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Liver Birds Benefit from ‘Health Check’

The world-famous Liver Birds, which last year marked their centenary, are being given a thorough “health check” to ensure they are fit for the next 100 years.

Liver bird

Liver Bird

Steeplejacks have scaled the heights to give the birds a detailed examination as part of a structural survey now taking place on the outside of the building.

The Grade I listed building is now managed by CBRE on behalf of the new owners, insurer Royal London.

The survey is starting at the top of the 322ft tall building and is working its way down, and will take in the clock faces and cupolas, as well as the two Liver Birds.

Building manager Ian Edwards said: “The birds have not received any attention for some time.

“As the new managing agents and owners of the property, top of the list was getting the birds checked out.

“This includes looking at the condition of the metalwork inside the birds, and the safety lines that are in place to hold them up and stop them twisting in the wind.

“It is still all the original structure from 100 years ago and we are checking that everything is still in full working order.”

He added: “The specialist firm of steeplejacks is working its way down both towers, taking in the clock faces and the whole of the outside of the building.

“Once the condition report is drawn up, we can make a decision on whether any work needs to be done.”

Each of the two Liver Birds is 18ft tall, has a wing-span of 24ft and weighs about four tons.

They were originally built in situ, after the German sculptor Carl Bernard Bartels won a competition to create the two iconic features which stand on top of the Royal Liver Building.

The birds themselves are thought to be a cross between the cormorant and the eagle of St John the Evangelist adopted by King John, who granted Liverpool its Royal Charter as a port in 1207.

The Royal Liver brand name disappeared last month after the completion of the takeover by its rival.

It came about after the Royal Liver, which was owned by its policyholders, was hit hard by the financial crisis and its board decided it was too small to stand on its own.

Royal Liver was founded in 1850 by workmen in Liverpool’s Lyver Inn.

When the Royal Liver Building was opened in 1911, it was the tallest building in Europe and was hailed as Britain’s first skyscraper.

Date created: August 22, 2012

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