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Stewart Bale at Liverpool Airport

16 May 2008 by Sam

Everyone dreads airport delays but this week our touring exhibition officer Mary Hesling had to deal with an unusual delayed departure caused by a fire several miles away. Here’s her report of how her latest project was cleared for take off:


“I was very pleased to be involved in the installation of seven stunning black and white photographs from the Stewart Bale collections at the Wetherspoons Lloyds Imperial, Liverpool John Lennon Airport. The display follows a broad theme, with images of the old Liverpool Airport, Liverpool city centre and docks.

After more than a year in development, all involved were delighted to see the final display going up. The installation, originally planned for 13 May 2008, was not without its problems! The awful Bluecoat fire in the early hours of Tuesday morning called all our handling and conservation teams in to help. This caused the airport installation to be postponed at short notice – and our thanks to Wetherspoon for their understanding about this!

We finally got out to the airport on Wednesday 14 May and, after only a few more hic-cups (not least of which being two inexplicably flat batteries for the power drill, despite them being charged over night!!!) our wonderful handlers put the display up beautifully, using only hand-powered tools and sheer determination!

The final display will be in place for one year, and I think it looks great. Next time you’re flying out of Liverpool why not get a drink at Wetherspoons and admire the show.

Thanks to Wetherspoons Pubs PLC for their contribution to this project.”

Museum staff inspecting files in front of display of framed photographs

Anne Williams and Mary Hesling put the final touches to the display

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