Watch the video here of Mayor Joe Anderson and Blues Manager Roberto Martinez lighting up the Everton lock up
The historic Lock-Up at Everton Park – an icon which features prominently on Everton Football Club’s crest – has officially been lit up in blue.
Everton manager Roberto Martinez and Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson joined forces earlier this week to launch a new project which sees the Lock-Up bathed in blue light.
The famous landmark will remain illuminated every evening – to symbolically shine a powerful light on the unbreakable association between the football club and the community, and to build on the work being done to transform the park into a first-class visitor destination.
The 235-year-old Lock-Up, known locally as Prince Rupert’s Castle, looks down across the community from its prominent position on a triangular piece of ground in Everton Park between Netherfield Road South and Everton Brow.
The Blues boss, the Mayor and other special guests were joined by members of the community, football fans and local schoolchildren at a public launch which celebrated this important piece of local history.
Everton Football Club, the city council and the Friends of Everton Park have teamed up to bring the Light Up project to life, following a clean-up programme which has made the Lock-Up look more pristine than ever.
Mayor of Liverpool, Joe Anderson, said: “The Lock Up is an important landmark at Everton Park, with huge significance to the community, the football club and the city as a whole. This project will literally build a brighter future for the famous tower. It will be a beacon of light for the whole community to enjoy.
“The tower still looks magnificent after standing on Everton Brow for over two centuries – and its illumination will give it even greater prominence, for generations to come. It will support our ongoing work to transform the park, and will celebrate the history, people, and sporting excellence which have helped make Everton famous the world over. It’s a fantastic project.”
Everton FC Chairman, Bill Kenwright, said: “For me, the Everton tower has always had a special meaning. When I first became an Evertonian, one of the first things I wanted to find out was its origin. I cannot tell you the number of times I have stood below the tower or next to it. I get a lot of inspiration from that old tower because it is at the heart of our club badge.
“For years, my mum and my Aunty Bet would pick me up at Lime Street Station when I arrived on matchdays from London. They would drive me up to Goodison Park and I would always ask them to go via the tower. They would sit in the car for five minutes and I would get out and gather my thoughts, especially when times have been tough or before a big game. It’s all to do with where we come from.
“The tower is the perfect symbol for our club, reminding us of the village where we changed our name from St Domingo’s to Everton FC. The place is significant for both Merseyside clubs because you can trace the birth of professional football in our city back to those historic early days.”
The fledgling football club took the landmark decision to change its name from St Domingo’s to Everton at a meeting in the Queen’s Head Hotel in Everton Village in 1879. The Lock-Up tower, originally built to hold anyone disturbing the peace in the village, was adopted as Everton FC’s badge in 1938 and soon became the instantly recognisable symbol of the football club.
Everton’s nickname, The Toffees, is linked with Molly Bushell’s world-famous Toffee Shop that formerly stood adjacent to the tower and attracted patrons like Queen Victoria and novelist Charles Dickens.
The illumination ceremony included a local schoolchildren’s parade, with youngsters lighting up the evening with blue glowsticks and Everton flags; Toffee Ladies
handing out the ever-popular Everton mints; and famous songs from the Club’s history. Key speakers also provided a fascinating insight into the history and heritage of Everton Park, The Lock Up and Everton Football Club.
About Everton Park
• The Light Up the Lock Up projects builds on the momentum of a range of positive work which has already taken place at the park, including the new Heritage Trail installed by the Friends of Everton Park, and the Sustrans Portrait Bench which further highlights the rich social history of the space. The major Biennial exhibition in 2012 re-confirmed the wider opportunities that exist to further develop Everton Park as a community and city facility.
• A major regeneration programme is transforming Everton Park and its surrounding neighbourhoods, including the multi-million pound Project Jennifer scheme to revitalize the Great Homer Street area; and the brand new Notre Dame Catholic College.
• The city council is working with the Friends of Everton Park and other partners to make the park, with its panoramic views of Liverpool, the Mersey and beyond a leading destination for walking and cycling.