Liverpool 800:The Changing Face of Liverpool

2007

54.6 x 81.3cm (21.5 x 32in)
Poster colour and gouache on mount board
Artist: Amrit & Rabindra K.D. Kaur Singh


This is one of two paintings commissioned by Liverpool Culture Company as part of celebrations to mark the city’s winning of the ‘European Capital of Culture’ title for 2008. The work is now on permanent display in the ‘Heritage Centre’ at St George’s Hall, Liverpool.


GENERAL CONTENT AND STRUCTURE


The composition is divided horizontally roughly across the center of the canvas. In the bottom half of the painting the story of Liverpool - both prior to and after the granting of its Charter in 1207- is told through the symbolic depiction of what the artists see to be the key historical periods and events that have shaped the City’s development and former maritime mercantiile and industrial identity . Meanwhile, the top half of the painting is concerned with representing the developing modern identity of the city as a European Capital of Culture presented in a coat of arms format. However, although generally speaking the bottom half of the painting depicts the Past and the top half the Present, since the former is inevitably informed by the latter, there is also an element of overlap between the two.

Since the purpose of the commission was primarily to mark the 800th anniversary of Liverpool in 2007, the painting also celebrates some of the many achievements to come out of Liverpool over the last 800 years.


‘Liverpool 800’ represents very much the personal perspective of the Singh Twins who -  after months of research saw it “impossible to reference every single historical detail of the 800 years of Liverpool in this one painting”.  And so, what is included are those things that “particularly struck a chord with [them] as being important, or, which impressed [them] the most during [their]  research.  But above all the image simultaneously represents and celebrates both Liverpool’s past and present identity.



BOTTOM HALF OF THE COMPOSITION - HISTORY





The story of the city is ‘entered’ via the gateway to Calderstone’s Park – standing in the middle of which one of the Calderstones testifies to the prehistoric origins of human settlement in the Liverpool area.  More specifically, just inside the gateway, the Bronze Age, Roman, Anglo -Saxon, Viking and Norman presence are symbolized by:

•Bronze Age tools (right, on the ground below The Palm House).

•Roman coins found in an urn in Toxteth Park (left).

•The famous Anglo-Saxon broach in the collection of NGML’s Liverpool Life Museum (center).

•The Viking ship whose sail bears the Scandinavian-derived, Liverpool area place names of Aigburth and

         Aintree.


Supporting the Viking ship is a portion of the iron bridge in Sefton Park.  As Liverpool’s largest and most famous park this detail, together with an image of Palm House (next to the right gate post), serves to  symbolize  the green leisure areas provided by the City.


The man and woman in medieval costume, hold a fishing net and scythe respectively thereby representing the early days of Liverpool as a small farming and fishing settlement. 


In the bottom right corner of the painting is an image of Birkenhead Priory (the oldest building on Merseyside)  from where the first known ferry across the Mersey was operated by the Benedictine monks in the 1150’s – a vital factor which greatly contributed to the opening up of Liverpool to settlers and its subsequent development as a trading port.


Above the Viking ship is a detail borrowed from a post card produced in commemoration of the 700th anniversary of the city. It depicts the granting of the charter by King John to the Steward of West Derby in 1207 whereby Liverpool was established as a Royal Borough. The backdrop to the figures is the alchemical sign for earth which is composed of two elements - a triangle, signifying earth, and a horizontal line, signifying water, which cuts across its apex. Representing stagnant water which eventually solidifies into matter this sign thus symbolises Liverpool’s development from what was once mostly swamp land and the Pool, a tidal inlet which ran from Canning Place to Whitechaple. Sitting on the top edge of the triangle is Liverpool Castle – a symbol of the early use of Liverpool as a Royal power base and military stronghold by King John and subsequent rulers for their expansion campaigns into Wales and Ireland. The depiction itself is taken from the present-day commemorative plaque on the Victoria Monument in Castle Street, Liverpool, which marks its original site. The fact that the granting of the charter scene is placed in the middle of the Mersey itself symbolically acknowledges the vital importance this river and the activities relating to it had in shaping the evolution of Liverpool.


