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Last Updated: Friday, 11 January 2008, 10:27 GMT
Is Liverpool your Capital of Culture?

Celebrations to mark the beginning of Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture get underway on Friday. You've been telling us what you think of the city and what it means to you.

Pat van der Veer , Liverpool, UK

Picture by Stuart Brandwood
The Liver Building dominates the city's waterfront

I was born and raised in Liverpool but left with my parents to be closer to my father's work, but I well remember the smiling faces and quick honest humour from my time growing up here. Liverpool was a happy and busy city then.

The Pier Head held the promise of different lands. Ocean liners brought people in to the city and took people to the Americas and beyond.

All my memories were re-enforced by visits back to see my grandparents and other relatives.

Now apart from a few exceptions I find that the old Liverpool of my memory has disappeared. It's been replaced by a rather sad shadow of what Liverpool and its people used to be.

There are so few smiles now. You have to hang on to your purse, for fear of being robbed. I have been a victim of crime three times in six years.

I can only briefly recapture the former spirit and excitement of Liverpool if I am lucky enough to talk with someone from Liverpool on the bus or ferry, or gaze at that wonderful, formerly, vibrant bustling river.

My sister asked me when I came back to the UK six years ago, "Why Liverpool?" Sometimes I wonder that myself, but I'm still here.

Richard MacDonald, Liverpool

Picture by Richard MacDonald
Richard took this picture of the Liver Building

Liverpool is like an old weather-worn, chipped diamond ring.

Its beauty is still plain to see but somewhat dulled by years of neglect and being shoved into the back of a draw.

It's like a timeless antique that given a polish and restoration by experts and not cowboys, it could become one of the most beautiful things in the world, a timeless piece of jewellery.

Peter Cummings, Windsor, Canada

I consider myself fortunate to be a native of Liverpool and part of the musical revolution that started with the Beatles and swept the world.

Even today, especially in north America the mere mention of being from the city evokes a certain envy and awe.

Being associated in any way with the 'Fab Four' as I was during those fantastic Merseybeat years gives you almost a godlike status.

I lived through some of the most momentous times in the city including the Blitz. But in 1980 I left to seek better opportunities.

Wherever I am Liverpool is, and always will be home to me and thousands of other Scousers worldwide.

Ruth Milburn, Liverpool

Despite being a world famous port people are often surprised when I rave about the beaches of Liverpool Bay.

Picture by Ruth Milburn

From Formby in the north, to Caldy on the Wirral we have a great amount and variety of coastal habitat to enjoy.

When Liverpool and Everton play their annual Derby match it's even better as everywhere is empty!

Another lovely thing is that we are on the western coast and can watch fantastic sunsets too.

Matt, Berlin, Germany

To me, Liverpool is a special city which draws its strength from its friendly, open people.

I studied in Liverpool for one year in the 1990s and arrived without knowing anyone.

I took a room in a house and my Liverpudlian flatmates introduced me to all of their friends, took me out and made sure I had a really great time in what is a very lively and interesting city.

If only the rest of Britain was more like Liverpool.

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