On Friday 19 May HOP & Wheel Meet Again joined forces for a cultural excursion to LightNight.
Our first stop was to watch an outdoor performance by Merseyside Dance Initiative community groups, titled ‘Same as we Ever Were’. The group was delighted to see that the age range of the dancers spanned from age 3 to age 70, all performing against the stunning backdrop of the Merseyside Maritime Museum.
Next stop on our adventure was the Open Eye Gallery. The group was greeted by Liz Wewiora, who introduced the group to the gallery, the current exhibitions and to Tadhg Devlin and the SURF Dementia group, whose project forms part of the recent Culture Shifts programme. The group was then given a special presentation with Tadhg, who explained a little more about the project, that the group found incredibly interesting. A huge thank you to everyone at the Open Eye Gallery, and especially to Tadhg!
After a little refreshment break we jumped back on board the bus to the Philharmonic Hall to see, and hear, the choir. The group was thrilled to discover we were seated in the ‘boxes’ of the main auditorium – a real treat that none of them had ever encountered before. Choirmaster Ian Tracey introduced each song with charm and warmth and the group thoroughly enjoyed all of the songs performed including Billy Joel and the Beatles – it was a fantastic event.
Our final stop on the cultural tour was the delightful Blackburne House, which many of the group had never visited before – yet another new experience! We wandered around the Flea Market, ate some delicious food in the café and then too a quick peek at the exhibition of 70s music and fashion.
Our entire group really enjoyed every part of LightNight. There was a real buzz of excitement and energy in the air and it was fantastic to see so many people wandering around the city taking part in arts and culture. Big thanks to our lovely bus driver and Helen Holmes from Wheel Meet Again.
On a personal note, it was also an absolute pleasure to be out with the group; to listen to and share stories, laugh and experience culture with an older audience. As someone who has been involved in the arts and cultural scene here in Liverpool for many years I am a strong believer that art and culture makes you happy, and allows you to express yourself both as as artist and audience, no matter what age you are. Long may LightNight continue.