'AND what have you done? Another year over and a new one just begun ...' sang John Lennon in his pensive, persuasive and perennial classic song Happy Christmas - War Is Over.

So now it's an ideal time for a brief look back at 2018 in this suitably nostalgic, brand new year Inferno.

Happily, in October, Wirral woke up.

We took more than a supporting role in Merseyside events when the French Giants came and left massively memorable footprints in the sand and our memory banks.

It boosted the local economy and reminded the rest of the UK that Wirral is a welcoming tourist destination.

Now the time is right to exploit the 'borough of culture' status to continue the image boosting.

The River of Light was another community based success but it still needs the councils on both sides of the Mersey to listen to all feedback from the people who matter - the public.

While Joe Anderson pulled the plug on Liverpool and its role in the Northern Powerhouse it is time for the other two 'Mayors'

Metro men Steve Rotheram and Andy Burnham to continue fighting together to stop the ever-widening 'North/South' divide.

And this year, as council leader Phil Davies stands down, we must see his 20 pledges come to fruition in 2020.

For now, in this first week of January, let's start looking out for some early green shoots on the horizon.


FILM and TV Documentary makers are plundering the archives ready to remind us of history being made as we whet 2019's metaphorical head.

The most significant being 80 years since the start of World War 2.

I hope that after his astonishing work on the First World War 1 film They Shall Not Die, director Peter Jackson will produce another masterpiece revitalising original footage.

It was 50 years since man landed on the moon and Neil Armstrong declared: "One small step for man - one giant leap for mankind."

The Beatles will also be remembered for the Abbey Road album release which not only saw the Fab Four record for the last time as a band but also illustrated how a humble zebra crossing turned into an art statement years before Banksy.

Closer to home, it's been 35 years since The New Brighton Rocks festival wowed the nation with a four-day, all star line- up including Spandau Ballet and Gloria Gaynor (isn't it time we had another one?). How about it, Imagine Wirral?

And it's been 25 years since Nelson Mandela became President of Africa.

I can still remember the awe-inspiring quote he made sending a warm glow of optimism: "The sun shall never set on so glorious a human achievement."

Fifty years from now we will be looking back at the birth of Brexit and the leaving of Europe in March 2019 ...

Or will we?


HOWZAT ... and there's more.

Comedian Jimmy Cricket is coming to Port Sunlight’s Gladstone Theatre in April.

The likeable stand-up comedian from Northern Ireland is similar to our own Stan Boardman in that he is keeping the golden age of variety alive.

Since we lost Sir Ken there are fewer traditional funny men left on the circuit.

I've met Jimmy many times and usually at charity shows. He has even received a Papal Knighthood for his work.

I recall one fund-raiser where Jimmy was on the top table with Doddy, Ricky Tomlinson, Norman Wisdom, Freddie 'Parrott Face' Davies and the late, great comedians George Roper and Ken Goodwin.

Such was the infectious hilarity from each of these family entertainers it was impossible for me to interview them as they couldn't get a gag in edgeways.

And that is what Jimmy still strives to do appeal to audiences of all ages without resorting to blue humour or swearing

Mr Cricket, 73, not out.


CONGRATULATIONS, boys and girls, to the first panto of the year - The Wirral's Chrysanths.

The society is rightly proud of its 101 year heritage.

Like the Birkenhead Operatic Society with their musicals, this is a theatre company who aim for West End standards.

I shall be supporting Dick Whittington at the Floral (yet another mayor on the scene) when along with his moggie he hits the boards from January 10.

These Chrysanths are blooming marvellous.


STRICTLY speaking, we now have a real versatile star in Wallasey's local girl made good ... our sparkling Shirley Ballas.

With Paul Hollywood in Christmas Bake Off and Paul O'Grady with his Love of Dogs, Wirralians have been dominating the box.

Shirley is currently back home with mum in Wirral until Saturday enjoying putting her feet up after performances of Jack and The Beanstalk at the Empire, where's she is a wand-erful Mother Nature.

Shirl the Whirl is a natural for panto but now she is going from strength to strength on the telly, too.

She will be hosting a new dating segment or over 50 single folk on This Morning called Matchmaker Mountain.

With Fiona Bruce in the hot seat for Question Time, there must be something in the Wirral water.


And finally ...

I hope your troubles last as long as your new year’s resolutions.

Happy, healthy and lucky 2019, dear readers in the Wirral Globe's own 46th year.

Peter Grant