Liverpool Makers’ Bazaar Spotlight on The Cat’s New Pyjamas

By Pauline Neville

Cats New Pyjamas 4

Karen is the powerhouse of creativity that is The Cat’s New Pyjamas. She designs and produces a wonderfully eclectic range of jewellery made in a range of metals incorporating found sea glass and sometimes, semi precious stones.

Born and raised in Stoneycroft, Old Swan, Karen now resides in Huyton. She is not the first parent to learn from her children and it was her son, Jed who set her off down the path she currently follows.

He was studying photography and found himself focussing on homeless people, she tells me. He became aware of the plight of refugees and what was being called the Calais Jungle and decided to photograph the area to raise awareness of the situation. He reasoned that if he was going to France to do this he might as well volunteer at the same time and after some time there, he retuned home only to leave university and return to France where he has been helping for the last 7 years. 

He has founded a charity Mobile Refugee Support (MRS) initially driving a generator camp to camp and allowing refugees to charge their phones, a vital communication link with estranged family members. This charity has developed into a support for Kurdish Refugees at Dunkirk.

So, what’s the link? Karen became aware of the plight of the refugees through her son and when a refugee charity online was selling elasticated beaded bracelets, she bought one. Studying this one day she realised that she could do something similar and so made her own version using Moonstone, Rose Quartz and Sandstone, mirroring the charity’s initials MRS. She sold these at an affordable price and donated all profits to the charity raising just under £1000.

Cats New Pyjamas 3
A selection of Karen’s rings

This was the start of her jewellery making journey. When a brief foray into beaded jewellery proved not for her, her husband booked two places on a a ring making class as a gift and she was hooked. Karen still wears the first ring she made there and explained that although a comparatively simple piece, its production ensured that she was introduced to many essential techniques necessary in silversmithing; filing, hammering, sawing and soldering.

Next she began trawling YouTube, hungry for instructional videos and acquiring new techniques, learning by doing with the very basic tools she had at her disposal. As her interest deepened, she treated herself to more and more tools and now boasts more pliers than her husband. In a final act of commitment to silversmithing she sold her bead stash. Investing the funds into converting her spare bedroom into a practical and specialist workshop. Her husband built two workbenches; one with an oxygen converter and propane cylinder which affords a hotter flame for working larger surface areas and she was good to go.

Initially working in copper to keep her mistakes less expensive, Karen especially enjoys working with silver now. Her pieces are stamped 925 but not hallmarked she explains that having a piece hallmarked is a costly process and she is trying to keep her jewellery affordable.

Karen works only with recycled silver which she buys in sheets or as wire depending on what she is using it for. In turn she collects and keeps even the smallest offcuts from her work and the company she buys her recycled silver from pay her for these to smelt down and produce more sheets and wire which Karen then buys back…in a shiny silver circle of life. She finds silver the easiest metal to work with as it gets to the right temperature more consistently and can be soldered without damaging the surface pattern that she has just created.

She often incorporates copper and brass, this mixture of metals is often put to best use in her fabulous fidget rings. These are rings that spin freely on top of base rings, great for those of us with ADHD. She also uses recycled copper pipes which she transforms into copper cuffs which may be stamped or engraved, engraving is a new adventure for Karen.

Following jewellers online for inspiration and to extend her repertoire of techniques Karen came across the use of sea glass set as a stone and coincidentally had recently acquired some when walking on Crosby Beach earlier that same week. Sea glass is often collected due to its vibrancy of colour and the seeming glow of light that even the tiniest fragment can sometimes afford.

Karen smiles when talking about her studio, she tells me “It is my happy place. I pop in there to do a five minute job and sometimes emerge four hours later with a handful of pieces!”

Cats New Pyjamas 6
Karen working in her studio

Her favourite task is creating unique settings for each piece of glass or stone as no two are the same and she often pierces the metal backplate to pendants to add interest and allow more light to shine through the piece. A technique that I can confirm is very effective judging by the beautiful necklace she was wearing when we met.

I wondered what the first piece Karen sold was. She told me that sawing is not as easy you might think, you cannot just pick up a saw and do it, you have to hone your skills so by way of a practice piece she made a chip fork!  It sold in 10 mins and more followed sometimes stamped with initials or names. We have some very fancy chip eaters here in Liverpool! So, if you’re looking for a gift for the person who has everything, there’s an idea for you.

Her best sellers at the moment are her delicate stacking rings and the fidget rings which sold out at her last visit to the Liverpool Makers’ Bazaar at the The Old Police Station.

Karen is looking forward to retirement when she can focus all her attention on experimenting with new processes and designs…when babysitting duties allow! Her youngest granddaughter  considers her “mumum” very cool, as she plays with hammers and fire and has already shown an interest in following in her grandmother’s footsteps.

All profits from Karen’s jewellery goes to support the charity Mobile Refugee Support.

The Cat’s New Pyjamas can be found as follows;

Etsy: TheCat’sNewPyjamas

Facebook: The Cat’s New Pyjamas

email: thecatsnewpyjamas@gmail.com

Or telephone 07411 621 293.

Or swing by and try things on at Liverpool Makers’ Bazaar at the Old Police Station on Sunday 3 March.

LGBTQ+ Guide To The Liverpool City Region

Homotopia's Queer the City: Drag Cabaret
Homotopia’s Queer the City: Drag Cabaret. Photo Credit: Mark McNulty

From the groundbreaking moments that shaped the community to the establishment of organisations and inclusive spaces, we take a look back at Liverpool’s LGBTQ+ history and share information on organisations, resources and events that celebrate and support the LGBTQ+ community.

Liverpool’s LGBTQ+ History

Liverpool has been at the forefront of many different LGBTQ+ movements throughout the years, and currently stands loud and proud with the LGBTQ+ community. 

  • In 1994 the first (pre watershed) lesbian kiss was featured in Liverpool soap opera Brookside and broadcasted on national television.
  • In 2005 Liverpool Registry Office became the first to include a gay couple in promotional material.
  • In 2011, Liverpool was the first British city to officially recognise a Gay Quarter, with the introduction of rainbow street signs along Stanley Street. 
  • In 2012, Liverpool Pride was the first in the country to have a football club ‘officially’ represented at an UK Pride event, which has continued ever since with the clubs’ proud supporters marching in solidarity with the cities LGBTQ+ community.


LGBTQ+ Organisations, Events & Safe Spaces

Homotopia

Founded in 2003, Homotopia is a Liverpool based arts and social justice organisation making a cultural impact through art and activism. They aim to support and platform local, national, and international LGBTQIA socially engaged artists and creatives.

Every November they present Homotopia Festival, where they feature a wide variety of LGBTQIA art across multiple venues and outdoor spaces in Liverpool. This is the UK’s longest running LGBTQIA festival and a great safe space to express your creativity and be your authentic self.

Additionally, year round they have multiple projects aimed at supporting national LGBTQ+ culture and community. Their various projects include:

These projects create a safe, creative space for everyone to express their individuality. They also host various Queer Creative Meet-ups, a powerful opportunity to connect with likeminded individuals and seek career advice. 