To the immediate left of the granting of the charter scene, a tall ship (in fact a Slave Ship) is filled with cargo that symbolizes Liverpool’s  early trading activities as a provincial port that took place from 1229 up to the mid 1700’s:


•Yarn – imported from Ireland (represented by bobbin at the back of the ship)

•Sheep – imported from Ireland (hence the shamrock in the sheep’s mouth!)

•Deer skin - imported from Ireland (represented by deer)

•Coal – exported to Ireland

•Dyed cottons- exported to Ireland from Kendal (represented by bright coloured sails)

•Course stockings - exported to Ireland from Sheffield

•Herring – imported from Scotland

•Sugar– exported to Ireland (represented by the Tate & Lyle sugar bags). In addition, the reference to ‘Smith’

         on the sugar bags highlights the important part that the establishment of sugar refining trade in 1665 by a

         sugar baker called Smith played in the growth of the Liverpool whose streets were expanded to

         accommodate it.

•Salt – exported to Newfoundland



In addition this ship makes references to the fact that:


•During the reign of Elizabeth I “Liverpool [was] the most frequented passage to Ireland” and the Queen used

         Liverpool’s fleet to transport her troops there – (represented by the figure of Elizabeth)

•Religious immigrants (Puritans, Protestants, Roman Catholics and Quakers) were exported to the USA in

         Liverpool ships – a fact which added to the development of trade with America – (represented by the figure

         of a Quaker)

•The first ‘word cross’ or, crossword, was a Liverpool export to America (written by Scouser Arthur Wynne

         and carried by the ‘New York World’) in 1913


Meanwhile, in the bottom register of the composition several plants specifically symbolize ”the profitable but immoral Triangular Trade” that Liverpool got involved in from the mid 17th - early 19th century – an involvement which ultimately resulted in the city becoming the “most important center in the world for the organization of the Slave Trade” and the largest and most wealthiest city in England. These include:


•Cotton

•Banana

•Tobacco

•Cocoa

•Sugar cane




B) The Liverpool Cityscape





A little further up the composition is the Liverpool cityscape.  To clarify, this is a symbolic cityscape which represents not only Liverpool’s changing physical makeup but also, how the city has viewed itself and, conversely, how the world has viewed it throughout its 800 year history.  As such it simultaneously contains structures that currently exist alongside those that no longer exist – not to mention buildings that have never been a part of Liverpool:


•In the center of the cityscape are ‘The Three Graces’ of Pier Head - namely, The Liver Building, Cunard

        Building and Port of Liverpool Building - by which the city can be identified world wide and which “together

        symbolize the great achievements of Liverpool in dock construction, shipping and insurance”. An aerial view

        of the Albert Dock (probably the most famous of all the Liverpool  docks) serves to further emphasize not

        only the achievement in engineering that the construction of Liverpool’s docks represented in particular, but

        also, the part this played in the city’s rise to the status of a world port that was greatly admired.  Reflected in

        the waters of the Albert Dock, the Pyramids of Egypt, symbolise the such admiration as expressed by

        Ramsey Muir’s in his 1907 ‘History of Liverpool’:



“For seven and a quarter miles ...the monumental granite...front the river in a vast sea wall as solid as the Pyramids, the most stupendous work of its kind that the will and power of man has ever created…”



•Left of The Liver Building, the ‘Tower of Liverpool’ serves as a reminder of the vital role that Liverpool played

        in English history as a medieval military stronghold. But, since this building is fused’ with the modern ‘Tower

        Building’ that currently stands on its site its inclusion in the cityscape also symbolises both the changing

        skyline of Liverpool and the sad loss of some of its most historically important structures.


