Liverpool Giants: Thousands welcome marionettes to city

A giant grandma set off in search of her giant granddaughter and giant pet dog Xolo on Friday morning

An estimated 100,000 people lined Liverpool's streets to welcome three giant marionettes, which tell the story of the city during World War One.

The huge figures began the Memories of August 1914 commemoration at 10:30 BST.

The show features a grandmother, a little girl and a dog. They will visit many of the city's landmarks, including the Three Graces.

Culture Liverpool director Claire McColgan said the show and huge crowds were "creating history".

The Little Girl and Xolo The girl was awoken with a lick from her dog Xolo

During Wednesday and Thursday, about 30,000 people visited the grandmother figure lying, as if asleep, at St George's Hall.

Crowds queued for more than an hour in the heat to view the 25ft (7.5m) marionette.

The girl began to "wake up" at 10:30 and to walk through the city with her dog Xolo.

Their route took them them from Queensway Tunnel, through the city centre to the Chinese Arch.

The Grandmother Giant The grandmother giant was walked along the waterfront by her puppeteers
Xolo the dog Xolo the dog was a hit with the crowds, with some onlookers even getting to give him a pat

The grandmother left St George's Hall at 11:00 for a waterfront walk and arrived at Salthouse Dock in the early afternoon.

She was moved again at 16:30 from the Albert Dock and along the waterfront, before heading up Brownlow Hill and Mount Pleasant past the Roman Catholic Cathedral up to Edge Hill and Kensington on the way to at Newsham Park.

Her departure was delayed by about an hour after her head came lose when she broke wind.

Once her head was secured she was moved in her wheelchair to meet the little girl and xolo.

Little girl and xolo left the Chinese Arch at 17:00 to go through Canning Street past Falkner Square and the Anglican Cathedral and into Edge Hill, arriving at Newsham Park at about 20:30.

The Giants were reunited in the park as little girl sat beside grandmother to listen to her tell a story involving meteors and killing dinosaurs.

Grandmother finished by saying she was off to bed and would continue "her great adventure" the next day.

'Goosebumps'

Ms McColgan said the city had "come out in force to see something incredible and we're delighted".

"It's such a brilliant atmosphere and it's creating history."

Les and Margaret Holmes, of Wallasey, watched the little girl and xolo with their grandchildren Ellis, nine, and Isabella, seven.

Grandmother giant "urinating" The grandmother took a brief rest stop during her walk

Mrs Holmes said: "I got a little bit tearful actually - it brings to mind World War One and everything that happened.

"My mum was born in 1921 and my dad in 1922, so it's very poignant."

Jenny Moran, from the Wirral, was in the crowd with her two-year-old son, Robert, and parents Ruth and Dave Wilcoxon.

Jenny said the weather had been perfect and the spectacle was "giving me goosebumps".

"It's amazing - not only the giants themselves, but the way the crowd has reacted to them is just magical."

Eileen Schofield, from Leek, said it was "so lovely to see the people of Liverpool embrace the Giants".

"The highlight for us will be the grandmother spitting, farting and drinking."

Royal de Luxe, the French street theatre company behind the spectacle, said the figures would cover 30 miles in total over the weekend.

A section of the event will be dedicated to the World War One Liverpool Pals battalions.

The Little Girl Giant Thousands of people gathered to see the Little Girl Giant
The Little Girl Giant The girl has made some of her journey sitting on an old car

Hundreds of thousands of people saw the last Giants event in 2012, which commemorated the sinking of the Titanic.

This year's event, which runs until Sunday, will end with the three giants sailing away on the River Mersey.

BBC News Online will be following the giants through Liverpool with live text coverage, pictures and video of events. For more details, visit the BBC's dedicated Liverpool Giants page.

Are you watching or taking part in this event? Email us at haveyoursay@bbc.co.uk adding 'Liverpool Giants' in the subject heading and including your contact details.

Or share your thoughts using the form below.

Send your pictures and videos to yourpics@bbc.co.uk or text them to 61124 (UK) or +44 7624 800 100 (International). If you have a large file you can upload here.

Read the terms and conditions

If you are happy to be contacted by a BBC journalist please leave a telephone number that we can contact you on. In some cases a selection of your comments will be published, displaying your name as you provide it and location, unless you state otherwise. Your contact details will never be published. When sending us pictures, video or eyewitness accounts at no time should you endanger yourself or others, take any unnecessary risks or infringe any laws. Please ensure you have read the terms and conditions.