Homotopia: Bluecoat, L1

 

The Pride Quarter

The Pride Quarter, that encompasses Stanley Street and surrounding areas, provides a safe space for a great night out.

Liverpool’s first ‘gay quarter’ was based around the original Queen Square, until its demolition to make way for St John’s Shopping Precinct in the 1960s. By 1972, Stanley Street was established as the new quarter, with the opening of the legendary Paco’s Bar. In 2011, Liverpool City Council officially recognised the area as the city’s Pride Quarter.

The area features many iconic venues and drag nights that simply cannot be missed. Bars such as OMG Liverpool, GBar and Heaven are just a few of the amazing venues in The Pride Quarter, and undeniably offer some of the biggest and best nightlife in the city.

Pride Quarter: Stanley Street, L1  

 

GYRO LGBTQ+ Youth Club

Founded in 1976, GYRO (Gay Youth ‘R’ Out) is the UK’s longest running LGBTQ+ youth group, setting out to provide support to youths who may be questioning their sexuality and/or gender identity. They create a safe space for vulnerable youths, offering a 1 to 1 service and various group activities to try to make sure that nobody feels alone and improve their self-esteem, self-acceptance, and confidence.  

They have a support group running for 11-16 year olds every Tuesday from 4:30pm – 6pm, and for 16-25 year olds it’s held every Thursday at 6pm – 7:30pm.

GYRO: YPAS Central Hub, Lyndene Road, L25

 

Pride In Liverpool

Pride in Liverpool aims to position the Liverpool city region as the most LGBTQ+ friendly region in the UK. They aim to do this by highlighting the daily barriers that LGBTQ+ people living in and visiting the region face, and by creating an inclusive culture where people feel they can fully participate and contribute.

The official Pride In Liverpool celebration takes place in Liverpool city centre every summer and you can check out their website for details.

Pride in Liverpool: LCR Pride Foundation, Mann Island, L3

 

Museum of Liverpool LGBTQ+ audio trail

The Museum of Liverpool has partnered up with the Bottoming Podcast duo, Matthew Riley and Brendan Geoghegan, to create a special LGBTQ+ audio trail to listen to as you walk around the museum.

The Bottoming Podcast looks at mental health in the LGBTQ+ community and how this affects people on a larger scale. The audio trail includes an artwork of Pete Burns by Ben Youdan, the Villanelle outfit from Killing Eve and a Football Equalities Display. Download the floor maps of their LGBTQ+ exhibits here.

National Museums Liverpool also have a wealth of LGBTQ+ art history and activism coverage online, which includes many articles, videos and images. Artists featured include, David Hockney, Leonardo Da Vinci and Edward Lear.

Museum of Liverpool: Mann Island, L3, 10am – 5pm, closed Mondays.

 

Mersey Marauders FC
Mersey Marauders FC

Mersey Marauders FC

Mersey Marauders FC are Merseyside’s LGBTQ+ football club, offering LGBTQ+ people in Merseyside the opportunity to play football in a supportive and inclusive environment.

Since 2005, Mersey Marauders FC have provided a friendly, inclusive space for LGBT+ people and allies to play football in the Liverpool City Region. They run weekly training sessions for players of all abilities – everyone is welcome. Players come from a wide range of backgrounds and experience – some have been playing most of their lives, but others come having barely kicked a ball before. They cater for both these groups, and everyone in-between.

You can find out more about the team and join them here.

 

Sefton Pride

Sefton Pride CIC was founded in May 2023 and held their first event in July 2023. Their aims are to provide an annual Pride event as well as year round education and community support.

Sefton Pride originated after Southport resident, Jennifer Corcoran, attended Joe Lycett’s More, More, More! show in 2023 at the M&S Bank Arena in Liverpool.  Part of the set was dedicated to how the comedian and LGBTQ+ activist had curated a Pride event in his hometown. Jennifer came away from the gig determined to bring an event to her home borough of Sefton.

Visit their Instagram for more information.

Sefton Pride: Walnut Street, Southport, PR8

Wirral LGBT Network

Wirral LGBT Network offers information, advice, support, advocacy, training and volunteering opportunities for LGBTIQA people. The Network was set up in September 2012 as a result of an LGBT Needs Assessment carried out by Wirral NHS.

Their vision is a thriving, diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans community on the Wirral. A place where LGBT people feel safe and are free from discrimination. Visit their Facebook page to find out more.

Wirral LGBT Network: 5 Bridge Street, Birkenhead, CH45

 

GLOW Halton Youth LGBT

GLOW provides access to youth worker support, information and advice. They provide a safe space for young people to socialise with access to informal educational opportunities and positive activities.

GLOW run two clubs on Tuesdays – one for 11 – 15 years (5 – 6.30pm) and another for 16-24 years (7 – 9pm) – from their centre in Widnes. They also provide trips out and activities including arts and crafts, sports, film nights, music and more

GLOW: The Studio, Lacey Street, Widnes, WA8

 

Over The Rainbow St Helens

Over The Rainbow is a social support group in St Helens for 13-19 Year olds who are LGBT+. They run a closed confidential youth group based in St Helens, Merseyside. At Over the Rainbow, you will find a group of likeminded young people that you can socialise with safely.

They offer information, advice and guidance on a range of issues relevant to young people in general and LGBTQ young people in particular, including coming out, bullying, sexual and emotional and mental health and well-being.

Follow them on Instagram for information and updates.

LGBTQ+ Guide To The Liverpool City Region - Queer & Proud

Resources

Comics Youth LGBTQ+ Trail

With the help of 14 queer icons from in and around Liverpool Comics Youth have created this LGBTQ+ Trail highlighting spaces and places most LGBTQ+ people feel they belong.

Creative Community Organisation, Comics Youth, do incredible work for young people in the city. Empowering youth across Merseyside to flourish from the margins of society, they offer a wide range of opportunities for people, from zine creation and comic book workshops to youth-led publishing hubs and social campaigns.

Comics Youth CIC: Make CIC, Hamilton Square, Birkenhead, CH4

 

Sahir House

Sahir House provides vital frontline services to communities in Liverpool and the Merseyside area, including sexual health services and LGBTQ+ support services.

Their LGBTQ+ Peer-to-Peer Groups offer the opportunity to meet and share experiences and become more involved in Merseyside’s LGBTQ+ community. All groups are free and welcome new members. Find out more.

Sahir House can also signpost you to a variety of independently run local groups.

Sahir House: 151 Dale Street, L2

Our Pick of Christmas Pantos in the Liverpool City Region 2023

By Ade Blackburn

Pantomimes in the Liverpool City Region 2023

Pantomime season is here again and the Liverpool city region has a host of excellent shows this year. From Boy George in Peter Pan, Liam Fox in Aladdin and the legendary Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto at the Everyman, there’s a varied and immensely fun selection on offer.

1. Aladdin: St Helens Theatre Royal (2 December – 4 January)

Take a 3D magic carpet ride this Christmas with Aladdin at St Helens Theatre Royal, where you’ll be whisked off to a spectacular pantoland. Emmerdale’s Liam Fox makes his professional panto debut as the evil Abanazer, and pantomime royalty Leanne Campbell appears digitally as the magical ‘Genie of the Mirror’.

