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Absolutely the Laz Word on 08

Larry Neild again gazes into his crystal ball to cheer us all up with talk of legacies, lost ideas and 2009

Published on January 13th 2009.


Absolutely the Laz Word on 08

SO here we stand, broken hearted. Paid millions for our cultural year, and now it's dearly departed. Poor old Woolies has gone, empty flats everywhere and it costs even more to take the train if you want to go and see them for yourself.

But don't despair. We can build on 08 with our new-looked, trimmed down cultural army. I wish them luck, as the money at their disposal is small change compared to what was splashed out on Operation 08.

Now we’ll have a chance to see the “real” legacy of 2008. My own view is the title needed to be used as a springboard for a tangible, permanent, bricks and mortar legacy. Something that would, in its own right, become a national, if not an international attraction.

Will Alsop’s magnificent Cloud would have helped achieve that, but, in that great civic tradition we blew it and the Cloud drifted away.

Last week, I acknowledged the success of 08. It was a successful year of events, and I may be missing the plot, but when events are done, they are done and we move on to the next, erm, event.

I had put forward some ambitious ideas to the decision makers, but none even made the reserve list.

I suggested an international train exhibition at Edge Hill, the world’s oldest railway station, with trips to Lime Street on a replica of Stephenson’s Rocket. It would have created loads of jobs in Kensington. We could have used the disused Wapping Tunnel as a shuttle trolley bus link to Kings Dock. We could have built a Harry Potter theme park with a Hogwart’s Express and a mini magical kingdom.

We are getting the new Museum of Liverpool down at Mann Island. It’s taking shape nicely and I think most people will enjoy the building. But why couldn’t we have been a bit more imaginative?

Museums of any town or city are rarely international destination points. Would the Guggenheim be as successful if it had been named the Museum of Bilbao? Would you be drawn to the Museum of Scunthorpe?

I came up with naming our new museum Mann Island, sub-titled the Museum of Liverpool. The name Mann Island conjures up intrigue and interest, but there’s an ace card. We could twin with Ellis Island in Manhattan. Liverpool was the departure point for the New World for millions of European emigrants and Ellis Island for many was their arrival point. Mann Island would still be the Museum of Liverpool, but suddenly it has a new dimension, particularly if there was a permanent Ellis Island gallery.

So how was my idea received by those who matter? I might as well have suggested landing Scousers on the surface of Manchester. Let’s say it was one of those “don’t call us, we’ll call you” moments. Oh for a return of those great and imaginative people who in the 18th and 19th centuries transformed Liverpool into one of the the world’s greatest cities.

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11 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

SmallTownResidentJanuary 13th 2009.

Nice ideas Laz, but you more than anybody in this idea-free-city must know we are 'served' by a team of people devoid of any imagination. The problem is the same gang has been in charge of things for far too long, and I just don't mean politicians. We need a mover and shaker to move these people out, and shake up those prepared to deliver. 2009 will be Liverpool's damp squid year. But didn't we all expect that anyhow.

Pier HeaderJanuary 13th 2009.

Is that bit of a scrap with the Danish architect still ongoing, or has it been sorted? Just wondered. Wouldn't be Liverpool without a (Scouse Wedding type) scrap, would it.

Pierre HeadJanuary 13th 2009.

A correction! i have since been advised that we actually viewed the eyesores from the more distant Secombe. I am informed that from the closer Woodside it would have looked a lot worse.

wheres the money gone?January 13th 2009.

capital of culture? what legacy has been left? massive debts, ugly public works, mounting violent crime on the streets and some tasteless tinkering with the pier head.how many fat cat crooked politicians are smirking over the kickbacks nicely accumulating interest in swiss bank accounts?Liverpool is as corrupt as it has always been; slave traders, gun running, and narcotics built this stinking underclass city. Lets hope it will all sink into the poisonous mersey river in the near future.

Egon TozstJanuary 13th 2009.

Too right, Small Town Resident! What we need is for Crown Prince Harpik to take over the Town Hall and put these worthless placemen, banjo-players and box wallahs to flight!

AndrewJanuary 13th 2009.

Don't you speak about our jolly Jack Tars like that, you snivelling landlubber!

CommonManJanuary 13th 2009.

You can't think Prof P Redmond has been doing all this for a knighthood. He will want at least a Lordship title to keep him going till the Pope makes him a Saint.

Under the patioJanuary 13th 2009.

So who? Professor Sir Phil Redmond? Please no!

DigJanuary 13th 2009.

Oh dear we have another one. I fear our CoC year has made a few people quite jealous. There is even a football club not too far away from here that has hung a banner on their ground that reads 'EUROPEAN CAPITAL OF TROPHIES MANCHESTER 08'. Interestingly Liverpool has won more trophies in Europe than both Manchester teams put together to date. Sorry for the football rant folks.

Big-Hearted ArthurJanuary 13th 2009.

"Scouse wedding" my foot! What kind of weddings does this Lord Frodsham attend? He's awfully common for a professor!

maxieJanuary 13th 2009.

Ugly? Liverpool? Unoriginal, cheap and jerry built? Liverpool? tatty vandalism in Liverpool?Yes. Yes. Yes.NOthing changes, even the visit of the ARk Royal was spoiled by yobs who had obviously smashed bottles, strewn chip papers and burger boxes, and were sick all over the dockside.Liverpool would be much more beautiful viewed from the inside of a bulldozer.

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