Hillsborough disaster: Bells rung to mark anniversary

The crowd at Anfield fell silent to mark the moment the match was halted

Bells have been rung 96 times across Merseyside to mark the 25th anniversary of the Hillsborough disaster.

The bells of Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral, Liverpool Town Hall and churches in Merseyside rang at 15:06 BST during a one-minute silence.

It marked the moment Liverpool's FA Cup semi-final at the Sheffield ground was halted on 15 April 1989 after a crush that led to the deaths of 96 fans.

An annual memorial service was held at Anfield stadium.

Seats left empty

Campaigner Margaret Aspinall, chair of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, and other families of victims were clapped as they arrived for the service.

96 seats with scarves draped over them A seat was left empty and draped with a football scarf for each Liverpool fan who died

Fans, players and club officials also gathered in the ground. Ninety-six seats, which were draped in scarves, were left empty.

The service began with the singing of the hymn, Abide With Me, which is synonymous with the FA Cup and has been sung at every final since 1927. It was also recorded as part of a charity single in memory of the victims in 1989.

A ring of lights called the Band of Life, with each light inscribed with the name of a victim, was lit as the names of those who died were read out by the Reverend Kelvin Bolton, the Reverend David Smith and Father Stephen Maloney.

The Band of Life As each name was read out, a light was lit on the Band of Life sculpture

A minute's silence followed, which Rev Bolton ended with the words "a time never to forget".

Taking the first reading, Everton manager Roberto Martinez said he was was only 15 when the disaster happened and that "as a family, we couldn't believe the pain and horror".

He said he was there representing his club, adding that "Everton remembers - we always will".

The service was also screened at Everton's ground, Goodison Park, for fans to pay their respects.

Roberto Martinez, Steven Gerrard, Daniel Agger, Luis Suarez, Daniel Sturridge, Kenny Dalglish, Ian Rush and others Everton manager Roberto Martinez (top left) sat among Liverpool players past and present

Martinez was followed by Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers, who said that while "you don't struggle for inspiration [at] this great football club, the single biggest source for me is when I arrive each match day and see the Hillsborough memorial".

Speaking to the families of the victims, Rodgers said they had "all stood for 25 years together [and] the love for the people you lost inspires me every day as manager".

"I really do feel inadequate in your company. You will never walk alone."

Standing ovations

Many aspects of today's service felt the same as the service did five years ago for the 20th anniversary.

The 96 names were recited then, as now. The Kop was full then, as it was today.

But in every other sense, today's service was different.

When Andy Burnham spoke in 2009, he was heckled by a lone cry of "Justice for the 96", which spread throughout the Kop.

This year when he spoke, it was to a very different reception - applause filled the stadium.

With new inquests under way, the justice process is ongoing.

This year's commemorations were tinged with a feeling of hope and optimism for the future.

Leigh MP Andy Burnham, who had been booed at a Hillsborough memorial service in 2009 while delivering a speech as Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, thanked the families of the victims.

In a speech which saw several standing ovations for the people he mentioned, including campaigner Anne Williams who died shortly after the memorial service last April, he said he had asked his mother what he should speak about.

He said she "told me to wish you all the best for the league and to say how fitting it would be if you won it in this of all years".

He also praised former Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish for his work with the families over the last 25 years, adding, "what leadership, what loyalty he has shown on your behalf".

Trevor Hicks, the president of the Hillsborough Family Support Group, said the 25 years since the disaster had been "a very long road".

'Spirit of 96'

Mr Hicks, who lost two daughters at Hillsborough, thanked Liverpool Football Club for their support and the Hillsborough Independent Panel.

Trevor Hicks, father: "The families of the 96 - we did it... we made it all happen"

"The spirit of the 96 burns in our hearts and drives us on," he said.

He also paid tribute to the families of the victims, who he said had "made it all happen".

"We stood together. We pulled, we pushed, we refused to lie down, we refused to go away, which is something that annoyed an awful lot of people."

His words were echoed by Mrs Aspinall, whose son died at the Sheffield stadium.

She said the families had been "fighting for 25 years".

"No matter how much dirt they tried to throw at us, Liverpudlians, Scousers, we don't lie down and take it."

Their speeches were followed by a rendition of You'll Never Walk Alone, led by the singer Gerry Marsden, during which 96 balloons were released.