•Next to Tower Building is St Nicholas’ Church which has always been a significant landmark that has

         dominated the skyline throughout Liverpool’s history being one of the three original buildings (i.e. along with

         the Tower of Liverpool and Liverpool Castle) that can be seen in the earliest depictions of the city.


•The Duomo of Florence refers to the fact that in the 19th Century Liverpool (and its “gentlemanly capitalists“)

        craved recognition as the “Florence of the North”. In particular, William Roscoe dreamed of making Liverpool

        a European cultural center to rival Renaissance Florence.  (It is a dream which has been fulfilled in the 2008

        awarding of European Capital of Culture).


•The Empire State Building symbolises Liverpool’s rise from “medieval obscurity to Victorian global pre-

         eminence”  as  specifically expressed by the following quote from the Illustrated London News in 1886:



“Liverpool …has become a wonder of the world. It is the New York of Europe, a world-city rather than merely British Provincial.”


And the comparison between the two cities is one which has been made by several writers ever since.


In addition, the reference to the movie’ King Kong’ here points to Liverpool being used as a film location to represent American cities like New York and Chicago by Hollywood film makers. (See also the Table of symbols below for further use of King Kong as a symbol)


•The construction crane symbolizes the continuing development of the Liverpool cityscape and also the

        regeneration of the city in the lead up to 2008, the year when it will celebrate its status as European Capital

        of Culture. 


•On top of the crane is a ‘Fathers for Justice’ campaigner whose protest made the News when he chained

        himself to a crane dressed as Batman!  This detail, together with the ‘‘save Quiggins’  banner tied to the

        crane and also the ‘Stop the War’ and ‘Bush-Blair’ banners which were used by anti-Condoleeza Rice

        protestors during her 2006 visit to Liverpool, ( right of the cathedral)  represents a tribute to the spirit of

        political activism that has always been displayed by the people of Liverpool.


•To the right of the crane is the modern tower block of the Radisson Hotel and the FACT building which

        together symbolize, again, regeneration but also, more specifically, tourism and leisure of modern Liverpool.

        A scene taken from the Bollywood movie, 'Mugal-E-Azam', is being projected from one of the windows of

        FACT. This, together with the banner of the UK’s biggest all year round Asian Arts festival, ‘Milapfest’ (far

        right), represents the diversity of Liverpool’s arts events but also how minority communities are becoming

        part of the mainstream. 


•Tied to the ‘Milapfest’ banner is an image of Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, which is included in the

        painting to acknowledge the 500th anniversary of the religion in 2007.


•Far left of the cityscape floating barrage balloons and the bombed, burning, wing of the Walker Art Gallery,

        signify the importance of Liverpool as one of the main strategic headquarters during WW2.


•The entire cityscape lies between the Statue of Liberty and a Chinese Pagoda next to a steamship from the

        Blue Funnel Line (the first steamship line from Liverpool to the Far East. This symbolizes the dominance of

        the port of Liverpool in overseas trade which extended to the farthest lands of both the Western and Eastern

        world. (“By 1850 more overseas trade was carried out at Liverpool than in any other city in the world”).



[SEE LIST OF SYMBOLISM BELOW FOR COMMENTS ON THE REMAINING ELEMENTS OF THE CITYSCAPE NOT MENTIONED IN THIS SECTION].




TOP HALF OF THE COMPOSITION - A NEW COAT OF ARMS TO REFLECT LIVERPOOL’S MODERN IDENTITY




GENERAL DESCRIPTION


This offers a reinterpretation of the traditional coat of arms of Liverpool to reflect the change in the city’s identity from the merchantile maritime image of its past to the modern projection of itself as a city of art and culture. Both the fundamental elements of iconography and the style of the original coat of arms have been maintained - i.e. a central shield flanked by the figures of Neptune (left) and Triton (right) holding a staff; the motto scroll etc. Consequently, despite the modifications made, overall, the old coat of arms can still be recognized – thus representing and celebrating Liverpool’s new identity whilst at the same time continuing to acknowledge the importance of the City’s historical image and its continuing legacy today. 


