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Exclusive: Asteroid hits Sefton Park

If you go down to the woods today, you're sure of a big surprise....

Published on March 26th 2008.

Exclusive: Asteroid hits Sefton Park

THINKING of escaping city centre chaos with a quiet stroll in the park? Or are you a visitor to the City of Culture hoping to find something fantastic to recommend to the folks back home?

Probably best, then, to just look up, if you find yourself in Sefton Park

It's still not April Fool's Day, but Confidential agents thought their eyes were playing tricks on them already, when they embarked on a trip out to Aigburth for an Easter kick-around.

Stepping past the glorious daffodils in the Field of Hope there was truly spring in their step, but then what they saw stopped them dead in their tracks.

Now Confidential's operatives in the field are not easily shocked, but on this occasion, how shall we put it? OK, they were gobsmacked.

Quickly they realised that the 1am seismic ripple, which got radio phone-ins up and down the land buzzing a couple of weeks ago, was no earthquake. Judging by this trail of devastation, an asteroid had clearly landed on Sefton Park.

Little has been left standing in affected areas, as our pictures show, even after taking into account that our "before" selection were taken in the bloom of last June. Hundreds of trees have been pulverised by the impact of the asteroid. Was this giant rock, wondered our agents, part of the tail of the fabled Opportunity Comet which passes over the Liverpool skies only once every 800 years, the one depicted in that fabulous tapestry where King John gives the charter to the city?

Who could tell, but there was more to come. Where once there were streams and teeming wildlife around the now-half-standing bandstand, which is being done up, now there was only thick black silt. The water, the creatures, the nesting places gone.

Alas, turning to the huge lake and it was a similar tale. Drained of water, thousands of long discarded bottles peer up into the daylight from the massive expanse of mud that forms the bed.

Mice and rats were everywhere too, happily dining with the pigeons. Water fowl were in short supply.

Our operatives were about to ring Torchwood when an ancient wise man appeared and told them not to bother, that it was something to do with a refurb of the park with £6 million of Heritage Lottery money to take it back to Victorian splendour.

He told our eager listeners that it was necessary to make it look as bad as it does right in the middle of Culture year, well, because it was.

Our team were scratching their heads when he said: "Look. It's like inviting Peter Tong's radio audience to a party at your house and then trashing it yourself before they get there to save them the trouble".

They didn't believe him, of course. After all you couldn't make it up. Could you?

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

Helvetica BoldMarch 26th 2008.

The plant life will recover very quickly - it'll green up this summer -but the birds won't be so quick to resettle. Work needs doing, and will - one hopes - look all the better for it next year. But it's being done 6 months late. Which urban idiot manager scheduled this, then? Get the blunderbuss out.

BillMarch 26th 2008.

Rats dining with pigeons - is that a metaphor of Capital and Culture and the city council?

Stinging nettleMarch 26th 2008.

Yeah Parker, leave Jamie alone. If he hadn't shown me how to handle an "Italian dish", my Tommy would never have given me a second glance.

Jamie OliverMarch 26th 2008.

Sefton Parker, Compose yourself. The way you're going on, you're going to crumple your twin-set (think of the gossip). Judging by your most recent contribution, you've clearly found the long hidden (and desperately avoided) Ex Lax, but it seems to have brought little or no relief. Earlier correspondence from you suggested a distaste for all things Southern, especially for those in your view, of the Poncy, Middle-class, pseudo- corblimey type. What then, are we to make of your most recent expulsion. I quote; "leave it aht, you slaaaaaag." How very Alf Garnett. But so nice to see my West Ham video/ Donner Kebab suggestion had a positive, if somewhat limited effect. Happy Cookin' darlin's. Jamie

Jamie OliverMarch 26th 2008.