The service ended with the crowd singing You'll Never Walk Alone

In Sheffield, the city's cathedral held a two-minute silence at 15:07 BST.

At the Hillsborough ground, a short service and a wreath-laying ceremony also took place at the memorial garden and the stadium was opened to allow people to lay flowers and remember those who died at the match against Nottingham Forest.

A minute's silence was observed at Old Market Square in Nottingham for the victims.

Hillsborough memorial service A memorial service was held at the monument at Hillsborough

Scarves from every club in the top four divisions were laid on the pitch to create a number 96 at Anfield as a "sign of unity" for the service, a spokesman for Liverpool said.

Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson said the city "will never forget those who died at Hillsborough, and this is a day for us to unite and remember each and every supporter and the friends and families left behind".

Who were the 96 victims?

Eight of the Hillsborough victims, CW from top left: Paul Clark, Stephen Copoc, Tracey Cox, Jon-Paul Gilhooley, Steven Fox, Vincent Fitzsimmons, Christopher Edwards

Tuesday's events follow a weekend of tributes to the 96 fans, which saw wreaths left at Anfield's and Hillsborough's memorials to those who died and football matches in leagues across England kick-off seven minutes late.

The commemorations come as fresh inquests into the deaths of the fans are held in Warrington. The inquests have been adjourned until 22 April.

They were ordered after the original accidental death inquest verdicts were quashed in 2012 following an independent report.

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BBC Local Live

    Spot the journalist 15:29: Helen Carter BBC Local Live

    Here's a picture of Xolo outside our office. I'm just by one the volunteers in the baseball cap taking a picture as he goes by.

    Xolo outside our office
    What size shoes? 15:25: Tom Airey BBC News

    Earlier, I overheard two children trying to decide what size shoes the Grandmother giant wears. The numbers are getting very high.

    Grandma's slippers
    Beautiful moment 15:20: Owen Walker BBC Local Live

    This has to be one of my favourite pictures of the day so far.

    Xolo the dog licks the Little Girl's face

    It was taken by Matthew Hart this morning as Xolo the dog woke up and licked the Little Girl's face. A beautiful moment, perfectly captured.

    Walking stick wonder 15:17: Tom Mullen BBC News Online

    Crowds are advised to keep their distance as Grandma makes her way through the streets. And you can see why - that walking stick looks dangerous!

    Buzzing atmosphere 15:10: Owen Walker BBC Local Live

    I've just been up to the Chinese Arch to have a look at the Little Girl and Xolo while they are sleeping.

    Sleeping by the arch

    The atmosphere is buzzing with thousands of people gathering to see her. You can hear kids blowing horns and whistles almost constantly and you can tell that they are having a whale of a time.

    News on the hour 14:59: Graham Whyte BBC Radio Merseyside

    The headlines at 15:00 include:

    Time for a break 14:53: Tom Mullen BBC News Online

    Grandma reclines in her wheelchair once again, as she prepares for a hard-earned snooze at Salthouse Dock.


    She'll be awake and back on the streets again his afternoon, when she'll make her way towards Newsham Park.

    Jean-Luc's air drums 14:50: Tom Airey BBC News

    Earlier, I spotted event director Jean-Luc Courcoult (pictured) playing air drums from the live band float. He looked to be having a good time.

    The many faces of Jean-Luc Courcoult
    Policing the giants 14:44:

    Teams of motorcycle police are making sure the bustling crowds are kept under control.

    Very busy for Giants 14:39:

    Merseyside Police tweets: It's very busy in places, keep children close by and look after valuables #Giants #GrandmaGiant #giantspectacular

    View of Giants
    Grandmother Giant's walk 14:34:

    Lucy Jones took this picture of Grandmother Giant as she began her walk.

    Grandmother Giant

    You can share your pictures with us at Facebook or via Twitter.

    Thousands welcome Giants 14:29:

    Thousands of people have lined Liverpool's streets to welcome three giant marionettes, which will tell the story of the city during World War One.

    Giant grandmother

    The huge figures began the Memories of August 1914 commemoration at 10:30.

    The show features a grandmother, a little girl and a dog. They will visit many of the city's landmarks, including the Three Graces.

    Grandmother and crowds 14:22:

    Ellie Bridges sent this picture of Grandmother Giant in her wheelchair watched by an adoring crowd.