As a whole, the new coat of arms seeks to embody the top 10 elements of “Culture” devised through public poll and research:

•The People

•The heritage

•The Arts & Artists

•The Sporting Culture

•The Life Long Learning

•The Faiths

•Music

•The Humour

•The Creativity and Innovation

•The City Life





DETAILED DESCRIPTION


A) The center shield


The center shield represents the most important aspect of Liverpool’s identity – Its people, who come from many different ethnic backgrounds. This cultural mosaic is symboliised by both the ‘jigsaw’ contained within the shield and the border surrounding it. Each jigsaw piece is decorated with a different pattern taken from the artistic traditions of the main communities existing in Liverpool - African, Greek, Indian, Persian/Islamic, Chinese, European (German and Italian) and Celtic (Irish).  However, one of the jigsaw pieces (top) remains missing. This signifies the anticipation of the further enrichment of Liverpool’s multicultural identity yet to come as a result of future settlers in the City.


The Liverbird motif in the middle of the shield has been retained from the original coat of arms since it is a symbol that we feel all Liverpudlians – regardless of their ethnic origins will identify as a symbol of their city. The only slight modification is that the seaweed in the birds beak has been replaced with a pen and paintbrush to signify Liverpool’s move away from the maritime association of its past to one of arts and culture.


Above the shield, Red Admiral butterfly wings form a half flower motif which mimics that seen in the original coat of arms. While the name of the butterfly alludes to Liverpool’s past maritime identity, the butterfly motif itself, as a symbol of metamorphosis, denotes the transformation of that identity. In this respect the positioning of the butterfly motif between the Liverbird, below, and a swan, the symbol of art and literature in Hindu mythology, above, is also significant. - i.e. this imagery can be read literally (from the bottom, up) as: Liverpool’s old identity (Liverbird) is transformed (butterfly) into its new identity (swan).



B) Supporters of the shield – Triton (right) and Neptune (left)


Triton  – His traditional iconography has been modified so that he now represents the Arts, and Entertainment, and Sporting culture:


Instead of seaweed hanging from his waist there are now five different symbols which collectively signify visual and performing arts,


•Ballet shoes (dance)

•Greek humour/tradegy masks (theatre)

•Paint Palette (fine art)

•Treble clef and microphone (music)

•Camera (photography)


Instead of a conch shell in his left hand he now holds a microphone symbolising Liverpool’s rich pop music culture, whilst his belt is made up of items that exemplify a few of the many famous pop performers that the city has given birth to.


•Atomic Kitten badge

•The Searchers record

•Cilla Black’s ‘Alfie’ record

•The Beatles’ Eleanor Rigby record



In addition, Trirton’s belt buckle is a miniature version of the plaque displayed outside The Everyman Theatre which is the sight of the first moving picture show in Liverpool.


Tucked into the belt is a copy of 'Tatler' magazine which coined the phrase ‘Livercool’ – As one of the leading lifestyle magazines the inclusion of this detail serves as an indication of the recognition Liverpool has steadily gained in more recent years as ‘a place to be’.


Instead of fish-scales Triton’s merman tail has been ‘dressed’ in the style of a court jester’s garb to symbolize entertainment generally, but more specifically, the humour that Liverpool is renowned for and which has generated many famous comedians. Also, incorporated into the shape of his tail is ‘sea circle’, one of Liverpool’s well know sculptures which - along with the ‘Spaghetti Horse’ (below right of his tail) and the ‘Lamb Banana’ (left of his tail)- represent the rich Public art supported by the city.


On his head Triton wears a feathered headdress from Liverpool’s Brouhaha festival. This, together with the Liverpool Biennial logo (seen in place of the traditional twisted ‘wreath’, below the swan); the Creamfields festival logo (seen, repeated, in between the sets of butterfly wings); the design from the street sign in Matthew Street (in the center of the butterfly wings), the aforementioned ‘Milapfest’ banner in the cityscape and the clipper boat on the Mersey represent the many arts and sporting festivals that take place in Liverpool.


