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Posts by Ellie

Shipping posters online

7 June 2017 by Ellie

Shipping company poster

Pacific Steam Navigation Company poster 1984.269.1

As part of our ongoing efforts to make the collections of Merseyside Maritime Museum more accessible, you can now find out about some of our posters on our new works on paper collection pages.

The first works to be featured are the Liverpool shipping posters that were previously displayed in our Sail Away exhibition (May 2014 – April 2016). They were selected from over 100 posters in our collection, illustrating the history of more than a century of sea travel. Read more…

“Those monstrous funnels coming down on us”

8 May 2017 by Ellie

Portrait of Lusitania survivor Winifred Hull

This photograph of Winifred Hull was taken in Liverpool, just three weeks after the sinking. Courtesy of Geoff Pawling.

Geoff Pawling, who spoke at this year’s Lusitania commemoration, describes a remarkable letter written by his grandmother and the emotional impact on one family of the sinking:

“Our home was haunted by the Lusitania. My grandmother Winifred Hull, travelling alone to visit her parents in Wallasey, was fortunate.  She survived the torpedoing of the great transatlantic liner on 7th May 1915. Yet the terrible scenes she witnessed stayed with her for the rest of her life and cast their shadows over the childhood of her daughter, Ruth. Ruth, in turn, passed on to me and to her other two sons that legacy of memory: another family story, but this one, in its scale and horror, unlike any of the others. Read more…

Osmund Bartle Wordsworth – a survivor of Lusitania

2 May 2017 by Ellie

Osmund Bartle Wordsworth in military uniform

Courtesy of The Warden and Scholars of Winchester College

As we approach the 102nd anniversary of the tragic sinking of RMS Lusitania, guest blogger Lucy London is here to tell us about her research project and how she came across a Lusitania survivor as a result:

“Since 2012 I have been researching the First World War for a series of commemorative exhibitions. I began by researching women poets and discovered quite a few poets with a link to Merseyside, for instance, May Sinclair, very famous on both sides of the Atlantic in the early 20th century, was born in Rock Ferry, Wirral. I then moved on to forgotten male poets and, again, found quite a few with links to Merseyside who were not as famous as Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon and Robert Graves.

The role of women during the First World War came next; then I added the heading ‘Fascinating Facts’, such as Rin Tin Tin the American film star dog found as a puppy in a bombed out kennels by an American soldier.

During the course of my research to commemorate 1917, I discovered a writer called Osmund Bartle Wordsworth, who was related to the poet William Wordsworth of ‘Daffodils’ fame. I was interested to discover that Merseyside Maritime Museum was looking for further information about Lusitania survivors, and Osmund was one of those.  Read more…

Centenary of the sinking of White Star Line’s Laurentic

25 January 2017 by Ellie

Laurentic at Belfast

MCR/82/167 Copyright unknown, believed to be expired

As we continue to mark the centenary of the First World War, I wanted to highlight a Liverpool ship that was lost on 25 January 1917.

Laurentic (originally named Alberta) was built in Belfast by Harland & Wolff in 1908 for the Dominion Line. During construction, Alberta and her sister ship Albany were purchased by White Star Line and were renamed Laurentic and Megantic.  Laurentic departed on her maiden voyage from Liverpool to Canada in 1909, and over the next few years carried thousands of passengers across the Atlantic. Read more…

Worse things happen at sea

19 December 2016 by Ellie

man at the Liverpool waterfront

Eugene McLaughlin in Liverpool

Today marks a First World War anniversary that many of us will not have heard about before. Our guest blogger Eugene McLaughlin explains why he is visiting Merseyside Maritime Museum today to remember his grandfather’s fateful voyage 100 years ago.

“My grandfather died when I was a baby.  I knew very little about him.  I knew he was from Sligo, he was a sailor and he was once Captain of the Galway Bay tender SS Dun Aengus.  I recall childhood tales that he was the Captain of a ship that was torpedoed during “the” war, which I assumed to be the Second World War.  My grandmother had given me two of his brass buttons from his time at sea.  Other than that, nothing.

So, when my wife gave me a Christmas present of a subscription to an ancestry research website, I had to investigate.  Read more…

Remembering Britannic – Titanic’s sister ship

21 November 2016 by Ellie

Postcard of HMHS Britannic

DX/2108/4/3

Today marks the centenary of the sinking of White Star Line’s Britannic.

Built at Harland and Wolff’s shipyard in Belfast, she was the third of the Olympic-class passenger liners – sister ship to Olympic and Titanic.

Read more…

Online collections – Lusitania and Liverpool’s First World War at sea

6 May 2016 by Ellie

Dry-point etching on paper of RMS Lusitania

1987.306 Lusitania in the Mersey, by W L Wyllie

This time last year, RMS Lusitania was a focus of local, national and international attention as we marked 100 years since the sinking of this famous Cunard ship on 7 May 1915. Read more…

Portrait of a sailor

11 February 2016 by Ellie

Portrait of Stoker 1st Class Joseph Norman Thomas

MMM.2014.39

In 2014 we acquired this rather striking portrait of Royal Navy Stoker 1st Class Joseph Norman Thomas, who was born in Liverpool in 1892. At Merseyside Maritime Museum, we focus on the history of the Merchant Navy, with some exceptions, but we were drawn to this painting as we have very few portraits of seafarers in the collection. Joseph also had very strong local connections, being born and brought up in Liverpool. Read more…

Transatlantic 175 birthday celebration

10 July 2015 by Ellie

Maura on the Liverpool Waterfront

Maura in Liverpool on 4 July 2015. Image courtesy of Kate Warner.

One lady who enjoyed the Cunard Transatlantic 175 events last weekend is Maura Doyle. Her family arranged for her to spend her 95th birthday celebrations in Liverpool so that she could mark the special anniversary, including a visit to Merseyside Maritime Museum. Read more…

150th anniversary of Mimosa’s emigrant voyage

28 May 2015 by Ellie

Group photograph of Welsh settlers

Settlers in Patagonia, 28 July 1890, including some Mimosa emigrants. Image courtesy of Archives and Special Collections, Bangor University, John Murray Thomas Collection

In our Emigrants to a New World gallery at Merseyside Maritime Museum, we tell the story of the millions of people who left Europe in the 19th and early 20th centuries in search of better lives overseas, with Liverpool being the departure point for many.

Large numbers of Welsh emigrants sailed from Liverpool, mostly settling in the United States of America. With the next generation, concerns were raised about that fact that the Welsh language was no longer being spoken and traditions were being forgotten. Read more…



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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.

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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.