    Giant siesta
    Grandma on the move 14:10: Tom Airey BBC News

    Enormous crowds stretched from the edge of St John's Gardens as Grandma Giant went on the move through Liverpool.

    Grandma on the move

    Absolutely huge crowds lined the streets and the flyover with some clinging to lamp posts to get a view of Grandma Giant.

    Please send us your photos or comments on email, Facebook or Twitter.

    Spitting, farting and drinking 14:06: Paul Salt BBC Radio Merseyside

    Eileen Schofield and Joanne Bentley travelled from near Leek in Staffordshire for the day and watched Xolo at Hanover Street and were heading for the Chinese Arch to see Little Girl Giant take a nap.

    giant fans

    She told me: "Although we heard earlier of major disruptions to trains caused by the Giants we had a good train journey."

    "It's so lovely to see the people of Liverpool embrace the Giants. The highlight for us will be the Grandmother spitting, farting and drinking. The city has done an amazing job."

    news on the hour 14:00: Graham Whyte BBC Radio Merseyside

    The main headlines at 14:00 are:

    • Residents of Halton have been told they won't have to pay to use either of the Runcorn Widnes bridges when the new crossing opens in three years' time
    • The government - and opposition - have welcomed growth in the economy of 0.8 per cent in the past three months
    • The giants have started walking and talking during their three-day journey through Liverpool
    Queues near Runcorn bridge 13:57:

    BBC Travel News says there's queuing traffic on Weston Point Expressway southbound in Runcorn between Runcorn Widnes Bridge and Runcorn. In the roadworks area.

    Hitching a ride with Xolo 13:55:

    Andrea Day has emailed in a photograph of a little girl having a ride on the back of Xolo during the Giants show.

    Girl riding on Xolo

    Please send us your photos or comments on email, Facebook or Twitter.

    Laughter and tears 13:53: Sue Owen, editor BBC Radio Merseyside

    A girl, her dog, a Chinese Arch and a bunch of amazing people helping them on their way. We've laughed and cried watching the Giants today. Who'd have thought it would be so emotional?

    chinese arch
    Emotion of the giants 13:43: Jayne McCubbin BBC North West Tonight

    While I've been out and about at the Giants for BBC North West Tonight, Keith our burly cameraman cried.

    emotion of giants

    You just get swept along with the emotion of it all. Everyone was nudging each other saying: 'We're the luckiest people alive.'

    Up close with Grandma 13:32: Tom Airey BBC News

    I got so close to Grandma Giant the Lilliputians were almost jumping on my feet.

    Grandma Giant

    Please send in your photos or comments on email, Facebook or Twitter.

    Riding on an astra 13:24: Jayne McCubbin BBC North West Tonight

    Thousands lined the streets as Little Girl Giant rides on a 12-year-old Vauxhall Astra through the city.

    Little Girl Giant
    unusual vantage point 13:19: Tom Airey BBC News

    Some people are finding unusual vantage points for a photo. Mind your step!

    Boodles ledge
    Joe and Jean-Luc 13:16: Andy Gill BBC North West Tonight

    Tweets a photo of Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson with writer and director of the Giants Spectacular Jean-Luc Courcoult enjoying the show.

    Joe Anderson and Jean-Luc Courcoult

    Follow the Giants every step of the way with to BBC Radio Merseyside and watch more on BBC One at 13:30.

    Snooze time 13:14: Jimmy McCracken BBC Radio Merseyside

    Little Girl Giant and her dog Xolo are having a snooze.

    Little girl

    Xolo's Liliputians who are dressed in a white linen suits and sombreros like Mexican farm workers have just received a standing ovation from the packed crowd.

    Despite the soaring temperatures they look as "cool as cucumbers".

    You can listen live to BBC Radio Merseyside.

    Keep up with Giants 13:13:

    Liverpool Council tweets: Keep up to date with all things #giant this weekend by following @GiantSpectacle

    Watching the action from afar 13:10: via Facebook

    Tommy Stafford says: "Great job with the coverage and video we are 3035 miles away."

    Please send us your photos or comments on email, Facebook or Twitter and listen live to BBC Radio Merseyside.

    Watch the paintwork 13:00: BBC Radio Merseyside

    I hope the little Girl's helpers are watching out for that paintwork!