In his right hand Triton holds a staff that supports a standard made up of a film strip that bears images of some of the more famous movies to have been produced by or filmed in Liverpool. Also supported are sign posts for TV soaps, a Beatles hit and a local film studio. As a whole the staff symbolizes Liverpool’s strong involvement in the film and TV industry – not just on a local but international level.


Below right of the Triton symbols relating to:


•Football (Everton and Liverpool FC scarves)

•horseracing (Aintree racecourse, and Grand National shield)

•rugby (goal posts),

•golf (The Open 2006 scarf)



These, along with the three Commonwealth Games medals (won in the 2002 by Liverpool athletes) worn around Triton’s neck represent the Sporting culture and achievements of Liverpool.



Neptune – although he still maintains some of his original maritime symbols (sea weed and trident) his iconography has been modified to represent Commerce, Education/Learning, and Innovation:


•Graduation gown and mortars board - (life long learning and education)

•Body tattoos – (symbolise innovations and achievements to come out of Liverpool – see ‘LIST OF

         SYMBOLISM’ below for full details)


To the left of Neptune, the theme of commerce through Tourism is symbolised by:


•The entrance to ‘The Beatles Story’  (voted no.1 tourist attraction in the UK)

• the aero plane motif taken from the souvenir brochure of Speke airport’s official opening in 1933

•The suitcases and tour bus

•The “I Love Liverpool” mug on Neptune’s banner



A celebration of the heritage of Liverpool is represented by the official 800th anniversary logo, also on Neptune’s banner.



C) Bottom, left and right, of the shield


Christopher Columbus (left) and William Roscoe (right) are represented here by their respective coats of arms.

Out of all the figures to have played a significant part in the shaping of Liverpool’s history and identity in relation to:


a) commerce and

b) cultural life


these two we felt were particularly noteworthy of inclusion in the painting. Columbus’s ‘discovery’ of the America (and the resulting establishment of the transatlantic trade route) had a huge impact on the rapid expansion of Liverpool and its rise to become ” the second city of the [British] Empire”. This impact is acknowledged in the painting by the text wrapped around his coat of arms which is quoted from an inscription on a statue of him outside Palm House in Sefton Park and which reads:


“The Discoverer of America was the making of Liverpool”


Meanwhile, William Roscoe (1753-1831) deserves inclusion not only as one of Liverpool’s leading abolitionists but, also, as a leading promoter of “cultural development in the expanding commercial centre of Liverpool” during the late 18th and early 19th centuries.  Active in founding both the Liverpool Royal Institution and the Athenaum Library, and a pioneer in the collection of early Italian and Netherlandish (which now form the foundation of the Walker’s European art collection) his social and philanthropic activities have earned him the title “Liverpool’s greatest citizen” and “The Founder of Liverpool Culture”.  It is appropriate, therefore that his legacy is given recognition in the 21st century when Liverpool seeks to reassert itself as European Capital of Culture.



D) Directly beneath the shield and figures


In the centre is the famous image used by the abolitionist movement during their anti-slavery campaign. This is surrounded by the logo for the Black History Month Group. The combination of these two images serves to symbolise Liverpool’s open acknowledgment of its part in the perpetration of the Slave trade (a formal apology was issued in 1999) on the one hand and the steps that continue to be taken to address that part of its history.


Pomegranates, the Hebrew/Greco Roman symbol of rejuvenation and multiplicity in unity. Emanate from either side of the anti slavery image thereby continuing both the themes of Liverpool’s cultural diversity and the renewal of identity.


The scroll below the pomegranates bears the City’s original motto, ‘ DEUS NOBIS HAEC OTIA FECIT’  which may be translated as ‘God has given us this leisure’ and,  therefore, remains appropriate in the light of Liverpool’s modern image as a city of art and culture.


