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Western Approaches is an underground bunker behind the Town Hall which was once the command centre for the Battle of the Atlantic and contains 50,000sq ft of sprawling rooms and corridors. From 1941-45 it was staffed by over 300 Women’s Royal Naval Service operators known as ‘Wrens’ and counted Winston Churchill, Prince Phillip and King George VI amongst its visitors.
The site was taken over by heritage organisation Big Heritage in 2017, who rescued it from dereliction. It is now an internationally recognised and acclaimed visitor centre, and ranks as the highest rated museum for Liverpool City Region by TripAdvisor. The site broke visitors record numbers in February 2020 but was forced to close a month later due to Covid-19. However, 18 months later the team are finally welcoming back impressive numbers of tourists.
“We are delighted that the last few weeks has seen our visitor numbers start to hit post-covid numbers. We are obviously still missing our foreign visitors, particularly from the cruise ships, but have seen a steady rise in ‘staycation’ visitors from across the UK.
The lifting of all restrictions has meant that the annual Western Approaches wartime weekend will once again take place on 31st July and 1st August, where the site will host over 50 reenactors in period uniform, wartime vehicles, live music and swing dancing, and numerous vintage clothes stalls.
“We are so excited to see the Wartime Weekend back. We’ve obviously had to make changes this year to keep staff and visitors safe, but the majority of visitors are still wearing masks and our staff are scrubbing harder the ever! It’s such a relief to see the place alive again.”
Entry to the Wartime Weekend is included with standard admission tickets, and can be booked online at LiverpoolWarMuseum.co.uk or bought on the day at reception.
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