They promise gorgeous sets, dazzling costumes, plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and an excellent soundtrack.

2.Cinderella: The Everyman Rock n Roll Panto (17 November – 20 January 2024)

The iconic Everyman Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto is back, and this year they’re telling the story of Cinderella. With heaps of sass, silliness and sparkle, their gifted actor-musicians will bring the classic fairy tale to life, in surprising style.

Bursting with banging pop and rock tunes, this is a show to have you singing and dancing along, no matter what your age.

3. Peter Pan: M&S Bank Arena (2-3 December)

A big budget adaptation of J.M Barrie’s much-loved Peter Pan will be flying into Liverpool’s M&S Bank Arena this December. The show promises a spectacular spin on the timeless classic adventure. Legendary Culture Club star and DJ, Boy George, also debuts as Captain Hook in this fun Neverland fantasy.

Featuring fabulous digital animation, the unique show boasts a cast of fifty, including a dozen cirque performers and daring aerial stunts.

4. Sleeping Beauty: The Auditorium (16 December – 30 December)

This year’s spectacular Sleeping Beauty pantomime at The Auditorium, features great live music, showstopping dance routines and beautiful costumes. It’s sure to be a magical experience for children and adults alike.

The show features reality TV star and model, Katie Price as Carabosse, comedy sensation Bippo as The Castle Clown, plus Britain’s Got Talent finalist Lucy Kay as The Fairy.

5. Jack and the Beanstalk: The Atkinson, Southport (7 – 31 December)

Join hero Jack Trott as he embarks on an extraordinary journey up the beanstalk to an enchanted land above the clouds. With hilarious antics, lovable characters, and a handful of magic beans, this traditional Jack and the Beanstalk panto is captivating for audiences of all ages.

Packed with toe-tapping songs and stunning sets, this larger-than-life pantomime promises to be an unmissable treat for everyone this festive season.

6. Beauty and the Beast: Ten Streets Social (29 November – 5 December)

Join the fun for a pantomime tale as old as time, Beauty and the Beast. Meet Belle and her friends on this magical adventure, as they discover that beauty is more than skin deep.

There’ll be glittering outfits and fantastic staging, alongside plenty of audience participation and huge helpings of laughter. Beauty and the Beast is a family pantomime not to be missed.

7. Mother Goose: Merchant Taylors’ Boys School, Crosby (3 – 10 December)

The Waterloo & Crosby Theatre Company are hosting their 41st annual family pantomime, Mother Goose. A traditional pantomime with a twist and some hilarious antics, on the stage and off.

The show is written by Laughing Cat Pantomimes and directed by Rosie Shields

8. Beauty and the Beast: Gladstone Theatre, Port Sunlight (8 – 31 December)

The enchanting Beauty and the Beast is making its way into The Gladstone Theatre this Christmas, as the Dreamworld Entertainments team return for another family pantomime in Port Sunlight.

Along with a spectacular cast, there’s all the laughs and traditions with a modern twist, their audience have come to know and love. Expect magic, mystery and lots of sparkle as they take you on a journey to find spell breaking love!

9. Jack and The Beanstalk: Floral Pavilion, New Brighton (9 December – 7 January 2024)

This Jack and The Beanstalk production is full of song and dance numbers, bags of audience participation, plus magnificent 3D effects.

The show is led by TV star Hayley Tamaddon as The Vegetable Fairy, Hayley is known for her roles in Emmerdale and Coronation Street. Joining her on stage will be CBeebies Joseph Elliot, as Fleshcreep, and Blood Brothers star Sean Jones, as Simple Simon. Not forgetting Oliver Brooks as the unmissable Dame Trott!

10. The Wizard of Oz: Liverpool Empire (13 December – 7 January 2024)

Featuring the iconic score from the Oscar-winning film, Liverpool Empire has a production of The Wizard of Oz, including the classics, Over The Rainbow and Follow The Yellow Brick Road. Join Dorothy, Toto, and friends on a magical adventure down the yellow brick road.

Based on the much-loved movie, this critically rated production is directed by Nikolai Foster, known for his work on legendary musicals such as A Chorus Line and Billy Elliot The Musical.

11. Dick Whittington: Hope Street Theatre (14 – 31 December)

This Dick Whittington show features Hope Street’s favourite panto dame John Garfield-Roberts, serving comedy chaos as Sarah the Cook, alongside Lesley Butler as the revolting Queen Rat and Phil Perez as fantastically funny Fitzwarren.

Produced by Christopher Jones of Just Entertainment, the show features a host of Merseyside performers, including a large junior ensemble from the Hope Street based Performers Theatre School.

12. The Scouse Genie (Adults Panto): Hope Street Theatre (28 November – 2 December)

City Theatre present their first ever adult panto, The Scouse Genie, at Hope Street Theatre this year.

Based on the famous Aladdin story, The Scouse Genie tells the tale of Aria, a local Scouse girl who lives with her mum, Liver Bird, and her brother and sister, Timothy and Stacey. Set in Liverpool, this rebooted version of Aladdin will be something you’ve never seen before!

Explore The City With These Walking Tours

Get your steps in and explore Liverpool in a whole new light with these walking tours.

1. The Liver Bird Safari

The Liver Bird Safari

If you’re looking for an alternative way to discover the history of Liverpool and the famous Liver Birds, then look no further than the Liver Bird Safari. Aside from the famous Liver Bird Building there’s over 100 Liver Birds in the city, embedded in the architecture. On this two hour walking tour you’ll discover plenty of the lesser known Liver Birds and their history.

 

2. Liverpool Slavery Walking Tour

Laurence Westgaph Slavery Walking Tours

Historian and writer Laurence Westgaph runs regular walking tours where you can find out about the city’s slavery history. The tours start at St George’s Hall Plateau and will take you across historical city centre locations. Sign up to one of Laurence’s tours here.

 

3. Reel Tours – Film & TV Location Tour

Reel Tours Gary Lunt

Liverpool is the most filmed city in Europe, outside London, so you can imagine there’s a plethora of tv and film shooting locations dotted across the city centre. That’s where Gary Lunt of Reel Tours comes in. Gary is the city’s film buff, who will take you on a guided tour of some fascinating film locations, parting with film trivia along the way. Check out Gary’s local film knowledge here.

 

4. Shiverpool Historic Ghost Walks

Shiverpool

The multi-award winning Shiverpool Ghost Tours are one of the best ways to spend an evening exploring Liverpool. Shiverpool’s hilarious street theatre ghost tours are super fun and packed full of history and interesting stories about the city.

 

5. Mersey Tunnel Tour

Mersey Tunnel Tours

Did you know you can tour the Queensway Mersey Tunnel? You’ll learn about the construction of the tunnel, visit the original control room, see giant ventilation fans in action and go down to watch the traffic in the tunnel, deep below the city streets.​ You will also find out which Hollywood movies the tunnel has featured in.

 

6. The Old Dock Tour

The Liverpool Old Dock Tour

Discover the origin of Liverpool’s fortune, buried underneath Liverpool ONE with the Old Dock Tour. Revealed during excavations on the site in 2001, the story of the world’s first commercial enclosed wet dock is explored on this guided tour.