    Girl giant
    news on the hour 12:58: Nick Hatfield BBC Radio Merseyside

    Our headlines at 13:00 are:

    • The Giants have started walking and talking during their three-day journey through Liverpool
    • Liverpool City Council estimates that more than 100,000 people have already lined the route of the Giants
    • Jess Robbins has been watching the Grandmother rise at St George's Hall
    Services normal on Northern line 12:50:

    Merseyrail tweets: Services are now running normally on the Northern line (1406287462)

    Giants: Your Thoughts 12:46: via Facebook

    Lots of you been getting in touch to let us know what you think of the giants.

    Sylvia Kearns says: Sooooo proud to be a Liverpudlian watching this in Liverpool right now! xxx

    Amanda Griffiths also says: Amazing I wish I was there

    Expectant crowds 12:43: BBC Radio Merseyside

    tweets: Expectant crowds await the #giants #giantsarecoming

    Expectant crowds
    Farting on Lord Street 12:39: Jessica Robbins BBC Radio Merseyside

    Cheeky grandma just had a wee and broke wind at the corner of Lord street! At least it smelt of vanilla!

    Grandma farting

    The Grandma has just farted in the middle of the street!

    'Poignant' story 12:36: Jimmy McCracken BBC Radio Merseyside

    Les and Margaret Holmes, of Wallasey, watched the Little Girl and Xolo with their grandchildren Ellis, nine, and Isobella, seven.

    Les and Margaret Holmes with their grandchildren Ellis and Isobella

    Mr Holmes said: "The control the puppeteers have over the giants is incredible. They look sort of old fashioned, and really impressive.

    "The crowds are quite something too. You can hear accents from around the country everywhere."

    Mrs Holmes added: "I got a little bit tearful actually. It's a bit emotional. It brings to mind World War One and everything that happened. My mum was born in 1921 and my dad in 1922, so it's very poignant."

    Cracking view 12:34: Steve Coleman BBC Radio Merseyside
    Waiting for Grandma 12:28:

    Margaret Murphy has emailed in a picture from the corner of North John Street as people waited for Grandmother Giant.

    North John Street

    Please send us your photos or comments on email, Facebook or Twitter.

    Check out the Xolo video 12:24: Steve Coleman BBC Radio Merseyside

    Oh my word Xolo is just magical. Check out this clip of him walking through the crowds.

    Xolo in Liverpool
    Hundreds watch on 12:22: Lucinda Moore BBC Radio Merseyside

    Hundreds watch the Little Girl make her way up Whitechapel.

    Little Girl on Whitechapel
    This dog is so cool! 12:17: Jimmy McCracken BBC Radio Merseyside

    There are hundreds of people out in the boiling midday heat.

    Xolo the dog

    Xolo the dog's nodding his head and wagging his tail. He's going right up to them.

    She's walking! A few yards behind the dog. This is a cup winner's homecoming. There are people gathered on the steps. They are hanging out of shop windows.

    This dog is so cool! He's loving all the attention. There's a sea of people at the end of the street already to greet the Girl and the dog.

    'Unprecedented' numbers on train 12:12:

    We mentioned before about problems travelling into Liverpool on the train as an estimated million people are expected in the city to see the Giants Spectacular.

    Operations director Andy Heath of Merseyrail said there will be train disruptions over the weekend.

    He said it has been a "real challenge because of unprecedented number of passengers" and warned it may be forced to close station for safety.

    Lime Street steps 12:08: Helen Carter BBC Local Live

    Hundreds of people have gathered on the steps of Lime Street Station in the centre of Liverpool to watch the Grandma who's been speaking in front of St Georges Hall.

    Crowds on the steps of Lime Street Station
    'Just magical' 12:06: Tom Mullen BBC News Online

    Jenny Moran, from the Wirral, is watched the Little Girl and Xolo with her two-year-old son, Robert, and parents Ruth and Dave Wilcoxon.

    Jenny Moran with her two-year-old son, Robert, and parents Ruth and Dave Wilcoxon

    Jenny said: "It's amazing, what can I say. Not only the giants themselves, but the way the crowd have reacted to them is just magical."

    Ruth said: "It's been the perfect weather for it. It's beautiful and it's giving me goosebumps."

    Giving the kids a ride 12:03:

    Margaret Murphy has emailed us this picture of the Little Girl Giant taking time out to give kids a ride at the corner of Whitechapel and Sir Thomas Street.