Terms and conditions

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC Liverpool

Weather

Liverpool

21 °C 15 °C

BBC Local Live

  1.  
    Boost for teenage cancer unit 11:26: BBC News Online

    The fundraising target for a new Teenage Cancer Trust (TCT) unit at Alder Hey Children's Hospital has been halved with a donation of money raised by teenage cancer sufferer Stephen Sutton.

    Stephen Sutton

    Due to open in 2015, the £600,000 brand new facility will have four en-suite bedrooms, a two bed day care room, social space and a parent's lounge to help young people with cancer aged 13 to 19.

    The unit is set to receive £300,000 of the £5m raised by the 19-year-old who died in May after he was diagnosed with bowel cancer.

     
  2.  
    Ludogorets who? 11:08: BBC Sport

    Liverpool FC return to Champions League action at Anfield tonight for the first time in five years.

    Liverpool v Ludogorets graphic

    They face Bulgarian champions Ludogorets Razgrad who were only formed in 2001 and whose home ground has a capacity of just 6,000.

    It's the furthest Ludogorets have progressed in the Champions League, having been knocked out in the second qualifying round last season.

    Liverpool have not played in the Champions League since losing 2-1 at home to Italian side Fiorentina in the group stages on 9 December 2009.

     
  3.  
    News on the hour 10:59: Giulia Bould BBC Radio Merseyside

    Everton's chairman Bill Kenwright's described proposals to move their stadium to Walton Hall Park as "hugely exciting" - and a formal planning application could be lodged within 12 months.

    The project would include a regeneration scheme for the surrounding area.

    Listen Live to the bulletin at 11:00.

     
  4.  
    Swingin' 60s 10:55: via Facebook

    Tony Snell asked if you watched Cilla last night and whether Liverpool really was swingin' in the 60s. Here are some of your comments:

    Martin Bolton posts: I cringed at the awful accents, it was like watching Bread. Not good.

    Lesley Ryan posts: Thought it was excellent... Brought back many memories of the cavern although I remember it bring very sweaty and dingy down there. Wasn't allowed to go as my parents thought it a dreadful place so used to take 'cavern' clothes in a bag, get changed in Littlewoods ladies loos and stash my ordinary clothes there for an couple of hours on a Sat afternoon! Sheridan was amazing...she was Cilla. Will defo be watching again.

     
  5.  
    Accident causes bus delays 10:49:

    Arriva North West tweets: SERVICE UPDATE at 1000: Due to a RTC on Bridle Rd/Park Ln #Bootle Services 53 and 58 are diverted.

     
  6.  
    You can't do this on TV 10:39: Giulia Bould BBC Radio Merseyside

    This was me reading you the headlines at 10:00

    Giulia Buld
     
  7.  
    Accident closes Aintree road 10:32:

    BBC Travel reports Park Lane in Aintree closed in both directions between the A5036 Dunningsbridge Road junction and the Bridle Road junction, because of a serious accident involving two vehicles.

     
  8.  
    Hospitals 'significantly improved' 10:25: Chris Long BBC News

    Staff, training and emergency care issues at a Liverpool NHS trust have shown "significant improvements", the chief inspector of hospitals has said.

    Professor Sir Mike Richards said the Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust was "better" but further work was needed.

    Royal Liverpool University Hospital

    Six areas of concern were identified by a Care Quality Commission inspection in November last year.

     
  9.  
    Liverpool consider Lavezzi 10:13: BBC Sport

    Liverpool could move for Ezequiel Lavezzi as the Argentina forward, 29, faces up to limited playing time at Paris St-Germain, according to the Daily Express.

    Argentina"s Ezequiel Lavezzi

    Read more on the Gossip Column.

     
  10.  
    News on the hour 10:00: Giulia Bould BBC Radio Merseyside

    Everton's chairman Bill Kenwright's described proposals to move their stadium to Walton Hall Park as "hugely exciting" - and a formal planning application could be lodged within 12 months.

    The football club's worked with the city council to find the best location for a new ground - and they've confirmed a firm idea is on the table now.

    Listen live to the bulletin at 10:00.

     
  11.  
    Gang member sentencing 09:53: Liverpool Echo
  12.  
    Stephen Sutton helps Alder Hey 09:48:

    More than £300,000 raised by cancer suffer Stephen Sutton is being given to Alder Hey Children's Hospital.

    The 19-year-old died in May after being diagnosed with bowel cancer when he was 15. He raised more than £3.2m for charity after news of his plight spread on social media.

