Wirral’s shipbuilding heritage to play central role in Borough of Culture celebrations
Hamilton Square was flooded with colour and music on Saturday evening as a spectacular light show was held to mark the start of Wirral’s year as Liverpool City Region’s Borough of Culture 2019.
The event saw intricate 3D projections, including one of Cammell Laird’s company logo, beamed onto the front of Birkenhead Town Hall in order to tell the story of the area’s past, present and future. Cammell Laird is an important part of that ongoing story.
Numerous free cultural and sporting occasions are scheduled to take place over the coming months, including a series of exhibitions and displays designed to showcase Wirral’s unique contribution to maritime exploration.
Made of Iron is due to run between May and September 2019 at Williamson Art Gallery and various other venues around the borough. Using photographs, historical accounts and artefacts, Made of Iron will explore how Wirral made its mark on the world of shipbuilding, with particular focus on the history of Cammell Laird. As well as delving into the history of some of the ships that came out of Birkenhead, the series of events will reveal some of the personal stories of those who worked at Cammell Laird, and those whose lives were shaped by the shipyard.
In August, Down Our Street by Wirral writer Brian McCann will return to the Floral Pavilion in Wallasey. The musical play celebrates the life and times of Cammell Laird, covering events from the Industrial Revolution up to the present day and the revival of shipbuilding on the Mersey. Last performed in front of packed audiences at the Floral Pavilion in 2017, Down Our Street will run between Thursday, August 29 and Sunday, September 1.
Speaking following Saturday’s launch event, Cammell Laird’s chief operating officer Tony Graham said: “It’s been a pleasure to attend the first major event of Wirral Borough of Culture 2019. The light projection entitled Animated Square took place in Hamilton Square, which everyone knows is located very close to the Cammell Laird shipyard.
“The Cammell Laird family would have been out in force tonight enjoying this special community event and it was heart-warming to see the Cammell Laird name displayed in the lightshow. We can now look forward to the many other Wirral cultural events in 2019 and we are particularly keen to promote the ‘Made of Iron’ exhibition which celebrates the history of Cammell Laird.”