-year-old said: “I’m truly gutted. I walk over Allerton Priory at least three times a week with my dog. It’s beautiful. “I’ve heard that one of the reasons why the authorities are going to now allow Redrow to build there is because of the

housing shortage, but I seriously doubt any of the new properties will be council houses. “There’ll be four and five bedroom houses costing massive amounts of money.” Not everyone is frustrated though. Local resident Stephen Lawler, 24, said: “I wouldn’t say I’m massively disappointed by the news. “If it was Sefton Park or Calderstones, or somewhere nice like that, then maybe I’d be more concerned. “But Allerton Priory is just a big field with trees really; it’s got an old abandoned building that used to be part of New Heys School on it, and that’s about it.” Redrow were unavailable for comment.

New homes makeover for derelict Toxteth church By CHLOE GEORGE A Liverpool charity is planning on turning a derelict church into affordable housing. St Bernard’s catholic church in Toxteth was given to Housing People Building Communities (HPBC) and will be converted into 11 housing units for those in need. Housing People Building Communities is an organisation that aims to address the housing crisis whilst changing people’s lives. Its goal is to provide properties for those who would otherwise be unable to afford it. The scheme works by selecting people who have strong connections to Liverpool and have suitable income to be able to provide a mortgage for at least 50% of the property, the rest of the property is owned by Sanctuary Group, who partner with HPBC to build the houses. As well as this, those moving into the properties need to provide at 500 hours on the building site or supporting the charity and in return they a £10,000 reduction. Liza Parry, chief executive of HPBC, told Liverpool life: “We

Alfie parents lose Appeal Court battle By TOM SUTTON Parents of baby Alfie Evans, who has been fighting an undiagnosed brain condition for the past year, have been told by the Appeal Court that his life support may be turned off. Alfie’s parents Kate James and Tom Evans challenged a previous High Court decision that Alder Hey children’s hospital could switch off life support and are considering a further appeal. Alder Hey Children’s Hospital argued that continuing to treat Alfie, who has been in a coma for the past year was “unkind, unfair and inhumane”. His parents wished to take him abroad in hopes that doctors outside of the UK could find treatment for his mystery illness.

LoveHistory back in spotlight By MATTY DAVIES

Plan: Liza Parry outside St Bernards © Chloe George give them £10,000 towards their home. For a lot of first-time buyers one of the major issues is saving up for a deposit. With rental prices being quite high and the fact it’s getting more and more difficult to access mortgages, with bigger deposits being needed, that sort of equity is what makes it an extremely attractive offer.” The charity has already created 32 houses on Kingsley Road next to St Bernard’s church. The homes are built by volunteers including

the people who will be living in the houses. “What is important is that whilst they are doing the equity hours they are also getting to know each other, so there’s a strong community forming before they move in to properties and we have seen evidence of that with the Kingsley road project,” said Liza Parry. Work will begin this month and it is hoped that the houses will be completed in the next 18 months.

Liverpool’s St George’s Hall is set to play host to LoveHistory’s Trial By Jury event for three days this month, after a successful launch in 2017. The immersive theatre production gives the power to the audience who decide the fate of the characters on trial in the courts of St George’s Hall, where Liverpool cases were once heard for real. As the show is taking place between March 15th and 18th, the performance will have an Irish theme, although the exact details of the case remaining a secret until the first curtain rise. Judy McLean, Creative Director of Lovehistory, said: “Trial By Jury is a really fun evening’s entertainment.”


Raising money to help businesses hit by crime By SHELBY HAMILTON A Crosby woman is raising money for independent businesses after a spate of burglaries around her local area. Rachel Gilbertson, owner of Roxiie’s Treasures, decided to start a fundraising page on the crowdfunding site Just Giving after hearing about the break-ins. Rachel, 24, who also runs a neighbourhood/businesswatch group on Facebook, told Liverpool Life: “I was so angry and upset by all the recent burglaries in the Crosby Waterloo areas and I wanted to help in some way.” The areas have been targeted by burglars over the last few months, with more than 20 businesses claiming to have been broken into. Some have been targeted twice. Two of the businesses affected were The Olive Tree coffee shop, College Road, which had two iPads stolen and glass smashed And Caz’s Kitchen, St John’s Road, which had staff tips, charity money, equipment and other items stolen. The theft and damage amounted to more than £1000. Rachel said: “I used to have a

Determined: Rachel Gilbertson with her stall at Crosby Hall Garden Open Day © Rachel Gilbertson shop so I know what it entails to run one with all the costs such as rent, bills, wages, stock, etc and it’s hard enough for businesses to make ends meet without being victims of burglaries and theft.” The money raised will be given out to the small independent businesses who have been affected. She hopes it will help to get them back on their feet, pay for fixing premises up, cover wages or pay for better security measures. Rachel told LL: “It upsets me

and makes me mad how people work so hard to make ends meet and these lowlife burglars steal from other people. Why steal from people and businesses instead of getting a job and earning their own money?” She is currently looking into other ways of raising money for the small businesses affected so that the fund can be ongoing help when they need it. The address for Rachel’s page is:

Rail Strikes to continue By TOM SUTTON Union workers have continued to lock horns with rail bosses, with further strike action held at the weekend in the row over removing guards from trains. Rail, Maritime and Transport union (RMT) members braved the temperatures to form a picket line at Lime Street Station on Saturday, having walked out on Merseyrail over safety concerns. It was the 16th day of industrial action over the dispute since Spring of 2017. Mike Connelly, Corporate Affairs Director of Abellio Group representing Merseyrail told Liverpool Life: “We will always make sure people are safe. There will be British Transport Police, ticket examiners, and security guards. “Merseyrail is, however, still the most staffed train system of its size.” James Kirk, an RMT supporter from Merseyside who was on the picket line, told Liverpool Life: “Our reason for this is entirely for safety. We have many visitors to Liverpool at many times of the year and when you have such numbers on your system, it’s your duty to make sure these people stay safe.”

Sixth award accolade for Arena Echo Arena and Convention Centre © McCoy Wynne

By JORDAN REAIS Liverpool’s ECHO Arena and Convention Centre has been named the Best UK Conference Centre for the sixth consecutive year. The M & IT Industry Awards event, hosted by magazine Meetings and Incentive Travel, took place at Battersea Evolution, London. It recognises the best international venues, destinations and suppliers in the events industry. Over 1,200-industry professionals vote for the award. Ben Williams, commercial

director of the ACC Liverpool Group, home to the BT Convention Centre, Echo Arena and Exhibition Centre Liverpool, told Liverpool Life: “We are honoured to have retained this award, considered the most prestigious in

the events industry, for the sixth year running. “The award reflects not only the product and services of the venue but is also representative of the city’s support network that enables us to bid for and attract

global events to experience Liverpool as a world-class meeting and event destination. “We would like to thank the city for its continued support. We look forward to another year of large, high profile, national and international conferences such as Uni Global Union World Congress, the 2018 International Business Festival, Health Systems Research and the return of the Labour Party Conference.”




Market bid to revive centre By JESSICA HUGHES A Wirral community venue is hosting a weekly food market in an effort to revitalise declining Liscard. The brainchild of events company owner Suzanne Rippon, the markets will be a regular fixture at the Grosvenor Ballroom. Described as “a local market for local people”, the market, which opened at the beginning of March, features stalls for fresh food from local traders as well as an on-site café. Suzanne came up with the idea after setting up car boot sales in the area and seeing the impact they had on the community. She said: “I saw that people were connecting and enjoying being in the fold of the community vibe. I thought about how Liscard used to be more of a community and it needs something that brings people back together.” In the 2013 Liscard Action Plan Wirral Council said: “Liscard is struggling to establish a new role. Liscard needs to differentiate itself from Liverpool, Birkenhead and other regional shopping-leisure centres by offering an experience that other centres cannot replicate.” The food market hopes to do just that. Grosvenor Ballrooms is an historic building, which began its life almost 150 years ago as part of Wallasey Concert Hall. Throughout the years, the rooms were filled with dancers and performers, including The Beatles on four occasions in the early 1960s. Today, the building is used as a community facility holding events and activities such as childcare, dance and exercise. Suzanne said: “The Grosvenor Ballroom is the hub. It is a beautiful building with so much to offer to the whole community. “I am hoping to reach a range of different people – young, old, everyone. I want to set up a Mums and Tots group, cooking courses, older people’s games afternoons and so much more, bringing some life back to the community.”

Cain’s Brewery, Liverpool © David Humphreys, Wikimedia Commons

Street food spot that will be right up your alley By SAM O’HARA A new street food venue is to open soon in the Baltic Triangle district of the city, adding to the growing number of new businesses and venues popping up in the evolving area. ‘Street Food Alley’ will be located in Cains Brewery village, next to the popular Peaky Blinders Bar and is the latest venture for the bar’s ambitious owners. The old Cains Brewery building is becoming a hotspot for tourists, with a number of cafés and

bars calling the historic setting home. The owner of Street Food Alley, John Sinclair, came up with the idea after a visit to the Spanish capital, Madrid, where he saw something similar. The entrepreneur was so impressed and inspired by the experience that he decided to create something similar for the people of Liverpool. He said: “I couldn’t believe the atmosphere and the buzz that it generated. With there being so many different chefs doing their own thing all under one roof, it means that everybody has a

choice and there is something on offer for everyone.” There will be nine different vendors at any one time at the venue and it will be open from Thursday to Sunday every week, with a variety of different cuisines for visitors to choose from. Mr Sinclair said: “I want it to have a bit of everything, with food flavours from all around the world. I want the food to be of a high standard but at a reasonable price, I want there to be a buzz for everybody when visiting, whether they visit on their own or in a group.”

