Scouse pride is embedded into the heart of every Liverpudlian 365 days of the year – and it’s a city that has given us plenty of moments to be proud about over the past 12 months.
2015 has certainly been an exciting year for the people of Liverpool, with festivals, fashion feats, landmark moments, passionate protests and big news.
The city also paid tribute to heartbreaking moments that shocked the world.
Through it all, Liverpool made us proud the only way it can – and that’s by the city coming together to laugh, cry or remember.
With the year drawing to a close, we thought it was high time to take a look at the 27 times Liverpool made us proud in 2015.
1. Everybody Razzle Dazzle Unveiled
Back in April 2015, the renowned artist Sir Peter Blake unveiled the Everybody Razzle Dazzle design, which adorns the Snowdrop Mersey Ferry. The colourful ferry was created to mark the centenary of the First World War, which was co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW, Tate Liverpool and Liverpool Biennial, and is in partnership with National Museums Liverpool and Merseytravel.
Many people will be aware of Sir Peter Blake’s work, as he is the pop art artist behind The Beatle’s Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. You can experience the colourful ferry for yourself until December 2016.
2. Lost Art Collaboration with Nike SB
Lost Art, a British skate shop, this year collaborated with Nike SP to create a two shoe spring 2015 collection called “The Old and the New of Liverpool City”, which are a reference to Liverpool’s docklands and the Liverpool Overhead Railway, which was closed in 1956 due to mounting maintenance costs.
The shoes are a homage to the docklands, as “the old shoe”, the Nike SB Bruin, features a black suede base that includes wool heel panels, and mismatched Nike Swooshes that are a reference to the Liverpool Overhead Railway guards’ uniforms. The “new shoe” Project BA trainers have taken inspiration from Liverpool’s current urban landscape that surround the docks, featuring a modern shade of teal, red and grey. It’s like walking with a piece of Liverpool history on your feet.
3. Memorials to the Hillsborough Disaster
The people of Liverpool have been seeking justice for the 96 people who tragically lost their lives at Hillsborough Stadium on 15th April 1989. The victims’ family and friends, along with the whole of the city, have been fighting to find out exactly what happened that unfortunate day.
2015 marked the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster, which resulted in many people across the country marking their respects in different ways. To remember those who lost their lives that tragic day, 25,000 people gathered at Anfield Stadium to attend a service, including the former LFC manager Brendan Rogers, Everton FC’s manager Roberto Martinez and the victims’ family and friends.
96 seats also lay empty at the stadium as a tribute to each fan, with chairs draped with scarves. A ring of lights, known as the Band of Life, also features the name of each victim, and were lit up when the names of those who died were read aloud by Father Stephen Maloney, the Reverend David Smith and the Reverend Kelvin Bolton. Fans also arrived ahead of the Hillsborough memorial to lay flowers, cards, candles and LFC scarves outside the stadium.
As a poignant tribute to the 96 fans who lost their lives during the tragedy, The Shankly Hotel featured The 96 Memorial Wall in the lobby area, which features the famous image of two children wearing the 9 and 6 football shirts, and holds 96 eternal candles.
Each candle has been engraved with the name of a person who lost their lives, and the candle is lit each day to remember the victims. The wall was unveiled by the families from the Hillsborough Family Support Group, MP Andy Burnham, and the director of the hotel and Bill Shankly’s grandson, Christopher Shankly-Carline.
The famous Radio City 96.7 Tower also paid their respects by only lighting up the “96” in their logo – a simple and thoughtful way to show respects for those who unnecessarily lost their lives whilst watching a football match.
4. One Magnificent City
We don’t do things by halves here in scouseland, which One Magnificent City proved. The seven week programme offered a wide variety of events, which featured LightNight and ended with Transatlantic 175. The public could enjoy everything from the Cunard Connections Walking Tour to the Lusitania: Life, Loss, Legacy.
5. The Three Queens Coming to Town
It’s hard to rival Liverpool’s interesting and extensive maritime history. It was in our fair city that the Cunard Line chose to hold its headquarters, back when Liverpool offered one of the most major ports in the world.