Beneath the motto a spider, symbol of fate/destiny, connects the two halves of the composition – i.e. the past and the future - with its web.



E) The border around the main composition


In the top of the border is a depiction of St Georges Hall. Its placement above the coat of arms symbolically mirrors the position of the building in reality which, in keeping with Victorian Liverpool’s presentation of itself as the ‘new Athens’ sits, like the Parthenon, on a plateau overlooking the city. 

Since, in essence, the Hall was built to reflect the Victorian ideals of Truth and Justice (represented by its law courts) and Power and Glory (represented by both its neo classical architecture and use as a venue for music festivals) these themes are symbolised by the flowers in the supporting corners of the border:


•Tiger Lily (top left) - chosen because of their 'turkscaps' or turban shaped flowers.  Turbans are a symbol of

         royal status and POWER.

•Peony (top right) - symbolises GLORY

•White Chrysanthemum (bottom left) - symbolises TRUTH

•Rudbekia (bottom left) - symbolises JUSTICE


In the sky above St Georges Hall, an eight pointed star, as the symbol of regeneration, denotes the renovation and reopening of the building in 2007 - a major event in the City’s 800 anniversary celebrations.





LIST OF SYMBOLISM IN ‘LIVERPOOL 800’


Below is a list of some of the key Liverpool first’s and/or achievements that have made Liverpool a city to be proud of.  How each are represented symbolically is shown in yellow.



Britain’s first purpose built ambulances introduced by Liverpool in 1886

St Johns ambulance logo (Neptune’s tattoo)


Britain's first Children's hospital opened 1851

Angel & child figures from stain glass of original Children’s Infirmary (Neptune’s tattoo)


World's first Boy Scout Troop, founded Birkenhead 1908

Boy Scouts ‘fleur de lis’ symbol (Neptune’s tattoo)


World’s first passenger railway line built by Liverpool & Manchester Railway Company. First train left from Edge Hill, the oldest operational station in World ,1830

British Rail logo (Neptune’s tattoo)


Britain’s first school for the blind established on Merseyside in 1791

“school” written in Braille on Neptune’s chest (Neptune’s tattoo)


World’s first School of Tropical Medicine founded 1899

School of Tropical Medicine logo (Neptune’s tattoo)


The first all cast iron Church - St George’s in Everton, built 1814

A mosaic from along the perimeter of church grounds (Neptune’s tattoo)


UK’s first artificial inland waterway built since Roman times/First canal of the Industrial Revolution - The Sankey Canal

The Sankey Canal logo (Neptune’s tattoo)


World’s first automotive plant to gain the B55750 standard for environmental management systems - Vauxhall Motors in Ellesmere Port

Vauxhall Motors logo (Neptune’s tattoo)


First use of Ether as an anesthetic, 1776

Chakra Mandala symbol for Ether (Neptune’s tattoo)


World’s first chemist, ‘The Dispensary’, opened 1778 in Princes Street

Bowl of Hygeia symbol (Neptune’s tattoo)


Liverpool Nobel prize for Physics

Nobel Prize logo (Neptune’s tattoo)


Discovery of the link between the mosquito and malaria transmission by Ronald Ross, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

Malaria Knowledge Program logo (Neptune’s tattoo)


First woman to top the pop charts – Liverpool’s Lita Roza

“Lita Roza” (Neptune’s tattoo) and figure on Neptune’s staff


World’s first dedicated cancer research center –The Roy Castle Foundation for Lung Cancer Research

The Roy Castle Foundation for Lung Cancer Research logo (right side border of Neptune’s gown)


Britain’s first School of Veterinary Science established by Liverpool University, 1904

School of Veterinary Science logo (left side border of Neptune’s gown)


Invention of reflecting mirrors for lighthouses by Liverpool Dock Master, Capt. William Hutchinson

