Our venues

Blog

Our advent calendar is going to the dogs!

30 November 2017 by Sam

advent calendar illustration of a winter scene with Liverpool landmarks

With Christmas approaching it’s time for one of my favourite annual traditions – the unveiling of National Museums Liverpool’s free online advent calendar! Each year we ease you into the festive season with daily treats from our collections and displays, including a few surprises, incredible tales and fascinating facts along the way.

Last year’s advent calendar featured cats from our museums and galleries, so to restore balance to the universe, the theme for 2017 is dogs. They may be known as man’s best friend, but dogs also seem to be good chums with curators as there are lots of them scattered throughout our collections – so many in fact that we had a tough job narrowing down the selection to just 24. Naturally, I can’t tell you which dogs will be included as I want it to be a surprise. However I can reveal one of the dogs which didn’t make the cut, for reasons which will become obvious.

man looking at toy lion in museum display case

Fido on display at Merseyside Maritime Museum © Pete Carr

Fido, pictured here, is a wonderful cuddly toy, which was given to Nancy Mildon more than a century ago by her mother. Nancy named him Fido as she thought he was a dog. He was suggested for inclusion in the 2017 advent calendar by a curator who is very fond of him. However, he fell short of our strict selection criteria, as he is in fact a lion, despite his misleading name. He’s lovely, but he just isn’t a dog, so we rejected him.

This may seem cruel and heartless, but rest assured that Fido has had a very good life and has always been very popular. After spending six years in Canada, Nancy and her family returned to England in July 1916. They sailed across the Atlantic on Cunard’s ‘Alaunia’, and during this wartime voyage, 7 year old Nancy cuddled Fido for comfort.

Nancy was upset when her mother lent Fido to fellow passenger Ruth Merrington during the voyage. In return, Ruth drew an illustration of Fido and wrote a poem which Nancy treasured for many years.

You can see Fido on display in the Lusitania gallery at Merseyside Maritime Museum. And if you want to see some actual dogs (not lions) from our collection, then open our advent calendar each day from 1 December.

  1. Lesley says:

    Oh, what a fun calendar! I enjoyed reading about Fido (even if he is a lion) and I’m looking forward to encountering a daily dog in the run up to Christmas. 🙂

    • Sam says:

      Thanks Lesley. Fido certainly is a popular character with both our curators and visitors! We hope that you enjoy opening our advent calendar each day 🙂

Leave a Reply to Sam (Cancel reply)

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Comments on our blog

Thanks for commenting! Your comments will be sent to us for moderation and we will publish them as soon as we can. We may use your comments for other publicity purposes, so please check our terms and conditions about this.

If you have a specific enquiry, it's best to get in touch using our contact details.



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.

Subscribe

RSS RSS Feed

Disclaimer

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.