Information about Liverpool for attendees
Liverpool is a city located in the North West of England, situated on the estuary of the River Mersey that opens out into the Irish Sea. Liverpool became a borough in 1207, founded by King John, and a city in 1880. The population is around 500,000 with a metropolitan area population of circa 2.25 million, making it the fifth largest in the UK.
It is approximately 200 miles from the capitals of England, Scotland and Wales (London, Edinburgh and Cardiff) by road and 140 miles from both Belfast and Dublin by sea. The nearest cities are Chester and Manchester, both cities with origins linked to the roman occupation of Britain 2000 years ago. Any town or city with a name ending caster, chester or cester was populated at that time. Liverpool is connected to the Wirral peninsula, which is part of Merseyside by two road tunnels and a rail tunnel that are entered from the city centre and pass under the river.
The Mersey Railway Tunnel opened in 1886, the Queensway Tunnel opened in 1934 and the Kingsway Tunnel opened in 1971. Both the rail tunnel and the Queensway were dug predominantly by hand and the latter was used as a location for some of the filming for Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – Part 1 and Fast and Furious 6. The Wirral can also be reached by bus or by the famous ‘Ferry Cross the Mersey’.
Liverpool Lime Street, opened in 1836, is the mainline train station from which trains to all over the UK depart and arrive. For example there are direct trains to London every hour which take approximately two hours. Liverpool is served by John Lennon Airport, which has flights to many European destinations including very regular flights to the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland. However, long haul flight carriers usually use Manchester airport which is about 40 minutes by car to central Liverpool.
Liverpool is a major port and in the 1800s was the main departure point for Irish and English immigrants leaving for the United States. The Cunard are White Star Line had Liverpool as their port of registry and the RMS Titanic was registered in the city. There is now a cruise terminal which brings many tourists into the city.
In 2008 Liverpool was the European Capital of Culture and prior to this many sites were granted World Heritage status. These include:
- Royal Liver Building which was built between 1908 and 1911 and was one of the first buildings in the world to be built using reinforced concrete. It forms part of the three graces that stand at the Pier Head along with the Cunard Building and the Port of Liverpool building. There are two ‘Liver Birds’ atop this building, which are thought to be cormorants with a sprig of seaweed in their beaks. They are a symbol of Liverpool that you will see everywhere in the city
- The refurbished Royal Albert Dock, which was the world’s first non-combustible warehouse due to it having no wood within its structure
- St George’s Hall that includes the first attempt at providing air conditioning in the UK. There is a blue plaque on the external wall recognising it as the World's First Air Conditioned Building
Liverpool is known as England’s most Catholic city, due to its Catholic population being significantly higher than other parts of England, which is largely due to migration from Ireland. The Metropolitan Cathedral of Christ the King (Roman Catholic) was constructed between 1962 and 1967. The Anglican Cathedral, which is the largest religious building in England and the fifth largest cathedral in the world, was constructed between 1904 and 1978 and is the venue for the conference dinner.
The city had the earliest mosque in England founded in 1887 and several synagogues across the city. Below is a picture of the Chinese Gate that marks the entry to the city’s Chinatown. Liverpool is home to the earliest Chinese community in the UK.
Football (soccer) is the most popular sport in the city, which is home to two Premier League sides: Liverpool F.C. (founded 1892) and Everton F.C. (founded 1878). The city of Liverpool is the only one in England to have staged top division football every season since the Football League was formed in 1888 and Liverpool F.C. is the British club that has won the most European Cup (the most prestigious competition) titles. Liverpool’s ground at Anfield and Everton’s at Goodison Park are both located within a short distance of the city centre.
There is a third team located in Merseyside, Tranmere Rovers that was established in 1884. However, they are not as successful as Everton or Liverpool. They currently play in League 2 which is the lowest division of the English Football League, but the fourth highest division in the overall English Football League system. Their ground is at Prenton Park, a suburb of Birkenhead located on the Wirral.
Liverpool is home to Aintree Race Course which is where the world’s most famous steeple chase takes place each year in April. The Royal Liverpool Golf Club, which is in Hoylake located across the river on the Wirral, has hosted the British Open Championship on a number of occasions.
Liverpool is internationally known for music and is recognised by Guinness World Records as the World Capital City of Pop. Probably the most famous group that hailed from the city is The Beatles, one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed band in pop music.
Liverpool is twinned with a number of cities around the world including Birmingham, Alabama in the US and also has friendship links with Memphis, Tennessee and New Orleans, Louisiana.