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Posts by Ellie

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…

Father and son lost in the Lusitania sinking

1 May 2015 by Ellie

old portrait photo

Mary Griffin, the eldest child of Michael Cooney senior and sister of Michael Cooney junior. Image courtesy of Joyce Percival

On 7 May we will mark the centenary of the sinking of RMS Lusitania when 1,191 men, women and children lost their lives.

Our new exhibition Lusitania: life, loss, legacy remembers those people and highlights the strong ties between the ship, her crew, and Liverpool.

Whilst working on the exhibition I have been fortunate to become acquainted with many Lusitania relatives, and Joyce Percival has kindly agreed to share her family story with us:

“My great grandfather Michael Cooney was born in Liverpool to Irish immigrants Peter and Margaret Cooney from Limerick. Michael and his son, also called Michael, were both killed when the Lusitania was sunk by a German U-boat in 1915 off the coast of Ireland. Read more…

Centenary of the sinking of Falaba

27 March 2015 by Ellie

men with lifting equipment hanging a large painting on a wall

The huge painting of Falaba was installed by our specialist handling team ready for the opening of the ‘Lusitania: life, loss, legacy’ exhibition

This Saturday, 28 March, marks the centenary of the sinking of the Falaba – a passenger ship of Liverpool’s Elder Dempster Line. She left Liverpool on 27 March 1915 and sighted the German submarine U-28 off the southern coast of Ireland the following day.

U-28 surfaced, sent two warnings and Falaba’s crew were ordered to abandon ship. As the final lifeboat was being lowered, a torpedo hit. The ship sank in under 10 minutes. Germany claimed that U-28 had allowed 23 minutes for evacuation. Britain said it was only 5 minutes. Read more…

Lusitania hero’s memento

20 February 2015 by Ellie

Lusitania baby’s shoe – National Museums Liverpool                           MMM.2014.26.1

Lusitania baby’s shoe – National Museums Liverpool MMM.2014.26.1

A tiny baby’s shoe is one of the never before seen items that will be displayed in ‘Lusitania: life, loss, legacy’, our brand new exhibition opening on 27 March 2015. The shoe was given to Liverpool-born Joseph Parry, aged 26, who was an Able Seaman in the Deck Department of Lusitania.

Together with Liverpool-born Able Seaman Leslie Morton, who was just 18 at the time, the pair saved around 100 survivors from the sea on 7 May.  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.