Festival celebrates 125th anniversary

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Visitors enjoying the festival © menu4340 / CreativeCommons / Flickr

Visitors enjoying the festival © menu4340 / CreativeCommons / Flickr

The Port Sunlight Village Festival celebrated its 125th anniversary this weekend with two fun-filled days of live music, dog shows and funfairs.

Over 35,000 people flocked to the village to celebrate soap tycoon Lord Leverhulme, for whom the festival exists.  Leverhulme created the picturesque area to house his Lever Brothers factory workers in the late 19th Century, which is known globally today as Unilever.

The scale of his philanthropy was unprecedented and the whole of Port Sunlight is now a Conservation Area and a major tourist attraction for Wirral.

Leverhulme was a philanthropist who was passionate about art and architecture and Port Sunlight stands as a testament to the achievements of this remarkable man.

The village is comprised of 130 acres of meticulously maintained parkland with 900 houses dispersed along the area.

The majority of the buildings in the village are Grade II listed, and two sections of the landscape are included in the English Heritage Register of Parks and Gardens of Special Historic Interest.

The festival makes use of the spacious landscape by holding different activities to attract a wide variety of people, such as a chef demonstration stage, entertainment and children’s rides, and a vintage and classic car display.

One popular tourist attraction for Port Sunlight is the museum, which houses a lot of historical information about the village.

Visitors are given a guided tour which allows them to experience what it was like to live and work there in Victorian and Edwardian periods, as well as learn about the architects who designed the houses, principal buildings and landscapes, and what influenced them to create the historic village many know and love today.

Katherine Lynch of the Port Sunlight Village Trust, who is manager of the Port Sunlight Museum, told the Liverpool Echo: “The sun has shone on us all weekend and overall, it’s been an amazing two days. More than 35,000 people have gathered in the village and there’s been an overwhelming family feel to the whole event.

“I’d like to thank everybody who has made the weekend happen. It was our most ambitious festival to date but we’ve proved that we can deliver outdoor festivals to match some of the largest and most successful of this type in the UK.”

The village is ranked number 30 of 200 places to visit in Merseyside on Trip Advisor.

About Damian Leonard, JMU Journalism