    Stephen Sutton

    Alder Hey's Director of Charities, Claire White, said the funds will be spent on improving services for other young people fighting the disease when the hospital's new building opens next year.

     
  13.  
    Merseyside gymnasts world call-up 09:41: Phil Kinsella BBC Merseyside Sport
  14.  
    Best and worst freebies 09:34: Sean Styles BBC Radio Merseyside

    You'll have probably seen that U2 gave their latest album away for free to celebrate the launch of the new iPhone.

    But there's been a backlash. Apparently the album has appeared on some people's phones automatically and now they can't get rid. So Apple has released a tool to remove it.

    Tim Cook and U2

    Tell us the best and worst things you've had for free. Call 0151 709 9333 or text 81333 with Mersey before your text.

     
  15.  
    M62 congestion 09:28:

    BBC Travel reports there is congestion on the eastbound carriageway of the M62 between junction 9 at Winwick and junction 10 at the Croft interchange

     
  16.  
    Top headlines
  17.  
    Domestic abuse calls 09:16:

    Cheshire Police tweets: 60 reports of Domestic Incidents dealt with by Cheshire Police yesterday. #domesticabuse is never ok. #speakout

     
  18.  
    Everton 'can plan for stadium move' 09:10: Chris Long BBC News

    Everton can move forward with a plan to build a new stadium in a Liverpool park, the city's council has said.

    Goodison Park

    Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson said the stadium plan for Walton Hall Park would be a "catalyst" to spark regeneration in the nearby area.

    A council spokesman said it and the club would create "a new, vibrant and sustainable neighbourhood".

     
  19.  
    News on the hour 08:59: Giulia Bould BBC Radio Merseyside

    Everton has confirmed they are looking at a move away from Goodison to a new stadium in Walton Hall Park.

    The football club's worked with the city council to find the best location for their proposals - they include a regeneration project for the surrounding area - similar to that in Anfield.

    Listen live to the bulletin at 09:00

     
  20.  
    Gerrard 'craves' Champions League 08:50: BBC Sport

    Steven Gerrard says he has almost been jealous watching Manchester United and Chelsea compete in the Champions League during Liverpool's five-year absence.

    Steven Gerrard

    The Reds return to the competition tonight for the first time since 2009 at home to Bulgaria's Ludogorets Razgrad.

    "There has almost been a jealousy and an envy that we weren't involved," said Gerrard, who won the competition with the Reds in 2005.

     
  21.  
    Swingin' 60s 08:33: Tony Snell BBC Radio Merseyside

    Did you watch the new drama Cilla, last night?

    Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

    Sheridan Smith's playing the Liverpool born singer, following her journey from working in the typists' pool to becoming part of the Merseybeat music scene, a major pop and television star - and how she met Brian Epstein.

    What did you make of the recreation of 1960s Liverpool? And was Liverpool really 'swingin' in the 60s? What was it really like? Share your comments on Facebook.

     
  22.  
    Drugs hidden in crisp boxes 08:24: Giulia Bould BBC Radio Merseyside

    Two Merseyside men are being questioned after police found drugs with a street value of about £1m hidden inside crisp boxes.

    Cannabis and ecstasy were in a house on Coral Avenue in Huyton - as well as £200,000 in cash.

     
  23.  
    Liverpool stadium expansion 08:12:

    Liverpool find out a week today if their plans to increase the capacity at Anfield by 10,000 seats will get the go ahead.

    Artist's impression of the new Anfield stadium

    It is thought their proposal has already been recommended for approval by council planners.

    Work could then start on the main stand in around 12 weeks time.

     
  24.  
    Dull but warming up 08:06:

    BBC Weather reports it will be a dull start in places but sunny spells will develop through the morning.

    Weather forecast

    An isolated shower is possible late in the afternoon. Winds will be light and it will feel warm in the sunshine.

     
  25.  
    News on the hour 08:00: Giulia Bould BBC Radio Merseyside

    Everton have confirmed they are looking at a move away from Goodison - to a new stadium in Walton Hall Park.

    The development could bring in more than 1,000 jobs.

    The football club's worked with the city council to find the best location for their proposals - they include a regeneration project for the surrounding area, similar to that in Anfield.

    Listen live to the bulletin 08:00.

     
  26.  
    Good morning 08:00: Nafeesa Shan BBC News

    Hello everyone, you've got me for your news, travel, sport and weather updates today.

    If you would like to share your pictures or comments email merseyside.locallive@bbc.co.uk, tweet @bbcmerseyside or post a message on Facebook.

     

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.