Petition to stop Court Hey Park plans By ROSS HILTON-INKPIN More than 5000 people have signed a petition to stop the sale of a third of Court Hey Park, Knowsley, to property developers. The petition has been set up by Friends of Court Hey Park on and the current signature figure stands just over 5800 people. The Liverpool-based community organisation is made up mostly of local residents whose main aim is to conserve the park and who also share the same view as the Green Party on the matter.

Councillor Kai Taylor, of the Green Party, told Liverpool Life: “Myself and the Green Party fully support members of the public taking direct action to make their voices heard. Myself, along with fellow Green Councillors, have actively secured over 800 written signatures from residents in Prescot.” The park is one of 17 parks and green spaces that Knowsley Council is looking to sell as a result of Government cuts. The plans have been met with opposition from local residents and local MP’s since they were first announced. However it has

been given the green light once again after being temporarily halted by the council’s scrutiny committee who asked for the scheme to be reviewed. Mr Taylor added: “The Green Party is proposing this list be scrapped immediately, the whole process has been flawed, there is a lack of democratic transparency and very poor governance. I would urge Knowsley Council to rethink.”


North Western Hall to return to a hotel By EVAN FYFE Following 22 years of being student halls, one of Liverpool’s most historic buildings is to be transformed back into its original use as a hotel. Situated on Lime Street and connected to the city’s main station, North Western Hotel was built in 1871 in meet the demand of visitors arriving to the city by train. Initially constructed by London North Western Railway, it was one of a number of grand hotels built around the UK’s major cities - including St Pancras in London, Balmoral in Edinburgh and the nearby Manchester Midland Hotel. Martin Greaney, manager of Historic Liverpool, told Liverpool Life: “I’m pleased to hear that the building is going to be returned to its original use. The building is in this spot for a reason, at the ‘grand entrance’ to Liverpool. That’s what made it such a great spot when it was built, and those factors remain today.” The Grade II listed building was fashioned by local architect Alfred Waterhouse, who was

also responsible for grand designs including Manchester Town Hall and the National History Museum in London. Sitting adjacent to St George’s Hall (built in 1854) and the Walker Art Gallery (1877), the building gave an grand first impression for those arriving to the city. With a contrasting gothic-style design, there were even concerns the hotel would overshadow the grandeur of the buildings already in the area. Local historian Steve Binns said: “The nearness to the station is of great significance - it was the city’s message to the world. The area turned Liverpool from a provincial north of England town, to the second city of Empire.” The hotel was extremely popular during Edwardian times, but closed in 1933. Many believe this was due to the Great Depression following the 1929 Wall Street Crash, as Liverpool had strong connections with the USA due to shipping links. Less trade across the Atlantic led to lots of businesses in the area closing. After a brief spell operating as Lime Street Chambers the building fell derelict until 1994 when LJMU bought the space for stu-

The iconic North Western Hall dent accommodation, costing £6 million. It was run by accommodation chain Cosmopolitan until 2012. Martin continued: “I did see that the developers seem open to offers from different operators – it could end up as a luxury hotel, or a budget chain. I just hope that whoever takes it over does the building justice, there’s nothing worse than regenerating a building cheaply and with poor materials. The grand architecture here deserves something decent, and student accommodation is not in short supply.”

Wirral runner heads for success By HANNAH WILKINSON The London Marathon is one of the most well-known sporting events in the world, with an average of 120,000 entries each year. For local lad, Sebastian Bowe, 23, from the Wirral, it was an accomplishment that he’d always wanted to achieve. “Running the marathon has always been on my bucket list, and when the opportunity came up, I could not pass on it,” he told Liverpool Life. “I have never ran any type of race, never mind a marathon. This has been the first one I’ve ever entered. I am going to run the Liverpool half marathon in March as practise and to get an idea of what a race day consists of.” Seb has been following a training guide and improving his overall fitness by taking the gym more seriously. The charity in which Seb is running for is chILD, a children’s charity fighting lung disease.

Sebastian Bowe “My mum is a child nurse and has had patients with varied conditions of child lung disease and the stories about them have inspired me to fundraise for them. It’s a charity close to our family.” Set up by Carlee Gilbert in January 2010, chILD Lung Foundation is a charity for families affected by chILD – an acronym for childhood Interstitial Lung Disease. chILD is a rare and life limiting set of diseases where, in simple terms, oxygen has difficulty in crossing over into the bloodstream. Depending on the type of chILD disease, some children may grow

out of their lung condition, whereas others may be affected by it lifelong into adulthood, and for some, sadly they die. The disease is something extremely personal for Carlee, whose son Finn was diagnosed with a rare and genetic form of chILD called “protein surfactant deficiency ABCA3”. Speaking to Liverpool Life, Carlee discussed why she launched the charity eight years ago. “chILD was set up because ultimately, we did not want other families to feel as lost and as alone as what we did. We wanted hope for Finn and other children.” Smaller charities without the capital to invest in fundraising packages for the marathon, can apply to ‘win’ a place in the race. “We are so very grateful to Seb for taking the time to train and raise awareness for chILD on our behalf.” Providing families with support is the main goal behind chILD, as the condition is so complex there is not much information out there. ““We can bring about change.”

Owners, the Marcus Worthington Group, have announced property agents Jenics will be responsible for the transformation, which hopes to be completed by mid-2019. Jenics director, Jeremy Collins, said: “It’s rare that hotel opportunities arise in Grade II landmark city centre buildings, even less so when they are former ‘Grand Railway Hotels’ themselves. With more than 20 million passengers right on it’s doorstep, and a supportive city council behind the proposals, we are expecting high levels of interest.”

Teachers go Gangsta for a day By ANISAH ARIF A Wirral primary school has celebrated World Book Day - thanks to the teachers going Gangsta. New Brighton Primary school headteacher Coleen Hibbard and deputy head Cathy Murphy made sure it wasn’t just the pupils who had a field day by dressing up as ’Gangsta Grannies’, based on the David Walliams book. For previous Book Days, they dressed up as both ends of a pantomime horse, complete with real horse manure which was deposited on the playground; Bill and Ben, Bo Peep and a sheep, a roller coaster and the Oompa Loompas. Mrs Hibbard said: “It has become a bit of a tradition that we complete a tour of the playgrounds as the parents and children all enjoy this start to such a special day.”


Above: An artist’s impression of Wirral Waters One

Vision for the future


By OLIVIA FRIETT Billions of pounds will be invested into Wirral for multiple regeneration developments after. Wirral Council backed plans for ‘Wirral Waters One’ as well as joining up with Muse Developments for further regeneration throughout the borough. Wirral Council have joined up with Muse for a £1bn regeneration plan as a 50/50 venture. Sites planned for redevelopment include Bebington, Birkenhead, Bromborough, Moreton and Seacombe, with new homes, commercial, retail and leisure developments. New Ferry has plans for regeneration after a gas explosion last year. The £90m scheme was accepted for 500 apartments on the dockside. The building will be

adjacent to the Dock Road and Duke Street junction and provide services and amenities for local residents. When asked what they thought of the new development plans, many locals were quick to share their views. Beth Squires, 26, said: “I think some places could do with being updated and worked on, especially New Ferry when it wasn’t backed by the Government originally.” Hannah Thomson, 32, said: “It’s good that the Council want to make Wirral better, but I think it’s for all the wrong reasons.” Graham Nother, 28, said: “I really think Wirral could do with being updated, but they should have the locals vote on it.”


• MOD Depot: Unilever will

• Woodside Waterfront:

• Birkenhead market: The market is being transformed into a unique food and leisure dining to appeal more to visitors.

A £60m transformation including boutique hotels, offices and 36,000 sq ft of leisure space. Birkenhead Town Hall will be able to provide weddings venues and hotel rooms.

have a 13 acre park for advanced research activities and 500,000sq ft of mixed industrial and laboratory space.

£300m will be used to create hotels, leisure offices and highend residential homes with outstanding views of Liverpool’s World Heritage waterfront.

• Birkenhead Civic Hub: 290,000 sq ft of offices will be provided for Wirral Council and other public sectors, including additional leisure development.

• Birkenhead Town Centre: The council is developing a regeneration plan for Birkenhead’s historical landmarks along with 350,000 sq ft of commercial development with 200 residential units and car parking.

A new wedding venue: Birkenhead Town Hall

• Moreton Town Centre: The popular suburban shopping and residential zone will have a new regeneration framework.


