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“Tonight At Noon” – A celebration of The Mersey Sound

A series of events and exhibitions are to take place in Liverpool to celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of the most influential poetry anthologies of all time


adrian-henri-roger-mcgough-and-brian-patten-the-mersey-sound-1967The Mersey Sound by Liverpool poets Adrian Henri, Roger McGough and Brian Patten was first published in May 1967 and is one of the world’s bestselling poetry anthologies.

To mark this special anniversary, Tonight At Noon (named after the first Adrian Henri poem in the collection) will shine a spotlight on this incredible piece of work which captured the mood of the Sixties and brought poetry down from the shelf to the street.

Forming a key part of Liverpool’s 67-17: 50 Summers of Love celebrations, Tonight At Noon is a festival in itself running from Wednesday 12 April to Saturday 15 July, and the events are:

The Mersey Sound Archives

An exhibition in Hornby Library, Liverpool Central Library – Wednesday 12 April to Saturday 15 July. FREE

A tribute to the publishing phenomenon which saw three Liverpool writers make poetry part of popular culture. They wrote of young love, pop idols, atomic bombs, eccentric bus conductors and sci-fi superheroes in poems that were contemporary, urban and accessible. This exhibition takes place in the stunning surroundings of the Hornby Library and will include displays of original manuscripts, posters, letters, key documents along with audio and visual material which trace the emergence of Adrian, Roger and Brian on the 1960s poetry scene.

Adrian Henri – Painter, Poet, Performer

An exhibition in Dickens and Gladstone Galleries, St George’s Hall – Wednesday 12 April to Saturday 15 July. FREE

Although he came to prominence as a poet in 1967, Adrian Henri was regarded as a ‘total artist’ having trained as a painter and exhibiting widely throughout his career. He also fronted the unlikely poetry-and-rock band Liverpool Scene, leading John Peel to dub him “one of the great non-singers of our time”. In 1969 the band supported Led Zeppelin, played the Isle of Wight Festival and toured America.  This exhibition will showcase 1960s artworks, poems and original rock posters offering a glimpse into to Henri’s multi-faceted talents.

Poetry in the City

An anniversary treat at various locations, Thursday 25 May. FREE

To mark the exact day on which The Mersey Sound was first published, expect the city to be taken over by the words of the three poets as their work hits the streets once again. Full details will be revealed nearer the time.

Thurston Moore Concert

Concert Room, St George’s Hall – 8.30pm, Tuesday 30 May. £14 a ticket plus booking fee

Thurston Moore is best known for being the co-founder of legendary alternative rock group Sonic Youth. His use of unusual tunings and distorted sounds have had an impact on experimental and post-punk music the world over, and he has been ranked by Rolling Stone as one of the greatest guitarists of all time. Moore has collaborated with writers, musicians and artists as varied as Yoko Ono, William Burroughs, Merce Cunningham and Sean Lennon. He is also a poet and a fan of The Mersey Sound. Thurston is on a world tour to promote his latest album RocknRoll Consciousness, but he will stop off in Liverpool to perform a specially commissioned musical response to The Mersey Sound. Tickets are available from

New Writing

Poetry reading at Bluecoat – 7.30pm, Friday 16 June. £10 a ticket

The impact of The Mersey Sound has resonated for decades for generations of writers and performers. Five poets have been commissioned to create new pieces of work in response to the writing of Henri, McGough and Patten. Taking part are award winning poets Paul Farley, Deryn Rees-Jones, Eleanor Rees, Lizzie Nunnery and Andrew McMillan. They will be joined onstage by Brian Patten and Roger McGough. Tickets are available from:

Adrian’s partner, Catherine Marcangeli has curated all the Tonight At Noon events which have been commissioned by Liverpool City Council.


Nippy Dippers- New Year’s Day Dip!!!!


Yes, be the first in the Irish Sea on 1st January 2016, meeting at the New Brighton Floral Pavillion Theatre (event starts at 2pm).

For the very first time New Brighton will play host to a New Year’s Day Dip- and you and your friends and family can be part of the fun. Everyone is welcome to dip, and you can take a dip in your cossie or come in fancy dress.

No doubt the media will be covering this event so be there and be seen with both ITV and the BBC sneaking in a few photographic shots of the ‘hot shots’ in a bid to open the New Year local news with a bit of fun!

