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Mersey River Festival to return

Mayor orders city events supremo to sort it as first cruise leaves Liverpool in decades

Written by . Published on May 30th 2012.


Mersey River Festival to return

IT'S coming back…Liverpool’s much loved Mersey River Festival. 

City events boss Judith Feather revealed the revival of the late lamented event from next year as the first liner to depart from the Pier Head set sail. 

 'The city is returning to its roots and doing what it is best at: Namely it is the ideal place to get on a boat and go somewhere else' - Lady Derby

Ms Feather told a crowded cruise terminal that Mayor Joe Anderson has ordered her to restore the event, ditched a few years ago when the Pier Head and Kings Dock were building sites.

Mersey River FestivalMersey River Festival

The Mayor has given her a new role, which essentially means building the city’s historic waterfront as one of its key tourism and visitor attractions.

Ms Feather's association with the waterfront goes back 21 years when a concert was held at Kings Dock.

And although it will mean even more work on her shoulders, she said she was delighted to see the re-introduction of the River Festival.

Judith FeatherJudith FeatherShe told the gathering: “In its heyday, it brought over 300,000 to our wonderful waterfront and it is great our new mayor wants to bring it back as soon as next year. I’m sure it will become a firm annual favourite not only for people across Liverpool, but for visitors from around the world.”

Future events for the Mersey include celebrations to mark the Battle of the Atlantic in 2015, also the year that marks the 175th anniversary of Cunard’s founding in Liverpool.

That event, believes Ms Feather, will in scale rival the recent Sea Odyssey, featuring “three giants of the oceans” – or Cunard’s three queens (Mary, Elizabeth and Victoria), all in the Mersey at the same time.

The taster of things to come was outlined as crowds gathered to watch the first true cruise liner departure from Liverpool since the 1970s.

In the ceremony, the Countess of Derby scattered silver coins in the Mersey from the landing stage and told the crowd: "Liverpool is no longer at the end of a branch line. The city is returning to its roots and doing what it is best at: Namely it is the ideal place to get on a boat and go somewhere else - and of course, coming back."

The big question was...would Southampton send in a squad of water bailiffs to halt the event.

There were whispers the spoil-sport southern cruise port would dampen Liverpool’s chips by seeking an injunction. There was even talk of Southampton and the North East ganging up on Liverpool to sink the city’s ambitions to become a port. Excuse me, hasn’t Liverpool been, like, a port since King John realised a ferry across the Mersey was just what was needed.

Countess of DerbyCountess of DerbyIn a nutshell, the burghers of Southampton are cheesed off because Liverpool has restored a tradition that ended when they more or less stole the likes of Cunard from Liverpool.

What irks them is Liverpool received public dosh on the basis the city would have no more than the maritime equivalent of a bus stop, with ships popping in to say hi, but not being allowed to start or finish sea journeys on the Mersey. Didn’t something like 8m European embark from Princes Landing Stage at the start of life-changing sea-voyages?

Media outlets in Hampshire had been trying to entice Mayor Joe to do interviews, but minders of the city’s new guv’nor would have none of it.

Mayor Joe, rather than keeping his powder dry, was more in a mood to fire a few cannonballs towards the English Channel, saying the new river terminal will be the first of many for Liverpool.

Among the approving audience was John Whittaker, head of Peel Group and owners of the Port of Liverpool.

Mayor Joe sanctioned the cruise programme before the ‘i’s had been dotted and the ‘t’s crossed, but for it’s water off a duck’s back.

As the Ocean Countess disappeared towards the Mersey Bar - heading for a breakdown that would see it diverted to Anglesey - Judith Feather muttered…..”now about that river festival.”

Things can only get betterThings can only get better

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

Captain HogwashMay 30th 2012.

Oooar, me hearties! Could you just remind us how many hundreds of thousands of our Council Tax pounds Ms Feather accidently overspent by last time she ran the River festival ? She'd make a fine figurehead, nonetheless!

Roger the cabin boyMay 30th 2012.

They could always cancel Mathew Street again. Permanently this time. No one would miss it

Roger the radio manMay 30th 2012.

Aye, aye! What about all those corporate national bar and pub chains, with branches around Mathew St, whose coffers are boosted mightily by the public money this city throws at it? Let them find their own or walk the plank

Able Seaman StainesMay 30th 2012.

All those whining, dope-smoking, vomiting drunks would miss it the Mathew Street Festival. Liverpool has the finest gutters in the world and they deserve to be filled by tens of thousands of drunkenly incontinent mawkish necrophiles.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Denis KellyMay 31st 2012.

Get a life you sad person. Visitors come from all over the world and bring a lot of money in to Liverpool.

Master BatesMay 30th 2012.

We could do with a lot more ship and boat-related exhibitions and events here, particularly in the Maritime Museum.

Fillet, pleaseMay 30th 2012.

And we could do with some Beatles too

Ned TeachMay 30th 2012.

They lives in America, shipmate!

Can't ye stow away on a ship bound for Virginnie?

Penny MitchellMay 30th 2012.

I suggest everyone goes to the Old Post Office Pub and have a really good time.

AnonymousMay 30th 2012.

For best Indian curry visit Sultan's Palace. Air conditioning and fresh chef make it unforgettable experience and I genuine happy customer

Paul FosterMay 30th 2012.

"Mayor Joe Anderson has ordered her to restore the event"? Democratic decision-making in action?

Andy MeliaMay 31st 2012.

I think Uncle Joe could do with some boat-ox meself...

Captain BlighMay 31st 2012.

Make that boat-ox roast; he'd make a Melia...

Georgina OwenJune 14th 2012.

Judith Feather is very able, unlike Mayor Anderson who was less than an able seaman......wasn't it Anderson that drove the nail into the previous River Festival, when he was highly critical of the Clipper race starting and finishing in Liverpool and how he disagreed that it put Liverpool on the world stage and wasn't it the same Anderson (ably abetted by Brant who kicked off over the Capital of Culture spend?). He speaks with fork tongue! Incidentally what has Mayor/Leader Anderson achieved in 2 years, apart from completing what was already well underway and took the credit for? I urge all readers to look back at his promises 2 years ago, then consider what he has delivered - NOTHING, sorry apart from completing his coronation as Mayor, something else he previously didn't support and despite what he tells us - a whopping payrise. Even Cameron & Clegg have a larger mandate than the 17% Anderson has from Liverpool people.

Mickey Drippin'June 19th 2012.

It is sad that nowadays, the Port of Liverpool has to rely upon foreign shipowners to carry the large number of containers and other cargo. The ferries are probably the only locally-owned vessels now seen on the Mersey but I suppose that is globalisation for you.

John DwyerMay 27th 2013.

I cant wait for the River Festival to return, especially the photo competition

John DwyerMay 27th 2013.

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