Home Local News Art project set to make a splash in New Brighton

Art project set to make a splash in New Brighton


An exciting community art project which celebrates a New Brighton legend has been given the green light.

The Mermaid Trail, which takes its inspiration from the ‘Black Rock Mermaid’, who was said to have appeared to a local sailor in New Brighton in the 18th century, will feature a series of mermaid statues right across the resort, designed by local artists, schools and community groups.

The project is moving forward thanks to a successful bid for £10,935 by the New Brighton Coastal Community Team (NBCCT) to the Burbo Bank Extension Community Fund, a grant scheme set up by DONG Energy to benefit voluntary groups and organisations located near to the coastline where it is carrying out the extension to the offshore wind farm.

Work on the mermaids is likely to start in the autumn, with the aim of being installed ready for visitors in the spring of 2017.

Cllr Tony Jones, Wirral Council’s Pledge Champion for ‘building a vibrant tourism economy’ and Chair of the NBCCT, said: “New Brighton is steeped in maritime history and the revitalised New Brighton is committed to building on this, bringing it back to life even as we look to the future.

“This project will raise awareness of the legend of the Black Rock Mermaid and will bring her story to the attention of the hundreds of thousands of visitors the resort attracts each year. The trail is important to the areas as it will take visitors away from the waterfront areas for a time and introduce them to some of the attractions and unique character that can be found in different parts of New Brighton.

“The Mermaid Trail will help connect the distinct communities within the New Brighton area and allow us to welcome even greater visitor numbers. The area is already synonymous with community-led creative arts activities and the Trail will further cement this identity.

“It is an extremely exciting time for everyone connected with the resort and our thanks go to DONG Energy for supporting us with the grant from the Burbo Bank Extension Community Fund.”

The plan is for six mermaid statues to be installed in locations across the resort creating a trail around the area.

Competitions and community events with the trail as a theme are planned and updates on the development of the installation will be promoted on www.wirral.gov.uk/newbrighton, www.visitnewbrighton.com and www.visitwirral.com, as well as being communicated through social media.

The legend of the Black Rock Mermaid

As well as being seen around Black Rock, the legendary mermaid was also reputedly sighted near Leasowe Castle, along the stretch of sands called Mockbeggar Wharf and on boulders that are now known as the Mermaid Stones.

The legend took hold when a Liverpool sailor, John Robinson, met her when she came on board his ship after a storm killed the other members of his crew. By being the first to speak, and by taking her comb and girdle, he had the power to ask a wish of her. In return for his promise that he would see her again the following Friday, she gave him a compass that would allow him to return to shore: he agreed, and she kept her word.

When the time came for him to meet her again she was the one who spoke first, thus gaining power over him: she bewitched him with her singing, took back the compass and put her ring on his finger, saying she would soon see him once again. This time, however, when he returned to his home, he fell ill and died five days later.

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