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22 April 2004
Garden Festival - 20 Years On
Garden Festival
Garden Festival

It's 20 years since the International Garden Festival opened in Liverpool attracting visitors from around the world through the Summer of 1984.

Picture gallery - 1984

Picture gallery - 2004

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Garden Festival Campaign
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What was it?
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.
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Part of the site now

The 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!

Watch a film of the festival

Where was it?
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 commence.

Picture gallery - 1984

Picture gallery - 2004

Why 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".

When was it?
The festival ran from 2nd May to 14th October 1984, and highlights included the arrival of the Tall Ships from 1st-4th August.

What's happened since?
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.

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