    Little Girl Giant giving kids a ride on her arms
    news on the hour 11:59: Nick Hatfield BBC Radio Merseyside

    The headlines at 12:00 include:

    Isn't she beautiful? 11:57:

    Ellie Bridges sent this picture. Look at Grandmother Giant. Isn't she beautiful?

    Giant Grandmother
    Speedy Xolo 11:49: BBC Radio Merseyside

    Another picture of Xolo in the heart of Liverpool.


    Magical and really speedy too!

    Girl going past 11:47: Owen Walker BBC Local Live

    Just seen the Little Girl Giant go past the window of our office. She was sat on the roof of an old Vauxhall Astra - how it's still in one piece, I have no idea!

    It's amazing, you don't realise the size of the giants until you actually see them up close.

    Filming Grandma 11:43:

    BBC camera operator David Edwards tweets: @Brijeshp filming Granny for @BBCNWT #giants #giantsarecoming

    Filming the giants
    Xolo flies past 11:40: Paul Salt BBC Radio Merseyside

    tweets: Xolo the dog going past @bbcmerseyside fantastic! # giants

    Grandma's about to speak 11:36: Jessica Robbins BBC Radio Merseyside

    Grandma Giant is just about to speak to the crowds assembled outside St Georges Hall.

    It's the first time we've heard a giant speak in Liverpool. She's speaking in French while someone translates for her.

    Xolo whizzes past 11:32: Helen Carter BBC Local Live

    Here's Xolo whizzing past BBC Radio Merseyside's office. He certainly moves at quite a pace!

    Delighted crowds 11:30:

    Margaret Murphy emails to say the crowds at Queen Square were delighted by the Little Girl as she ambled down the street, acknowledging their attention.

    Little Girl Giant walking through Queen Square
    Here's Granny 11:28:

    Giants Spectacular tweets: Grandma @SGHLpool with @CultureLPool #followthegiants

    The Grandmother Giant
    Quite a sight 11:25: Tom Mullen BBC News Online

    The Little Girl Giant is quite a sight as she walks through the crowds.

    Little Girl Giant

    Xolo has toddled off ahead.

    Huge crowds for Grandma 11:22: Tom Airey BBC News

    Huge crowds stretching from Lime Street down to St George's Hall as we wait for the Grandmother Giant to wake up.

    Crowds at St George's Hall
    Spying a giant 11:17: Owen Walker BBC Local Live

    I'm just waiting for the Giants to come past our office.

    I'm hoping to catch a glimpse of them as they go past the window - it's all very exciting!

    Here come the band 11:14: Andy Gill BBC North West Tonight

    tweets: The band & Jean Luc (head of giants) have arrived @BBCNWT

    Jean-Luc Courcoult
    Your country needs you 11:10: Tom Airey BBC News

    Liverpool's big screen outside Lime St displays a single message.

    Lime Street sign
    News on the hour 11:07: Nick Hatfield BBC Radio Merseyside

    The headlines at 11:00 include:

    It's a live show 11:06:

    Liverpool Council tweets: Please remember @GiantSpectacle is a live show so all times and routes are approximate and can still be subject to change

    Train disruption 11:04: Helen Carter BBC Local Live

    The trains are totally packed out as people flock to Liverpool for the Giants Spectacular.

    A few passengers are a little disgruntled with many including myself crammed in the aisles but at least we're on a train. People are stranded at the platform at Warrington and Widnes station as the trains are too full to take anyone.

    Not everyone is heading into the city for the Giants - I overheard one person ask "Where is everyone going. What is happening?"

    For travel advice see MerseyTravel.

    Watch the giants wake up 11:00: BBC Radio Merseyside

    She's awake and it's pure magic.

    Little Girl and Xolo waking up

    Check out this video of the moment the Little Girl and Xolo stirred from their slumber on our Facebook page.

    Grandma and friends 10:57: Andy Gill BBC North West Tonight
    There she goes 10:55: Tom Mullen BBC News Online

    The Little Girl has set off on her journey around Liverpool.

    Little Girl Giant sets off

    Xolo the dog is leading the way as they head off towards the centre of town.

    Enter the Lilliputians 10:51: Judith Moritz North of England correspondent, BBC News

    tweets: The puppeteers arrive #giants

    Climbing the walls 10:48: Tom Mullen BBC News Online

    A few clever spectators are scaling walls and pillars to catch a glimpse of the Little Girl and Xolo.

