The 1984 International Garden Festival was the first of its kind in
Britain. Billed as "a five month pageant of horticultural excellence
and spectacular entertainment" it took place on a site that only
two years before had been derelict.
of the site now
Festival contained more than sixty individual gardens, a Festival
Hall, public pavilions and even a miniature railway which toured
the site. It also included a pub, The Britannia and a Pathway of
Honour recognising Liverpool stars including Cilla Black, Ken dodd,
and Nerys Hughes!
a film of the festival
The Garden Festival was built on a site in the old south docks area
by the Dingle. Much of the site was derelict and needed to be cleared
of industrial waste before the landascaping for the festival could
Liverpool and why 1984?
The Garden Festival was one of the first major projects undertaken
by the Merseyside Development Corporation a body set up to in the
wake of the Toxteth riots to regenerate Liverpool in the early 1980's.
The legacy of the Festival was meant to be a unique riverside parkland
gifted to the city and "available for all to share".
The festival ran from 2nd May to 14th October 1984, and highlights
included the arrival of the Tall Ships from 1st-4th August.
The festival site has changed hands several times since 1984. Half
of the original festival grounds have been used for a residential
housing development. The rest of the site, after various incarnations
as leisure and entertainment facilities is currently owned by developers
Planestation and lies empty and derelict awaiting development.