Sick and Tyred, but the fight will go on


mother whose teenage son was killed in a coach crash has vowed to continue her campaign after her Bill to change the laws surrounding old coach and bus tyres was again rejected by the Government. The campaign to ban the use of tyres that are more than 10 years old on public service vehicles has received a lot of public support, but was rejected for a third time. Frances Molloy launched the Tyred campaign following the death of her 18-year-old son Michael, who died in a coach crash as he travelled home to Liverpool from Bestival on the Isle of Wight in 2012. An inquest into the crash, which also killed 23-year-old Kerry Ogden and coach driver Colin Daulby, 53, found a tyre that was nearly 20 years old caused it. The campaign calls for a ban on tyres more than 10 years old on buses, coaches and minibuses.


Frances told Liverpool Life: “It is unbelievable that the Government refuses to allow the parliamentary process take its course when the public are completely in support of this Bill.

“We will continue to fight for what we believe in. #OldTyresKill” “Many, many people have expressed to me disbelief and shock that twice before the Government has blocked this Bill. “In order to send a clear message to the Government that this change in the law needs to happen, we have set up an online petition, which has already surpassed 10,000 signatures. The campaign has recruited support of politicians, including former shadow transport secretary Maria Eagle and metro mayor of the Liverpool City Re-

gion Steve Rotherham, as well as motorsport journalist Suzi Perry. The campaign has also received a lot of social media support. #OldTyresKill has been used to gain attention and ignite government change. After receiving over 10,000 signatures on their petition for this issue was taken to House of Commons by Garston and Halewood MP Maria Eagle for another attempt to get a second reading of the Bill. However, it was rejected for a third time and no changes will be made to the laws surrounding old tyres. Zoe Wallace, campaign manager for Tyred, told Liverpool Life: “We have had nothing but support from the general public, businesses and public figures. “When people find out about the campaign, why it exists and the barriers we are facing in getting this common sense legislation through parliament, they are horrified. “

Michael’s mother Frances Molloy

18-year-old Michael Molloy Zoe added: “People can’t believe that dangerously old tyres are legal on buses and coaches in the UK and they are understandably horrified that this is the case. “The campaign has support from many national transport companies, including National Express Coaches and the Big Green Coach Company, who are urging the Government to make the nation’s buses and coaches much safer by making this change. The Bill will be proposed again in late April for a fourth time.

Maray cooking up a way to tackle hunger By HANNAH WILKINSON After opening a restaurant on Bold Street James Bates’ eyes were opened to the homeless problem in Liverpool and putting something back into the community became a focus for him. The Maray co-founder works with Can Cook, a Speke-based charity that distributes healthy, nutritious food to those in food poverty in Liverpool, and also support international hunger charity Action Against Hunger. By adding £1 to all of their guests’ bills in September and October of 2015 Maray managed to raise £960 for the organisation and by doing the same in the following two years raised a further £2490 and £4501. James told Liverpool Life: “Living in a world where a third of all food that we produce is wasted, and yet 795 million people do not

Maray founder James Bates

have enough food to lead a healthy and active life, just doesn’t seem right. And as a business making our living in the food industry, we want to try and do our bit to make things better.” For 2018, James decided he wanted to take his fundraising for AAH to new heights – literally and next month, joined by 20 chefs, restaurateurs and food industry experts from across the UK, he will embark on a five-day trek in Nepal. James described his prepartions:

“Well... so far I have bought some boots, does that count? I’ve also got some walks planned up Snowdon and in the Peak District over the next six weeks. Apart from that I just need to pick up some trekking gear, a sleeping bag and all of the essentials. I wouldn’t say I was nervous, but the prospect of sharing a tent with a stranger for five nights is somewhat daunting.” Also accompanying James on the trek is Josh, from one of Manchester’s leading independent restaurants, Northern Fields. Talking

about their fundraising efforts, the two came up with the idea of Battle in the Baltic, an event at the Baltic Market with food, music and a raffle. Those attending the event were were served a six-course meal, three prepared by Northern Fields and the other three by Maray’s head chef Owen Hagan. Proceeds from drink sales, tickets and the raffle went straight to Action Against Hunger and the event raised £3,000. James said: “It was incredibly humbling for me and Josh to have so many people offer their time, produce, DJ sets, booze and prizes for the raffle, all for free. But, as with any event, it is the guests that make the difference between good and great and everyone who came really seemed to ‘get it’ and it created a superb atmosphere that will long live in the memory.”


A taste for change Baltic Vegan Event

Vegan on the menu PizzaHut



eganism is on the rise around the world and the city of Liverpool is working hard to ensure that options are available for vegans, with the trend set to continue. Figures show that last year was the best to date for veganism, with the number of vegans expected to increase by a quarter over the next four years. The Vegetarian and Vegan society at University of Liverpool said that these statistics back up what they are experiencing. Their president Amy Locke Dench told Liverpool Life: “We would definitely say that the stats resemble a pattern in reality that we have seen with membership and social event numbers. “When we first started the Veg and Vegan society at Uni of Liverpool we were surprised, in a quite emotional way, by the number of people interested in taking part in the society’s activities.”

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© Independent Liverpool

© Amy Loche Dench People choose veganism for a variety reasons. Most people who choose a vegan lifestyle do so because they are particularly passionate about animal wellbeing. However, it is also claimed to have many health benefits and to be beneficial for the environment. Amy added: “The increase of people becoming vegan has helped change attitudes to the diet/lifestyle in terms of its health, environmental and animal welfare benefits. With the increase, more people - including myself - have felt inclined to try it, especially with a community of people to offer advice on substitutes, vitamins and supplements, and to show that it can be done on a budget.” Well-known food chains are now providing their diners with vegan choices. The Italian food restaurant Zizzi claimed to be the first chain in the UK to add a vegan cheese pizza to its menu and that seems like a wise decision. According to reports, Zizzi’s vegan pizza sales more than doubled in the past year. The food ordering service

JustEat also released statistics last year which demonstrate the enormity in the vegan movement. There was a 987% increase in the demand for vegetarian options in 2017 from JustEat’s 20m-strong customers. Liverpool is a city that prides itself on its welcoming and friendly environment and you will now notice an array of vegan offerings when visiting food and drink outlets around the city centre. In fact, some places serve only vegan products. White Wolf Yoga and Kitchen is based in the heart of Liverpool city centre and it serves only plant-based food, priding itself on being high-quality and nutrition-rich. Independent Liverpool recently held a vegan event at the Baltic Market which over 4,000 people attended. The organisers told Liverpool Life: “The event was an incredible success. We were busy

from the moment go and more than half our traders ended up selling out before it was over. “One trader sold out in 20 minutes! As veganism becomes more popular we want to be able to offer more things for them to come too.” The event was such a success that it is now set to become a monthly feature at the now iconic food destination. Similar offerings are popping up all over the city. Another place which is embracing the growing the number of vegans is Santa Maluco on Castle Street, which now does vegan-Mondays. This is just a taster of what is on offer in Liverpool for vegans and with the diet set to become more influential in modern day society, it will be interesting to see how many more vegan shops and restaurants pop up around the city in the years to come.

That’s the beauty of going vegan Vegan food isn’t the only thing that Liverpool is becoming known for - some of the city’s beauty businesses are getting involved, too. More and more beauticians are offering vegan-friendly procedures that use only animal-friendly products. Before now, not many manufacturers produced vegan-friendly products and it could be hard to find a salon stocking what

you need. Now,, a social and campaigning group for vegetarians & vegans in or around Liverpool and Merseyside, has compiled a list of salons using animal-friendly products. For example, Unity Hair and Beauty, a salon based in north Liverpool, has started stocking products by Paul Mitchell, which, in 1980,

became the first professional beauty brand to make a stand against animal testing. Other local beauty therapists have also starting using vegan-friendly products, such as Debra O’Brian at Aurora Beauty. Making her own natural products, Debra now only offers treatments that are 100% natural. By ALEX AMADEO

Clean Kale Vegan mask: Aurora

THE GUIDE WHAT: Wicked WHERE: The Empire Theatre WHEN: March 7th-31st The hit musical has stunned audiences from the West End to Broadway and all across the world. Now, the Wicked Witch of the West has flown into Liverpool. Wicked goes back before Dorothy ever got to the Emerald City, relating the untold story of the unlikely bond between Glinda the Good and Elphaba the Wicked Witch. Accompanied by an award-winning soundtrack, Wicked will make you laugh, cry and everything in between.

WHAT: St Patrick’s Day WHERE: The Baltic Market WHEN: March 15th-18th Oh my Guinness! Over the St Patrick ’s Day weekend, The Baltic Triangle will be transformed into boozy, Irish carnage. The weekend celebrations will include live bands and DJs to get you on your feet, as well as a Jamesons Irish whiskey bar. Not only that - Guinness will be taking over the usual bar.


WHAT: The ELO Experience WHERE: Theatre Royal, St Helens WHEN: March 16th A tribute to The Electric Light Orchestra will make its theatrical debut in Merseyside. The show is a combination of a string orchestra, a breath-taking light show and a screen projection. Featuring covers of ELO hits, this show promises to take the audience on a musical journey through time.