 

7. Silent Adventures

Silent Adventures Liverpool

If you’re looking for something a little bit different then Silent Adventures offer a unique and unforgettable walking tour around Liverpool city centre. Take a guided walk around the streets, which will soon escalate into a silent disco flash mob, with you at the heart of it. Also, did you know they offer a festive Silent Disco tour around the tinsel-swept streets of Liverpool? Check it out here!

8. Heritage, History and Culture Guided Walking Tour

Immerse yourself in the vibrant and colourful city of Liverpool with this Heritage, History and Culture Walking Tour! This tour showcases both historic and contemporary architecture, and brings the history of the city to life through personal stories and anecdotes.

 

9. The Beatles Fully Guided Walking Tour

 

Liverpool Beatles Statue

The Beatles Walking Tour is perfect for music and Beatles fans alike. The tour showcases the history and musical culture of Liverpool as your tour guide shares fascinating stories that create a fun, interesting and memorable tour.

 

10. Liverpool Cycling Tour

Liverpool Cycling Tour

 

Enjoy Liverpool in a way only a cycling tour of the city can offer and join us on the award-winning Liverpool Cycle Tours who offer something for everyone, be it their Beatles Tour or their Walking and Drinking Tour, they have it all covered. Not a cyclist? No problem they also have electric motor assisted bikes.

To find out what else you can get up to in Liverpool visit our What’s On section.

Liverpool Makers’ Bazaar Spotlight On Mollusc By The Sea

By Pauline Neville

Mollusc By The Sea 4

Helen Parry is the creative force behind Mollusc By The Sea. Born and bred in Liverpool and proud of it…. for Helen, art has been always in the background, whilst she lived her life. Although she loved art at school, she was persuaded to drop it in in favour of the sciences, as is often the case perceived by her family to be of more use. Although Helen tells me that in her youth, women were more commonly steered down the route of the caring professions and indeed Helen’s mother encouraged her Helen into nursing. She followed a career spanning nursing and midwifery but managed to take a foundation in fine arts along the way and married raising 3 daughters with her husband.

Helen and I chatted about being the mother of young children and how it can be a time when it would be easy to lose yourself to some degree, always being identified as someone’s mother, with people never remembering your name even ….only who you are in reference to a child that their child goes to school with. She declares lack of time to be the enemy of art. Indeed, people often tell us at our handmade markets that they’d love to try new crafts…  If they only had the time. Retirement gave Helen the gift of time and she was able to indulge her desire to create. She decided that this time was hers and that she would use it exactly as she wanted.

Helen’s mother had taught her to crochet and she began making miniature everlasting cacti in tiny terracotta pots. The collection grew until it rivalled the palm house with tiny plants crowded onto every flat surface. Her brother mentioned that he’d never seen anything like them and suggested that perhaps she might sell them. Helen was unconvinced, as is so common. She was lacking confidence in her own work and felt that it would be too nerve racking to set it out before strangers . Luckily with her husbands support and her daughters’ encouragement she overcame her fears and booked a stall at her first market. After positive feedback and securing her first sale, she was thrilled….and hooked and began looking around for other markets to attend. She wanted to expand the crochet developing new stitches and patterns but came to realise that this craft was not for her.

We have always maintained at Liverpool Makers’ Bazaar that there is a craft for everyone and if you consider yourselves not to be creative it’s just that you have not yet discovered the medium that suits you.

While holidaying with her husband at a youth hostel in Boggle Hole, near Robin Hood’s Bay Helen was chatting to people who had been collecting items from the beach and discussing what could be done with these souvenirs when she spotted a tiny box on the wall made from driftwood. It housed a miniatures seaside scene. She was enthralled and the feeling stayed with her and once home, she determined to give it a go.

She remembered that when studying photography her college had organised a trip to Crosby Beach and she had  been fascinated by the objects that the sand had yielded up. Beyond the usual sea washed pottery and driftwood there had been tiles, and man made metals and huge lumps of architectural stonework from municipal buildings. Intrigued, she researched the history of the beach and found that it was littered with rubble from the blitz.

She feels it is a record of normal lives swept up and dumped. When walking on the beach she says, you are walking on family history.

She reminisced about family holidays in Gronant Beach in N Wales in the 1960 and recalled many happy hours collecting treasures like sea washed glass, shells and tiny scraps of colourful plastic. During 2nd world war people of Liverpool were evacuated to Gronant  where there was no electricity nor water as all the structures were handmade bungalows but the welcome was warm with locals donating caravans for families to live in. There were also railway carriages  used as homes. Helen’s Great uncle built a bungalow there for her grandmother, where together with her 9 children and their children the family enjoyed many happy holidays there. What could be more quintessentially British than a seaside trip ?

Helen remembers it very much as a recycled village powered by the make do and mend philosophy very evident in Helen’s work today as all materials are found salvaged or gifted. Most frequently from the beaches they depict so quaintly.

So Helen began developing her trade mark scenes honing a plethora of crafts, woodwork painting and chiefly problem solving to allow her to turn her collection of salvage into desirable representations of tiny seaside scenes. Some are replicated from life, but in the main,  they spring directly from her imagination. A combination of remembered structures form a lifetime of seaside trips. Under her skilful hands tiny scraps of discarded thread become seagulls and slithers of unwanted wood, colourful cottages or proud and purposeful lighthouses. Looking closely you will find miniature boats bobbing on the waves of painted seas.

Attendance at local art and craft markets such as Liverpool Makers’ Bazaar has helped Helen gain confidence and enjoy meeting new people. She mentioned that the atmosphere at the Lark Lane venue is always warm and friendly. The other stallholders are always  welcoming and supportive and the customers friendly and always finding time to chat. They are intrigued by her work which invariably prompts happy conversations, memories of childhood holidays that they had enjoyed beside the sea.

As we become older, Helen muses, we hark back perhaps to the simple pleasures of our childhood, a day at the sea with the sand between our toes.

As the tiny worlds that Helen creates find their places on our shelves or walls they are little islands of mindfulness in our busy worlds.

Feel free to contact Helen on molluscz@icloud.com.

Or better still come visit her at The Old Police Station on Sunday 12 November, at Liverpool Makers’ Bazaar to appreciate her tiny worlds first hand.

Let Your Creative Side Shine: Art Hubs and Creative Centres in the Liverpool City Region

By Jessica Marshall

Here are some art hubs and creative centres in the Liverpool City Region for you to explore your creative side.

Arts Hubs and Creative Spaces in the Liverpool City Region

Make Liverpool

Make CIC is a creative-led organisation with spaces across Liverpool City Region (Baltic, North Docks and Hamilton Square). At Make people come together to share skills, make, fix and create. It’s a place to learn new skills, uncover your inner talents and rediscover your passions. Make is the best place for creatives, makers and doers to hang out all under one roof. There’s workshops both the community and Make members, studios for residents and loads of events to attend.

Established in 2012, Make has become one of the popular community hubs for artists and local businesses, integrating various fields, such as drawing, painting, ceramics, printmaking, embroidery, and woodcraft.