Parabolic Lighthouse reflecting mirror design hanging from Neptune’s waist


Britains first Medical Officer of Health, Dr Duncan, appointed 1847

Caduceus symbol hanging from Neptune’s waist


Britain’s first Borough Engineer, James Newlands, appointed 1847

Masonic compass and set-square hanging from Neptune’s waist


Britains first qualified female doctor opened her practice in Liverpool, 1884

Venus symbol linked to caduceus symbol hanging from Neptune’s waist


First ever lifeboat service created at Formby in 1776

‘Formby’ life ring with  RNLI logo worn around Neptune’s waist


The Lyceum - Europe’s first lending library - began 1757

Lyceum library ticket inside book about Bidston Lighthouse Signals (Neptune’s waist)


Britain’s first recorded use of x-ray for medical diagnosis in 1896 (to locate a bullet in a patient’s hand)

x-ray plate over Neptune’s right hand


World’s first lighthouses to use parabolic mirrors – built by Liverpool Dock Master, Capt. William Hutchinson, at Hoylake and Bidston

Book on Bidston lighthouse signals carried by Neptune


Britain’s first seaman’s charity opened 1679

Ship’s sail bearing motto (from the mission charity program) hanging from Neptune’s trident


World’s first public demonstration of wireless radio broadcast made by University of Liverpool professor, Oliver Lodge

Radio waves emanating from transmitter perched on top of Liverpool University’s clock tower (Neptune’s staff)


World’s first radar lighthouse, 1947

Radar lighthouse incorporated into Neptune’s trident


Britain’s first scheduled flight from a regional airport (to Amsterdam, 1934)

Tulips on the aeroplane's wing tips


Britain’s first package holiday flew from Liverpool Airport to France, 1952

Suitcases with “Liverpool” & “France” labels below, left of Neptune


Britain's 1st cycling club - Liverpool Velocipedes, founded 1867

Man riding Velocipede, right of Triton


Liverpool Rugby Club - World's first open Rugby Club founded 1857

Rugby posts, right of Triton


The first Football to be televised live - Liverpool Football Club, 1965

TV symbol on Liverpool FC scarf, right of Triton


Europe’s oldest China Town

China Town archway in cityscape


UK’s largest group of grade I listed buildings - Albert Dock

Albert Docks in cityscape


Britain’s largest/World’s 5th largest Cathedral – Liverpool Anglican Cathedral

Anglican Cathedral in cityscape


Britain’s oldest repertory Theatre company (until it wound up in 1999) – Liverpool Playhouse

Liverpool Playhouse building in cityscape (playing ‘Blood Brothers’)


Britain’s first Gorilla arrived at Liverpool docks, 1851

‘King Kong’ at top of Empire State building in landscape


Opening of Port of Liverpool Building

Port of Liverpool Building in cityscape


The Bluecoat - Liverpool’s oldest remaining building (completed 1718) and Britain's first arts centre founded 1927

Bluecoat building in cityscape


Britain's first Mosque (Mount Vernon St) opened 1887

Mosque arch in cityscape


The Walker - UK's first public art gallery opened 1877

Walker building in cityscape


World’s first wet dock opened 1719

Albert Docks in cityscape


World’s first underwater rail tunnel - Mersey Railway Tunnel

George’s Dock Building (Queensway Tunnel ventilation shaft) in cityscape


World’s first overhead electric railway (known locally as “Docker’s Umbrella”), founded 1888

Umbrella with anchor/overhead railway in cityscape


Anniversary of opening of Tate and Lyle sugar factory

Tate and Lyle sugar bags cargo in the Slave Ship on the Mersey


World’s first public wash-house & Britain’s first public baths, 1842

Historic “Floating Bath” on the Mersey


Anniversary of the opening of Sefton Park, Liverpool’s largest and most famous park, by Prince Albert, 1872

Sefton park bridge (bottom center)


Europe’s largest free annual music event – Matthew Street Music Festival

Design from Matthew Street sign (above center shield)

copyright the artists



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