WHAT: Liverpool Comic Con WHERE: Exhibition Centre WHEN: March 10th&11th Attention all sci-fi fans and comic book afficianados. It's finally time to dust off that Wolverine costume because Comic Con is making a triumphant return to the city. The event promises to be bigger than ever before, with high-profile guest line-ups, full-size sets for photo ops and Q&A sessions with celebrities in the industry. Comic Con 2018 is sure to be a sight to behold.




Song-filled story is lorra, lorra fun Cilla - The Musical/ Storyhouse, Chester/ 06.03.2018

“Right from



wo years after her death, Cilla Black’s legacy well and truly lives on. ‘Cilla The Musical’ is based on songstress Cilla’s rise to fame, from Scottie Road to the stage. It’s a success story, a love story, but mostly, it’s Cilla’s story. The musical begins when she was a teenager working as a coat-check girl at venues across Liverpool including the Cavern. It then chronicles her career as she meets and signs with Brian Epstein, as well as her relationship with Bobby Willis. Right from the start, ‘Cilla’ is entrancing. The relatively small stage creates an intimate atmosphere which lends excellently to the immersive gigs featured throughout the show. Sitting in the audience, I felt like I was at one of The Big Three’s gigs, then a Beatles concert, then

the start, ‘Cilla’ is entrancing

Cilla’s variety show. Despite the fact the musical is based on Cilla, is gives a nostalgic overview of the whole Liverpool music scene in the 1960s. This is undeniably one of the musical’s most charming features. Playing Cilla was Kara Lily Hayworth, an incredible singer and actress whose Cilla-esque accent was bang on perfect. All-

round, the performances in the show were fantastic, particularly Neil MacDonald, who plays Cilla’s father. He plays the typical ‘dad’ character brilliantly and his delivery of comedic lines was so natural – “I’m on nights!” is a phrase most of us have heard shouted from upstairs when the music is too loud.

The only way I could have enjoyed the show more would be if I was 65. I urge everyone to bring their parents and grandparents to see this show which will evoke wistful dreaming of the past, even if you weren’t alive then. And if that doesn’t tempt you, just go along to see the best casting of Paul McCartney you’ll ever see.

Godfather of Grime is still in control Wiley and Rico Don/ 24 Kitchen Street/ 01.03.2018


Grime icon: Wiley on stage

Photo © Jordan Reais

rime is rapidly becoming one of the biggest genres of music in the UK and Liverpool has some upcoming stars on the verge of breaking through. MCs such as Aystar, Rico Don and Wavey Joe are ready to make their way centre stage in what has been characterised as a London-based scene. Rico Don supported grime king Wiley, his aggressive flow and hard tracks setting him apart from other support acts. Wiley came out to Been A While, following up that fan favourite appropriately with Back With A Banger. The crowd erupted, shapes being thrown all over Kitchen Street, and it was refreshing to see that some of Wiley’s latter-day material still has the power to excite and incite.

He then went on to play crowd favourite Wearing my Rolex, which really got the venue bouncing and the atmosphere was electric. At this point, Wiley had full control - the audience were screaming back every lyric and rhyme he spat. Rico Don told Liverpool Life: “I’ve played with Wiley a few times before, every time he asks it’s a pleasure. “He is an idol to me. I’ve grown up listening to his music. He’s inspired me to get to where I am. “He is one of the kings of grime and his name comes in the same breath as Skepta and Dee Double E and now I am playing alongside him and he is pushing me on supporting me. “It’s crazy!”




To bean or not to bean ... Liverpool Life’s Jade Culver is treated to a behind-the-scenes peek at preparations for Easter pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk


Ray Quinn and Claire Simmo star in the performance “It’s for all ages, it’s not boxed to one side and put in a pigeon hole. It’s open entertainment, it’s classic, that’s why pantos have been around for so long, especially in the UK, they are very, very popular.” He added: “Pantomimes are where you come on stage and bring the audience in and you entertain, I feel like I’m an old school entertainer with a Bruce Forsyth vibe, and pantomimes like this allow me to express that more than a play or full-on acting role would.” Ray, who plays Jack, will appear alongside script writer and director Michael Chapman as Dame Trott, Lindzi Germain, Claire Simmo and Lewis Pryor. The gathered crowd was treated to a variety of snippets from the pantomime, including renditions of ‘I Only Want To Be With You’ from Mia Molloy, who will be playing Jill, and ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ from Ray Quinn - as well as a wicked evil laugh from Lindzi, who will be playing the villainous Fleshcreep.

“ Claire Simmo

All photos © Jade Culver

After coming third in 2016’s Britain’s Got Talent dancing troupe Boogie Storm, and previously playing the lead role in last year’s production of Peter Pan, Lewis Pryor is eager to take on the role of Silly Billy. He told LL: “I love being characters like this, because it’s the sort of character that kids love.” “I love it at the end of the show when you see the kids outside the stage door waiting for you, and people tell you that they loved the character. “Michael Chapman is always very naughty when he writes his scripts, so everyone will love my character in the sense I’ll appeal to adults as well as the kids.” Although he is still working on the script, Michael said: “LHK Productions has been working at the Epstein for about six years, and pantos always sell well. It’s got a real reputation, there’s so much for adults as well as kids. “I’d say that the humour in Liverpool is a bit darker than elsewhere, instead of ‘It’s behind

I’d say that the humour in Liverpool is a bit darker than elsewhere, instead of ‘It’s behind you’ we like to shout things like ‘Shut up, you demented clown!’

anto is one of X-Factor star Ray Quinn’s favourite types of show, so he is already looking forward to taking the lead in the Easter performance of Jack and the Beanstalk. Ray, a past winner of Dancing on Ice, joined the cast as they ate cake and burst into song at the press launch of the show, which will be staged at Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre. He told Liverpool Life: “ It’s the best excuse for a night out in Easter with the family, or with a partner.

you’, we like to shout things like ‘Shut up, you demented clown!’ “Other production companies have come to see our performances and have told me that the humour here is something you wouldn’t be able to get away with elsewhere.”  The pantomime is set to run from March 30th to Sunday, April 8th.

Mia Molloy

Tickets are available from, 0844 888 4411, or in person at the Epstein Box Office Adult £16.50 / Conc £15.50 / Family £54 Group rates available


Rap champ Oshea has no time to choke Oshea on stage


Photo © Matthew Davies

By MATTY DAVIES Former battle rap champion Oshea is nearing a release date for his upcoming album, Punchline Rap. Having amassed a cult following online, with over a hundred battles viewable on YouTube and other streaming services, with more than 11 million views combined, Punchline Rap is eagerly anticipated amongst UK battle rap fans. Oshea told LL: “The new album has taken some time to get sorted; partly because we’ve had some sampling issues, because I’m a bit unorganised and also because the producer took some time out to go travelling, but we’re getting there now.” The 34-year-old Evertonian counts Ed Sheeran, Plan B, Lethal Bizzle and Robbie Williams amongst his fans, with Sheeran regularly attending Don’t Flop rap battles. Those featuring on the album

are Okwerdz, Chase Moore, Si Phili and Tenchoo. Oshea said: “The album has 14 tracks but there’s a mixtape dropping soon with a further 20 songs on as well.” After starting as a 14-year-old in the playground of Liverpool’s Calderstones School, Oshea soon moved onto paid events in numerous city centre nightclubs after watching the 2007 World Battle Rap Championship. He said: “I can remember watching that tournament and realising I was better than 90% of the people participating and it just snowballed from there really. “It was 2008 when I got involved with Don’t Flop and I’ve been lucky since because battle rap has taken me all over the world. “I’ve performed all around the UK, in Ireland, Sweden, the US and Canada.” And it isn’t just an album that’s

Oshea contesting a rap battle in the pipeline, either. Oshea has guest roles in two upcoming feature films, Unit 11 and Valley of the Demon. He landed the part in the latter when it turned out director Rhodri Jones was a big fan. Oshea told LL: “I was just sitting at home one day and got a call out

© Oshea’s Facebook the blue from Rhodri saying that he loved the album that I’d just dropped with my band, the Dick Limerick Academy. “He asked me to come down and play the role of a ‘Scouse scally’ in Valley of the Demon. “I’m a bit of a film nerd myself so I obviously jumped at it!”

Strawberry Fields Of Gold from Lennon’s Banjo By EMILY KINSELLA

New stage show Lennon’s Banjo has announced that the Salvation Army’s Strawberry Field project is their official charity partner. For the duration of the show’s run in Liverpool, there will be a collection at the end of every performance with all the proceeds being donated to the Strawberry Field project. Major Drew McCombe, Divisional Leader for The Salvation Army, North West, explained: “Everybody knows the

song Strawberry Fields Forever – but few people know the story behind the song. John had a troubled childhood and for him, Strawberry Field was a place of peace, refuge and a quiet spot where he could climb trees and dream his dreams.” “Our public fundraising campaign has a target of £2m to ensure our vision becomes a reality. Strawberry Field has the potential to change the lives of young people with learning disabilities who find it difficult to find gainful employment.”

“It is a social injustice that they do not have the opportunities that others have – and we want to change that.” Co-producer Bill Elms said: “We are delighted to be supporting the work of The Salvation Army and its inspiring project.” The show is set in modern-day Liverpool and based on the novel Julia’s Banjo by Rob Fennah and Helen A Jones. The production will be directed by Mark Heller. Pete Best, the Beatles’ original drummer, will play himself in three special performances.



