29 March 2010 by Lucy
Age-old tradition in Liverpool dictates that the beginning of April attracts hoards of big hats, pretty dresses, and an influx of bets on the gee-gees, for April is the month of the Grand National.
Many have already chosen their outfits, hoping for sunshine and firm ground – mud and high-heels don’t mix – but I myself will be watching it on TV, safe in the knowledge that I will have a good view of the photo finish, and will remain sheltered from any potential weather-mishaps.
Last year, despite my boyfriend backing the winning horse and scooping some good winnings, I was less lucky (not lucky at all actually), but this year will be different…I’m determined to have luck on my side, having spent this afternoon in the company of a living legend in horse-racing, Red Rum’s best bud, Ginger McCain.
Ginger and his wife Beryl were at World Museum to unveil some historic pieces of clothing, which they have kindly loaned to National Museums Liverpool.
Red Rum’s jockey’s colours – including the jumper and cap – are now on display in the Weston Discovery Centre, a week before this year’s Grand National which takes place at Aintree next week. They will go on display next year in the new Museum of Liverpool.
The only horse to win the historic race three-times, the jumper displayed was worn for all three of Red Rum’s victories; by jockey Brian Fletcher in 1973 and ’74, and Tommy Stack in 1977. It was also worn in 1975 and ’76 when ‘Rummy’ came second.
Buried at the finishing post on Aintree Racecourse, Red Rum was famously trained by Ginger McCain on the sands of Southport. He was treated to a therapeutic swim in the sea before every Grand National, and it’s clear this devotion is still felt by Ginger today as he regaled me with stories of Rummy over a cup of tea.
You can see the colours on display in the Weston Discovery Centre at the moment – come along and see if they’re lucky for you! We are also asking for your stories and pictures from Grand Nationals gone by on our Museum of Liverpool facebook group, so get involved.
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