In celebration of Cunard’s 175th anniversary, more than a million people visited the city’s waterfront to catch a glimpse of Queen Mary 2, Queen Elizabeth and Queen Victoria, which re-enacted the first transatlantic crossing from Liverpool to the New World in 1840.
In addition to watching the Three Queens sail in and out of Liverpool, the public were also treated to awe-inspiring fireworks and a spectacular Amazing Graces project that told the story of the city’s rich maritime heritage, which were beamed onto the Three Graces.
6. Breaking the World Record for the Biggest Catwalk
Let’s face it, Liverpool lads and ladies know how to dress – because the high street looks like a catwalk every single day. So, it makes sense that we would absolutely smash the Guinness World Record for the biggest catwalk. Sorry London, but if you ask us, we’re the fashion capital of the UK – and the Very Big Catwalk proved it in July!
The Queen Mary 2 could be seen proudly in the background, as 3,651 people from various communities took to the stage, adorning all sorts of looks in celebration of style. Crowds clapped and cheered as the models took to the stage, showcasing everything from high street looks to experimental clothing from fashion students.
7. When We Prevented Two National Action Marches
We are a city that has been defined by immigration, and it is our diverse community that unites us. When National Action, a white supremacist group, attempted to hold a march through Liverpool city centre, they were faced with passionate protesters who prevented the march from taking place. Not only did the people of Liverpool halt the “White Man March” but the group called off a second march in the city following the city’s disdain for their beliefs.
8. St George’s Hall Celebrating Pride 2015
To celebrate Liverpool Pride 2015, the iconic St George’s Hall was given a splash of colour, as rainbow lights were illuminated onto the building. The lights kicked off a full weekend of colourful events across the city in July, along with the Liverpool Pride March.
9. Liverpudlians Step on the Property Ladder for just £1
Back in 2013, Liverpudlians were offered a unique opportunity to purchase a council house for just £1. Following the fantastic transformations of the £1 homes, the Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, announced £1 properties would go on sale once again for empty terraced homes in Childwall Avenue, Tunstall Street, Webster Street, to name but a few.
More than 2,500 people have since applied to buy homes, with the hope of stepping onto the property ladder for the very first time. This fantastic scheme transforms rundown houses into stunning family homes that people can enjoy for many years to come – whilst regenerating areas to complement our remarkable city centre.
10. The Liverpool Loves Festival
A whopping 27,000 visitors attended the Liverpool Loves festival, which was hailed an unprecedented success by the event organisers, and took place from 6th to 8th August 2015. The event was made up of three key events: Liverpool Loves Business, Liverpool Loves Ireland and the headline event – Liverpool Loves festival day. Liverpool Loves Business took place at the Pier Head, officially launching at the Cunard Building, and showcased everything the city has to offer.
400 people attend Liverpool Loves Ireland, which featured traditional music and dance, as six acts took to the stage to showcase the connection between Liverpool and the Emerald Isle. 16 sessions were held with 30 speakers, which attracted 700 delegates to attend themed seminars and hear free business advice.
Liverpool Loves festival day was the star of the event, as the Pier Head was bursting with colour on Saturday 8th August, as the family-friendly day offered a variety of workshops, festival food and drink, healthy activities and entertainment. Liverpool Loves showcased the city’s diverse culture through music, art and dance, which represented China, India, the Middle East and Brazil, to name but a few.
11. Liverpool International Music Festival 2015
The Liverpool International Music Festival is the city’s biggest summer festival – and is a wonderful alternative to the very popular Mathew Street Festival. While we can no longer listen to music in the streets, we can watch some superb musicians at Sefton Park over a three day period.
The festival confirms Liverpool as one of the finest global music cities, with many of the UK’s top performers taking to the LIMF 2015 stage, including headliners Labrinth, Basement Jaxx and Echo and the Bunnymen.
12. The Setting for a Number Blockbuster Movies
It seems the whole of Liverpool was talking about the filming of J.K Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them at St George’s Hall, which took place in October 2015. The bestselling author hand-picked Liverpool as the only non-studio location for the Harry Potter spin-off. The trilogy may also one day return to Liverpool, as they have released dates of 2016, 2018 and 2020 – so we could possibly see the series in the city for a long time to come.