Smithdown Social Arts Hub

Smithdown Social Arts Hub is an enterprise which works tirelessly to support local artists and help people develop their skills whilst providing them with a platform to share their work with the community, through their gallery space. They also support local musicians and writer’s in developing their skills further and sharing it with the world. They host many art exhibitions at Gallery 455, and they offer their own art classes for the community to get stuck into.

Bluecoat

Bluecoat is a contemporary arts centre in which many exhibitions, events, and workshops are held for the community to get involved with and discover art in different forms. They aim to provide people with creative outlets who may not have had the chance to explore their creative side. They offer free family events throughout summer for you and your family to get stuck into.

dot-art

Independent gallery and dot-art run lots of great arts and creative classes for children and adults. Their courses include life drawing, abstract painting, cartooning, photography, an introduction to darkroom, textile arts, Cyanotype workshops and more.

Writing On The Wall

Writing On The Wall is a creative project which inspires writers within the community to share their talent for words and meet others who share the same passion. Their aim is to provide writers with the platform for their voices to be heard and celebrated. They understand the power of words and how important stories are for the progression of society which is why they host various workshops and events for adults, young people, and professionals to develop their skills. They are also a huge advocate for the power writing can have for mental health support and promote working through your emotions by writing it out.

Merseymade

Merseymade is a creative hub in which art studios are set up for local artists to work in, from painters to nail artists and jewellery makers. You can stop by to watch these artists at work and shop their designs, as well as dine at their café. If you would rather get involved creatively, they host many events and workshops ranging from wine tasting to clay making and candle making. Head over to the Merseymade website to browse the events they have to offer.

Zap Graffiti

Zap Graffiti is an art venue in which graffiti art is celebrated and explored. They host graffiti art classes which are available for children aged 6+ and adults to develop basic skills and technique. The classes are taught outside, and all equipment is provided for your little ones to discover their inner artist and learn an amazing skill. They also host art galleries for the community to come and visit some talented wall murals. If you’re already a graffiti artist looking for a canvas, they have a variety of sites to offer where you can let your creative juices flow.

MD Creatives

MD Creatives is a project that was expanded upon from the dance school ‘MD Productions’ in order to provide the community with an opportunity to get involved in performing arts and expand their skills within areas such as cooking, hairdressing, DJ’ing, make-up and more alongside dance. They have lots of courses and services available online to get involved with and enhance your communication and social skills as well as gain employability and life skills. If you have a passion for performing arts or you’re looking to join their academy and meet like-minded people visit their website for more information.

The Art Room Wirral

The Art Room is a studio which offers a range of art classes including one to one classes and workshops both in person and online for adults and children. The classes focus on art and crafts including mixed media, drawing, watercolour and more! If you’re an artist or you’re someone who is just wanting to start out, be sure to check out their website and develop your skills today.

Studio Arts Liverpool

Studio Arts Liverpool is based in the Bridewell Studios on Prescot Street, L7,  and has been running classes since 2015 for people of all abilities. There are various classes and courses on offer, including the recent addition of collagraphs and drypoint etching. At the end of each course, students are invited to exhibit their work in the Bridewell Studios gallery to celebrate their achievements. For more information about courses, check here.

China Butterfly Craft Centre Formby

The China Butterfly Craft Centre is a pottery studio, offering pottery painting for all ages. If you want to get more hands on you can take on the pottery wheel and get creative with your own designs. There’s designs already to choose from such as ornaments, trinkets, dishware etc. you can just show up and get straight to it, adding your own character to your chosen item using acrylic or glaze paints. Why not grab a bite whilst you’re there?

Frankie’s Paint It Pottery

Another art hub which offers pottery painting is Frankie’s painting pottery which is open to everyone in the community. With a wide range of objects to choose from at different prices, why not get creative and learn a new skill? Pottery can be a perfect outlet for your emotions and to take time out of your daily routine to relax and create. It’s also a great way to meet new people. They also host events such as Prosecco And Paint for adults and clay imprint workshops. Check out their website for more information.

Sola Arts

Sola Arts is an art organisation which focuses on art psychotherapy, working with adults, families, and children with mental health needs, providing individual and group art therapy for people to express themselves and gain support. They offer social support and help people develop skills and increase their confidence and independence in both life and art and crafts.

You can also discover a whole range of workshops, arts classes and events by checking out our events listings here.

Celebrating Paul O’Grady: A Scouse Drag Icon’s Enduring Influence

Lily Savage

Liverpool comedy drag performer, Filla Crack, share their reflections on the indispensable legacy of the working-class drag icon, Paul O’Grady, aka Lily Savage. They also their upcoming charity event, a fitting tribute to the star who left an indelible mark on the city, the drag scene and the entertainment world.

As a young working class gay lad from Liverpool, seeing Lily Savage streamed live into our homes on a Saturday Night was the representation people like me needed to see. Skip decades ahead, having watched Paul O’Grady continue on a majorly successful career (still touring with Annie the Musical and due to appear at The Liverpool Empire before sadly passing away) it’s fair to say Paul left a legacy. One of which is pure inspiration for people like me, who ended up joining the whacky world of drag. To feel there is a career for us, through representation, whilst also having hope and understanding that we can play these comedy characters, whilst also having morals.

A drag queen who swears but also cares? Absolutely.

We all know the North / South divide is real, look at HS2 for example. The media likes to push out narratives of us working class being rude, unwilling to work, abusing drink / drugs, brash, unhealthy, tasteless. Now think about that. The word “queer” has historically been used as a slur, meaning “strange / odd,” but used as a weapon to offend people who fall away from sexuality and gender norms, so to reclaim the word takes back power. I think that’s exactly what Paul did with charm, in a comedic way. To play into the stereotypes takes away power from the slurs, but to be horribly funny whilst doing it, is typically Northern. We win when we claim our culture. I might start identifying as a pauper.

So it’s fair to say, when Paul passed away, the city felt a loss, especially amongst the drag scene. For those of my generation and those before us, we adored the character and the man behind the dark roots, fishnets, charm and offense. We all have admiration for celebrities, peers, and those who live in the limelight, so to see the media presence and tributes pour in after Paul’s passing rippled through the city, the media, and the drag community.

We all felt the loss and wanted to mourn and celebrate his life. But, in times we lose an idol, understand it’s important to remember they are human and let those near and dear deal with the loss in a way they feel fit, whether they choose to mourn and celebrate his life publicly or privately.  

Cut to a few weeks later, Carla Lane Animals In Need posted an image of empty dog food shelves on social media, the first thing I thought was “if Paul was here now, he wouldn’t have that!” I called upon a few drags in the city and suggested we celebrate Lily as the drag community in Liverpool, whilst also helping those in need. Entertainment and charity? Perfect. 

Savage! A Celebration of Lily Savage, is an arts market with food and drink which will feature drag performances, hosted at Birkenhead Arts Palace on Sunday 8 October. Entry is free and all proceeds will go to Carla Lane Animals In Need. Dogs are welcome (and cash preferred.) There is still space for stallholders, so contact Filla Crack here for information.

The community has come together to create an event nodding to the area where Paul was brought up. I’m so very proud our scene can pull together for a worthy cause. Our drag queens, kings and things are the new generation of drag. We hold space to represent the future of gender bending art and working class representation. This event is more than just a fundraiser, it’s an excuse to celebrate the community spirit us Northerners do best.