hello Darlin'sNow me and Jules like a good knees up, especially if it includes some pukka nosh (if you know what I mean). Now I've travelled far and wide, really love regional cooking and feel it's time to give you cheeky scousers something to really get your teeth into (easy tiger). So, in honour of Liverpool being Capital of Culture 2008, I've devised a recipe, especially for you. All ingrediants can be locally sourced and are Ramsay free range (watch it - Ed).Ingreedyents (sorry)Ingredients.Loads of European dosh (pukka).Complete ineptitude - de rigeur.Compliant local press - a few freebies will keep them in line.A dash of corruption - lovely jubbley and inevitable darlin'.Incomprehensible timing.A Vegas junket - for research purposes.Several dozen cases of Montrachet - to make it all easier to swallow.A twist of unencumbered ambition.The sharpest knives available - no explanation needed there darlin's.Brazen lies - lovely.One magnificent park destroyed (optional).A dash of unending roadworks.Method.Merinade in smugness for four years.Completely disregard your responsibilities to those you purport, (yes, pass it please, - it's not that port Jamie Ed) to represent.Feather your nest - it adds a little sweetness to the recipe.Acquire et huge expense deviant publicists.Cancel biggest free music event in Europe.Abandon principle and reason(don't forget the electorate - they've already been abandonded Ed).Cancel hugely expensive projectsUpdate your cv in preparation for the London Olympics.Take a huge payoff. Or.Make sure your favourite bubbly and nibbles are ordered for the lavish New Years Eve party.Stand in front of mirror (no, not the rag that used to print worthwhile stories) and practice your sincere look.Ravage local services.Refuse to resign unless huge pay-off is negotiated.Keep all emails to nail your colleagues when they've outlived their use.Put in huge pot and serve to unsuspecting public.This should have you scousers lickin' you lips. There's more variation on this, just pick your own ingredients. Happy cookin'Bye Bye Darlin'sJamie

Jamie OliverMarch 26th 2008.

Sefton Parker,How very sniffy darlin', I bet you dispense the sherry and Mr Kipling's finest onto a very elaborate doily when the vicar comes calling. But don't blame me, I only supply the recipes, and in truth, it should have been "subbed" properly. However, if you were ever to unclinch your buttocks, even momentarily, (which you probably won't) it would undoubtedly help with the selective vision you clearly suffer with, and you will notice it wasn't the only typo. You may find spicy food helps in this regard. Lots of love to all you cheeky scousers. Tara. Jamie

linda JonesMarch 26th 2008.

I am deverstated the shock of the pictures before and after I am visiting liverpool in may and seing i have been away so long thats one of the parks I was wanting to visit hopefully newsham is still in one peice I will cross my fingers .I will have to returen to see sefton park another time it will be a treat to see it when finished

TommoMarch 26th 2008.

Enlighten us Sean

George RichmondMarch 26th 2008.

All that is needed is some rejuvination, come on Liverpool it can be done.

..sean-13March 26th 2008.

sefton parker, get a grip.. jamie is right .. so get ya self together

AnonymousMarch 26th 2008.

I think sefton park is probably the least of liverpools problems :o)

Oxton OswaldMarch 26th 2008.

You ought to pop across to glorious Birkenhead Park (the world's oldest public park (Opened 1847 and it inspired the designers of New York's Central Park) to see what a proper park is supposed to look like in 2008 Capital of Culture year!

Alan ParkerMarch 26th 2008.

Sefton, A good presbyterian like you shouldn't get involved in an unseemly wrangle with a celebrity chef who's trying to wean the country's toddlers off twizzler's, so stop it. By the way, mum says when you come for tea on Sunday, bring your sacateurs, her bush needs trimming.

Peter PanMarch 26th 2008.

Asteroid? That's not a nice word to use about Warren Bradley.

wardMarch 26th 2008.

right then lets gets down to it, whoever had this great idea needs to be put into a room an slapped for being such a wally! what were you thinking especially now! It really is as simple as that i'm afraid. the park is, an will probably remain an embarrasment for some time. End of!

Sefton ParkerMarch 26th 2008.

I grew up around Sevvie Park, I can even remember Lark Lane as a proper street with proper shops. Alas I can't afford to live around there now, it's dominated by poncy, middle-class Southerners with pseudo-gorblimey accents and other undesirable incomers.

A. E. ScousemanMarch 26th 2008.

This looks like more of Mike 'Horror' Storey's so-called "regeneration". When will this maniac be put on trial, locked up or sealed in an iron ball and fired at the sun?

Jamie OliverMarch 26th 2008.