13. Liverpool to Receive a New Film Studio
Liverpool is becoming pretty popular in the movie and TV industry, with many of the world’s biggest productions being filmed right here in our magnificent city, such as Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows and Peaky Blinders. Due to popular demand, the city council cabinet approved plans for a £25 million film studio, which will be featured in the Littlewoods building and the adjacent Liverpool Innovation Park on Edge Lane.
The new studio is expected to create 900 jobs and will potentially be named Littlewoods Studio Liverpool. In addition to a state-of-the-art film and TV studio, it will also become the new home for the Liverpool Theatre School, which is presently based in Aigburth.
14. The Growth of the City’s Bars & Restaurants
It appears there are no limit for the number of bars and restaurants popping up and down the city. Just this week the hotly anticipated Five Guys opened, with queues lining outside the doors with customer vying to buy a burger, fries and a bacon milkshake.
Turtle Bay and Wall of Fame opened just a few weeks ago to high praise, whilst American Pizza Slice is set to open on Bold Street very soon – and we cannot wait! How could we forget Red’s True Barbecue, Archies, The Bastion Bar & Restaurant, Wahacca, The Buyer’s Club, Crust… need we go on?
15. Adidas Homage to Liverpool with Kirkdale SPZL Trainers
To acknowledge the part Merseyside teenagers had played in the rise of the UK trainer and streetwear scene, Adidas created the Kirkdale SPZL trainers, which were unveiled at Laces Out! festival at Camp and Furnace in September.
16. The Cycling Scouser
Andrew Rogerson, also known as The Cycling Scouser, bravely embarked on an epic 10,000 mile bike journey from China to Liverpool, which took an incredible five months. Upon his return to Liverpool, the thirty-year-old was presented with the ECHO Pride of Merseyside award on 4th October.
So, why did Andrew choose to take on such a mental and physical challenge? It was all to fundraise for the Anthony Nolan Trust, whilst raising awareness for the need for bone marrow donors, as he was inspired by the brave leukaemia suffer, Charlie Fearns, from Litherland.
17. Poppies: Weeping Window
POPPIES: Weeping Window first appeared at St George’s Hall on 7th November 2015, following its appearance at the Tower of London in 2014. Thousands of ceramic poppies can be seen pouring out of the high window, representing the many military fatalities of WWI.
The installation was created by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper, and resulted in 150,000 people visiting St George’s Hall in the first week they were displayed to the public – which is more than the entire number of visitors who visited the seven-week Weeping Window installation at a Northumberland museum. You can visit POPPIES: Weeping Window until 7th January 2016.
18. Pray for Paris
The November 2015 Paris attacks struck a chord with everyone across the globe, with people from all corners of the world offering their condolences and support to the nation. To remember the 130 victims, St George’s Hall illuminated the French flag and observed a one minute silence on the plateau at 11am on 16th November 2015. People could also sign a book of condolence at the Liverpool Town Hall, and also had the option to email or tweet their condolences, which were later added to the book.
19. The Tallest Christmas Tree in the UK
The city centre is full of plenty of festive cheer at the moment. Not only does it have some pretty amazing Christmas markets for everyone to enjoy, but it’s also home to the tallest Christmas tree in the UK – which features plenty of colourful hearts. If that wasn’t enough, but there’s a cute bar underneath the tree that’s filled with cute little huts.
20. The Liverpool Christmas Markets
Let’s face it, last year’s Christmas markets were a little bit disappointing, but you can see the city is truly in the festive spirit this year, as we have so many Yuletide huts, bars and attractions across the city centre. Whether you’re looking for decorations, street food or a glass of mulled wine, you will spoilt for choice as you walk along Church Street, Lord Street, Paradise Street and Liverpool One.
Grab a mouth-watering brownie from The Skipton Chocolate Box, buy a festive gift for Mum at Lancashire candles or try the unusual meats on offer at Meats of the World. After all that seasonal shopping, you’ll probably deserve a well-earned break, so pop in The Bavarian Bar or Rudolph’s Rest Bar & Grill.
If you would like to learn more about Liverpool’s Christmas markets, click here.
