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We have so many things in common but Liverpool will always be bonded with New York because of John Lennon, who lived there with wife Yoko Ono and youngest son Sean, before tragically dying outside the Dakota Building in 1980. Strawberry Fields, a three acre plot of land in New York’s Central Park is dedicated to Lennon’s memory. The design of Central Park was based on Birkenhead Park. American landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted visited Birkenhead in 1850 and was duly impressed.
Liverpool and New Orleans were officially linked in 1991 through The Sister City Programme, initiated by President Dwight Eisenhower in the 1950s to develop links between US cities and cities in other nations. In 1988 the Mayor of New Orleans Sidney Barthelemy in a letter to the Leader of Liverpool City Council, wrote: “Because of our many cultural ties, we hope to develop a close relationship with your city in: music, visual arts, business development, student exchanges and many other areas”. Both cities now have international airports named after famous local musical sons, John Lennon and Louis Armstrong.
Liverpool’s celebrated dish Scouse is said to be derived from a similar meal originated in Norway. Scouse is often cited as a descendent of ‘lapskaus’ or ‘lobscouse’, which was a type of Norwegian stew once popular with sailors from Scandanavia of whom there were many in Liverpool at the beginning of the 20th Century. Traditionally, lobscouse consisted of potatoes, pork or beef, root vegetables, leeks, parsley and served with flatbread and a glass of milk. But every Scouser has their own favourite way of making and eating Liverpool’s fave meal!
We were twinned with Shanghai in the autumn of 1999 when a delegation travelled over there to organise activities for their very own Liverpool Week. Since then the relationship has remained strong. In 2010, Liverpool was the only UK city outside London invited to the opening ceremony of the Shanghai World Expo. There are football links too – 3 years ago, LFC International Academy launched a programme in Kunming showing coaches how to play and coach ‘the Liverpool Way’. Later the same year, LFC committed to delivering coaching to school children during term time, in a professional environment.
Of course Liverpool has an undeniable relationship with the German city of Hamburg, The Beatles cutting their teeth there back at the dawn of the Sixties. But even earlier than that, in 1952, Liverpool was twinned with Cologne. We were brought together as a symbol of peace and solidarity following the end of the Second World War. Both cities suffered severe bombing during the war, and share many naturally present similarities such as famous cathedrals. Each a maritime city, us with the Mersey and Cologne River Rhine, we both boast spectacular waterfronts!
The Eisteddfod celebration of Welsh language, literature, poetry and culture is held in Llangollen, Denbighshire. But in years gone by it took place in Liverpool. Between 1884 and 1900, it was celebrated at North Haymarket off Great Homer Street in the city, and later in Birkenhead. 1929 saw Sefton Park host the event which brought in a record crowd on its opening day, the city’s Welsh population was 75,000 and nearly eight thousand of them attended the opening ceremony, and 60k over the entire event.
Liverpool and Dublin were twinned in the late 1990’s. Both are approximately the same size, and are only 140 miles apart from each other. We have a long relationship influencing each other’s history and futures; in the mid-1800s tens of thousands of Dublin immigrants came here to work at the docks. In the modern day, Liverpool enjoys solid tourism, cultural and arts links with the Irish capital.
Rio de Janeiro boasts a rich football heritage and what do you know, we do as well!
Rio is home to football teams America and Flamengo which happens to be the most supported club in the world. The Millions Derby, between Vasco de Gama and Flamengo, is said to regarded in the same manner as the Merseyside derby.
Elvis Presley and The Beatles changed popular music and pop culture forever. The friendship link between Memphis, where Elvis lived, and Liverpool was firmed up in 2004, the year marking half a century since the first Presley single ‘That’s All Right Mama’ was recorded at the Sun Studio in Memphis. Elvis was a massive influence on the Beatles, and the Fingerprints of Elvis exhibition which celebrated the musical relationship between them both was held at the Albert Dock in Liverpool that year. It was organised by the team behind The Beatles Story.
It is often observed that Liverpool and Glasgow are so similar they could be related.
In bygone times, both cities being ports and building wealth through sugar, tobacco, cotton and slavery meant we competed to be the second city in the British empire. In 1960’s, football proved to be a shared passion and connection. Managers of Liverpool and Celtic Bill Shankly and Jock Stein, had a good and respectful relationship, both men with shared values reflecting the class and industrial make-up of the cities their teams thrived in.
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