To Sefton Parker, Too busy making money my ol' china. Constipation has sadly blighted many a life, I advocate a sensible diet, or if you find yourself in extremis, try a few West Ham videos and a kebab (yes, the salad too). Before embarking on the latter course of action, consult your GP. Love to all you scousers. Jamie

..sean-13March 26th 2008.

liverpool council are ment to be makin liverpool better for 08 not makin it worse.. take a look at what your doin.. sefton park WAS one of the biggest parks in europe.. now its just a big park and dull and dirt.. not excitin anymore.. thats a teen speakin..x

John Lennon AirportMarch 26th 2008.

I don't think anybody is knocking the city. Rather just pointing out the craziness of laying waste to the city's biggest green space at this particular point in time. Why do it now? I'm sure there's some answer like the money had to be spent in a certain time frame, but whatever your view, it's certainly not a pretty one if you happen to live on Aigburth Drive at the moment.

DaveMarch 26th 2008.

Shouldn't that sign say "Caution, deep ****"?

Charlotte StreetMarch 26th 2008.

I imagine that the local politicians and their mates will do well out of it. As usual.

Jim McCabeMarch 26th 2008.

Rats are, of course, said to leave sinking ships. BTW, where's Jase these days?

Sefton ParkerMarch 26th 2008.

A lot of time on your hands then, Oliver?

London RoadMarch 26th 2008.

I was in Newsham Park yesterday, funnily enough, and was thinking about the area it is in. Newsham is surrounded by hundreds of houses (the ones that the council isn't trying to demolish, that is) full of young families. So I would have expected a bit more care and cash to have been ploughed into this public amenity with such a high density of population. But no. It's ok, it has a play area and at least they haven't drained the lake, but you can count on one hand the number of benches after you cross the huge, unkempt and waterlogged field from Prescot Road. Actually it's pisspoor when you compare it to somewhere like Calderstones. Perhaps it illustrates a tale of two cities: One the affluent and right-on classes of Aigburth and Allerton who have the time and the luxury to create "friends" for their palm houses and leafy spaces. The other, the less-well-off and more put upon who have to rely on the council's imagination and funding to make this a decent recreational space. I won't hold my breath on their behalf though.

In too deepMarch 26th 2008.

http://www.live08.co.uk/seftonpark/desilting/How much money has THIS wasted..

LiverpoolMarch 26th 2008.

(Gasps hideous death rattle as the City Council and its property developer chums tighten their grip on Liverpool's battered throat)

..sean-13March 26th 2008.

i shouldnt get involved but its only the truth im only a teen but for what i am you would be suprised how much i am right..

Tim MysterioMarch 26th 2008.

Sounds like one for me. I'd better get down there

Sefton ParkerMarch 26th 2008.

Leave it aht, you slaaaaaag!

Sefton ParkerMarch 26th 2008.

Dear James, Art is a hammer, not a mirror, you great Essex ruffian!

Sefton ParkerMarch 26th 2008.

I do wish that only those can actually spell ‘de rigueur’ would use it.

..sean-13March 26th 2008.

liverpool council are ment to be makin liverpool better for 08 not makin it worse.. take a look at what your doin.. sefton park WAS one of the biggest parks in europe.. now its just a big park and dull and dirt.. not excitin anymore.. thats a teen speakin..x

Aggie of AbercrombieMarch 26th 2008.

How exactly is this an example of money, jobs and investment coming to the city?

AndrewMarch 26th 2008.

Stop knocking the city, It is amazing what is happening. This is another example of money,jobs & investment coming in to help put our city back on the map where it belongs. The investment and regeneration should't stop because it is 2008. Bring it on !!

secret squirrelMarch 26th 2008.

Isnt this normally what the council allow to happen? - I mean the likes of Kensington - ripping the heart out of a community - some of which are perfectly good houses and offering the people back 'newly built townhouses' which will cost them more than what they got for their old property. Allowing LFC to build on Stanley park, the cock up they have made of Edge Lane - its embarassing. Especially when people from outside Liverpool say 'ooh is that all they have done? Is that what all the traffic was disrupted for a few new kerbs?' when passing down Edge Lane. Or the best one is 'oh if all these loveley terraced houses were in another city they would cost over £200k - trust Liverpool to turn it into a slum.'

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