• Author:Ben Jones
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Happy birthday, Liverpool

My home town is 810 years old today. It is a place with an extraordinary history and a unique spirit and heart. I am so proud to say that I was born there and even prouder of what the city stands for; fairness, justice, togetherness, humour, passion, being able to express yourself, being able to be yourself, being able to enjoy yourself. It is one of the world’s great cities and a place that once visited is never forgotten.

I could not be happier that my wonderful wife loves the city – she will start to work in its heart a week today – and that our daughter will go to school there (God spares her) and gets to spend so much time there now.

My life has turned full circle; being back where it all started for me and where my heart has always rested. As I reflected on this auspicious day, I got to thinking about my favourite places in the city; my loved Liverpool locations. Here goes…….

Anfield – need I say more?!

The Anglican Cathedral – not only the most stunning church I’ve ever been in but the beating heart of the community – amazing atmosphere, special space

Paddy’s Wigwam – not to everyone’s tastes but I love it – a unique place and somewhere I’ve always found peace and comfort

The walk along the pier head by the three graces – still takes my breath away after all these years

Exchange Flags/the back of the Town Hall – a glimpse into our history

India Building – one of the finest buildings in the country

Hope Street/the Georgian Quarter – stylist but not stuffy – still harbour ambitions to live there at some point

The Raz – been there too many times and don’t regret a single visit!

Blessed Sacrement Shrine – the church just off Williamson Square – Mary’s favourite – spend more hours in there than I care to remember!

Oxford Street – the old hospital – where it started for me, my sister and so many others, including Mr Lennon

The Arts School – one of the best restaurants I’ve ever been to – leaves most of London/the country for dead

The Albert Dock – used to go most weeks with my Grandar – great memories; loads of being carried on his shoulders

St George’s Plateau –  so many tears shed of joy, sadness and defiance

Another Place, Crosby – haunting beauty

The Everyman – brilliant venue; amazing building; great place for lunch!

Calderstones Park – may not be as big, but better than anything London has to offer

The London Road pub crawl – from my student days – met every type of Liverpool person on that stretch – laughed and cried in equal measure

The best places for coffee/cuppa around; 92 Degrees, Cow and Co, The Quarter

The Empire – still remember the reception Barbara Dickson got opening the 20th anniversary showing of Blood Brothers – like a football match roar

Abercromby Square – what I imagined going to university would look like – was so proud to be first in my family to go to any university, least of all Liverpool’s finest

Finch Lane – will always be where I see Mary in my mind’s eye to this day

The Hillsborough Memorial at Anfield – no words needed


Happy birthday, Liverpool. Nice one la.



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