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New tours of the Old Dock

7 January 2013 by Sam

woman in 18th century costume standing in an underground cavern with old brick sides

Starting today, tours of Liverpool’s historic Old Dock are available every day of the week. Led by staff from Merseyside Maritime Museum, the tours take you below the city’s streets to see the liver-coloured natural sandstone pool which gave Liverpool its name and find out all about the creation of the docks. Tours are free but must be booked in advance – find out how to book on the Old Dock page on the website.

As if that wasn’t exciting enough, Jon Marrow, senior education officer at Merseyside Maritime Museum, has details of special role play performances which will be available for a limited period only in March:


“Ever since I first went down into Liverpool’s Old Dock I was fascinated. It’s almost 300 years old and now seems so quiet, yet once was the scene of so much activity. I always thought an actor could breath new life into this atmospheric space, and soon this will happen.

For ten days in March, school groups and other visitors will be able to meet Bobbi Silva, a friendly character from the 1700s. Bobbi ran a shop right by the Old Dock and remembers what it was like in its heyday when Liverpool had become a booming town, full of sailors, merchants and other customers from exotic and far flung places.

As pupils will soon discover Bobbi is actually a time traveller and her memory after 250 years is no longer perfect! This means pupils need to get involved. They see Bobbi’s bag of treasured objects from the 1700s, and with Bobbi’s help they piece together the human story – who worked and played at the Old Dock, how it came to be built and how it transformed Liverpool. They also discover what a revolutionary feat of engineering the Old Dock was.

The aim is to provide a human story using the surviving evidence and result is engaging and humorous, so don’t miss the chance to take part – its only available for a few days!

The performance is aimed at key stage 1 and 2 pupils, links to the history curriculum and will offer inspiration for follow up class work in areas such as literacy. A full class can participate (maximum size of 36 including both pupils and adults).

Performances run on Monday 11 to Friday 15 March and Thursday 21 to Sunday 24 March at 10.30am, 11.30am and 2.30pm. When not run for a school, an adapted version is available for families and older visitors.

On the above dates the role play performance is run in place of the Old Dock tours. Groups taking part meet at the Merseyside Maritime Museum and are accompanied to the Old Dock. The performance lasts 25 minutes plus the short walk to and from the Old Dock.

You can take part by ringing 0151 478 4788 (schools and groups) or 0151 478 4499 (general public).”

  1. charliemonk says:

    Rats! I have friends coming from Canada week after Easter would of loved this.
    Hope its a great success for you and you can do it on a regular basis.
    Liverpool needs more of this type of attraction.

  2. Joan Drummond says:

    I went on this tour at 1230pm Saturday 26th January and really enjoyed it, it was really informative and the guide was very knowledgeable, I would recommend to anyone.

  3. karen murphy says:

    I attended one of the special role play tours on Sunday 24th March. My son who is 11 thoroughly enjoyed and if they do any more roleplay tours I would recommend to all with children. Other than the roleplay, our two guides – Laura and Sam (or was it Matt? sorry!)were hugely informative and my family all thought it was brilliant and would not hesitate recommending it to everyone

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