AND they're off ... some of the national newspapers, that is.

The Inferno was left fuming, all stoked up and on fire with the aftermath of this year's Grand National.

But not the greatest steeplechase in the world itself, having two false starts.

Well, we're used to that here on Merseyside.

But no ... we had the focus of the world on Merseyside and we responded splendidly.

Added to which, not one horse or rider was injured.

I have loved reporting on the National over the years.

I remember once being told off by Princess Anne's security guards when I asked her what horse she was putting her bets on.

"Learn protocol" shouted her angry security man. But I couldn't find a horse with that name.

I also treasured meeting Red Rum and his wonderful trainer Ginger McCain.

Yet, most of all, I always loved soaking-in the atmosphere of the fantastic spectacle that is known across the globe as Ladies' Day.

This is 24 hours were girls, women single and married set out to look a million dollars.

Many save up all year round and make an effort to look stunning.

So why did the Daily Mail attack them so vehemently?

A writer called Bel Mooney who hails from Liverpool described them as looking "cheap" and “drinking like sailors."

Well anyone who has attended Aintree will know that everyone is in the mood for celebrating.

And you will always get a few who have had a few too many.

They get un-seated, so to speak, during and after the races.

But why launch a general attack on the ladies - girls of all ages who just wanna have fun.

I do not wear rose-tinted glasses but I do know when to give credit where credit is due.

The Liverpool City Region has always had a problem with image and "non-news" items like this certainly do not help.

Or maybe they are an asset because the superb Ladies' Day will be back next year bigger, brighter and as beautiful as ever.

An odds-on winner in the "feeling-good-about-yourself" stakes.

Aintree and OUR National make other areas turn green with envy.


AND so on to the race for our very first Metro Mayor.

It's going to be an ongoing question and answer session over the next three weeks.

I just hope the people are satisfied with their politicians.

Up to now we are still none-the-wiser over so many issues that will affect each and everyone one of us.

The creation of the Liverpool City Region must allow Wirral to make its mark and not be swallowed up in red tape.

For too long Wirral has been in the shadow of its big sister over the water.

We now have some great international music events here.

There should be more home-grown attractions - and Wirral should not rely on importing festivals from across the river.

Maybe we should have a 'Made in Wirral Day'.

If we get the ambitious Commonwealth Games, Wirral must play a part.

We helped Chariots of Fire, after all.

But I am not holding my breath about the idea of bringing Formula One here.

Imagine the tunnel chaos?

And every manhole cover must be nailed down.

Let's get the pot-holes fixed first.


GRUMP alert!

I look forward to my Order of the Great British Bus pass next year.

I still say “"thank you, driver" when I get off the bus.

But I am getting grumpier - it's down to other people and their lack of respect or others.

I am losing more patience when going to the theatre and cinema.

People seem to have lost their attention spans.

We have ushers in theatres - now can we have "shushers?"

It's all very well telling people to turn their mobile phones off - they need to be told to be quiet during performances.

It's not fair on other members of the audience and the actors.

And us critics.


MARK his words.

We have a new superhero, an un-caped crusader of the high street.

A mystery man from the same city as Banksy - the urban artist from Bristol.

This time it is a secret figure who at night time corrects bad grammar on shop hoardings.

As a supporter of The Plain English Campaign I feel every council should have one.

Texting shows just how much people forget about grammar.

They abbreviate everything (Why is the word 'abbreviation' so long?).

I am sure the Aintree race is National treasure OPINION WEDNESDAY, APRIL 12, 2017 11 W G vigilante Bristol Corrector would have hated one piece of gross indecency outside a shop in London I spotted.

It said: "Sign's of Distinction".

I rest my case.


BATTY time ...

Consulting the Civil Service Daily Jobs website is one of my favourite indulgences. Why not?

We all pay for it.

Last week I saw they are looking for "Decision Makers" in Bootle.

Having seen the film I, Daniel Blake I can see why. They are also looking for "people to tackle bats in churches".

Belfries come to mind. Can I suggest a job share?


AND finally ... some "un-fake" news.

Food for thought for Wirral's electorate.

In Dorset, Minnesota, USA, they elect their mayor by raffle.

Peter Grant