In the warm, late afternoon sunshine of May 1st 1941, the Heinkel bombers of Hitler’s mighty Luftwaffe took to the skies once more. This time their target was Liverpool. Just hours later at 10:15pm the first bomb fell on Wallasey and the air raid sirens began to wail.
This wasn’t the first time Liverpool had been targeted during the Blitz, but nobody could have foreseen this would be the start of seven days intensive bombing designed to destroy Liverpool’s docks and crush the spirit of her people. What would forever be remembered as the “May Blitz” was about to begin.
Out of all the terror and destruction which ensued, the spirit of the blitz emerged. It has gone down in history as a spirit of straightforward stoic courage and endurance: a refusal by the people of Britain to collapse into the hysteria or madness expected by the enemy.
“I see the damage done by the enemy attacks, but I also see… the spirit of an unconquered people.”
- British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, May 1941
2011 marked the 70th anniversary of that terrible week, and so presented an opportunity for us to remember those who lost their lives and also celebrate the enduring morale which kept the British people going during such testing times.
On Saturday 30th April we launched the Liverpool Blitz 70 event which we hope helped to spread awareness about what happened and gave the people of Merseyside a jolly good weekend of nostalgic blitz-themed entertainment! All funds raised during the weekend were shared between two registered veterans’ charities; D-Day Revisited and the Royal British Legion. Visit us again for more history and frequent reports and photographs of the weekends various events!
Special thanks go to the following people for their contribution to the Liverpool Blitz 70! event:
Steve Walls who generously gave up three days of his time to host the entire event from the main stage on Church Street.
Blitz and Peaces for coming to Liverpool all the way from Exmouth to entertain and educate visitors to our great city, leaving them feeling they have had a real opportunity to enjoy the sights and sounds of the home front!
Company B for giving up their time to entertain the crowds twice each day performing well-known 1940s favourites.
Northern Forties for their fascinating representation of a broad range of civilian and military persons who each had their own role to play in the war effort.
Heather Marie for her dazzling renditions of the wartime classics on Monday 2nd May.
The girls from St Julie’s Catholic High School for performing various energetic dance routines.
The Irish Guards Choir for their moving performance on Saturday 30th April.
Robert Codman for his hilarious performances of Punch and Judy on his family’s beautiful stage which has been used in Liverpool for over 150 years.
Jamie Quinn and his “Land Army” from Axholme Heavy Cattle for their educational display on Clayton Square and most importantly to Zelda the cow!
Merseyside Fire Service Museum for displaying two beautiful original WWII fire fighting appliances on Church Street.
MoD Armed Forces Carers Office Liverpool giving up their time to supply and man the climbing wall on Williamson Square.
The Parachute Regiment Cadets from Crosby for all their help collecting donations on Saturday and Sunday.
Woolton 2359 ATC Cadets for all their help collecting donations and manning the Spitfire over the weekend.
Arthur Dorning, Mark Jagger, Alex Jenkins, Maria McGibbon, Sian and Rob Whitehead and James Vasco for bringing their vintage and military vehicles along for display over the weekend.