13 March 2012 by Laura C
Here, Laura Cox, Visitor Assistant at the Museum of Liverpool shares the next of her favourite things.
My second favourite object in the Museum of Liverpool is situated in the Wondrous Place galley, it’s a whole case dedicated to Codman’s Punch and Judy. The case contains a Punch, a Judy, a Crocodile and perhaps even a sneaky clown who goes by the name of Joey.
The family run Codman’s Punch and Judy show used to take place at Lime Street and then later at Williamson Square, pictures around the case show crowds of people watching a show. These shows were way before my time, we’re talking the 1800’s here, so you may be wondering why it’s one of my favourite things in the museum… Well, Codman’s Punch and Judy holds a very special place in my heart and as soon as I set eyes on it in the new museum the memories came flooding back.
I remember the same display being in the old Liverpool Life museum, this was my favourite museum when I was little. I remember visiting on soggy Sunday afternoons and having the absolute treat of watching a live Punch and Judy show. Professor Ronald Richard Codman whose Great Great Grandfather was The George Codman who started the family business in the 19th century, would come and perform his Punch and Judy act in the traditional booth – you can just make it out on the left in the picture.
My photographic evidence of these soggy Sunday afternoons doesn’t paint the best picture of it, not sure why I’m looking so shifty, although I do have a vague recollection of opening my car door on the puppeteers car by accident – whilst he was inside! I was probably terrified that he would come and beat me up with a Punch puppet!
Fear aside, I loved the Punch and Judy show. It’s such a timeless tradition and no matter how old you are, where you’re from, or what language you speak, a puppet hitting another puppet over the head and then possibly being eaten by a crocodile is and always will be absolutely hilarious!
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