Our venues


Commemorating an MP’s furious outburst on behalf of seafarers

20 July 2018 by Jen

Bronze medallion showing profile of bearded man and the words 'House of Commons 22 July 1875 London S. Plimsoll'

Medallion struck to commemorate MP Samuel Plimsoll’s outburst in the House of Commons in defense of Seafarers. Designed by Auguste Chevalier. – 52.111.1

Medals are struck for all sorts of reasons, to celebrate bravery, commemorate important events, honour people’s contributions, but my personal favourite reason for a medal being struck has to be the reason behind this one in our collections. The man whose profile you see here is the Liberal MP and great campaigner for seafarers, Samuel Plimsoll. The medal was struck to commemorate the day, after years of campaigning and frustration, that he completely lost his composure and his temper, broke parliamentary protocol, shouted, heckled the Prime Minister, and shook his fist at various members of the House of Commons, terming them villains! Read more…

Exciting location filming projects Hosted by National Museums Liverpool

19 July 2018 by Eleanor Webster


Source: Twitter @agathachristie. One of the courtrooms at County Sessions House was used as a location for BBC’s Agatha Christie drama ‘The Witness to the Prosecution’.

Did you know that National Museums Liverpool’s venues frequently appear in films and on television? While you may have spotted us on the evening news or recognised one of our museums or galleries during a trip to the cinema once or twice, its unlikely most visitors are aware of how often we play host to camera crews and production companies.

While many projects, including collections-related documentaries and news programmes, are managed by our in-house press team, commercial filming projects – such as blockbuster films and drama series – are looked after by our multi-award-winning events team, Hosted by National Museums Liverpool. Events Sales Manager, Hanna Ghariani, has worked with a number of clients on commercial location filming as part of her role. She tells us more about her experiences…

Read more…

Carpathia’s role remembered

19 July 2018 by Sam

metal nameplate with embossed lettering: SS Titanic

This week it is 100 years since RMS Carpathia was lost. The ship is of course best known for the role it played in the rescue of survivors from one of a much more famous liner – RMS Titanic.  In this guest blog, student Hannah Smith from the University of Liverpool explores the story through the nameplate of Titanic’s lifeboat No. 4:

“It is 100 years since RMS Carpathia was struck by three torpedoes from a German U-55, amid the Celtic Sea on 17 July 1918. Just six years earlier, on 15 April 1912 under the captaincy of Arthur Henry Rostron, the Cunard liner undoubtedly experienced its most memorable voyage. When Carpathia’s radio received the Titanic’s distress signal at 12.25 am she turned off her course to travel the 58 mile distance to the wreckage. From 4-8am all 705 survivors were brought aboard the Carpathia. Although sadly 1,503 people were to lose their lives in the sinking, without the Carpathia’s sense of urgency, the cold would have ultimately claimed more.  Read more…

Guess what? All is not what it seems in our new display!

17 July 2018 by Alayna

Metal 'Guess' belt buckles

Counterfeit ‘Guess’ belt buckles.

Some of the most well known fashion brands are on display in the Seized! gallery at Merseyside Maritime Museum. At first glance, the fashion items may appear like the genuine article but they are in fact all fakes. Our new display, which opens on Wednesday 18 July, features counterfeit versions of brands such as Gucci, Chanel, Philipp Plein, Hermes and many more.

No sooner has a new fashion product hit the market, and the counterfeiters are fast to follow with a cheaper and more inferior copy. Border Force monitors the UK ports, airports and postal hubs for fake items. These new exhibits were seized at Heathrow airport as part of a large consignment from Turkey.

Although it’s tempting to fall for the cheaper counterfeit version, corners are cut in the production, resulting in poor quality and often dangerous products. Read more…

And the winner is…

12 July 2018 by Andrew

Jacqui Hallum, John Moores 2018 first prizewinner

Over 2,700 artists entered the John Moores Painting Prize 2018, of which only 60 are exhibiting after a lengthy process that saw each work judged anonymously. Opening 14 July at the Walker Art Gallery, this year the Prize celebrates 60 years as Britain’s longest running painting competition, and today, the John Moores 2018 first prizewinner was announced.

Read more…

Happy 65th birthday Edmund Gardner!

11 July 2018 by Michelle

museum staff holding up a flag with 65 on it

This specially made pilot’s flag is now flying on the Edmund Gardner.

On Monday we celebrated the 65th birthday of the pilot vessel Edmund Gardner. To mark this fact we are holding a special open day on Saturday 28 July 2018. The ship will be open between 10.30am to 4.30pm for visitors to pop in and have a look around. Some of our award winning volunteer guides will be on hand to provide a unique visitor experience as you walk through the ship.

Step back in time and imagine what it was like to sit in the saloon trying to eat your tea in rough weather, or pretend to be a pilot waiting in the sun lounge for the next vessel to board. Seize the opportunity to view the world from the bridge deck and see up close the largest object in National Museums Liverpool’s collections.  Read more…

Behind the Scenes at Brazilica

11 July 2018 by Sarah

International Slavery Museum Young Ambassador, Lois South, had the opportunity to go behind the scenes at Liverpool Carnival Company and interview their Director Maeve Morris. Find out more about Lois’ experience here:

“Upon entering The Old Library on Lodge Lane, I was hit by a whirlwind of feathers, sequins and, of course, glitter! The once unused space has been transformed into what I can only describe as a factory of wonders, where founders Maeve and Roger Morris, churn out costumes and floats in every conceivable colour, with the help of a dedicated team of volunteers.

