I was in Liverpool for reasons of art and music but in the four open hours between the two the Museum of Liverpool beckoned. There, in the 80s section, I found evidence that something extraordinary had happened in the docklands, cartoon liverbirds, dragons, teddy bears and all:
Down on the ground floor I hit paydirt: a scale model of Liverpool's International Garden Festival which hinted at a truly bonkers showgarden bonanza, complete with Pagodas, atomic glasshouses, big tops, floral liverbirds, giant logos made of flowers, and of course a yellow submarine:
It seems almost designed to be enjoyed from above, which is how it is displayed in the museum, angled to face the camera eyes of the visitors in a dimly lit case (to avoid the model fading?) and the label suggests a story of long years of feisty campaigning, demolition and neglect before a final flourishing:
We didn't have time for a visit to the renewed gardens, which still seem quite Utopian, though they lack the garish artworks and sculpts of the original. Maybe next time; and remember to ask, "where's the Blue Peter ship?".