Guardians of the dawn: the Liverpool Pilots

27 March 2014 by Ben

man on the deck of a ship on the river Mersey, with the Liverpool waterfront in the background

John Curry

Who ensures the safe passage of shipping into and out of the Port of Liverpool? The Liverpool Pilots!

The sea approaches to Liverpool have always been difficult waters to navigate,  so the Liverpool Pilot Service was established in 1766 to safely guide ships into the port. For almost 30 years our own ship the Edmund Gardner – the largest object in our collections – provided a base for the service in the Irish Sea.

On Wednesday 2 April at 2pm join retired Liverpool Pilot John Curry at Merseyside Maritime Museum for a lively talk about the role and importance of the pilotage service in the Port of Liverpool. John will also read excerpts from his new book ‘East a Half South’, which includes many anecdotes from his 49 year career.

The talk is free and there’s no need to book, just drop in for what will be a fascinating look at an aspect of Liverpool’s maritime history past and present. See the website for further details of the talk.

  1. Phyllis Hanson says:

    One of my grandfathers was a landings surveyor, As they lived close to Liverpool docks I would like to know if he could of been one of the pilots. Maybe ensuring a safe place to dock. All information would be appreciated, as so far I cannot find this job on any website.

  2. Julie Brough says:

    I am trying to find out more about my 2xGreat Grandfather who was a pilot when he married my 2xGGM Ann Simpson in 1852. By May 1855 she had remarried and was a widow.

    All I know from their marriage certificate is his name Jean Baptiste Laroche, 21yrs, batchelor, a Pilot, residing on Corlett Street and in brackets (of Quebec, Canada). Father Jean Baptiste also a Pilot

    Ann and Jean Baptiste had a son, my Great Grandfather James Joseph Laroche born 20 April 1853. “John Baptiste Laroche” is named on the birth certificate as father but no mention of him being deceased by then.

    I am visiting Liverpool tomorrow for the first time for research purposes and I’m hoping to visit the Maritime Museum but I’m wondering whether there will be much information taking into account Jean Baptiste was from Canada?

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