A FAB Four fan from the Netherlands here to celebrate International Beatle week, asked me: "What is this place called Wirral?"

He now wants to explore this land across the sea (I translated this as the River Mersey).

I told him about all the diverse parts of the peninsula from Birkenhead to Bromborough, Heswall to Hilbre, Pensby to Parkgate.

"Oh, so it's like the USA?" he said and went on to complete his quaint analogy by declaring that it sounds like the "United States of Wirral."

Welcome President Phil Davies ... now there’s a thought to ponder on, y'all.

And so my Dutch tourist is embarking on his own magical history tour and, being a willing guide, I am steering him through many local delights recommending the forthcoming Wirral Heritage Open Days as a "must do."

These events - from September 6 to September16 - are superbly run by the Wirral History and Heritage Association and have always been an annual highlight of mine and thousands of others as we celebrate the rich heritage on our doorstep.

There are invitations to see inside buildings and the surrounding areas that were built before the spin doctors came up with Green Belt.

This year it has a theme of "extraordinary women."

A chance to remember the female lighthouse keepers, stained glass artists, suffragettes, political activists and social reformers who made their mark.

Now that's something Wirral can proudly shout about as well as welcoming everyone to see the landscape, architecture and history that made the "U.S of W" what it is today.


WHENEVER I think of local heritage I am reminded of my late friend - Fred O'Brien.

He was responsible for installing many blue plaques around Merseyside.

I recall unveiling a plaque with Jimmy McGovern in honour of Charles Dickens, placed outside the Bridewell gaol in Liverpool where the novelist spent research time as a special constable.

It proved a big hit - especially when the plaque fell on Jimmy's head ... much to the delight of the waiting media.

Fred would have been supportive of Jon Egan who once collaborated with Sir Peter Blake on the famous Capital of Culture montage.

Jon is passionate about marking the life of New Brighton-born artist and author Malcolm Lowry who wrote the classic book 'Under The Volcano'.

A blue plaque would confirm his place in Wirral history.

But, as Jon points out, why stop there?

There are other literary greats who have an association with Wirral.

The Liverpool City Region should pursue tributes to writers Nathaniel Hawthorne and Herman Melville.

As the council pledges to fly the flag for the arts, there is no better time to see Jon's dream come to fruition – especially in time for Wirral's "Borough of Culture" year in 2019.


DREAMS are in the news.

It seems a Swiss scientist has developed a "bracelet" which will allow people to control their dreams.

As I eat my virtual reality Toblerone, I am worried about this advancement in new technology.

I am still bemused by a new "cleaning mop" that can be controlled by your mobile phone.

The dream bracelet uses vibration to train brains to know when they are dreaming and then to influence them to produce lucid dreaming. "Anything you can imagine can come true - the sky's the limit," they say.

But is it all just make believe, like Dr Who's sonic screwdriver?

No. The £195 dream weaver will be out in February.

It also actively promotes wellbeing by improving sleep quality, too.

Personally, I will leave my unfathomable dreams alone – it is the nightmares I want to re-tune.


PET hates were nothing new to the late singer Lita Roza, who gave Liverpool its first number one hit in 1953 with How Much is that Doggie in the Window?

Yet she hated the song that made her famous.

I recall at one dinner celebrating her achievements she told me she thought the song was "rubbish" and always refused to sing it.

Lovely Lita would have been proud with the proposed ruling by the Government to ban pet shops from selling puppies.

Lita, who died in 2008, left money in her will to Battersea Dogs' and Cats' home.


SEE all about it ...

"Newspapers are making a comeback," said one magazine recently which I felt was rather ironic.

I don't recall they ever went away.

A new TV drama called The Press about rival papers is about to hit the screen.

I just hope they paint a better picture of we in the Fourth Estate.

Coronation Street continues to depict us as a frenzied, notepad-clutching, flashbulb-exploding mob.

The most accurate series about newspapers was televised in 1960 and featured a paper called ... The Globe.


AND finally ...

In America, birthplace of the term fake news one university research department has come up with an inspired, apt sound bite to describe the arrival of "lies masquerading as facts."

Welcome "Truth Decay."

Peter Grant