    Spectators climbing the walls

    Applause has now broken out as the volunteers begin to propel the Little Girl and Xolo on their march.

    Waking up to a lick 10:44: Jayne McCubbin BBC North West Tonight

    tweets: A good moooooorning lick from xolo! Want one @BBCNWT#giants

    The Little Girl Giant and Xolo
    Disruption on the trains 10:41:

    BBC Travel News says there is disruption on Merseyrail between Southport and Hunts Cross due to unusually large passenger flow.

    Eyes open 10:37: Jimmy McCracken BBC Radio Merseyside

    The little girl's eyes are open!

    Little girl waking up

    Her dog, Xolo, is also waking up. The show is under way here at the Queensway Tunnel.

    Good Morning Little Girl 10:34:

    Liverpool City Council tweets: Good morning Little Girl Giant, hope you & Xolo slept well ready for your journey, we've met your grandma & can't wait to see you up & about

    Eyelashes to die for 10:30: BBC Radio Merseyside

    Those eyelashes are to die for!

    Little Girl Giant

    We're counting down to the start of the Giant Spectacular in Liverpool.

    'Wake up Xolo' 10:26: Jimmy McCracken BBC Radio Merseyside

    As excitement builds for the Giants weekend, Xolo the dog is snoring and kids standing around are shouting "wake up, wake up!"

    Xolo and Little Girl Giant

    The Little Girl Giant takes him for a walk soon.

    You can listen live to BBC Radio Merseyside.

    Giant walking stick 10:21: Judith Moritz North of England correspondent, BBC News

    There's a giant walking stick lying in front of St George's Hall this morning.

    Grandma's walking stick

    I reckon it's the right size for a 25ft granny.

    Where's Grandma? 10:16:

    This is where the Grandma's going to be throughout the day.

    Grandma graphic

    As before, please be aware that these times are subject to change as it is a live show and there may be delays.

    Huge crowds 10:11: Tom Mullen BBC News Online

    I've just arrived at the Queensway Tunnel as the Little Girl and Xolo the dog prepare to start their march.

    Crowds at Queensway Tunnel gathering to see Little Girl Giant

    The crowds here are huge and everyone's jostling to find the best vantage points to view the action - including me!

    Finding the Little Girl and Xolo 10:06:

    Are you planning to come and see the Giants in Liverpool? Here is where the Little Girl Giant and her dog Xolo will be today.

    Little Girl graphic

    Please be aware times are subject to change as it's a live show and there may be delays.

    Details of the Grandmother will follow shortly.

    News on the hour 10:00: Nick Hatfield BBC Radio Merseyside

    The headlines at 10:00 include:

    Waiting for Grandma 09:55: BBC Radio Merseyside

    tweets: The crowds are starting to build at St George's Hall waiting for the #giants Grandma to wake up!

    Crowds at St George's Hall
    Whipping up the crowds 09:50: Jayne McCubbin BBC North West Tonight

    tweets: Let's go! Jimmy from @bbcmerseyside on air he's been whipping up the crowds! #giants EXCITED! @BBCNWT

    Jimmy McCracken
    Giant themes 09:44: Sean Styles BBC Radio Merseyside

    We are looking for songs to play on the show today that are related to our giant visitors.

    Let's try and be imaginative; perhaps a song for them waking up or exploring the city?

    Send your suggestions in via email,Twitter or Facebook and don't forget you can also text 81333 with Mersey before your message.

    Look out for water and shade 09:39:

    Merseyside Police's Ch Supt John Ward says measures have been taken to help the crowds who'll be watching the Giants in the hot weather.

    Ch Supt John Ward

    "We've been working with the NHS and St John Ambulance will be out helping us as well to make sure there is plenty of water and plenty of support for people.

    "Shade is going to be an issue, people are going to be standing around for a long time, so please bear that in mind."

    Fun in the sun 09:31: Nazia Mogra North West Tonight

    tweets: Off to see the #giants later producing @MerseyHack should be fun in the sun!! #liverpool

    Brothers who became Pals 09:25:

    Two brothers, who became Liverpool Pals during World War One, will have their stories told as part of Giants visit to Liverpool.