All you need to do is try to raise as much sponsorship money as you can for our New Royal Hospital.
This is an exciting time for the Royal Charity as construction of the new Royal Hospital is well underway. When doors open in 2017, it will offer the people of the region the very best hospital with world class equipment, patient environments and therapies.
As a region, this new hospital, along with the new children’s Alder Hey hospital which everyone should view with its impressionistic elephant design, designed by children for children and fantastic landscaped gardens, sets Liverpool top of the list for patient care.

So, Go on….be a Nippy Dipper and call Loren Slade
Royal Charity Event Fundraiser
…….and get your feet wet, have a good laugh and it’s all in a good cause with who knows…a chance to see yourself on TV later in the afternoon.
Have a Happy New Year!

For full details of the event and how to register, check out the LCVS website.

‘Little Changes, Big Difference’ ……How I became a Liverpool Alcohol Workplace Champion!

The best thing about January is the opportunity it presents to refresh our lives. The New year is a blank slate on which to draw a brighter picture and just a few little changes will result in a healthier lifestyle.

A little voice in my head, said that something had to change this year. This happened last week when I had to put out the festive recycling.

The number of bottles going chink, clink into the bin caused me to cushion the noise in case any the neighbours heard.

Then, I did the count and started to justify all the booze bottles….well we did have guests over but….

That little voice though, was brought about by a little voice from the radio ‘Your drinking and you’…an alcohol awareness campaign for a dry month. Coupled with this, an email arrived from LCVS and Community Health requesting my presence at a Liverpool Alcohol Workplace Champions Course. The diary was free so I opted for the full days training and wellbeing reboot.

On arrival, the course leaders were experts in their field, that’s training not drinking! Like me, they were part of the ‘Liverpool Health and Culture’ programme which aims to fine tune our health for a happier and healthier life, feeling more positive and energetic.

We were helped to consider our role, as ‘Alcohol Champions in the Workplace’ by
…. reviewing the topic of alcohol and the harm it can cause;
….. be able to plan an alcohol workplace event/campaign with the resources available to support it;
….. to be confident to provide alcohol awareness briefings;
….. plan a role as an alcohol champion.

Well, Why run an Alcohol Champions course in Liverpool?

The reasons were simple….and the Liverpool picture does not look good….15% drink above the recommended guidelines; over 11,000 (6%) residents drink at high risk levels; 80 residents die each year in Liverpool from an alcohol specific condition; the relationship between poverty and the harm caused by alcohol is very significant; alcohol related crimes are higher in Liverpool than the rest of the North West and in a year (2011-2012) 3,726 crimes and 78 sexual crimes were linked to alcohol.

Many of us take risks with our health- it’s a normal part of human behaviour. Many risky behaviours meet other needs eg smoking reduces stress, chocolate is a comfort, alcohol increases confidence.

However, our views of risk differ because of knowledge, past experience, beliefs and attitudes.

I was then given the facts and figures about alcohol in the workplace.
A third of employees had attended work with a hangover (32%), with 10% doing it more than once a month with 1 in 4 saying their drinking affected their work activity (doing the minimum). But, the problems are experienced at all levels of hierarchy with 43% in managerial and professional occupations exceeding the drinking limits compared to 31% in routine/manual These are staggering figures but if you recognise any of these in your workplace, then you too are an Alcohol Champion and can promote an awareness of alcohol and guide your organisation to the right Alcohol Policy procedures and helplines.

Many years ago, I remember alcohol only available in pubs, drinks a lower strength, and expensive with drunkenness frowned upon and drink driving was legal….how times have changed!!!!

The statistics show that we are drinking more at home, it’s a growing trend, more women are drinking at home and drink is cheaper.

The effects of alcohol are all too clear and I need not say, with long term effects having detrimental consequences upon us physically, socially, emotionally, sexually and societal.

The message I would like to end with is that, men should not regularly drink more than 3-4 units a day and women 2-3 units a day.

Regularly means this amount every day or most days. Do, have alcohol free days every week and at best an alcohol free childhood. Pregnant women should avoid alcohol, particularly in the first three months.

Finally, there is no safe way to calculate drinking when you drive. Don’t drink and drive!

It’s not easy to pour a whole day into one paragraph but one message was clear and it was the message about understanding ‘units’. The way I interpret it is by rule of hand ………based on a half beer glass.

A finger width was approximately one spirit unit, wine your little finger length and beer a thumb length.
Statistically, I hope that for every eight people who have read this article about drinking, one will reduce their drinking to a lower risk level.

‘What’s Yours?’ Liverpool’s alcohol awareness website..

Take a simple survey at

Advice Line 0800 917 8282

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