Posts by Ben
Spring is in the air and summer will soon follow, which means it is time to announce details of this year’s tours of the Edmund Gardner pilot ship!
It will be the eighth year of guided tours, led by our dedicated band of award winning volunteers. Since 2011 more than four and a half thousand visitors have toured the ship, the biggest object in National Museums Liverpool’s collections.
The Edmund Gardner is one of the gems of Liverpool’s rich maritime history. For 30 years the ship operated as a base at sea for Liverpool pilots, who guide shipping in and out of Liverpool’s ports and the River Mersey. Now sat in a dry dock next to the Museum of Liverpool, visitors can access many parts of the ship such as the wheelhouse and engine room. Our guides bring the ship to life with many fascinating stories and anecdotes. The tours are family friendly, with a free special trail available to take round the ship during your visit.
The tours are available to book every Tuesday and Wednesday from June until September, at 11am, 1pm and 2.30pm. Each tour lasts one hour and is suitable for adults and families. Meet in the Museum of Liverpool entrance foyer. Please see the Museum of Liverpool event listings for full details.
Tours are free but booking is recommended, general visitors can book by calling 0151 478 4545, or enquire at the Museum of Liverpool information desk on the day of the tours to see if any spaces are available. Group bookings call 0151 478 4788.
2018 is also the Edmund Gardner’s birthday – it is 65 years since the ship was launched. To celebrate this there will be a special Edmund Gardner Open Day on Saturday 28 July. Keep an eye out on our website for more details!
Please note that the ship has uneven surfaces, steep stairways and low steps, meaning it is not fully accessible and unable to accommodate wheelchair users, pushchairs or prams. Please wear appropriate sensible footwear for a safe and enjoyable visit.
You can also find out more about the Edmund Gardner on the Merseyside Maritime Museum website. There is also a touchscreen interactive about the ship on the quayside outside Museum of Liverpool.
Since the Liverpool Pilots Service was created in 1766, the pilots have risked their lives on a daily basis to ensure the safe passage of ships to and from Liverpool. There are many tales of bravery where a pilot’s actions have saved lives and cargo from disaster. Unfortunately there are also tales of tragedy, where the Pilot Service laments the loss of one (or many) of their own. On 28 December 2017, it will be the 100 year anniversary of the worst disaster to befall the Liverpool Pilots. This was the loss the Alfred H Read pilot boat in 1917. Read more…
Here is a post from Cath Senker, co-organiser of a special reunion event held recently at the Merseyside Maritime Museum:
“In June 1967, at the outbreak of the Six-Day War, 14 merchant ships were passing through the Suez Canal. As hostilities erupted, they were ordered to halt in the Great Bitter Lake. Although the war was brief, after it finished, the Egyptian government refused the ships permission to leave. Those ships remained stranded in the Suez Canal until June 1975.
Four of them were British-flagged, including three from Liverpool shipping lines: MS Melampus and MS Agapenor from Blue Funnel Line, and MS Scottish Star from Blue Star Line. Over the period, 3,000 seafarers served on the trapped ships in the middle of a war zone, maintaining the vessels and protecting their valuable cargos. Although they came from both sides of the Iron Curtain, they formed a close community. Read more…
On 1 June Merseyside Maritime Museum is hosting a special reunion event to mark the 50th anniversary of ships being stranded on the Suez Canal between 1967 and 1975. Three of the stranded ships were from Liverpool; MS Melampus and MS Agapenor from the Blue Funnel Line and MS Scottish Star from the Blue Star Line.
Our guest blogger Cath Senker explains how the event came about:
6 March 2017 by Ben
The maritime history department at Merseyside Maritime Museum have recently collected an object connected to the sinking of the TSS Yorkshire in 1939.
TSS Yorkshire was built in 1920 by Harland and Wolff in Belfast for the Liverpool based Bibby Line. The ship was on her way to Liverpool from Rangoon as part of the allied convoy HG-3. The Dixon family had joined the ship at Gibraltar, including brother and sister Cyril (aged 15) and Maureen (aged 8), and their mother and father. On 17 October, 1939 the convoy was in the North Atlantic 160 miles off the north-west coast of Spain. That afternoon the convoy was attacked by the German U-boat U-37. Yorkshire was hit and sank with the loss of 58 lives. Read more…
22 February 2017 by Ben
Seafarers UK is a charity that helps people in the maritime community by providing vital support to seafarers in need and their families.
The charity does this by giving grants to projects and organisations that make a real difference to people’s lives, across the Merchant Navy, Fishing Fleets, Royal Navy and Royal Marines. In 2016 Seafarers UK gave grants totalling £2.5million to more than 70 maritime welfare charities. Read more…
26 January 2017 by Ben
In today’s Times newspaper, there is a small but poignant notice:
“BOY ABDUL, Indian Merchant Service. Sole casualty, SS Matheran, Brocklebank Line, Liverpool, Captain Maurice Addy. Sunk by a mine off Cape Town, SA, 26 January 1917. Remembered today on the Seamen’s Memorial in Mumbai and by his Captain’s family.”
100 years ago today, the Liverpool ship SS Matheran was sunk by a mine laid by one of Germany’s most notorious ships – the SMS Wolf. Read more…
15 November 2016 by Ben
There was an event at the Maritime Museum recently to unveil the newly restored Indefatigable figurehead.
The figurehead is from the ship HMS Indefatigable, which was a training ship preparing boys for the Royal and Merchant Navy. The school eventually moved to land and closed in 1996.
4 November 2016 by Ben
There was an event at Liverpool Town Hall on 31 October to mark the 75th anniversary of the first Arctic Convoy in the Second World War.
Today, Thursday 23 April, is St George’s Day, and on this day 98 years ago the Mersey ferries Iris and Daffodil took part in the daring First World War raid on Zeebrugge Harbour. Read more…