21. With Love From Liverpool
With Love From Liverpool was a charity event held on 19th September to raise thousands of pounds to help Syrian refugees. Many famous faces joined the event to help raise as much money as possible for the cause. The concert was hosted by Liverpool comedian John Bishop, whilst the local musical line-up included The Farm, Lawson, Cast, Sense of Sound, Space, The Icicle Works, John Power, OMD, The Christians and Mic Lowry.
Many stars also offered personalised items to raise money in an auction. Local actor Stephen Graham donated and signed a complete series of Boardwalk Empire, whilst David Morrisey, The Walking Dead actor, who hails from the city, gave away a signed action figure of The Governor. Fans also bid for a Liverpool football shirt signed by Jamie Carragher, and also tried to win tickets to watch an LFC game with John Bishop.
22. Cargo Host Free Christmas Dinner for Lonely Pensioners
Christmas is the season of goodwill – and Cargo restaurant has proved just how generous they are by hosting a free Christmas Day meal for 100 lonely pensioners, after they were inspired by the touching John Lewis Christmas advert.
50 guests signed up to attend the dinner within just 24 hours, whilst 60 kind-hearted volunteers donated their time to help out. Not only will the elderly guests receive a Christmas Day meal, but they’ll also enjoy a game of bingo, live entertainment and a raffle. If that’s not a reason to be proud of this city, we don’t know what is!
23. Creative Kitchen’s Homeless Appeal
Creative Kitchen, a creative and digital event organiser, has partnered with The Whitechapel Centre, a homeless support charity, to raise awareness of the support provided by homeless people in Liverpool.
On 19th November 2015, Creative Kitchen urged members of creative, digital and business organisations to donate items such as clothing, coats, towels, food and sleeping bags to the city centre shelter, as part of their Made Here event.
As a result, thousands of items were donated at Creative Kitchen’s two collection points at Launch 22 and Baltic Creative, with the team at Apposing buying 10 new sleeping bags, whilst Juxdit collected a variety of rucksacks and bags and filled them with feminine hygiene products for women living on the streets.
24. One of the Safest Cities in the UK
It turns out Liverpool has calmed down, calmed down – because the UK Statistics Authority recently announced that Liverpool is one of the safest cities to live in the UK, and is second among the big cities after Newcastle.
Liverpool has often suffered from jokes up and down the country about the city’s crime rate, when it’s actually one of the safest metropolitan areas in the whole of the country, with destinations such as Leeds, Birmingham and Sheffield faring much worse. So, it’s official, Liverpool is a great place to live!
25. The Unveiling of the New Beatles Monument
One thing the whole city is proud about is our connection to The Beatles. The Fab Four and Liverpool are synonymous with one another, and we’re not afraid to shout about the fact that each member of the band was born and bred in the city.
There are plenty of Fab Four attractions and monuments for residents to enjoy and tourists to visit. One of the first Beatles landmarks to put on top of a person’s itinerary just has to be the new Beatles monument, which was unveiled by John Lennon’s sister, Julia Baird, on 4th December 2015, and was sculpted by Andrew Edwards. The 1.2 tonnes statue looks just like John, Paul, George and Ringo, and is perfectly situated along the Liverpool waterfront.
26. The World’s Biggest Santa Dash
8,000 people turned out to participate in the world’s biggest festive run: the Medicash Santa Dash Liverpool 2015 – with many racing to raise money for their chosen charities. The event even brought together Liverpool and Everton fans, as participants shown their allegiance to a club with a red or blue Father Christmas outfit. Not one to ever back down to pressure, Liverpool successfully beat off New York and Las Vegas to claim the title for the biggest number of racing Santas!
27. Granby 4 Streets Wins the Prestigious Turner Prize
Assemble, an artists’ collective, recently won the Turner Prize for their Toxteth-based arts project, winning the £25,000 award. Celebrations in Liverpool had already began where Granby 4 Streets initiative campaigners watched the announcement live on TV. The collective helped to regenerate derelict terraced houses in Toxteth, creating various door knobs, fire places and stair balustrades for the new homes.
We know Liverpool has plenty of achievements to shout about – so, if we’ve missed anything off this list, just drop us a comment to showcase our city’s proudest moments.