This year will see many new exciting developments at Port Sunlight River Park as the park and the associated Friends group both continue to go from strength to strength. One major development will be the installation of a memorial to the four training ships RS Akbar, RS Clarence, H.M.S. Conway and TS Indefatigable that were based in the River Mersey in the late 19th and early 20th century. The memorial will be dedicated to the memory of the 45,000 young seafarers who trained on the river and in particular to those who lost their lives in peace and war while serving their country.
In 2015 the Indefatigable Old Boys Association, the Conway Club and the Friends of HMS Conway established a charity to progress the creation of a memorial with installation targeted for late 2016. The Trust has now launched a public design competition for an imposing and individual public memorial to the Mersey training ships. A prize of £500 will be awarded to the winner(s) and their name(s) will appear on the memorial. The closing date for design proposals is 31st March 2016. The competition is open to everyone as individuals and/or in groups. Local art, design, landscape architecture and architecture apprentices, trainees and students are particularly encouraged to submit proposals.
The design brief is for a striking and individual design that reflects the four ships and the boys’ nautical training, positively attracts and engages people, exploits its prominent position overlooking the river and integrates the view of the Sloyne, the part of the Mersey where the ships were moored. It must also be robust, especially given its elevated and exposed waterside position. Further details about the design competition, a poster advertising it and entry forms can be found by searching online for Mersey Training Ships Memorial.
The Friends of Port Sunlight River Park always welcome volunteers who would like to help with the maintenance of the park during the regular volunteers’ sessions on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Anyone wishing to join in so benefiting by being more active, making new friends and have the satisfaction of seeing the difference their work can make should contact the Park Ranger, Anne Litherland on 07587 550060 or by emailing AnneLitherland@autismtogether.co.uk