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The Laz Word.... from Larry Neild

Forget Merseyside, call it Liverpool City Region, says our columnist - adding that Everton FC might want to consider a new name too

Published on September 22nd 2008.


The Laz Word.... from Larry Neild

NAMES can be such a touchy subject: Take the emerging moniker for this neck of the woods: LCR.

Love it or loathe it, “Liverpool City Region” is appearing more and more in official documents as the new (unofficial) 21st century handle for Merseyside.

I’ve always felt a region that ends in the word “side” is likely to be a bit of a dump, a place
past its sell-by date. Clydeside, Teeside, Tyneside, Deeside, and, of course, Merseyside – all
have that miserable image of industrial wastelands

After our 15 minutes, or was it weeks or months, of fame on the world stage, why shouldn’t we cash in on the brand name “Liverpool”?

The reason is our neighbours, understandably, don’t want to be overshadowed by Big Brother Liverpool. Remember the campaign in Wirral to get rid of the L prefix in postcode addresses?

When Liverpool’s name was mud, nobody (not locally anyhow) wanted to rub shoulders with us. Even now, many people in our “traditional” coastal resort cite their addresses as Southport, Lancashire.

Rather than utter a four-letter-plus word such as “Liverpool”, in 1974 they created Merseyside. At the same time, Greater Manchester was created, as opposed to “Irwelside”.

When Merseyside County Council was born, it immediately gave headline writers the chance to translate it into Murkyside. There had been talk, at the time, of calling it Greater Liverpool County Council but something akin to the Geneva Convention stepped in to avert an all-out tribal war. And you know what the Wirral Warriors and the Knowsley Nomads are like when they get angry.

Not wanting to side with the critics, I’ve always felt a region that ends in the word “side” is likely to be a bit of a dump, a place past its sell-by date. Clydeside, Teeside, Tyneside, Deeside, and of course Merseyside – all have that miserable image of industrial wastelands. It’s an unfair image as there are many splendid parts in each of those places.

They don’t conjure up the same gentile image as the ‘shires’ or the Ridings of Yorkshire, or even the “sexes” of the south.

Liverpool is one of the best known cities on the planet. As a brand it is priceless, as opposed to Merseyside which would only attract a bargain basement tag if put up for sale.

If ever there was a time to take the plunge and go for the Liverpool strapline for the area, maybe it’s now.

The reason Liverpool City Region is used is because, somewhere, lurking in a pending file in a government office, is the notion that eventually LCR will extend way beyond the old boundaries of Merseyside. Twin towns Widnes and Runcorn have already jumped into bed with LCR, and it would well one day consume West Lancashire, Ellesmere Port and Neston and, wait for this, Chester. The Romans won’t be pleased about that.

Why stop at geographic entities? I wonder whether our footballing fortunes would have been different if we had boasted two teams, Liverpool City and Liverpool United.

OK, I agree it’s not going to happen. I’m just being me, and looking at this from a marketing point of view. But I do wonder if it’s harder for Everton to attract a billionaire sugar-daddy because its name means little to a world outside football. If you are a mint candy anorak Everton means a great deal. Well let’s face it Goodison Park isn’t even in Everton.

It’s good enough for Manchester (City and United), Sheffield (United and Wednesday) and Glasgow (Rangers and Celtic).

Instead Breckfield-based Liverpool FC and Anfield-based Everton FC will soldier on hoping the pieces fall into place for their moves to greater glories: in Everton’s case outside the city boundary. Remember Liverpool RLFC? It played at Alt Park, in Huyton, and for a while played under the name of Huyton.

Let’s be honest Liverpool is such a good name, so good, in fact, they only needed to name it once.

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

DigSeptember 22nd 2008.

I don't think many people give a toss about LCR/Liverpool/Merseyside. If you're a Scouser you're a Scouser. If you're a snob and care about regional boundaries then so be it. I am a Scouser, a Liverpudlian, a Merseysider, English. I couldn't care less that the suits in the south still don't even recognise Merseyside as a county. Apparently we're still some Lancashire outpost. Maybe that's my age talking. I don't know. But to me I've been brought up in Liverpool, Merseyside when giving my address. As for the sexes and the shires, they're merely other counties. Not glamourous names conjuring romantic images of more glamorous areas. If you know and love our/your area, great, if you don't, that's great too. We know what we have regardless where it is or what it's called.

Fed up and put uponSeptember 22nd 2008.

I feel very strongly about people working in Liverpool and then pissing off at 5pm off up the motorway or under the Mersey Tunnel. Especially people who work in local authority and community jobs. And ESPECIALLY, ESPECIALLY scousers in the above category who say they don't want to live in the city any more and still think they are entitled to not only have a job here, but have a view on how the place is run. What? These people are nothing but hypocritic mercenaries who should leave the jobs to citizens of Liverpool and go and earn their middle England living somewhere else. But no one will have you. No they won't, will they.

Alan, No.1 Beatle fanSeptember 22nd 2008.

Sounds a great idea to me to show the greatness of Liverpool by ditching the name Merseyside, with Liverpool City Region so that an alphabetical list of cities will read Liverpool; London; Manchester. I'm not from the Liverpool City Region, I'm from Basingstoke in Hampshire 46 miles from London but I actually prefer Liverpool to London, as everyone is so much more friendly in Liverpool.I have been going to Liverpool now for fourteen years, on and off, just three years in that time did I not go to Liverpool at all. Up to and including 2001 I could travel from Basingstoke to Liverpool without changing, not once. So it annoys me immensely that Crosscountry Trains do not run any of their trains into and out of Liverpool, only to sodding Manchester. So if I have to change trains I might just as well do so via London, where I have more return trains back from Liverpool (every hour). So hopefully as Liverpool City Region they will now command more respect from the train operators (in particular Crosscountry) and realise that Liverpool is better by far than sodding Manchester.

sortedSeptember 22nd 2008.

in a shed near Chester instead of at a major national and international postal hub like Liverpool!

Cliff Edge HillSeptember 22nd 2008.

Greater Liverpool was saddled with the awful name of 'Merseyside' in 1974 simply so that London and Manchester would take precedence in aphabetical lists. This was obviously a political decision from someone determined to do us down. I started a campaign to take Liverpool out of Merseyside in the 1980s. The Wirral chumps seem to think that a ‘CH’ postcode makes them cestrians, the fools! It just means that their post is posted in a shed near Chester instead of at a major national postal hub like Liverpool!

Liverpool wagSeptember 22nd 2008.

Oh they do Dig. The Southport lot are particularly bonkers and what about some of the loonies in South Wirral?

DigSeptember 22nd 2008.

The Southport lot are the worst. I find Wirral people fine. Odd few maybe. Anyway I meet a lot of people from Formby and beyond in my line of work. When I have asked for a postcode or phone number and I have said 0151 or L instead of 01704 or PR, if looks could kill, well, I wouldn't be a very healthy man to say the least. By the way I would rather have a CoC 'L' postcode than a 'PR'. The world famous Preston eh? Preston aint the nicest place in the world. No offence, but it isn't. Maybe it's the lesser of 2 evils for Southport I presume? I don't get St.Helens. In Merseyside, next door to Kirkby but what a different world! Anyhow that's another rant.

WooleybackSeptember 22nd 2008.

Calling our two teams Liverpool Anfield and Liverpool Everton is the best idea I've heard in ages. It wouldn't have put us on the global map and who knows, may help convince people a shared stadium - in Liverpool - is not such a loony idea after all.

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