Bank Holiday Success

40,000 were in Hoylake, watching the Red Arrows, for the RNLI Lifeboat Open Day, and 13,000 attended the first annual Wirral Food and Drink Festival.

Organisers of the Food and Drink Festival are now hoping that they will be able to make the event a yearly fixture on Wirral’s calendar, while it is expected that the Lifeboat Open Day has smashed last year’s fundraising total of £27,000.

Anne Benson, one of the volunteers who organised the event (the Food and Drink festival), said many stallholders had said it was the best festival they had attended and would like to return next year.

She had said how amazed she was as streams of people flooded into the festival site as it opened on Sunday, and later queues formed on the roads outside with many more waiting to enter.

She said: “We’ve had fantastic support from everyone who has come here as well as from all the volunteers who have helped make it so successful.

“It would be nice if we could repeat that success again next year.”

If you were at either event over the weekend, and have stories or pictures you would like to share, please comment below or email us at leftbank@nerdshack.com (apologies for anyone who tried to email last week from the blog, but I misspelled the email address, which was highly clever of me! This is the correct one to use.)

Farewell, Little Yellow Bus

It’s the end of the line for Birkenhead’s free eco-bus service. From September 3, the Hamilton Quarter Circular (as it’s so catchily known) will be cancelled. The Wirral Globe had this to say when they were first launched in 1998:

ELECTRIC powered ‘eco-buses’ are now running around Birkenhead town
centre. Mayor Margaret Green launched Jupiter, the free service shuttle
for shoppers, commuters and other passengers. It provides regular
services between the Woodside Ferry Terminal, tourist Hamilton Quarter,
Birkenhead’s new bus station and Conway Park stopping at SMART-ECO bus
shelters.

Six zero-emission electric vehicles, full accessability
for disabled people, are being used in the experiment. The long-term
plan is to cut down on the number of motorists using cars in the town
centre.

I can only assume that lack of use was the problem, which begs the question of why didn’t they run a better route? If the buses had run to the top end of town, where more shops are located, rather than the relatively deserted Kwik Save/Old Co-op carpark, to Woodside and Hamilton Square, then more people would use them. Maybe if they were better publicised, too, they would have been more effective at drawing people from the ferry terminal, up to the Wirral Museum and then on to the shops, or the Williamson Gallery. Still, they lasted almost 8 years, but from next week, Birkenhead’s milk floats will have nothing else to race against. Farewell, Eco-1.

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Lungs of the Mersey…

BBC News Online have been highlighting traditional seaside resorts in recent weeks. Last Saturday was the turn of New Brighton, and it’s actually pretty favourable…

Australian Bob Williams, 51, has returned to the town for the first time since leaving it 32 years ago.

He said: “I’m really impressed with the place, how clean it is, the lack of graffiti and it’s safe to be walking round. My parents emigrated because they didn’t like the atmosphere.

“But I can see now it has a lot of potential and I don’t think people realise what they have here. It’s wonderful walking along here with no cars. We don’t want to go home.”

Check out the comments for people’s memories and see what this area needs to recapture.

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Bank Holiday Rundown

There’s loads to do in Wirral this weekend (August 26 – 28), so get out and about. Here’s some of what’s on around the area (If you know of any other events that aren’t listed, email us at theleftbank@nerdshack.com):

Hoylake

Hoylake Lifeboat Open Day (Bank Holiday Monday, 10am – 6pm, FREE, Prom closed to traffic)

1200: RAF Red Arrows Display Team
Also, the Yakovlevs Aerial Display Team, Helicopter, Trade Stands, Funfair and more.

Spital

First Annual Wirral Food and Drink Festival (Claremont Farm, Old Clatterbridge Road, 10am – 5pm Sunday, 10am – 4pm Monday, FREE)

  • Around 50 local food producers offering the best food and drink from the area
  • Specialist beer marquee
  • Chef demonstrations
  • Live radio broadcast from Wirral’s Buzz 97.1
  • Children’s Teddy Bears Picnic, in aid of Claire House and much more.

Blooming Marvellous!

If you’re at a loose end on Sunday, August 20, get down to Birkenhead Park’s new pavillion for the first annual Wirral Flower and Vegetable Show. Open to the public from noon until 4pm, the show will feature over 35 different classes of plants, fruits and vegetables. The Lord Mayor of Wirral, Cllr Peter Johnson, will present the prizes.

The show is sponsored by Gordale Nursery and Garden Centre and is supported by the Birkenhead Regeneration Community Partnership, the National Vegetable Society,  Wirral Allotment Society, the Birkenhead Lions, and Wirral Borough Council.

For more details, phone Adam King, Birkenhead Park’s Senior Ranger, on 0151 652 5197.

Things To Do In August

Coming up this month (next week in fact) we have the Wirral Festival of Golf at Caldy Golf Club. It runs from August 13th until the 18th and has a numberof categories for all manner of stick and ball fans. For more info, contact Caldy Golf Club.

The bank holiday weekend sees the first ever Wirral Food and Drink Festival at Claremont Farm in Spital. Billed as a celebration of all things home grown, the festival aims to promote the great range of restaurants, bars, farm shops andchefs in the area. It runs on the 27th and 28th of August and more details can be found on the website.

Also on the bank holiday monday is the now traditional Hoylake Lifeboat Day. Star attractions, once again, are the world famous Red Arrows at 12pm. There’s a whole host of other stuff happening, too, so get down there. More details on their website (beware, though, it’s pretty graphic intensive).

If you know of, or have, an event not listed here, contact us by commenting below or emailing leftbank@nerdshack.com.

Symbols of Wirral

If Wirral was to use one feature, be it a landmark or an historical symbol, what would it be? Would it be the Wirral Horn? The Mersey Ferry (which, nowadays, is more a symbol of Liverpool, rather than the Wirral owned and operated entity it always was.)? Parkgate? Bidston Hill? (The Former) Cammell Lairds? What could it be that would bring our area into someone’s thoughts?