T�� ��

of homelessness An art exhibition in Tate Liverpool is proudly displaying artwork by former rough sleepers. SARA O’HAGAN takes a look into the project and its aim to de-stigmatise homelessness


unique exhibition has come to Tate Liverpool for just one week only. Narratives of Homelessness is a public engagement event where the participants will include former rough sleepers who are now living in support accommodation. It involves the creation of robotics, 3D models and sculpture using recycled and electrical components and is a collaboration between Tate Liverpool, Chester Aid to the Homeless

John Jeffery Stevenson © Sara O’Hagan

(CATH) and the Art Labs at LJMU. One of the participants, John Jeffery Stevenson, 56, ended up on the streets just 12 months ago before he went to CATH. When initially told about the project he was at a low point in his life so he thought he would give it a go. John told Liverpool Life: “From day one I got involved and found that I actually enjoyed doing it and did things that I’d never actually done. Just a simple thing like painting and it helps you, because my confidence and esteem was very low and it picked me up. “Six months down the line I’m a completely different person with the help of the staff. I’ve been one of the lucky ones, shall we say. The help that they give me is the help that I needed and I’m on a good journey. I’ve enjoyed the project thoroughly and I’m like a new person.” The project was developed with the help of Dr Juliet Carroll, of LJMU Art Labs, and History of Art final year

student Callum Craddock. This was through volunteering with CATH at the day centre in Chester to gain a better understanding of the issues which surround homelessness. Dr Carroll is a trustee of CATH and has a collaborative relationship with Tate Liverpool through the Art Labs. She told Liverpool Life: “The whole idea of it isn’t about making, it’s about using the art and promoting the narratives about why people become homeless. I’m very aware there’s a lot of stereotypes like drugs and alcohol because it’s much more than that, it’s mental health, it’s

people leaving the armed forces. Relationship breakdown is also a massive issue. “The idea is that people will come in and talk to our three clients and they’re very happy to talk about why they became homeless and how they managed to get out of it.” Participants were encouraged to take part in art sessions at the centre, with the final pieces being put on display. The aim of the exhibition is to de-stigmatise the issues surrounding homelessness with the aim of breaking down barriers. It is open until Saturday March 10th from noon until 3:30pm.

G�ea� ��nd� think alike By DANNY MOXON


ny theatre production is a creative marriage – and in the case of Likeminded, it’s an amalgamation of three people’s ideas that get a show to the stage. Christopher Woodward, Ashley Ali and Andrew Smith, came together in order to work within the industry that they love on their own terms. After waiting around, hoping to be noticed an idea came to them. “Why don’t we produce our own work instead of waiting for local theatre companies to notice? We can produce our own ideas, and have full control

instead of somebody else’s vision. In a nutshell, that’s how Likeminded started.” Christopher told LL. “We decided to call it Likeminded as Ashley and I have a lot in common and we think alike, and that’s where the company’s motto comes from. “And then there’s Andrew Smith our producer and editor, a very talented guy and a very patient one who gets my ramblings on a daily basis. We have a great team behind us.” Likeminded’s first production, ‘The Man with No Identity’, showed in local theatres back in May 2017.

Excited: Co-founder Christopher Woodward (left) and actor Bob Towers © Likeminded Productions Instead of reflecting on past success, however, Christopher is looking to the future of Likeminded, and is hopeful that the company continues to expand. The foremost project in his mind is ‘Unspoken’, a short film highlighting cyber bullying and the effects it can have on young victims, featuring work by local

poet Sinéad Cooper. “I’m looking forward to how far we can go, how far we can push ourselves. “This year we are working and pushing ourselves to the limit,” Christopher says. It could indeed prove to be a career-defining year for the creators and contributors at Likeminded.


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Pete’s picture perfect view of the world By DANNY MOXON


t only took five minutes of conversation with Wirral photographer Pete Carr to see that he loves what he does. Our meeting place was Lovelocks café, a favourite spot of the 39-year-old, and he had a spirited 10-minute chat with the lady behind the counter, camera in hand, as he ordered his drink of choice. He chooses to sit across from me, a perfectly friendly fellow, but with a visible nervousness that wasn’t there before when speaking with the waitress – but that all fades away as soon as the conversation about photography begins. “I do suffer from social anxiety,” says a much more relaxed Pete. ”For me, meeting people is quite complicated, and in my job, if I’m not out taking photos, then I’m locked in my house editing pictures and stopping two cats from fighting. “It allows me to go out and do things and meet people that, in my old job, I never would have been able to do. “I love speaking to people, but sometimes the social anxiety can get in the way of that, so the best way I could describe myself is sort of in the middle as an extrovert with social anxiety.” Pete grew up in Thingwall, but before we got down to business, a

Pete Carr: All photographs copyright Pete Carr small get-to-know-you conversation brings up an interesting titbit about his pre-Wirral roots. “I was born in Wrexham, but I was adopted and I was only there

Portraits of Port Sunlight by Pete Carr

for a couple of weeks while the paperwork was sorted. “Heritage is an interesting concept for me – I’m technically Welsh, but I’ve lived all my live in

England, my dad’s family is from Ireland, and apparently so were my birth parents so I definitely have family ties over there and my sister-in-law is from Bulgaria, so it’s an interesting mix!” His current project ‘Portraits of Port Sunlight’ was what caught my attention about Pete, who is attempting to change perceptions about the popular Wirral destination. This project is a contemporary look at Port Sunlight. We initially spoke about a year ago and one of the things that came up was that many tourists don’t see it as a village, which it is, but as a tourist attraction. “I wanted to get in people’s homes and see what life was really like in the village and to sort of debunk the theory that it’s an ‘old people’ village.” Beyond Wirral, Pete’s photography has taken him to a vast array of destinations. “I really like Amsterdam, it’s a very interesting city. It’s one of those places where it’s so unpredictable, anything can happen and unless I capture it in a photograph, then it will never be seen again. The cold weather last week brought one of those moments, when all the canals froze-over and people were ice-skating on them.” Pete Carr’s ‘Portraits of Port Sunlight’ exhibition is on at The Lyceum until March 9th, with an opportunity to meet the photographer from 2pm-4pm on the final day.






Meg Dodds speaks to the photographer behind the creation of a social media phenomenon



he 1989 cult classic ‘Honey I Shrunk the Kids’ tells the story of an inventor who accidentally shrinks his whole family. Now, the film is the inspiration behind a unique photography project In Liverpool. The woman behind ‘Honey I Shrunk Liverpool’, Cathryn Appleton, creates scenes with miniature toy people in front of local landmarks and it has become increasingly popular on social media. The LJMU graduate, who now works as a Digital Creative for a Liverpool retailer, has been overwhelmed with the success of the project. She said: “I got 2,000 followers in a day, it went a bit crazy! It’s been daunting because it’s like, ‘What am I going to do next?’.” As Liverpool Life went to press, @honeyishrunkliverpool had almost 7,500 followers on Instagram. Cathryn told Liverpool Life that she was getting bored of seeing the same photos of the city and thought: “How can I show it in a different way?” The photographer explained how working

Pic by Cathryn Appleton ©

in this industry is especially different because of being in Liverpool. “I think Liverpool is the best place to do something like this, for such a small city it’s got so much to offer. “You don’t know what you’re going to get in Liverpool it’s constantly moving, constantly evolving” The 24-year-old believes that she would not get the same reception from the locals in any other city. She said: “The people are what makes the city great.” Naming the project proved to be a difficulty for the photographer and she confessed: “It was my fiancé who came up with the name. I can’t take credit for that.” Cathryn said she ‘scoured the earth’ when she was looking for a miniature yellow submarine for a recent Beatles scene. When looking for inspiration for each picture, she explained that it can come from anywhere. “I buy the little toy figures and they give me the inspiration for the scene… but my friends love it so they always give me ideas and inspirations too.”


“The people are what “ makes the city great.

Pics by Cathryn Appleton ©

20 LL


Gifts for Mother’s Day

Give something back to the person who gave you to the world Links of London, Links of London 18ct Yellow Gold Vermeil Mother’s Day Sun Charm, £85.00

The Present Finder, Prosecco Pong, £14.99

M&Co, Feather Print Scarf, £12.00, Mother’s Day Gift Luxury Hamper, £38.50

The Present Finder, Pair of Giant Gin & Tonic Glasses, £14.99


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Treat your Mum Wondering where to go for a special Mother’s Day this year? Look no further, as Emily Kinsella gives the low-down on top places to visit


nderneath the Stanley Dock lies the hidden gem that is The Maya Blue Spa at the Titanic Hotel. The spa offers seaweed leaf wraps, seaweed foot masks and sea salt massages along with their steam room and hydrotherapy pool. The spa would be the perfect relaxing treat for your mum, allowing her - in the words of the spa’s website - to “sink into pure relaxation amid the historic red brick arches where you can unwind in the hydrotherapy pool, or indulge yourself with one of our signature treatments”. As well as having access to the spa when staying at the Titanic hotel, you can also purchase a day pass for £25 that gives you access to the sauna, sanarium, hydrotherapy pool and the thermal suite with a steam room. Meanwhile, the London Carriage Works on Hope Street is offering a champagne afternoon tea up on their fifth floor. The tea - the perfect treat to indulge your mum after everything she does - includes a glass of champagne, a traditional array of freshly-baked cakes and delicacies with a warm scone, fresh berries, clotted cream and preserves. The tea also includes a selection of finger sandwiches and your choice of their speciality or herb teas. The afternoon tea coats £30 per person, so is a rather cost-effective way of showing your mother a little luxury. Another way of celebrating the day is taking your mum along to The Gin Journey, which explores the ways in which the city was awash with gin. A “Gin Guardian” leads the tour and will take you

to bars hidden away from the crowds and tell you all about Liverpool’s boozy botanical past. The Gin Journey is described as “an exploration into Liverpool’s boozy history with a gin cocktail and a gin at every stop … AKA the best history class you’ve ever been to”. The Gin Journey is on a Saturday from 2pm6.30pm. The tour includes five samples of gin, five cocktails, five venues and a distillery visit with a chauffeured drive from bar to bar. Prices for the tour start at £52.75 pp.

