The Beginning, The Organisers, The Bands, & The People,

Things I Remmember, To The End

Sefton Park Palm House Blues

The Beginning - The Reunion

Fund Raising for early larks gigs at Lark Lane Police Station


Another Fund Raiser at the Old Police Station

'Bop Til Ya Drop' Logo by Steve Hardstaff

The Bop Til Ya Drop gigs proved very successful until I was asked to pull the gig by the police after 200 or so mods raced up and down Lark Lane on their scooters terrifying the local residents after invading the stage in support of their favourite band Zeebra

 swinging their crash helmets to the beat.

Unfortunately no posters remain of the Zeebra gig as the mods ripped them down after the gig.

I was not allowed to promote anymore at that time so teaming up with the Larks Gang came at the right time.


The Organisers

The Committee of 1982 - 1984 consisted of Ann Borthwick, Martin Cooper, Garry Gannicliffe, Selwyn Hyams, Darrell Jay,

Derek Murray, Alex Bennett, AL Peters, Roger Hill, Phil Ross.

The organisers worked on a purely voluntary basis and acted completely independently of any other organisation.

Their sole aim was to provide free live music in Sefton Park.

AL & Son Adrian

Photo Jef Barnes

Liverpool Echo Publicity

Garry, Selwyn, AL, Ann, Derek, Martin

Dame Loony

with  AL on Trumpet




"The 1979 Larks in the Park  was instigated by Derek Murray & Terry Canning with some help from Selwyn Hyams

( I always remember Selwyn as the 'generator man' - a man not afraid to get his hands dirty always sortin stuff out

and like the rest of the committee had an over-riding love of music and the local Lark Lane Community - AL).

They did "guerilla"gigs, playing on the level with a generator in a van for the pa setups in Princes Park on 4 consecutive Sundays.

It wasn't quite right so they decided to get more people involved (Terry dropped out) which is when Martin Cooper and I were asked to help. Ann Borthwick was there in those days too but as she worked for Derek it was only in a clerical capacity.

In 1981  Derek all but dropped out and Ann & I became the main artiste liaison people with the others doing more behind-the-scenes admin stuff. Derek was the BBC liaison guy too but by 1982 he was really just a figurehead". Garry Gannicliffe

The Bands


AL Peters & Craig Charles on the Island, Sefton Park, Liverpool

A Flock of Seagulls, The Abraham Ali Band, The Accelerators, Achilles, Action Transfers, Afraid of Mice, Always the Now, Amigo, Asylum,

The Balcony (Yorkie), Bamboo Fringe, Black, The Brazier Bros, Craig Charles, Carl Chase, The Check, The Cherry Boys, The Christians,

Cook da' Books, Cracked Actor, Cross Section, Dame Loony, Dark Continent, Darrel Jay, DDA Seex, Dave the Fire Eater, The Debonaires,

The Decemberists, Delado, The Eastwood Rockers, Eat at Joe's, Ebony, Elephants for Breakfast, The English, Ex Post Facto, The Farm, The Farout Hit, Foreign Bodies, Fragile Friends, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Ground Pig, Hambi and the Dance, Here's Johnny!, The High Five,

Holiday for Strings, Human Camp, I-Lands, The Icicle Works, It's Immaterial, Janice Long, Joker, The Katch Band, Keep it Dark, Kit, Knopov, LaLaBamBam, The Lawnmower, Leroy Cooper, Les Flambé Flabs, Levi Tafari, The Liverpool Big Band, The Liverpool Jazz Workshop, Malchix, Malfunktion, Margox (aka Margi Clarke), The Moderates, Motion Pictures, Mr Amir, North West One, Numbers 28,

One Last Fight, The Outer Limits, Paradine Express, Paris 9, Personal Column, Phantasee, Politburo, Precinct 22, The Press, Redman and Friends,

The Reverb Bros, The Room, Sex Tribe, The Slippers, Sneax, Society's Problems, Spectrum, Supercharge, Taxi Annie (Connie Lush), This Final Frame, The Tunnel Users, Virgin Dance, Western Promise, Walter Mitty's Little White Lies, Wolfrace, Zale Out.

Carl Chase as Hank Williams

Carl the 'Cabbie' went on to appear in Batman,

Alien 3, Cry Freedom etc

Fundraising Magazine produced by Garry, Printed by James Laver


"I know you were the link to PSL (Professional Sound & Light) people and connected us to bands in your zone and Alex Bennett was helpful keeping the local community of Liverpool 8 onside.  Martin hosted a couple of parties (at The Armadillo Tea Rooms, Mathew St) and did some networking and scouting but by 1983 or 4 he wasn't involved at all". Garry Gannicliffe

Things I Remember

"I'll never forget Mick Hucknall asking Sue Flackett and myself if it would be okay if he made a tray of flapjacks  to sell amongst the crowd as he was short of cash - I wonder if he recalls that moment from his Chateau in France?"

"Also the time on one hot sunny afternoon when an over enthusiastic member of the audience decided to jump into the lake only to find himself standing with the water up to his knees and his underpants weighed down with mud somewhere around his ankles"

"The Frankie Goes to Hollywood Girls - The Leather Pets dressed in high heels and leather bondage gear singin and dancin with

The Lawnmower whilst Holly grooved along sportin his leather 'chaps' exposing his whip-lashed bare buttocks to the world prior to him takin the stage as headline act on that sunny Sunday afternoon" - AL Peters


A Collectors Item?


AL, Pete Coleman & Damien

The only photo of myself & Pete together?