Savage! A Celebration of Lily Savage
Sunday 8 October
From 5pm
Birkenhead Arts Palace, 128 Whitford Road

Liverpool Makers’ Bazaar Spotlight On Felt Fabulous Gifts

By Pauline Neville

Felt Fabulous Gifts
Amanda

Amanda is the smiling face behind Felt Fabulous Gifts. She was originally from Bromborough, on the Wirral. Following completion of a degree in Psychology, she was unable to identify an appropriate path of employment and took a job with the police. Here, she met the man who would become her husband. The couple moved into a flat in Liverpool together and she never left.

Amanda says that she loves much of Liverpool and is especially drawn to certain areas that she describes as little islands with their own personalities such as Lark Lane with it’s relaxed hippy vibe and extensive choice of quality food and drink options. Of course there is also The Old Police Station, home to the monthly flea market and the Liverpool Makers Bazaar, where Amanda regularly sells her delightful handmade art alongside other talented local artists. She enjoys the friendly atmosphere and interested customers.

Over the years Amanda has dabbled in a variety of crafts. She laughs, explaining how she would buy equipment, use it a few times then tire of that craft, moving onto something else. I had recently seen an amusing post pop up in my feed where a crafter had explained that “people need to realise that buying craft supplies…and actually crafting are two different hobbies!”

I confess, my personal cupboard of shame boasts several uncompleted projects that languish in bags because I was too impatient to see them through. I was unsatisfied with my ability to master a new technique to my satisfaction or unhappy with the progress I had made. One day I will challenge myself to revisit them but that day is not in the foreseeable future!

Luckily for us one day Amanda happened upon needle felting. She began by needle felting onto a felt background, creating landscapes which she gifted to family and friends. She developed her style in this way but was never truly happy with the texture. To her mind,  it was “too fluffy.”

So, she began experimenting with wet felt. She explored techniques and made 3D objects, such as bowls. As her confidence in her work grew, she opened an Etsy shop. Her husband also encouraged her to set up as a sole trader and Felt Fabulous Gifts as we have come to love it, was born.

Felt Fabulous Gifts Sheep

Now firmly committed to her felting journey Amanda wanted new challenges and sought out books covering many styles and techniques. These books led her to experiment and she began making small 3D needle felted animals….and she was home. More experience, combined with her love of nature resulted in the range of tiny woollen creatures she is creating today.

Amanda has also offered classes in needle felting approaching a friend who was running a sewing group to request that she use her space to organise and run sessions for beginners. This felt like a natural progression as Amanda had taught in a previous life and was keen to share the joy and satisfaction of creating such unique creatures with others. She discovered that even when a group of people are following the same instructions the resulting owl or robin would each have their own character, personality even.

Teaching the workshops, Amanda found a great sense of achievement, in assisting people with starting their own crafting journey.  Their satisfaction came from creating something new but also from enjoying the mindfulness that making any piece of art can so often bring.

At this time, Amanda began leaving her work at retail outlets Arts Hub and Florence and Fox and ran more workshops. These were popular with groups celebrating occasions such as Christmas, special birthdays, or hen dos.

With experience  of commissions, Amanda learned to identify the tiny details that makes each pet unique. She was creating representations of much loved pets whether totally freestanding or as a 3D wallhanging panel. Making pieces of an actual living creature involves so much consultation, she tells me. The customer provides photographs, but will also relay information specific to their pet, such as commenting on their especially fluffy ears or extra lolling tongue. It is this combination of pictures and personal impressions which allow Amanda to faithfully reproduce the essence of each animal.

When making a memorial model for a customer it came to Amanda that some of the actual dog hair could be needlefelted into the artwork along with the usual British wool, making it even more special for the owner to treasure.

Most recently, Amanda has been creating brighter bolder models to make nursery mobiles or home decor. When she received a commission to construct an underwater themed mobile for a new child Amanda worked closely with the customer to agree colour schemes and even characters to be included. This resulted in a particularly personal and unique piece of art that thrilled the customer. Such a special item is surely, destined to become a family heirloom.

Felt Fabulous Gifts

Amanda found that she enjoyed being taken outside her comfort zone colour-wise, as working to recreate nature had meant gravitating to a very muted colour palette. It has also led to the development of a range of underwater creatures. Which nestle quietly alongside her favourite range of British birds.

Obviously with commissions Amanda adheres to a greater extent to a brief and enjoys the satisfaction that the customer demonstrates on receiving the artworks reflecting their very own pets. However, when creating for herself, Amanda enjoys the freedom of creating her version of creatures rather than a more faithful representation.

Like so many artists Amanda mentions the therapeutic nature of art, going so far as to say she has on occasion “felted her way through trauma.” I think all artists can identify with the feeling of total absorption in creation and how it can be a lifeline to switch off and provide a short holiday from daily life when needed.

One favourite commission saw her make a dog for an elderly woman with dementia, the finished product provided a comforting presence, something to cuddle.

Felt Fabulous Gifts - Duck

She has had customers cry happy tears on receiving the finished artworks.

She recalls the woman who had to return home abroad after an extended stay with her grandchildren. She expressed her joy at feeling more connected to the family after commissioning a small model of the pet dog for each of the children and posting these to them, after she was home.

In common with many makers, Amanda expressed a preference for selling her art directly to the public. She mentioned that the face to face contact afforded at markets or workshops offers instant feedback (whether directed to her or overheard from the other side of the trestle table). This allows her to develop her product line and keeps her ideas fresh, interesting and relevant to the customers. This way of selling also allows her to witness first hand that rewarding moment of engagement that people have when they first come across her charming  work

If you would like any more information about Amanda’s work or you would like to discuss a commission for yourself or as a thoughtful gift, contact Amanda at @FeltFabulousGifts on insta or by email at feltfabulous68@gmail.com.

Or better yet, come have a chat and pick things up to examine in person. Her next event is at Liverpool Makers Bazaar, The Old Police Station, Lark Lane L17 8UU on Sunday 10th September, from 11am-4pm.

Theatre For All: Accessibility And Inclusivity On The Big Stage

By Codi Jacques

Theatre For All: Inclusivity On The Big Stage

 

Theatre has the remarkable ability to transport us to different worlds, evoke powerful emotions, and connect us with diverse stories. However, for individuals with disabilities, experiencing the magic of live performances hasn’t always been easily accessible.

Fortunately, the global movement towards inclusivity has led to significant improvements in accessibility, making theatre shows more welcoming and enjoyable for everyone. In this blog post, we will explore the importance of accessibility in theatre shows, with a particular focus on British Sign Language (BSL) performances and other inclusive practices.

With theatres and theatre companies really expanding their inclusivity, performances across the Liverpool city region are more accessible than ever. With many shows at notable venues offering relaxed performances and BSL signed performances, amongst other offerings; maybe it finally is your time to enjoy some theatre in a way that works for you! 

The Significance of Accessibility In Theatre

Breaking Barriers

Accessibility in theatre removes barriers that prevent individuals with disabilities from fully engaging with the performances. It allows everyone to participate in and appreciate the art form, promoting a sense of belonging and inclusivity.

