THREE special consecutive maritime weekends will bring the Liverpool waterfront alive in early summer for the first time.
The Liverpool on the Waterfront programme, which is free to the public, starts in May and runs through to early June.
The programme will be launched with the city hosting the 70th and final national anniversary commemoration of the Battle of Atlantic on May 24.
It will close with the revival of the much-missed Mersey River Festival on June 7 - 9.
This will be followed on consecutive weekends by the Albert Dock and Tate Gallery 25th anniversary events and finally by the Music on the Waterfront concerts (which run parallel with the Mersey River Festival).
It is the welcome culmination of an increasingly greater council interest in maximising the waterfront’s potential for big visitor events, which has grown more ambitious over the last few years.
The Battle of the Atlantic event on May 24-28 is jointly organised by the Royal Navy, Merchant Navy and Liverpool city council, with activities at the waterfront and in the city centre.
These will include a memorial service at the Anglican Cathedral on Sunday, May 26 followed by a veterans’ parade along Hope Street to the RC Metropolitan Cathedral.
There will be a special band concert by the Royal Marines Band Portsmouth at Liverpool Philharmonic Hall on Saturday, May 25 and it will also play at a 1940s themed concert party at St George’s Hall, on Monday, May 27.
The Royal Fleet Air Arm will present a fly-past and each day the Royal Marines will stage a James Bond-style pirate counter- attack using Merseyside Mari- time Museum’s veteran tug MV Brocklebank.
Twenty five warships will be docked at Liverpool Cruise Terminal, Albert and Canning Docks. The largest vessels will be berthed on the Cruise Terminal landing stage.
The warships represent both sides of the six year Battle of the Atlantic with vessels from the UK, Canada, Germany, Italy, Russia and the US.
Some vessels will open to visitors. There will be final departure parade of all the warships on Tuesday May 28.
The Battle of the Atlantic Allied forces and convoys were commanded from Liverpool at what is now the Western Approaches HQ Museum, which will be open to the public (admission cost applies).
The following weekend (May 31-June 2) will mark 25 years since the reopening of the regenerated of the Albert Dock complex including the opening of Tate Liverpool, the first of the London gallery’s satellites.