Article – Guide to Liverpool Culture

Guide to Liverpool Culture

(first published in Defocn Magazine – date unknown)

Anglican Cathedral

Started in the 1920s, not finished until the 1970s. Imposing and almost completely pointless, since nobody believes in God anymore. Makes occasional appearences on Songs of Praise, when it’s usually filled with earnest looking people and Aled Jones, who are all pathetically grateful to be on TV. The makers ran out of money towards the end, which is why one end is falling apart faster than the other end. Still, it looks nice all lit up like that at night. Nobody is quite sure what ‘Anglican’ means.

Metropolitan Cathedral

Also known as Paddy’s Wigwam, in an hilarious example of Scouse racist wit. Last minute replacement for what should have been something a lot bigger and scarier, but the Catholics ran out of money even quicker than the Proddys. Has been falling down since it was finished because it’s made out of a special form of metal that melts in the rain. Also makes odd appearences on Songs of Praise, but the cameramen get confused by the circular structure and tend to get the priest mixed up with the ushers. Nobody is quite sure what ‘Metropolitan’ means.

Liver Buildings

Built when Liverpool was a major sea-faring city, the money for this building didn’t come from slavery but from the cotton industry which made much of the North West into a modern day serfdom of disgusting living conditions and appallingly low mortality rates. The legend is that if ever the Liver Birds leave then Liverpool will fall into rack and ruin, a bizarre notion since, unlike the monkeys of Gibraltar and the ravens of the Tower of London, they’re not real. It’s possible that some misguided American businessman will buy them, though.

St. John’s Tower

A thrustingly modern example of 70s architecture that is eerily reminiscent of living in the not-too-distant-future. Its original purpose as a revolving restaurant was eventually curtailed when it was discovered that the sort of diners who could afford to eat there don’t particulalry care for a mixture of vertigo and centrifugal nausea during their meals. Plus the rent for this whitest of elephants was appalling. Since been taken over by Radio City, so that the DJs can go “OK wow” half a mile up in the air.

Festival Park

Just to the south of the Dingle lies a derelict site that once held the hopes of Liverpool. In the early 80s, in a cutting response to the recent riots, it was decided to build a Festival that would celebrate all things great about Liverpool. This was intended to last a year before the site would become lots of nice houses. It was so absurdly successful that someone decided to keep it going and forget about the houses. However, the novelty of the Yellow Submarine gardens quickly wore off and the site was sold to various private companies, who all lost lots of money trying to make it popular. 20 years on, the idea of using the site for something useful still hasn’t occured to anyone.

Albert Dock

Back in the 80s, the idea of building a load of shops and offices in a former dock was curiously fashionable. It was part of the yuppie culture of reclaiming formerly derelict buildings and charging enormous rents for them. Much like the Festival Park, the novelty of visiting shops here sustained it for a short while, until the size of the rents being charged and the relative pointlessness of the shops met head on. For a long time, only Richard and Judy kept this place going. Since they left for that London, the shops have disappeared faster than Saddam Hussein. And still someone thinks it would be a good idea to build loads more shops on Chavasse Park.


About klausjoynson
I'm a writer, editor, musician, DJ and cartoonist. Contact me at: klausjoynson(at) or follow me on Twitter: @KlausJoynson

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