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10 August 2009

Newsletter   No 62 :  10 August  2009  The Forum

Preparations continue to put the Forum on to a formal basis with a constitution, registration with the Charity Commission and an official system of membership (for which a modest subscription charge will have to be made). An Inaugural General Meeting, to approve the constitution, elect the Chairman and committee, discuss the level of subscriptions and plan future activities is likely to be held in October.


The International Guitar Festival of Great Britain is to be held in Wirral 3 -28 November at various Wirral venues. See:
The English Speaking Union has a cello recital at Eaton Hall, Chester, by courtesy if the Duke and Duchess of Westminster on 21 October. Tickets @ £22.50 from Jeanne Pumphrey, Wild Acre, Rosslyn lane, Cuddington,  Northwich CW8 2JZ.
The Arts Council has a conference in London on 17 September on “the future of culture, tourism and sport.  Contact
The Anglican Cathedral has a visit to Lichfield Cathedral on 5 September,  an evening with Vasily Petrenko, conductor of the Phil, on 22 September (£12.50) and a concert with the RLPO on 26 September (£25 for the concert and £25 for a pre-concert dinner). Contact: 0151 702 7255. The “Wildlife Photographer of the Year” exhibition will be held in the Cathedral from 15 August to 20 September. Free.

The Pacific Road Arts centre in Birkenhead has a varied programme ranging form the Wirral Tram and Bus Show to the Liverpool Mozart Orchestra and The Blues Band. Info: 0151 666 0000.

The tiled floor at St George’s Hall will be on display from 11 to 23 August. “Trial by Jury” will be performed in the hall 17 to 21 August. There will be a dinner dance at the hall on 25 September. Info: 0151 225 6909.

The Roman Catholic Cathedral has a demonstration of flower arranging on 26 September at 2 pm (£7.50 including tea) and a private tour of Ince Blundell, Crosby on 10 October. This is a Grade II listed building in 50 acres of beautiful parkland. Limited booking. There will be a talk by Fennella Billington on “Palladio” on 3 November. £20 including dinner.

The Orquesta Buena Social Club has a concert at the Phil on 31 October. (0151 709 3789). The venue hosts the Ladysmith Black Mambazo on 3 November.

The Victorian Society has a visit by coach to Gladstone’s Library at Hawarden on 14 November.  Booking: 0151 734 0621.


On 29 July there was a launch of preparations of the UK Corporate Games which will be held at the Arena/Conference Centre next year. This is a sort of mini-Olympic Games for the staffs of big companies.

The Anglican Cathedral received the Marque of Excellence from the North West Multi Faith Tourism Association on 19 July. One of the aims of the Association is to bring about the opening of churches and other faith buildings to the public, something that is not simple but possible in certain places if the will is here,

The Wirral tramway at Woodside is a yard shorter, a short section of track having been removed as a result of the providing for the display of the U-boat beside the ferry terminal. The Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society has it AGM at the Ship and Mitre in Dale Street, Liverpool on 16 November.

The Friends of Liverpool Monuments (see website) has published a leaflet of “Sculptures at the Pier Head”.

The Calderstones are thought to be not standing stones like Stonehenge but the supports of a tunnel inside a tomb. Would they be similar to the stones supporting the tunnels at Newgrange north of Dublin, a very large Celtic tomb covered in earth and surrounded by a stone wall?

We are all guilty of walking past beautiful architecture and sculpture without hardly noticing it. “Classical Liverpool” by Hugh Hollinghurst is a useful and interesting reminder of much that we may not notice as much as we should.   (See Liverpool History Society website).

Pride in Liverpool

Val Price – 63 years a Scouser, she says – is running a project called “Pride in Liverpool”. Full details are on  The project is engaging communities to take Pride in their City, doing this by facilitating projects which engage locals in the heritage, environment and legacy of their neighbourhoods.

She says that at the end of the very successful European Capital of Culture Year: “The buzz was back in Liverpool like it was in the 60’s. We had again hit the world news…appearing on American, Chinese and Russian News for lots of things, but especially the Spider event!  The people of the city felt pride again.”

On the 14th August 2009 there will be a launch at St.George’s Hall from 10 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. where the exhibits are displayed in the Hall and where there is an Information Centre at the Hall (St John’s Lane entrance).

Opera and Ballet

We have commented before about the lack of opera in Liverpool. This lack seems to be partly the result of government funding of the arts (London, Wales and Scotland get more than the English provinces) and partly because of less-than-capacity audiences at the Empire for recent performances by Welsh National Opera, a top quality company. So, use it or lose it! Welsh National again brings opera to the Empire: La Traviata on 21 and 23 October and Madame Butterfly on 22 and 24 October. (The ballet Giselle is there from  28 October to 1 November.) An alternative for opera lovers within reach of Liverpool is Clonter Opera near Congleton. What looks like a farm building form the outside is in fact a well-equipped 400 seat theatre which puts on opera from time to time including, recently, a performance of “Rigoletto” by an international cast of young professionals of high standard. “Rigoletto” is on again on 3 October and there will be an opera gala on 14 November. Info: 01260 224514.

The Playhouse the Everyman

After many years of planning, the £28m redevelopment of the Everyman theatre has been given the green light as Arts Council England announces a £12.8m investment in this major cultural project.  This national endorsement comes after extensive discussions with Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and Liverpool City Council.  These three agencies last year recognised the Everyman redevelopment as the highest priority to ensure a long-term legacy for Liverpool’s Capital of Culture year.  This substantial investment enables the Everyman to forge ahead with plans for a 21st-century building which will serve and inspire its community and future generations of artists and theatregoers.

The Everyman management is now gearing up for the detailed design and planning which will allow work to begin on site in the spring of 2011 and the new, 21st-century Everyman to open in 2013.

Forthcoming performances include: “The Caretaker”, starring Jonathan Pryce at the Everyman between 2nd – 31st October. Prices from £10 - £20; Spike Milligan’s “Adolf Hitler: My Part in his Downfall” at the Playhouse between 9th – 14th November. Prices from £9.50 - £20 and “The 39 Steps”, straight from the West End and winner of Laurence Olivier Best New Comedy, at the Playhouse between 3rd December – 16th January. Prices from £9.50 - £20.
Book online at Group discounts: 1 free ticket if booking over 10. Money off if booking over 10 full price tickets. Flexible payment periods and hospitality packages available. Info:  0151 7083733 or e-mail

Andrew Pearce, Editor