5 facts you never knew about Liverpool’s pirates
Yaaaar me hearties! The Pirates on the Dock festival is coming to Liverpool on 15th September 2018, with scurvy seadogs of all shapes and sizes visiting the waterfront, dressing up and acting like… erm… pirates, probably.
As fun as the festivities are set to be, though, Liverpool actually has a dark history with the sea’s murderous marauders thanks to the city’s heritage as a port town.
Sadly, a lot of those stories are now confined to legend. Not to worry though; if ye avast, PortHub will share with you the top five facts you never knew about Liverpool’s pirates, including:
1: The smallest pirate to ever sail into Liverpool was a Spaniard named Pint-sized Pedro. As dangerous as any other freebooter at the time, the inch-tall petite privateer first sailed into Liverpool’s Albert Dock with his tiny crew in 1874 on a ship made from a champagne cork, with the sail made from a handkerchief and a toothpick he had plundered on his travels.
2: Liverpool hasn’t just been visited by pirates who sailed the seven seas, you know. The most recent pirate to visit the waterfront was 32-year-old computer programmer Bobby Grumblethorpe, who downloaded the schematics of the Royal Albert Dock to sell to North Korea before he was reprimanded by Her Majesty’s Secret Service and never seen again.
3: The most pirate treasure ever thought to be buried at the waterfront are doubloons at an estimated value of £182 million in today’s money (adjusted for inflation). Adventurers from across the globe have visited the waterfront to try and dig up the booty, only to be turned away in disappointment on arrival as they’re told the big X on the ground has been earmarked for student flats.
4: You probably think Liverpool’s pirates survived on a diet of fruits such as oranges to ward off scurvy. Not so; visitors to the city took great delight in eating at McDonald’s, with the first one appearing in the city centre in 1802. Pirates would flock for the chain’s Fillet-O-Fish; since 1802 more than a thousand McDonald’s have opened in Liverpool’s city centre alone.
5: The first student flat to be built in Liverpool was by a young cockswain named Ronald McDonald in 1788, who could never quite get his sea legs and was petrified of being sent to Davy Jones’s Locker. Ronald went on to build 10,000 student flats in just a few short years before successfully opening a chain of restaurants (where the menu hasn’t really changed all that much in the years that followed).