Your words immortalised on the Storyteller Bench

Your words immortalised!

The final winning design in the Liverpool Echo’s Open Culture Benchmark competition is to stand outside the new Museum of Liverpool, due to open in spring 2011. Designer Ilsa Parry, who recently won the Philippe Starck-led BBC2 Design for Life competition, is now asking the people of Merseyside to help to complete her Storyteller bench.

The bench, which uses elements of the 08 logo, so people will sit in the recesses created by the two numbers to effectively immerse them in culture, will also be covered in stories and words to make a lasting impression on those who see it.

Now Ilsa’s winning design, which she also used as part of her submission to enter the Design for Life competition, is set to be turned into reality.  And she’s asking Merseysiders to contribute their words, phrases, poems, song lyrics, stories, amusing anecdotes, and snippets of letters or other text. A selection will then be engraved on the finished bench.

Ilsa’s bench was one of three winners chosen by a public vote in the Open Culture backed competition during 2008. The others, Colin Parry’s All Together Now and schoolgirl Lauren Lawler’s Secrets bench, have already been created and installed across Liverpool by Burnley-based firm B.Rourke & Co Ltd.

Ilsa, who admitted the Benchmark competition, had spurred her to submit work for other initiatives including Go Superlambananas and the high-profile BBC design contest, she said: “Liverpool has a great cultural heritage of its own and a strong sense of community and identity. Scousers have a uniqueness which should be encapsulated and celebrated, so others may also share the way we see the world through the experiences we’ve had which shape our values and belief systems and made us who we are.  Everyone could benefit from a bit of Scouse!”

Phil Redmond, who started Open Culture to help ordinary people get involved in Capital of Culture and is also chairman of National Museums Liverpool, said: “The whole concept of the Benchmark competition was about creating a bench which can be anything to anybody at any time. It’s somewhere to sit and reflect, fall in love, make your name on the football field from – all from this simple thing called a bench. And when Ilsa talked about putting words to it too, that really got me. One of the things we wanted from this project was for the benches to be a legacy of 2008 and be around for years and years to come.”

How to submit:
Write about what means something to you – it could be a short story, poem, experience, snippet of conversation, words to a song you have written or something you have overheard which makes you proud to be Liverpudlian.

The closing date is Friday November 27. All entries will be read but only parts of submissions may be used.

Send it along with your name and contact details by either:
Post – Storyteller, Open Culture, Liverpool Innovation Park, 360 Edge Lane, Liverpool L7 9NJ
Email –