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International Women’s Day – Margaret Beavan, Liverpool’s First Woman Lord Mayor

7 March 2014 by Kay

MMM-1998-115-(2)

8 March is International Women’s Day and to help celebrate, we are highlighting objects in the Museum of Liverpool’s collections which help to tell the story of some amazing Liverpool women.

The first is this painting of Margaret Beavan – Liverpool’s First Woman Lord Mayor and Children’s Champion. It was painted by John Archibald Alexander Berrie, and shows Margaret at a dinner at the Lyceum Club, Bold Street, 19 December 1927, held in her honour. A footman can be seen in the background and Liverpool worthies and their wives sit either side of her. Significantly, this was the first occasion on which ladies were entertained within the gentleman’s club. Read more…

Tragic story of First World War soldier’s suicide

7 February 2014 by Kay

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February is Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Trans History Month. To help represent and celebrate the lives and achievements of Liverpool’s LGBT community we are highlighting this story of Private William Mason, a King’s Liverpool Regiment soldier who served in the First World War.

Aged just 19, William Mason committed suicide in July 1916. William, from Birkenhead, had enlisted the previous year in Liverpool. He is one of almost 80,000 soldiers listed on our Kings Regiment World War I database. The following information is taken from a Liverpool Echo article, Tuesday 18 July, 1916, featured on the database. Read more…

New Liverpool Irish Community Trail launched today

13 January 2014 by Kay

Irish community poster, 1867

Irish community poster, 1867

Visitors to the Museum of Liverpool can explore the story of the Liverpool Irish community on display across the Museum, using our new trail.

The trail highlights unique and fascinating objects, people and stories.

Discover our earliest links across the Irish Sea over 4000 years ago and explore how Irish people, culture and traditions continue to shape the social, political and economic history of the city.

Pick up your free trail from the information desk in the atrium.

UK Disability History Month – Craig’s story

17 December 2013 by Kay

Craig Lundberg

Craig Lundberg

We are highlighting people’s stories and objects featured in the Museum of Liverpool to celebrate UK Disability History Month. Our fourth and final instalment is Craig’s Lundberg’s story.

In 2007, Craig, a Lance Corporal with the Duke of Lancaster’s Regiment, led his men during a rooftop battle with insurgents in Basra. The 21 year-old was blinded by an exploding rocket-propelled grenade. After many months in hospital he recovered from his injuries but did not regain his sight. Read more…

UK Disability History Month – Jack Brunel Cohen’s story

10 December 2013 by Kay

Jack Cohen

We are highlighting people’s stories and objects featured in the Museum of Liverpool to celebrate UK Disability History Month. Our third instalment is Jack’s story.

Jack Brunel Cohen was born in 1886. He was the Jewish great-nephew of Liverpool department store owner David Lewis. Jack and two of his brothers fought with the 5th Battalion, King’s Regiment during the First World War. He was wounded in action at Ypres and had both of his legs amputated. Read more…

UK Disability History Month – Caroline’s story

2 December 2013 by Kay

Caroline (on the right) with her friend, Heather.

Caroline (on the right) with her friend, Heather.

We are highlighting people’s stories and objects featured in the Museum of Liverpool to celebrate UK Disability History Month. Caroline’s story is our second instalment.

Caroline France (or Carol, as she liked to be known), was born in 1905 in Edge Hill; the eldest of 13 children. From the age of 13 she attended the School for the Blind Children’s Branch in Wavertree.

Aged 16, she went to the Hardman Street School, where she taught machine knitting, basket making and chair caning until 1957.

Carol dressed stylishly, enjoyed holidays and outings with her many friends, sang with church choirs and choral societies, and most of all loved her dogs. Read more…

UK Disability History Month – Highlighting people’s stories in the Museum of Liverpool

25 November 2013 by Kay

UK Disability History Month

UK Disability History Month is celebrated every year 22nd November-22nd December.

The theme for this year is ‘Celebrating our Struggle for Independent Living: No Return to Institutions or Isolation’.

Objects and people’s stories on display in the Museum of Liverpool will be featured on this blog throughout the month to celebrate.

The first is Mary’s story, which is featured in the Growing Up and Growing Older section of The People’s Republic gallery.

Mary discusses her life as a blind person and the limited expectations other people have of disabled people. (This is a shortened version of what is on display).

“I was born at the Women’s Hospital in August 1950, three months premature. I grew up in Aigburth. It was considered advisable that disabled children should go to school, mostly residential schools early as it was felt that parents couldn’t properly meet their needs, and they would be better socialised. I started school aged three at St Vincent’s. Most of the children lived in. Very few went home each weekend, like me, as it was frowned upon. I was taught Braille. The education was pretty abysmal. Most paritally-sighted children leaving school went into factory or shop work. It was expected they would have children. Those of us without sight weren’t expected to have children or relationships. Read more…

Transgender Day of Remembrance

21 November 2013 by Kay

The wreath in the April Ashley: portrait of a lady exhibition

The wreath in the April Ashley: portrait of a lady exhibition

Yesterday, Wednesday 20th November, was Transgender Day of Remembrance. We laid a wreath in the ‘April Ashley: portrait of a lady‘ exhibition at the Museum of Liverpool to commemorate all those who have been murdered or taken their own lives because of transphobia.

Representatives from Armistead, Merseyside Police, Transforum, Homotopia and Trans-Chester joined visitors and staff in a minutes silence.
April herself suffered transphobia throughout her life, from family members, the media and also strangers in the street.
You can find out more about hate crime from members of the trans community and Merseyside Police in the exhibition.

Black History Month, James Clarke 1886-1946

21 October 2013 by Kay

October is Black History Month – which is a great opportunity to highlight local heroes like James Clarke.

James Clarke

James Clarke

James was born in British Guiana (now Guyana). When he was 14, he stowed away on a ship bound for Liverpool and was adopted by an Irish family living in the Scotland Road area.

James worked on the docks and joined Wavertree Swimming Club. He started teaching children to swim after rescuing many of them from the Leeds and Liverpool Canal.

James saved many locals from drowning in the Mersey and the docks, and taught countless others to swim. He was the first Black man to have a street named after him. Read more…

First wedding

15 July 2013 by Kay

 Phil & Ann's Wedding July 1960

Have you ever wondered who the first couple to be married in the crypt, the only part of Sir Edwin Lutyen’s design for Liverpool’s Catholic Cathedral that was ever built, were?

It was Phil and Ann Fanning in 1960, a fact of which they were both very proud.

One of their bridesmaids, Liz (Phil’s sister, aged 11), remembers that the dresses were made of white nylon, patterned with blue flowers. In the 1970′s Ann and Phil moved to Hong Kong with their two sons where they spent 12 years. 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.