Representation Matters

Theatre plays a crucial role in reflecting and shaping society. By embracing accessibility, theatre shows can portray the diverse experiences and stories of disabled individuals, fostering understanding and empathy among audiences.

How Theatres Are Becoming Accessible & Inclusive

British Sign Language (BSL) Performances

Bridging Communication Gaps

BSL performances provide a platform for deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals to engage fully with the production. With skilled BSL interpreters translating the dialogue and songs into sign language, the performances become accessible and inclusive for the deaf community.

Promoting Inclusivity

BSL performances not only benefit deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals but also raise awareness among the wider audience about the importance of accessibility. This helps break down social barriers and encourages a more inclusive society.

Assistive Technologies and Services

Audio Description

Audio description is a service that provides individuals with visual impairments or blindness with a live or recorded narration of the visual aspects of a performance. Through detailed descriptions of actions, expressions, and scenes, audio description allows these individuals to fully engage with the show.

Captioning and Subtitling

Captioning and subtitling services are vital for individuals with hearing impairments or those who may struggle with accents or language barriers. By displaying the dialogue and sound effects in real-time, captioning ensures that the performance is accessible to a broader range of audience members.

Inclusive Design

Physical Accessibility

Theatre venues are increasingly focusing on making their spaces physically accessible, ensuring ramps, elevators, and seating areas are designed with mobility and accessibility in mind. This enables individuals using wheelchairs or mobility aids to navigate the venue easily and comfortably.

Sensory-Friendly Performances

Some theatre companies offer sensory-friendly performances designed specifically for individuals with sensory sensitivities, such as those on the autism spectrum. These performances often involve reduced volume levels, adjusted lighting, and designated quiet spaces, creating a more inclusive and comfortable environment for everyone to enjoy.

Theatre For All Accessibility And Inclusivity On The Big Stage

Accessibility & Inclusivity Within Liverpool Theatres

Within the Royal Court, Liverpool Empire, Everyman and Playhouse theatres, accessibility has developed vastly post-covid. At all these venues, there are disabled seating that is wheelchair accessible, and many touring shows and in house shows now offer at least one BSL signed performance per run. During Panto seasons, events such as relaxed performances are offered for those with tendencies to overstimulate in typical performances. A recent YEP performance (Young Everyman Playhouse), This is Not a Crime, the performance contained a screen that was a transcription of the entire performance. This was just like having subtitles on for your TV, but in a theatre setting. I hope more performances adopt this for all shows in future. 

The directors of This is Not a Crime were the Liverpool based company Ugly Bucket Theatre, whom have strived for accessible theatre and inclusivity in all of their works. Their performance of Stuffed provided audiences with a pre-show meal, and even offered noise canceling headphones amongst other accessories for those who needed them. No one was forgotten by Ugly Bucket in creating an accessible show, and there was no separation for the people who need accessibility. A true definition of inclusion. 

Unity Theatre offer Unity Online, a platform filled with the theatre’s top picks and more, meaning getting to the theatre doesn’t have to be an impossible task. Continuing this platform post-covid means that those who cannot travel to the theatre can still appreciate the magic from home. 

It is typical for theatres to have a dedicated page on their websites for accessibility, making all information easy to find when needed:

Everyman and Playhouse Theatres

More info: https://www.everymanplayhouse.com/access/at-the-everyman

Liverpool Empire

More info: https://www.atgtickets.com/access/

Royal Court Theatre

More info: https://liverpoolsroyalcourt.com/your-visit/access

Unity Theatre

More info: https://www.unitytheatreliverpool.co.uk/your-visit/access/

Hope Street Theatre 

More info: https://hopestreettheatre.com/accessibility/

By embracing accessibility in theatre shows, we foster a more inclusive society where the magic of live performances is accessible to everyone. Through initiatives such as BSL performances, assistive technologies, inclusive design, and community engagement, theatre companies can create environments that celebrate diversity and promote a sense of belonging for all audience members. So let’s continue to support and advocate for accessibility in theatre, ensuring that the transformative power of the performing arts is available to everyone.

Therefore, accessibility in Liverpool for theatre is becoming more common, making theatres less daunting for those requiring access needs. Always check for accessibility before booking tickets for a show, as there very well may be a performance more suited to you, making your experience of the magic of theatre even better.

A Student Guide To Arts & Culture In Liverpool

By Jessica Roddy

A Student Guide To Arts & Culture in Liverpool

Liverpool, a city with a vibrant and lively atmosphere. A city filled with history and culture. A city perfect for students. If you’re a student studying in Liverpool, you have hit the jackpot! The arts and culture surrounding this city is incredible and, more importantly, accessible for all. It’s important for the students of Liverpool to enjoy exploring the interesting cultures and attractions of this cosmopolitan city. So, this guide will help you discover the ways in which you can enjoy exploring Liverpool, on a budget, with helpful tips and discounts too.

Student-Friendly Spots In Liverpool

Let’s begin with some student-friendly spots. With friends, family or just you, here are some of the best places to spend the day studying, having a catch up, a laugh, a place to recharge yourself. Take time to enjoy these areas of Liverpool to take in the engaging and friendly atmosphere. 

Bold Street

First up is Bold Street, found in the centre of Liverpool, this lively street has captured the hearts of many Liverpool students. You can find so many things to do on Bold Street that are within the budget of a student who wants to enjoy a day out in the city. 

What makes Bold Street so popular is all down to the variety of independent shops, cafes, and restaurants. Charity and vintage stores are found in abundance; have a browse of these to find some hidden gems at great prices for students. Once you begin to get a bit peckish, there are some amazing places to eat that offer student discounts all year round such as Cafe Tabac and Mowgli Street Food. Without spending a penny, a walk through the boho vibes of Bold Street itself is more than enough to create a fun trip out.

Smithdown Road

Next, we couldn’t create a student guide without talking about Smithdown Road! Smithdown is home to a large population of student housing in the city and has a variety of independent shops, bars, and restaurants. Smithdown is also home to a number of popular student landmarks, such as The Brookhouse pub and Kelly’s Dispensary. It’s also a great place to eat with the likes of Big Lola’s, Spitroast, Picnic, Little Furnace and many more eateries along the road.

The Baltic Triangle

The Baltic Triangle, which was once an industrial area, is now a thriving creative and digital hub, with plenty of great places to eat and drink too. Hop over to the Cains Brewery Village and you’ll find the Baltic Market, the home of a number of independent restaurants serving up street food, all under one roof. There’s lots of other bars and eateries in the area, as well ArCains huge gaming arcade. The Baltic Triangle is home to some amazing street art, so be sure to take a wander of the streets and you’ll find some very cool pieces on display. You can get a guide to Liverpool’s Street Art here.

Lark Lane

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a more relaxing day, Lark Lane is the place for this! This stretch of independent coffee shops, cafes, restaurants and more is a great place for students to go and grab a coffee or a bite to eat before taking a calming walk through Sefton Park. Perfect for the summer days spent in Liverpool. 