The People - the Supporters

Over the years important help was also provided by: Phil Ross (promotion & continuity), Roger Hill (promotion & continuity),

John Stoddart (photography), Tony Rosenthal (transportation), Jane Meakin (bucketeering), Laura O'halligan (design & stage set)
Bob Caldwell (photography), Suzie Flackett & Martin Yarker (catering), PSL (Professional Sound & Lighting), Radio City,

BBC Radio Merseyside, BBC 2 Television, Lark Lane Traders, James Laver Printing, Entec, Geoff White, Armadillo Tea Rooms,

Phil Easton, Janice Long, Con McConville, Rachel Purnell, Chris Ball, Tony Rosenthal, Liverpool Daily Post & Echo, Phil Keyes, Adrian Kai, Tim Abberely, Peter Addison, Gary & Pam Cuff, Deborah Scaffolding, Liverpool City Council (Recreation & Open Spaces Dept), Geoff Edwards, Merseyside Arts, Tiger Murphy, Alison Neville, Colin Pennington, Paula Gannicliffe, Pheonix Fireplaces, Square One Studios, Amazon Studios, TAVR (Edge Lane), Sue Place, Ches Poser, Chris Martin, Inner City Partnership, C Tarleton Hodgson, Stewart Thompson Plant Hire, Barbara Stewart, Colour Ads, Geoff Edwards, Peter Addison etc...


Thanks must go to the thousands of people in the audience who gave so generously when we went around with the buckets and

without their support it would not have been possible to put on this annual event.

Some estimates gave around 15,000 to 20,000 in attendance over the three days when the weather was good!  

Summary to The End

"I did a flyer when I nearly did another in 2000. The flyer text was:
W-a-a-a-y back in the 1970's there were very few recognised live music venues
(Garry - I beg to differ with pubs like The Sportsman, Moonstone, and major venues like Liverpool University's Mountford Hall and the Stadium (Roger Eagle) all thrivin throughout the 1970's)and even fewer outdoor cultural events in Liverpool, yet the city was alive with exciting talent.

Local bands played mostly in out-of-town pubs or did occasional one-offs in nightclubs.

The famous exception was Eric's on Mathew Street, but there was clearly no established venue for local bands.
In 1979 three young men, inspired by Derek Murray, decided to present weekly free concerts in Princes Park.

It wasn't easy but the idea was very popular so for 1980 a new team was drafted in and the format changed to a three day
festival using the bandstand in Sefton Park. It was very successful and continued in the same format for another five years.
In that time various other projects were tried including on of the first ever musical laser shows for the park's fireworks displays. Evening events with the
BBC featuring Big Country, Bow Wow Wow, Echo & the Bunnymen and Nick Hayward.

But ultimately it was Larks in the Park which was most worthwhile and through these experiences certain principles were established:
Involve the local community in afternoon shows on the bandstand on the island in Sefton Park lake
featuring only local acts with no enclosure or admission charge.
The result was a hugely popular local festival bringing a diverse range of bands to an equally diverse audience.
There ya go mate, most of what you need for a Larks page on your site.
I'd appreciate a credit please. (You've got it!)
I have some "unseen" pics, I'll get them to you eventually!"


PS "The last one was really just Ann & I and that's why it ended.
I have a rather poor early photo of us all at the Radio Merseyside studio in Sir Thomas St and a few during setup a couple of

years later. But I have got loads of Larks pics, one day I'll scan some of them".
Dear Garry,

Thanks again for the info it is a good reference point but you know that I will be approachin the Larks page from my perspective

(as with Roger Eagle, The Everyman etc) from the time that I was brought on board as group contact
with being 'man about town' at that time with havin SOS (Square One Studios) so close to the heart of the Liverpool
Music Scene in the 1980's, with a knowledge of PA's and accessibility to Radio Merseyside and Radio City.

Also due to the fact that I had promoted successful 'Bop til you Drop' gigs at the old Lark Lane Police Station as a
workin resident of the Lark Lane community.
The Lawnmower did a series of gigs for Martin Cooper at the Armadillo Tea Rooms as a precursor and fund raiser for Larks.

I have a photo of me and Janice Long doin the 'hand jive' at one of these gigs.
I will check with my diaries to see if I can get a clearer indication of the time that I worked on the committee - or do you remember?
I would very much like a copy of the photo of us all outside Radio City if that is possible with the name of the photographer

for use on my site. I always give credit for contributions.
So my reference to Larks will probably not be as detailed as the one you
will be involved with but we could link them at a later stage.

Over to you Garry!
Kind Regards and a Special Thanks for the Info

Jane Alexander & Garry at Square One Studios

PS Did you take that photo of Roger Eagle, Penny Kiley and Norman?

Do you have any photos of Frankie's 'Hollywood Bondage Girls' workin with The Lawnmower

as depicted in your Larks Magazine?

The Lawnmower Cuts the Glass


The Lawnmower Man

Photo Courtesy of  Liverpool Echo

Fund Raisin Leaflet

Friends of the Palm House

Liverpool Echo Review

by Peter Grant


Glass House Blues

I've spent many a pleasant hour with wives, friends and children wanderin around this splendid Victorian Palm House in Sefton Park durin the

!970's and1980's. After it had been ravaged by storms, vandals and council neglect I was asked to support 'The Friends of' and so

did a series of gigs to raise funds and awareness of the plight of this wonderful conservatory.

Unfortunately after it had been fully refurbished my services were no longer required and to this day I have not performed in the said building.

It's that same old story similar in detail to bein a member of the original Steerin Committee prior to the formation of  LIPA.

C'est Le Vie say the old folks goes to show you never can tell?

Is it no wonder I remained a Blues Singer!

Gary, Selwyn, AL, Ann, Derek & Martin - A happy reunion

Larks in the Park Committee

Re-united at Selwyn's 07/12/08

Any More Info or Photos Please send to


Check Out: AL Peters/Covid 19 Blues/YouTube 2021


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