WE wait ages for one - then two come along at once.

This is not about buses but a sign of the times - positive writing on the wall.

I refer to the blue heritage plaques that are at last re-emerging in Wirral.

If Liverpool City Region's Borough of Culture concept has acted as a catalyst then that can only be a positive thing.

The BoC concept started with St Helens and each Borough takes its turn in rotation for the title with Sefton, Halton and Knowsley following on.

The idea certainly holds promise but so far - plaques aside - it's been underwhelming.

When Wirral's time was announced former council leader Phil Davies promised 'creative collaborations.'

But they didn't materialise - ending up in the ethereal 2020 vision shredding machine.

Many creative individuals and various exciting groups tell me they are disappointed that after being snubbed in the initial launch party in 2018 and attending subsequent meetings this year at the Town Hall repeated requests for Borough of Culture budgets and deadlines were promised but never produced.

Wirral Globe Arts Ambassador Robbie Southworth of Past Productions in Birkenhead,who works across Europe, walked away sighing: "it's all too frustrating."

It was equally disheartening when it was revealed there was no money left in the kitty.

But like all the Wirral innovators who were here before Borough of Culture they will be here long after it.

It really is time that the Council seriously listened to home-grown creatives - they are the future, the taken-for-granted talented people who live and work here.

They deserve to be fully behind the Borough's Culture and not stand by as the council bring in such half-baked 'second hand' attractions as the Witching Hour which was simply an incongruous collaboration with the Borough of Hull.

Back to long overdue Blue heritage plaques.

Already we have seen OMD's Andy McLuskey - who takes his role as cultural ambassador seriously - unveil one to visionary Agnes 'Maude' Royden.

I am not the only one to look forward to an unveiling of another on July 28 for New Brighton-born writer of Under the Volcano - Malcolm Lowry.

I hope one day we will see a permanent plaque to Birkenhead's only true bard Adrian Henri.

There's also a case for a sign to honour another Birkenhead-born star Lindsay Kemp - the dance innovator who inspired the likes of David Bowie.

Wirral Culture was re-born and recognised in 2019

So please, Wirral Council, remember Culture with a capital C isn't just for Christmas.


ANOTHER well-deserved contender for a plaque for services to showbiz and charity would be much-missed Lewis Collins.

He was the best James Bond we never had.

Lewis, originally from Bidston, made his name in TV classic The Professionals which inspired today's Line of Duty.

He was a great drummer who once turned down an audition to join The Beatles who had just sacked Pete Best.

Lewis had his sights set on £42 a week as a hairdresser instead.

Tomorrow the Talking Pictures Channel are re-launching a rare classic 1974 drama series called Two Rooms. In two episodes we will see a young, up-and-coming star called Lewis Collins.


YOU can call him Al ...

That is what family, friends and his (soon to be ex-wife Marina) call the man born 'Alexander Boris' in New York.

Sonia Purnell's biography Just Boris is now the definitive work on the PM-in-waiting

which is a time described as 'rubbish' by Mr Johnson senior.

During his career the blond bombshell was warned by Michael Portillo that (Al) should choose between comedy and politics.

The book, written seven years ago, prophetically sums up the driving force that is Al ...

"He is ruthlessly ambitious and considers it his destiny to lead the country."

For Al, July 23 can't come quick enough.



We will eventually do 50 per cent of our shopping on-line according to a consumer survey.

Argos have discovered what people are looking for and many items are a real surprise so much so because they haven't been invented yet.

People searched on the internet for such items as: a 'Human car wash' ....

'Phone-charging gloves' and 'Dog roller skates.'

Happily, you can't buy imagination


HELLO ... hello ... hello

I got out my notebook and took down what Wirral writer Gina Kirkham has said in evidence.

"I've had a fabulous few weeks with the arrival of my third grandchild (my first grandson).

"My Nan and Grandad Dawson, who used to have the Maypole shop in Hoylake in the 1950/60s were called Annie and Arthur and my daughter has paid tribute to them by naming him Arthur as they already have a daughter called Annie. It’s lovely to think they live on."

Now back to book business.

Cop this ... another - her third.

The timely-titled Blues, Twos and Baby Shoes will be launched at Waterstones in Liverpool this October.

But could we see our heroine Constable Mavis Upton move to the serious crime squad?

"Writing comedy is fun, but I'd love to try my hand at something a little different for the next one, still quirky but a more serious 'whodunnit'.

An arresting thought, Gina.


And finally ...

I received a message from author Kieran Devaney, the ex voice of Radio City, who sent me a photo of a scrunched-up betting slip in a gutter outside a shop in Sligo, Ireland.

It was a £20 bet for 'The End of the World on' July 7.

Happily there are still optimists out there.

The wager was . . . each way.

Peter Grant