Pier Head Summer Delights
ONLY in Liverpool could a city combine the showpiece of a World Heritage Site - which has inspired other waterfronts around the globe - with a rumbustious funfair for the family.
This summer Liverpool Pier Head’s magnificent Grade I-listed Three Graces buildings (on which Shanghai’s Bundt is based)overlook the funfair which runs until the weekend of 10 September, 2017. The Pier Head is the starting point of many Brilliant Liverpool Tours’ excursions, including its highly-praised Beatles Walk from the eye-catching, larger-than-life Beatles Statues, marking the 50th anniversary of the Fab Four’s last live performance in the city.
This mix of historic architecture and popular entertainment is a classic Liverpool blend of catering for all tastes. The Three Graces, completed just over a century ago, were designed as landmarks to impress passengers arriving by ocean liner (especially from the US) at what is now Liverpool Cruise Terminal, used by more than 60 cruise liner calls each year.
One of the world’s first steel-reinforced concrete buildings, The Royal Liver Building’s twin towers have clock faces bigger than London’s Big Ben, topped by the 18ft high mythical Liver Birds, the city’s symbol. Alongside is the former Cunard Line HQ (based on Michelanglo’s 1544 Farnese Palace, Rome) and next door is the domed Port of Liverpool Building. The Neo-classical style of these latter two buildings demonstrate Liverpool’s merchants’ belief they inherited the tradition of Italy’s Renaissance merchants.
Among many Pier Head monuments is the fine Memorial to the Heroes of the Marine Engine Room, a granite pillar crowned by a gilded torch, which commemorates the crew members lost on RMS Titanic after she struck an iceberg in 1912 and those on RMS Lusitania, torpedoed in 1915. Nearby is a memorial to shipowner Sir Alfred Jones who founded Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and brought the first bananas to Britain.
But if the kids feel the need for less esoteric architecture there’s a whole inflatable village for children aged four to 14. Thebouncy activity centre includes Total Wipe Out, Ninja Warrior, crazy golf, zorb balls, bungees, a climbing wall and trampolines.
The Skier Flyer ride reaches 170ft, as high as the Royal Liver Building’s roof, plus there’s The Booster and Swinging Cruise Ship. But if the bucket and spade brigade want to keep their feet firmly on the ground, there’s the traditional delights of the urban beach.