    Edgar and Fred Kinder

    Edgar and Fred Kinder answered Lord Derby's call to arms and joined the volunteer battalions in the autumn of 1914.

    Sue Johnston met Fred's son John for North West Tonight.

    Changes to buses 09:19:

    There will be significant changes to buses because of the Giants' visit to Liverpool.

    You can see a full list of changes here.

    Thousands queued 09:13: BBC Radio Merseyside

    It's not long until the Giants wake up and take to the streets of Liverpool.

    Queuing to see Grandmother outside St Georges Hall

    Over the past two days, the Grandma has been sleeping at St George's Hall in the centre of the city. Thousands of people queued to see her as you can see above.

    You can get a taste of what it's been like on this video on our Facebook page.

    Love of Liverpool 09:06: Helen Carter BBC Local Live

    Why has Giants genius Jean-Luc Courcoult fallen in love with Liverpool?

    Jean-Luc Courcoult

    You can read my article on why the eccentric director of the Royal De Luxe favours this city above all others on the BBC News.

    News on the hour 09:00: Nick Hatfield BBC Radio Merseyside

    The headlines at 09:00 include:

    • Liverpool is gearing up for a spectacular show this weekend as the Giants walk the streets of the city once again
    • The UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon has called on Israel and Hamas to end hostilities and start talking
    • Royal Bank of Scotland, which had to be bailed out by the taxpayer, has announced a huge leap in pre-tax profits
    Top headlines
    Wall of lights 08:54: BBC Radio Merseyside

    tweets: This appears to be a huge wall of car headlights down with the girl #giant at the Birkenhead tunnel. Mysterious!

    Wall of headlights
    Queensway Tunnel closed 08:47:

    The Queensway Tunnel is closed today because of the Giants' visit to Liverpool. It is just one of a number of road closures made to accommodate the event.

    You can find details of all the road closures here.

    Snoring away 08:40: Tony Snell BBC Radio Merseyside

    The Little Girl may be sleeping soundly but the Grandma is snoring away in her wheelchair outside St Georges Hall.

    Grandma sleeping in front of St Georges Hall

    I have to confess, I absolutely love her slippers!

    Front Row's giant celebration 08:33: BBC Radio 4

    BBC Radio 4's Front Row has been celebrating the return of giant puppets to Liverpool.

    Kirsty Lang found out about the three visitors and how Liverpool City Council has coped with turning the city centre into a giant's performance space, which included cutting down trees to let them through.

    You can listen to the show on the BBC iPlayer.

    Sleeping soundly 08:26: Jimmy McCracken BBC Radio Merseyside

    I can hear the Little Girl Giant breathing as she sleeps at the Liverpool entrance to the Birkenhead Tunnel.

    Little Girl Giant asleep outside the Birkenhead Tunnel

    She'll be waking up in a few hours and will be starting her journey through the city.

    Extra carriages 08:18: Jenny Summers BBC Radio Merseyside

    Merseyrail are putting on extra carriages in anticipation of the huge numbers of people flocking to Liverpool to see the Giants.

    Wirral line passengers are being asked to use Liverpool Central station while Northern line customers are being asked to use Moorfields.

    Visit the Merseyrail website for full details.

    Live from St George's Hall 08:12: Tony Snell BBC Radio Merseyside

    We're live in front of St George's Hall until 09:30 this morning.

    Snelly and Claire McColgan, Director of Culture at Liverpool City Council

    I've been talking to Claire McColgan, Director of Culture at Liverpool City Council.

    She says it's important to remember that the event is also commemorating the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War One.

    Fine, dry and warm 08:06: Sara Blizzard Weather Presenter, BBC North West Today

    Another fine, dry and warm day is expected with just a little cloud developing in places, mainly during the afternoon.

    Weather graphic for 13:00 on 25.07.2014

    Winds remaining light throughout the day with temperatures reaching a maximum of 27C (81F).

    News on the hour 08:00: Nick Hatfield BBC Radio Merseyside

    The headlines at 08:00 include:

    A giant good morning 08:00: Owen Walker BBC Local Live

    They're here - the giants have arrived in Liverpool and we will be bringing you all the latest on their visit here on Giants Live over the next three days.

    If you have any pictures or comments you'd like to send us, email them to merseyside.locallive@bbc.co.uk or tweet us at @bbcmerseyside.



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