“As a young ambassador for International Slavery Museum, I was able to get a chance to sit down with Maeve, to find out about her exciting life experiences which led her and her partner Roger to create the now iconic Brazilica Festival, back in 2008. This fantastic 3-day annual festival continues to bring all the amazing aspects of Brazilian culture to Liverpool – and yes, that does include the food!

International Slavery Museum Ambassador, Lois, with one of Maeve’s favourite headdresses

“While we were at the library, Maeve also gave us the inside scoop on the inner workings of Brazilica. I was able to have a closer look at the fabulous floats and displays that she and Roger had been building, along with their hardworking volunteers. The initial sight of feathers, glitter and sequins didn’t do any of their creations true justice. Maeve and Roger were extremely humble about their extraordinary achievement, in putting together the carnival.

“When I asked how long it took to create the Poseidon float, Roger merely shrugged and casually said “six weeks and five people”, as if this magnificent display of artwork and craftsmanship towering over me in all of its splendour was just light work.”

“From the bejewelled headdresses to the medusa float- it really was a sight to behold. As a non-native of Liverpool, who was previously unaware of Brazilica, I can safely say that I’ve been missing out.

“Our interview with Maeve is part of a series of interviews conducted for National Museums Liverpool’s Sankofa project and the ‘Seeds of Change’ Zine that myself and artist Seleena Daye have been working on about the incredible lives and works of 5 Liverpool women with the ability to inspire activism. I had the fantastic opportunity to learn how to record oral testimonies when we met Maeve, working alongside an incredible team including Seleena Daye (Artist), Christine Holt (Oral Historian), Stef Bradley (Education Manager) & Claire Stringer (Visual Minute Taker), to record our meeting with Maeve for the Sankofa Project.

An amazing feathered headpiece

“Whilst listening to the interviews I had a chance to reflect on what Sankofa means to me. The project not only explores Liverpool’s Black history, it also helps to provide a more well-rounded picture of the oldest Black community in England. A community which Maeve and Roger celebrate and bring together through their carnival and samba school. The ‘Seeds of Change’ Zine also aims to show that there many different ways to be active in your community. Activism isn’t just standing around with placards. Maeve actively works to bring Brazilian culture to everyone in Liverpool, young or old, male or female.

“This year, it’s more important than ever to reflect on the inspirational women in our communities. Whilst 2018, marks 100 Years since Women rightly gained the Right to Vote in the UK, it is important to consider the women in today’s world who will go on to progress the cause of women’s rights and take up space, both close to home and around the world. The fantastic work that Maeve does, could itself have a century-long legacy – and hopefully, Brazillica will still be going strong in 2118!”

Visual minutes of Maeve’s interview created by artist Claire Stringer (morethanminutes.co.uk)

About The Author

Lois is studying History at Liverpool John Moores University. She is a Young Ambassador for the International Slavery Museum and is currently working together with artist Seleena Daye to create a zine for the Sankofa project highlighting women activists in Liverpool. Lois is also a keen blogger on a variety of topic from carnivals to strange histories. You can check out more of her work at her blog The New Weird.

Our Sankofa ‘Seeds of Change’ zine will be available on International Slavery Remembrance Day this year so drop by International Slavery Museum then to find out more about the Sankofa project from our Sankofa team, Lois and project artist Seleena Daye. You can pick up a copy of the zine too!

Adiós! Our Roman sculpture collection heads to Mexico

Over the last two years we have been preparing some of our collections of Roman sculpture for the exhibition, ‘Age of Reason’ at the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City.

Read more…

Sean Scully’s ‘Red Light’ returns to the Walker, 46 years after John Moores Painting Prize success

6 July 2018 by Felicity

Sean’s Scully’s ‘Red Slide’ (1972) is installed at the Walker Art Gallery

We’re excited to announce that an exhibition of paintings by Sean Scully, renowned globally as the master of post-minimalist abstraction, will be held at the Walker Art Gallery from 14 July to 14 October 2018. Sean Scully:1970 opens in line with Liverpool Biennial and the John Moores Painting Prize, in which Scully was a prize winner in 1972 and 1974.

The exhibition will present Scully’s paintings from 1969 to 1974. They demonstrate the remarkable confidence of his work at this earliest stage of his career. They also reveal the beginnings of the artist’s continued fascination with stripes, and the spaces in between, which have come to define him. Read more…

Walton Gaol force-feeding equipment on display

5 July 2018 by Kay

Suffragette Force Feeding Apparatus

Suffragette Force Feeding Apparatus. Image © National Justice Museum

Nothing quite brings home the horror of force-feeding than seeing the actual equipment; porcelain funnel, wooden mouth gag and long rubber tube, used to inflict torture on women. This set is even more disturbing to me as it was used at Walton Gaol, Liverpool.

When I first came across the items at the National Justice Museum, Nottingham, I knew we had to bring them home to be displayed here at the Museum of Liverpool. Read more…

About our blog

Welcome to the National Museums Liverpool blog! Written by our staff and volunteers, we’ll give you a peek behind the scenes of our museums and galleries.




We try to ensure that the information provided on our blog is accurate and that appropriate permissions to use images have been sought. The opinions in each blog are very much those of the individuals writing.