Robert Hampton

Another visitor! Stay a while… stay forever!

7th July 2012

Festival of Fun

Festival GardensThe 1980s were not particularly rosy years for Liverpool. Commerce and industry were fleeing the city, Toxteth was set on fire, and Frankie Goes to Hollywood was banned by the BBC.

Against this backdrop of despair came the International Garden Festival in 1984. It was one of many initiatives by Michael Heseltine’s task force to regenerate Liverpool after the 1981 riots. The Festival covered a vast area of south Liverpool which had previously been home to various industries, but by then had become little more than a wasteland. The decaying docks, oil jetties and rubbish tips were swept away in favour of ornamental gardens (including the showpiece Japanese Garden), an extensive miniature railway, outdoor theatres, and the Festival Hall, a wonder of aluminium and polycarbonate sheeting.

Read the rest of this post »