After Britain's capital, London, the most iconic and recognisable city in Britain is the City of Liverpool.
With it's iconic skyline, majestic River Mersey, two cathedrals, two world famous football clubs, birthplace of the Beatles, a host of architectural splendours and Superlambanana, Liverpool rates as Britain's second city, if not by size, certainly in terms of international fame.
Now, I could ramble on about the city's fine architecture, it's music culture, it's footballing prowess, it's history, it's bustling city centre, it's glitzy nightlife, it's museums, galleries and shops or it's thriving port...........but I wont.
It's all been done before, and I'm sure that you are all more than familiar with the aforementioned attractions that Liverpool has to offer, anyway.
Or are you?
Maybe there is one attraction of the city you are not familiar with after all.
It's Superlambanana is'nt it?
I thought as much.
So, what is Superlambanana? I hear you ask.
Well, Superlambanana is an eight ton, seventeen foot high, bright yellow, plastic sculpture of a cross between a lamb and a banana.
Well come on, this is Liverpool, what were you expecting ?
Yes, that's right, one of the fine city of Liverpool's most sought after attractions is a plastic sculpture of a yellow lamb cross banana, and it doesn't stop there, oh no, there have been another 133 Mini - Superlambananas as well.
You think I'm making this up don't you?
Well I kid you not, so gather round and I'll tell you all about Liverpool's Superlambanana family.
In the year of our Lord 1998, a Manhattan based, Japanese artist fellow by the name of Taro Chiezo, created a four inch high lambanana for the Art TransPennine Exhibition held in Liverpool, as part of the celebrations of the opening of the Tate Liverpool Gallery.
The tiny sculpture was designed to represent a fusion of the City of Liverpool, past and present.
The present was signified by way of genetic tampering ( don't ask) and the past was signified by using a sheep and a banana as bananas and wool were once the most frequently transported commodities that passed through the docks of Liverpool in it's heyday, when it was the largest docks in the world.
Local Liverpool sculptor, Andy Small, along with three of his peers, then turned the four inch high lambbanana into the giant sculpture we see today.
The giant sculpture was modelled from a wire mesh frame and covered in concrete and steel at a cost of £35,000.
Chiezo loaned the Superlambanana to the city of Liverpool for ten years, with the intention of having the sculpture placed at different venues around the city.
Much scepticism ensued.
At first the people of Liverpool were not too impressed with a bright yellow, plastic monstrosity popping up uninvited upon their city streets.
There was talk, ugly talk, Superlambanana was not welcome in Liverpool.
Until one cold and frosty morning when the people of Liverpool awoke to find their Superlambanana painted the colour of a Fresian cow.
Who could have committed this autrocity? They shreiked.
This is an insult to us all, how dare renegades come and make mockery of our sculpture.
I bet it were fellows from Manchester someone hinted.
Well, that did it, the mere mention of Mancunions roaming the streets of Liverpool under the cover of darkness, intent on mischief making, was too much for the fine folk of Liverpool to bear.
Superlambanana was promptly rushed to Superlambanana hospital, where his once lustrous yellow skin was restored, and he was once again placed in a prominant city centre position, and declared one of Liverpool's finest.
Liverpool's love affair with Superlambanana had begun.
In 2008 Liverpool was the European Capital of Culture. All types of exhibitions and attractions were planned for the millions of expected visitors.
The city received a facelift, new buildings were erected, and 125 Mini -superlambananas were constructed.
The multi - coloured, six foot high, Mini Superlambananas were placed in prominent positions all over the city, some even escaped from Liverpool and found their way across the River Mersey onto the neighbouring Wirral Peninsula and even North Wales.
Britain's north, west had gone Superlambanana crazy.
These Mini - Superlambananas, sponsored by local businesses around the Mersyside area, were on show for ten weeks, with the local Liverpool Echo newspaper issuing a guide and location map, in order to turn the sculptures into a kind of treasure hunt experience for the city's many visitors.
It became an instant hit, for both children and adults and locals and visitors alike.
As I pointed out earlier, the original sculpture was only on loan to the City of Liverpool for ten years.
At the end of 2008 representatives of the Superlambanana creator Taro Chiezo liased with the Culture Commitee of Liverpool.
Chiezo had found a possible buyer for his Superlambanana, in .........Manchester !
Pause for affect.
Picture the scene.
Liverpudlians rendered speechless or driven to expletives I could'nt even transcribe!.
For six months a dark cloud decended over the entire city, whilst Culture Commitee officials looked into ways of securing Superlambanana for the people of Liverpool.
Protests were made, petitions were signed, council officials were harassed.
Then in February of 2009 an agreement was made between the two interested parties, Superlambanana was to stay in Liverpool, brows could be wiped city wide.
In 2010, eight Mini - Superlambananas were produced to take the place of the previous 125 made for the Culture Capital experience.
They were at first placed infront of Liverpool's Three Graces - The Liver Building, The Cunard Building and The Port Of Liverpool Authority building - situated on Liverpool's waterfront.
They were then moved to a more permanent location at the entrance to Liverpool's Lime Street railway station later that year.
Superlambanana is now officially a bone fide tourist attraction of the City of Liverpool, along with his eight smaller cousins the Mini - Superlambananas.
For those of you not familiar with British culture, there is a friendly rivalry between the two neighbouring cities of Liverpool and Manchester, owing to their two football clubs hailed as the two top football clubs in the country.
Therefore, in no way was this article written in order to deride the fine folk of Manchester ( or to accuse them of maurauding through the streets of Liverpool with pots of paint in the dead of night ) or to blacken the name of their great city.
Although I can't quite bring myself to say the same about either of their football teams.......Only kidding.
Liverpool's Three Graces and Anglican Cathedral.
Have you read my article about Liverpool? You can find it here -facts-about-the-city-of-liverpool