‘Hope’. And another item from the cabinet of curiosities.


The cabinet of curiosities now has a new arrival: it was made by my late friend Pete Heywood, and given to me. Pete was the designer of a rather large tortoise called Hope, (and even larger Dragons!). But it was Hope I worked with him on and I will talk more about her later.

Small Ceramic Bowl by Pete 1954-2015

Small Ceramic Bowl by Pete 1954-2015

A week or so ago I was lucky enough to be given a tour of Liverpool with my pal Tony Higginson of BeyondMediaBooks. I’d mentioned to Tony a while ago that I’d not been to his lovely home city for about twenty years and there were lots of places I’d never seen. And do you know what? There are still some I haven’t been in, it’s such a full day out with more museums than any city outside London.

I can particularly recommend a visit into the crypt below the Roman Catholic Cathedral which gives an insight into the ‘greatest building never built’ and a ride up to the top of the radio city tower, from where we could see Snowdon.

A visit to Anthony Gormley’s iron men statues, Another Place, at Crosby Beach was simply awe inspiring. Particularly for me as it put me in mind of how we helped Pete erect Hope the tortoise outside the Northern General Hospital’s Longley Centre entrance just 3/4 years ago. Gormley’s must have been a major installation!!!

Tony Higginson and an Iron man on Crosby Beach - Anthony Gormley's Another Place.

Tony Higginson and an Iron man on Crosby Beach – Anthony Gormley’s Another Place.


One thing I do know is how Hope the tortoise was erected and it took several hours a day for about a fortnight to do it. I still have nightmares about digging the hole and mixing the concrete/cement; which I did with a shovel. No machine etc.

One of the chaps in our group who was in a wheelchair asked Pete why he’d not got ‘ready mix’ when we’d got the budget. Pete was already too ill to do anything physical and there was only myself and one or two others capable of trying but it was back breaking.

” I like to keep mi eye on the mix.” !!!!

He didn’t bat an eyelid bless him – I resisted the urge to bash him with the shovel!Just.

The results though were worth it.



Violet with Hope the Tortoise during final installation works

Violet with Hope the Tortoise during final installation works

Thank you Tony Higginson for showing me round your beautiful city and in particular the beach which inspired this post.

And well done Dragon Pete, you clever, clever lad.



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