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The Grand National – jump to it

12 April 2007 by Sam

Poster advertising public transport to the Grand National in 1947

Poster, accession number RD00042.0011

I’m not a gambler but even I’ve been known to splash out a 50p each way bet at the Grand National occasionally, using the very scientific method of choosing the horse with the nicest name.

When the former Museum of Liverpool Life was open, a popular exhibit was the recreation of Becher’s Brook in the in the Sporting Life section of the Mersey Culture gallery. Looking up at the height of that fence really brought home just what an achievement it was to make it safely over once, let alone twice to complete the race.

Did you know that Becher’s Brook got its name at the very first meeting in 1839. Captain Becher was a champion cross-country jockey, but his horse Conrad fell at the first brook. Becher re-mounted and continued the race, only to fall at the second brook! He never rode in the race again, but his name lives on.

Curator Kay Docherty has found this Liverpool Corporation Passenger Transport poster in the museum’s collections, advertising special tram and bus services to Aintree for the Grand National sixty years ago, on Saturday 29th March 1947.

You can also read a personal account of the 1993 Grand National, famous as the race that never was, from my fellow blogger Stephen Guy, who was one of the journalists covering events at the time. His account is part of the Sport online exhibition. Fingers crossed, things will go more smoothly this year. I might even win something.

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