A facial at The Maya Blue Spa at Liverpool’s Titanic Hotel

Champagne afternoon tea at the London Carriage Works on Hope Street



Kudos award for local writer Niki Rooney, a Liverpool-based writer, has won a Kudos North Award and has received a £2000 prize to bring her script ideas in to development. The award, which is in association with the BBC writersroom, celebrates writing talent in the north, they hope the award will enable them to connect with

northern voices and portray northern life on the BBC. Rooney has spent much of her career working on teen soap Hollyoaks and is currently working on the Nickelodeon television show Ride. This year the competition was so fierce and qualityso high that the award was given to three winners.

Fazakerley councillor steps down after 25 years Councillor Dave Hanratty, pictured right, has served the area of Fazakerley for the past 25 years, but this May he is due to step down as the town’s Labour representative. As well as his Council work, Mr Hanratty chaired five committees, seeing the area go from strength to strength. Mr Hanratty told Liverpool Life: “Fazakerley has

improved over the period of time that I’ve been here, it never used to be classed as affluent but now it’s deemed affluent due to all the developments such as houses, the hospital and railway station.” As his political career comes to a close the councillor is looking forward to new challenges and Pic © LiverpoolGov spending some time with his family.

PEOPLE L Brand new look for city this summer An international conference will be held in Liverpool this summer, welcoming people from across Europe. Delegates from Amsterdam, London and Stockholm will speak at the ‘Place Branding’ event hosted by Chris Brown, the Director of Marketing Liverpool. The ‘Place Branding: It’s not about the logo’ conference is being organised by Swedish cloud-based brand consultancy UP There, Everywhere, and will take place on May 31st and June 1st at the Titanic Hotel. Chris Brown, said: “Place branding has been extremely important here in Liverpool and has helped us to build a real legacy off the back of a successful 2008. “In an increasingly complex environment, destinations can’t rely on just having a nice logo or a catchy slogan; the destinations which understand this are often the ones which lead rank-

Chris Brown, Director of Marketing Liverpool ings for desirability amongst visitors and satisfaction of their residents. It’s an industry which tends to provoke strong views and we don’t expect everyone to agree with each other, so we’re looking forward to hosting a punchy, fascinating couple of days.” Julian Stubbs, CEO of UP, added: “We’ll hear the views (of) some of the leading European cities and practitioners.”

Mum sets sights on beauty title Wirral teacher and mum-of-two Cathy Hargreaves will travel to Kent this August in a bid to win the title of Miss British Beauty Curve 2018. As the current Ms Liverpool Curve 2018, Cathy will represent the city as she flies the flag for plus size women in the annual beauty pageant. The Miss British Beauty Curve pageant encourages women of all different shapes and sizes to take part and, as an advocate for body confidence, Cathy cannot wait to wow the judges. Cathy thought to apply for the competition after booking her first modelling job last year. Her friends and family, who are her biggest supporters, encouraged her to take part. With a sponsorship from magazine Mum Boss UK she has already begun her beauty treatment preparations in her quest for the crown. She said: “I’ve never done anything like this before, I’m so excited. I’ve been sponsored

by the amazing Mum Boss UK, which has filled me with confidence, and personal trainer Clare Mullan is supporting my pageant preparations to make sure I’m in tip top condition and feeling my best.” She added: “CJ in the City has kindly offered to look after my beauty treatments between now and the pageant in August, which I’m really made up about, I can’t wait to get started.” Taking place at The Hazlitt Theatre, Maidstone, Kent, on Saturday August 4th, entries from all over the country will be representing their region. Cathy is one of only three Northern contestants in the final. The women competing this summer will be working towards one of three main titles, Miss, Ms and Mrs British Beauty Curve 2018. However, other prizes will be awarded throughout each of the rounds for the best outfits, confidence and the most photogenic contestant.


Callum Atkinson on his way to the Judge Rinder set

Judge Rinder in action on the ITV hit show


The four other students who joined Callum on the show

Don’t judge me! when we got sent an email asking us to go on a reality TV courtroom show. I genuinely thought this must be a joke - but then I thought, ‘Let us go for it, let us do it’.” The reality of the recording was nowhere near as glamorous as Callum first thought. “We did a lot of waiting around, so I remember having this nervous gut feeling all day. They finally said, ‘Oh we’re ready for you now’ and I can recall walking on to the set and thinking that this looks so different to what it does on the TV.”


etting the chance to appear on television is an experience many people crave. But when the reality catches up with you, feelings can change. Callum himself knows this all too well: “Being on the actual telly, honestly I was shaking like a leaf, I was actually really nervous. “I didn’t think I would be at all and I mean, I did try to hide it but I was very nervous.” As exciting as the experience may seem, there is an obvious downside - how do you break it to your family that your ex-landlord is dragging you on a programme intended to bring those that have sinned to justice? Even Callum struggled with this aspect, saying: “The one thing I

am not looking forward to about it being on, is my family’s reaction. “I haven’t really told a lot of them because it is a little bit embarrassing going on Judge Rinder. Still, I’m excited to see their reactions.” Callum added: “I think we were portrayed in quite a negative light. I thought they would have worked favourably in our case but they did not even give us chance to argue it at all and everyone who knows me knows I love a good bit of drama. But it was more about the claimant than the defendant.” Callum wanted to make it clear he wasn’t ashamed of this experience: “We had a lot of fun and it is definitely something to tell the grandkids. How many people can actually say they have been on TV? It’s that plain and simple.” The programme is due to air this month.

By Danielle Thomas

I thought if I was going to get seen by other producers who might want me to go on to other reality shows, this would be the place


any of us dream of appearing on television - and for one group of youngsters, that dream has come true. However, the excitement of appearing on one of the UK’s most well-known television programmes has been tempered by the fact that they were appearing as defendants on the reality courtroom programme Judge Rinder. Housemates Victoria Wells, Declan Kennedy, Callum Atkinson, Hollie Shaw and Lewis Buck were involved in a dispute with their landlord. Callum Atkinson described the experience as “exciting, surreal and different”. Within five minutes of sitting down with him, his desire to be in the limelight was apparent. “I was the only one that wanted to actually do the show. “First, I wanted to be on TV and, second, I thought if I was going to get seen by other producers who might want me to go on to other reality shows, this would be the place, this would be ME being on TV!” Sitting crossed-legged at complete ease, Callum told of his initial reaction to being invited on a top-rated show, with a grin from ear to ear: “I was a little bit shocked to be honest. “At first I thought it was a joke

Callum chose a very flamboyant outfit to ensure his appearance wouldn’t go unnoticed


LL PEOPLE TIMS - this is my story campaign and Adam before Revved Up

Breaking down the barriers Adam Taylor is taking a stand against gun and knife crime and is helping get the youth of Liverpool back on track. JASPER HUNT reports


he day before his 22nd birthday Adam Taylor was stabbed several times, hit with an axe twice and held at

gunpoint. For Adam, that was a typical Saturday night. Now Adam, a youth worker in south Merseyside, is taking a stand in the war on gangs and drugs. Once part of the problem, Adam now hopes to become the solution. He has helped to set up This Is My Story (TIMS) a holistic, skills-based, personal development programme, which also

offers one-on-one life coaching and mentoring. This kind of work is crucial to local communities working well and keeping the youth happy and out of trouble. Adam is organising the business and securing a future for the youth of Merseyside, helping campaign against knife and gun grime, and organising park clean ups. TIMS meet twice during the week, and Revved Up, the free project that offers trips for 1224 year-olds from Liverpool, a chance to have a go at quad biking, motocross and archery. Adam hopes to break down the

barriers between youths from different areas and said he has youths from across many areas of Liverpool. According to Adam, TIMS helps to bring the kids from different

communities together to get along. Adam gives the youth group responsibility in deciding what happens, the kids often come up with ideas and organise activities, if there are a few ideas they will have a vote. “Quad biking and paint-balling is something exciting and it gets the kids to stop thinking about where everyone is from, it breaks down barriers, and allows them to enjoy their time with each other. “TIMS was born out of my


LL 25

“TIMS was born out of my experiences. I wanted to offer a programme of support that would help young people like me” experiences. I wanted to offer a programme of support that would help young people like me. “It is a concept where young people are asked what they want, instead of told; they are listened to, instead of ignored, and they are connected with, instead of judged.”


fter suffering from addictions, injuries and side effects from medication, Adam then got help from the Linda McCartney centre. “They give me an operation to remove growths on my chest and after all of that I took a second

and asked ‘Why?’.” “I started working on a programme and an approach that would help people like me. My dream is now a reality. “The School for Social entrepreneurs have helped me get set up and given me great opportunities to network and develop. “After getting set up with SSE, we were able to receive money for equipment and research, from various places, such as the National Lottery and the NHS, last Christmas they were able to crowdfund £10,000.” TIMS is currently in the process of acquiring a children’s home

and a youth club. “TIMS will soon no longer have to rely on any funding, grants or contracts, with this new freedom, I will be able to do so much more now.” Adam said that he hopes to be able to roll out this collaboration of organisations nationwide sometime in the future.

