Here's me standing by some rocks
A beautiful spring day and a lesuirely midweek stroll around the newly re-opened Garden Festival site. All very minimalistic, neatly manicured lawns, water features and rockeries. Lots of windy pathways, bridges and places for kids to climb. Lots of people just relaxing on the grass and kids running around with ice creams. A great little place. Not always thus...
Liverpool's Garden Festival 1984. The brainchild of then Environment Secretary Michael Heseltime, in the face of his government's unofficial policy, to inject some investment and pride back into the city of Liverpool following long years of "managed decline" which led up to the infamous Toxteth Riots of 1981. My welcome into the world!
Built on specially landscaped dockland, in it's glory days it was home to sixty different gardens, a massive dome-like exhibition hall and lots of children's adventure playground, all of which attracted millions of visitors. It even had a Blue Peter Ship and a massive Yellow Submarine which I think is still knocking about the city somewhere, along with the obligatory John Lennon statue.
I have one very vague childhood memory of visiting here one day with my mum, my friends and their mums. It was packed to the rafters, very sunny, insanely hot, sticky and gaudy; I'm afriad my poor little brain fritzed out. I never went back... until today.
By the early 90's the bubble had burst and the site had been sold on. The festival hall briefly became 'Pleasure Island', a massive indoor theme park. After that closed in 1996 the entire site fell into disrepair
Part of me really wishes I'd thought to visit during the wilderness years and been able to explore the debris scattered throughout the wasteland. But I'm pleased that what some might have written off as a flash in the pan vision of utopia has ultimately had a happy ending.
Oh and I wore clothes - but nothing very exciting :D
Vintage pics found here here, here and here