Student Guide To Arts & Culture In Liverpool
The Museum of Liverpool

Free Museums & Art Galleries In Liverpool

When it comes to a cheap yet engaging day out, with knowledge of art, history and culture bursting at the seams, museums and galleries are the winning option.  Each venue holds so much culture and opportunity to learn. So why not spend a day exploring and educating yourself, with friends and family, or a solo trip out, on the art, history, and culture found deep in the roots of Liverpool.

Here is some information on just a few of the most well known museums and galleries in Liverpool: 

Museum of Liverpool

The Museum of Liverpool is the world’s first national museum to be devoted to the history of a regional city. Through the museum you’ll learn about the city’s rich history, culture, and people through interactive displays, exhibitions, and artefacts. Entry is free, with occasional paid exhibitions.

Maritime Museum 

Situated on the Royal Albert Dock, opened officially in 1984, is the Maritime Museum. A museum where you can discover Liverpool’s nautical past and learn so much about the Royal Albert Dock and its importance throughout history. 

With so much going on, the MMM is home to a variety of interesting exhibitions. One in particular that catches visitors’ attention is the ‘Titanic and Liverpool: The Untold Story’. This area of the museum traces through many personal, true stories from passengers and people involved with the Titanic, alongside many little known aspects of the most luxurious, world famous ship. What is especially compelling is the important role that the city of Liverpool had during the launch, voyage, tragic sinking, and the aftermath. This can all be learned in one single day out at the Merseyside Museum.

Another useful tip; In the same building as the Maritime Museum you’ll also find the unmissable International Slavery Museum which is also free.

World Museum 

One of the most interesting and interactive museums to attend, the World Museum is located on William Brown street. There is an extensive variety of areas to explore and learn during a trip here. Whether it is a leisurely stroll, slowly taking in all that you see, or a speedy trip through each section – you can make your way through each area at the pace you wish. Throughout this museum, there are so many subjects to find out about. These include ethnology, archaeology, and the natural and physical sciences. To make it that bit better, this museum is home to a few special attractions such as the aquarium and many people’s favourite, the planetarium.

Walker Art Gallery 

Next up, the Walker Art Gallery! Whilst out on a trip to the World Museum, why not wander over to this famous gallery located just next door. 

This beautiful art gallery holds some of the most breathtaking paintings, sculptures, photography, fashion, and decorative art going all the way back from the 13th century to present day. You can imagine the vast areas of key art history that can be found at the Walker Art Gallery. The perfect place to enjoy the sights of such famous art and culture variations found throughout history. 

Tate Liverpool

Tate Liverpool at the Royal Albert Dock and is another great place to visit for free. Entry is free to the majority of galleries, unless there is a special exhibition on, in which there may be a small cost.

Student Art Pass

You can also get a Student Art Pass for just £10 a year, which gets you free or reduced-price entry to hundreds of museums, galleries and historic houses across the UK, café and shop discounts, and 50% off major exhibitions.

A Student Guide To Arts & Culture In Liverpool - Theatre

Liverpool Theatres 

An evening out at the theatre with friends is always an ideal way to treat yourself. Especially for you students! There are a variety of theatres to attend in Liverpool; The Empire Theatre and The Everyman Theatre being two of the most popular. Take an evening to lose yourself in some of the most incredible shows on tour.

Empire Theatre

The Empire Theatre has tickets starting from just £13 for almost every show, alongside offering student discounts on select shows, with a TOTUM Card. 

Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse Theatres

The Everyman & Playhouse Theatres offer the fantastic YEP membership. For students between the ages of 14 – 25, you can sign up for this free membership and have access to great discounts. These discounts include cheaper theatre tickets, free access to pre-show events and workshops, and to top it all there is also a 10% discount on food and drinks. Go online today and sign up for the free YEP membership, you won’t regret it! 

 

Student Guide To Arts & Culture In Liverpool - Live Music

Live Music 

As a student in Liverpool, you’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to experiencing live music. The city boasts a vibrant music scene with venues catering to all tastes and genres. This is also the perfect opportunity to broaden your horizons and listen and support new upcoming artists trying to make their way in Liverpool. 

The Cavern Club

You have to visit the world-famous Cavern Club at least once as a student! The venue where The Beatles made their name, this legendary venue that still hosts talented musicians and offers a unique atmosphere steeped in musical history.

The Jacaranda

For a more intimate setting, The Jacaranda is a hidden gem and another spot that The Beatles used to frequent back in the day. This intimate basement venue regularly showcases emerging local artists.

The Zanzibar Club

If you’re into alternative and indie music, The Zanzibar Club is a popular haunt, hosting energetic gigs and promoting up-and-coming bands.

O2 Academy

For a taste of the city’s diverse music scene, the O2 Academy Liverpool is a larger venue that welcomes both established artists and rising stars across various genres.

To discover more live music venues and to read about the venues in more detail, check out our previous blog, Our Top 10 Music Venues In Liverpool.

 

A Student Guide To Arts & Culture in Liverpool - St John's Beacon
St John’s Beacon

Where To Get Student Discounts In Liverpool

In this section you’ll find how how to get access to some amazing student discounts in Liverpool, so you can enjoy shopping, dining and entertainment at reduced rates.

Independent Liverpool App

The Independent Liverpool App is a must-have for students in the city. Not only do you get great discounts, but it is also an opportunity to explore the city more and visit independent shops, cafes, theatres, restaurants and bars across Liverpool, to help support the local economy too. There are over 100 Liverpool independents that offer discounts with this app. The best thing is, that it only costs £2 a month or £15 for the whole year. 

Liverpool ONE

Liverpool ONE is home to hundreds of brands, shops, restaurants and entertainment venues and you can sign up here to be the first to hear about discounts, events and openings. 

Cinema Discounts

You can get student discounts at Liverpool cinemas including the Picturehouse at FACT, and the Everyman Cinema in Metquarter.

University Discounts

Don’t forget to investigate the ways in which your university can support you through a variety of student discounts.

The student Guild at the University of Liverpool offers an exclusive travel ticket just for their students. This makes it easier, and a whole lot cheaper, to make your way around Liverpool. All the information can be found here.

Over at Liverpool John Moore’s University, they have recently introduced an affordable gym membership for students. For just £25 for the whole year, you can access the gym whenever you want, along with the opportunity to attend specific exercise classes such as boxercise, pilates and more!

Student Guide To Arts & Culture In Liverpool - Liverpool Docks

National Student Discount Websites

UNiDAYS

UNiDAYS gives you access to offers at a huge range of shops, restaurants, technology, health & fitness brands and more. Download the UNiDAYS app for free and you’ll get instant access to big student discounts on hundreds of top brands, both in-store and online.

Student Beans

Student Beans is another popular student discount platform, which offers discounts from hundreds of big name brands.

TOTUM Card

Previously known as an NUS Extra Card, you sign-up for a paid TOTUM membership and get tons of student discounts.

In conclusion, Liverpool is a vibrant and dynamic city that offers a rich tapestry of arts and culture for students to explore and embrace. From its world-class museums and galleries to its thriving music and theatre scene, there is something for every artistic inclination. We hope this guide helps you to get out and explore the city, as well as allowing you to take advantage of student offers and discounts too.