Top right: enjoying paintball middle:a seflies of Adams from Instagram Bottom: Revved Up in action


Time to celebrate, but the fight for empowerment still goes on By SARA O’HAGAN


omen across the world will be celebrating tomorrow. International Women’s Day is marked every year on March 8th and is a day to recognise the magnificent contribution women have made to society. The original aim was to achieve full gender equality for women everywhere - and it has still not been achieved. According to the World Economic Forum, the gender gap won’t close until 2186. This year is especially significant because it marks 100 years since women (some, not all) in the UK were given the right to vote. This was introduced by the People’s Representation Act which permitted women over 30, who owned a house, the right to vote. However, it still would take over a decade for women over 21 to be given the same voting rights as men. The theme for 2018 is #PressforProgress, which is inspired by the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements. The aim of the theme is to encourage people to fight for equality, especially after women’s rights dominated the news in 2017 with sexual misconduct hitting the headlines in a range of professions and industries. Equality organisation Grrrl Pow-

er Liverpool believes that IWD is more significant than ever. A spokesperson for the organisation, a collective formed in 2016 in Liverpool and run by Olivia Graham, Michelle Houlston and Aoife Robinson, told LL: “Our aim is to re-address gender inequalities in contemporary art, literature and music, because for too long women were erased from art and culture. “Now, more than ever, IWD is important as we come across familiar sexist attacks, and in some aspects new attacks, such as backlash in response to uncovering institutional sexism. In the face of this, we must celebrate and fight for women. In 2018, International Women’s Day is a celebration of intersectional feminism - of all women everywhere.” Numerous events are happening across Liverpool tomorrow to mark and celebrate the day. Blackburne House is hosting an audience and panel discussion called Women in Peace: Learning from Northern Ireland, which will be followed by networking drinks. Liverpool Girl Geeks are marking the day with three events, one of which is in partnership with Grrrl Power Liverpool, the Big Bad Feminist Quiz. Tickets for all events can be purchased on Eventbrite. Liverpool Museums are hosting a day of free talks and events celebrating the roles and achievements of women.

Award nomination for charity that changes lives


The group in 2017 celebrating an award © Kate Menear

A Wirral charity that aims to improve the lives of local women has been nominated for a prestigiousCommunity Organisation of the Year award. Tomorrow’s Women Wirral targets women aged 18 and over to reduce female offending and support women who want to make positive lifestyle changes. It was launched in September 2011 and became a charity in September 2012. The National Diversity Awards announced that the group had been nominated via social media, much to the delight of Tomorrow’s Women Wirral, who described it as “brilliant news”. Angela Murphy, the charity’s Chief Executive Officer, told Liverpool Life: “We are thrilled to

be nominated because it means the people who nominate really believe we are doing something worthwhile for our community.” On average, the organisation gets 600+ visits per week, 4200+ referrals and already has 25+ awards. Angela said: “We are a small but very necessary charity to thousands of women in Wirral and the surrounding areas of Merseyside and Cheshire. “There are many benefits to winning an award but for this particular one it would be amazing to be recognised not only locally but nationally. “It would also help to promote our work further afield and encourage women who may not have heard about us to get in touch

so we could spread our reach to effect change in women’s lives.” To be nominated for an award is always great, but it comes with a lot of hard work. Tomorrow’s Women Wirral have access to women from over 125 establishments, which means they are always busy. As well as having drop-in sessions for women, they also offer educational classes, such as basic maths and basic English, as well as empowering classes, such as confidence-building, mindfulness and coping with domestic abuse. Angela told LL: “It is hard work leading a charity, especially when you know the work you are doing is so necessary and is having a huge impact, not just to the women, but to the wider community.”


Kaltun Abdillahi (third from left) during the PACT Indie Diversity Training Scheme


ust two years after graduating from LJMU, Kaltun Abdillahi has made her break into TV... and she couldn’t be happier. Kaltun’s first big break came thanks to the PACT Indie Diversity Training Scheme, which runs training courses for production companies and freelancers across the UK. She now spends her days working on film sets with Objective Media as an office runner. Kaltun said: “It’s been a learning curve. Breaking into TV is one of the hardest things to do but when I secured the PACT Indie Diversity Training Scheme I was more than delighted!” Once she had been selected, she felt well prepared for her new career.

Kaltun Abdillahi


“Studying journalism, and trying my hand at various formats of journalism, I was able to find what best suits my abilities. “The combination of academic and vocational style of the overall degree (at LJMU) is great practise that employers are always happy to hear that students at universities are doing.” Her first experience of TV was in Liverpool. Kaltun told LL: “My first piece to camera was at Bay TV along with a whole news package that I voiced, edited and reported on, which was then broadcast. “That experience made me stand out from the crowd for applications.” After graduation Kaltun secured a freelance position with BBC

Sport. She said: “London’s a perfect city for gaining many different experiences. If you’re willing to go where your work takes you that might even impress some employers along the way! “My BBC Sport experience was a result of specialising in sport journalism and LJMU helping me with my application, I was only able to secure it because of their help. BBC Sport introduced me to a different side of TV and one that I was willing to explore. “Keo Films was my first job in TV. At times I was a runner, Production Assistant or Production Secretary. I worked on programmes such as Exodus, Eden: Paradise Lost and A Year On The Farm, and it was such an exciting

moment the first time my name came up on the credits at the end of a programme. “The best person I’ve met is Trevor Lopez de Vergara at Keo Films - he hired me. “Starting out in TV is not easy, so find yourselves a genuine mentor is advice I would give to those looking for guidance.” When speaking about her future, Kaltun said: “One of the reasons I studied journalism at LJMU was because I wanted to combine my interests in sports and TV journalism. “My ultimate dream is being one of - if not the first - hijabi sports news presenters in this country. “I hope to move up in the world of TV in time and with patience and more experience!”


My ultimate dream is being one of - if not the first - hijabi sports news presenters in this country


WHY HAS NOTHING CHANGED? One year after the referees’ strike, abuse is still rife in football. Jack Butler reports ...


his month marks one year since 2,000 grassroot referees went on strike to protest against the abuse they receive from players, managers and spectators at the lower levels of the footballing pyramid. The national strike came as a result of a campaign to improve the safety of those officiating games at grassroots levels. One of the referees spearheading the campaign, Ryan Hampson, claimed he had been head-butted, spat at and punched during his four-year spell refereeing. The 2017 weekend of strikes saw thousands of games postponed, although many continued their services as scheduled. Liverpool-born grassroots referee Scott Poole has experienced some problems in his time officiating. However, he decided against striking last year. He said: “I find it hard to referee at this level sometimes –

especially when the games are at a junior level where parents and spectators try to get involved with the game. “Many of them won’t have refereed a game of football before in their life, so they don’t understand the pressure that comes with officiating a game and trying to get every decision right.” Scott, 21, from Norris Green, agrees with the reasoning behind the strikes, but does not believe that striking is the way to approach the issues: “I didn’t take part in the initial strikes last March and I wouldn’t be taking part if another strike was proposed. “Striking has the potential to anger football clubs further if they are not able to play due to referees not turning up. “I do agree with the reasons for the strikes, though – there needs to be more protection for officials. A system needs to be put in place which offers some repercussions

for those abusing referees and assistants and I do think that wearing bodycams would help too.” The abuse has caused many referees at the grassroots level to abandon their positions officiating and refereeing bodies across the UK fear that this could lead to a shortage of officials, making it difficult to govern as many games. Scott said there was no longer any motivation for youngsters to become referees if they know they will be abused and risk being subject to violence. He said: “Kids grow up watching their heroes play and swear and hurl abuse towards the officials, and I think a lot of them see it and think ‘If the professionals can do it, why can’t I?’. “I have noticed a lot of abuse does tend to stem from the manager of a team – if the manager is calm, respectful and professional then this seems to be replicated by the players and the spectators. If they are abusive then it is often the case that the players on their team will follow suit.” According to the FA, 111 cases of abuse were reported last season, almost the equivalent of two complaints every week. The charity Ref Support was set up in September 2017 and within a month they had received over 70 calls regarding abuse or threats of

violence directed at officials. Scott believes that referees are reluctant to report incidents, as they fear they may be given fewer games to officiate in the future, but he insists that those abused should try their best to be strong and come forward to speak about their experiences. He said: “We need to be stronger as referees and report clubs when their behaviour becomes unacceptable in our eyes. The more cases that we are able to bring to the surface should mean there is more of a need for change and so something will be done. “I hope that there is a system put into place in the near future that prevents these incidents from occurring as it makes the job of refereeing very difficult. “Constantly being shouted at when having to concentrate fully in order to complete our job at a high standard increases the chance of making a mistake and therefore angers players and spectators even more – it turns the situation into a vicious circle. “Ultimately referees and teams need each other. Without referees there would be an insufficient number of officials to oversee the high volume of games that take place every weekend and this would make the quality of football lower and less professional, and that would be a very unfortunate thing to see happen.”



Club is simply fighting fit Liverpool Life’s Tim Spencer Tanfield speaks to LJMU Jiu-Jitsu club about their training, competitions and their successes


ombat sports have witnessed a rise in popularity over the last few years, partly due to the overwhelming success and growth of the UFC brand around the globe and the increased coverage. Jiu-Jitsu, which originated in Japan as a way of combating the fierce Samurai warriors, is just one of the many forms of martial arts that can be seen on the big screen and is now making its mark at LJMU too, with students leading the way in university JiuJitsu competitions up and down the country. Speaking to Liverpool Life, LJMU Jiu-Jitsu member Ben Jameson said: “I always wanted to do martial arts but what drew me to Jiu-Jitsu was how varied it was. “One of the biggest things that drew me in was the sport’s practical self-defence aspect. Because of this, we quite often use knives as well as other weapons to train and learn to defend ourselves from multiple attackers.” The rules of the sport vary, depending on the competition which fighters are taking part in. “We have two big national competitions, one of which is the Atemis, where the aim is simply to show off our skills in Jiu-Jitsu. “Multiple opponents will attack us and it is our job to deal with them using Jiu-Jitsu, whether that is with a throw or a lock. The attackers may also have weapons, or they may just be trying to punch us. “The Randori Nationals are slightly different as we must compete in a ground fight, with the aim being to hold our opponent down or on their backs for 30 seconds, or we can make them tap out using techniques such as an arm lock or strangle.” The LJMU Jiu-Jitsu society has competed in various competitions. Ben said: “We have been lucky enough to win the Atemi Nationals four times, including the most recent Atemi event where we won it jointly with

another club. “I placed second in my belt category, winning a silver medal, which I am incredibly proud of. Our instructor Maverick Singson also placed first in the open competition against all the other black belts.” The successes inside the dojo have continued for the club, after competing in the Randori national competition. “In total we won five medals, one bronze, three silvers and a gold. Everyone at the event really put everything they had into their fights and we were incredibly happy with how many medals we came back with.” In recent months, it has been rumoured that Jiu-Jitsu is getting closer to Olympic accreditation, something that Ben feels passionately about. “I would love seeing any representation of Jiu-Jitsu in the Olympics so long as the competition aspect of the sport doesn’t overshadow the practical, self-defence side of Jiu-Jitsu.” The society currently trains on Tuesdays at the Adelphi Hotel’s Spindles Gym, with sessions starting at 6pm. “Our first session is free so if people are keen to learn something new, keep fit or want to learn some practical selfdefence techniques, then come along to one of our sessions and see what it is all about.”

Success: Top, club members. Above, Ben Jameson and his instructor, Maverick holding the Atemi Shield. Photos © LJMU Jiu Jitsu Facebook

30 L




t Helens Rugby Club are telling the story of their rich history and origins through a travelling exhibition. The oldest open rugby club in the world, St Helens have produced an archive of photographs and documents. A booklet and learning resource pack has also been created for primary school pupils. ‘The Birth of Club Rugby’ has already exhibited at Parr Library, but is due to stop at four other libraries around St Helens, including Rainford, Chester Lane, Newton and Eccleston. The last date will be Liverpool’s Central Library on June 1. Dawn Ashcroft, library supervisor at Rainford Library, said: “The display has only been here for a couple of days, but already we have had comments on how eye-catching and informative it is. “It’s child-friendly, with little competitions and quizzes, and is just an overall good display of sporting talent over the years.” The club was awarded a Heritage Lottery Grant in 2016, which has funded the events. Partnering with Liverpool Record Office, St Helens and Liverpool libraries, St Helens College, Edge Hill University and Cowley School, the club has worked hard to tell the story of its formation, development, trials, tribulations and triumphs over the years. The exhibition tells the tale of three separate clubs; Liverpool FC, St Helens RUFC and the current club Liverpool St Helens, and their success after merging in 1986. History will be re-told through the stories of old players and members, such as the Chavasse twins who were both recipients of the Victoria Cross. Focus will also be placed on the impact of World War I on the team, with five players not returning. To this day, the club have signed 57 internationals since 1871. Famous names include Mike Slemen (the club’s most capped player), Kevin Simms, Nigel Heslop, Ray French and Fran Cotton.

Rugby legends through the ages

One of the first photos of the club’s players. © Official St. Helens RLFC Facebook

The exhibition is an insight into the past three centuries ...


Super League Match.

© Official St. Helens RLFC Facebook



Girl power returns to the pitch BY ANISAH ARIF Liverpool County FA have announced another season of Girls’ Football Week for 2018, and for the first time ever are collaborating with Disney. Girl’s Football week is a national campaign aimed at raising the profile of female football as the FA targets doubling the number of women and girls playing the game by 2020. It intends to inspire girls of all experiences to take part in football and use the sport as a fun and sociable way to remain active, as well as an opportunity to find a new group of friends. Over 60,000 girls took part in over 1,400 sessions delivered in schools, universities, colleges, clubs, community groups and other organisations across the country in 2017. This year, for the first time,

Disney is supporting the FA by creating a range of resources, which will use story-telling to deliver football-related activities. Liverpool County FA is encouraging universities, colleges, sports, clubs, schools, and community

centres, and other organisations to register any planned activities for the week - or start something brand-new to kick-start girls’ football. The week is a great chance to display female football at every

level and encourage new players and volunteers. Anna Farrell, Football Development Officer at Liverpool County FA, told LL: “We have had this scheme for four or five seasons. The main objective is to get more girls playing football within one week. “That could include girls who are new to sports or already have played, regardless of age and ability. A girl as young as five or a woman of 80 can take part. “For the first time, this scheme has been supported by Disney. Within a certain age group, they will be receiving a Disney/girls activity book for the children, which gives them a little more imagination and helps with the reading as well. So hopefully that will get more younger girls involved as well.” The week will run between 23-29 April 2018.

Green light for new stadium plans By BECKY JONES

LJMU dance society tap their way to the top By ALEX AMADEO Liverpool John Moores Dance Society tapped their way to the top in their final competition of the year. Representing the university in a national dance competition, LJMU dance society performed various routines at the Lighthouse Theatre, Anfield. LJMU dance society trained tirelessly in the lead-up to the competition and it all paid off when they won 1st place in the tap category and 3rd in the jazz category. The dancers have had a successful year, winning trophies in every competition they entered and plan to enter even more compe-

titions next year. The completely student-run society is also taught by fellow students to all different levels of ability. The society practices many different styles of dance - tap, jazz, hip-hop, lyrical, contemporary and ballet - and competes in all styles across the UK. Sadie Cooper, president of the LJMU dance society, said: “We have had an amazing competition season this year, ending on a huge high in Liverpool. After working so hard, we were rewarded with 1st place trophies amongst other awards. “For next year we aim to host our biggest and best competition yet and travel further afield across the UK showcasing our talent.”

City of Liverpool FC has been given the chance to draw up plans for its own stadium. The non-league team achieved national acclaim in its first season-and-a-half, winning two cups and achieving promotion in its debut season. The club is hopeful that the stadium will be built on a former playing fields site in Fazakerley. Liverpool City Council has overseen the possible build, even though the plot lies in Knowsley and is just outside the city limits. Matches have been played at Bootle FC’s TDP Solicitors stadium until now, with hundreds of fans showing up to each game. Home crowds in support of the team are three times the number that most clubs on the same level draw in. The move has been backed by the club’s 1,200 members/shareholders. A spokesperson for the Club said: “City of Liverpool FC is delighted to announce that we have entered into a period of exclusivity with Liverpool City Council in respect of a potential site for our community stadium. This fol-

lows an exhaustive near three-year process, the start of which preceded the actual formation of the club by virtually a year.” Over the past three years, the club has taken interest in three possible sites. However, none has proved successful. The club said: “Having explored the possibility of locating our Community Stadium at numerous existing sports and leisure and green field sites throughout the city and along the municipal borders, we changed our focus to working with Liverpool City Council to look at potential regeneration sites.” There will now be a period of six months in which the club aims to come up with a business case for funding and planning that will enable the council to grant a long-term lease to the site in Fazakerley.


Liverpool Life

Formby squirrel reserve

© Suzy Sankey

Produced each fortnight by LJMU Journalism Students

Liverpool Life 6:8 March 7 2018  

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

Liverpool Life 6:8 March 7 2018  

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