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Happy Birthday Billy

17 April 2013 by Kay

acoustic guitar

Today, 17 April, is Billy Fury’s birthday. Many of his fans, some from across the world, will be in the city to celebrate and remember him. This year is especially poignant as it is the 30th anniversary of his death.

During the 1950s Billy was one of the biggest hit makers in the country. Billy Fury was born Ron Wycherley in 1940. He left school at 15 and, inspired by country music, began writing songs. Billy was the first musician from Liverpool to release a whole album of original material; The Sound of Fury. He is Liverpool’s first rock and roll star and is considered Britain’s greatest.

Visitors can see items on display in the Wondrous Place gallery including his first guitar (pictured). Read more…

Aintree racing

4 April 2013 by Kay

cover of an Aintree programme with racing cars on the front

Accession number MOL.2008.36.6-12602

Lots of people will be coming to Liverpool for the Grand National this weekend but did you know that Aintree racecourse also had a motor racing track?

Motor racing became increasingly popular by the early 1950s. Mirabel Topham, owner of Aintree racecourse, took advantage of this appeal and built a motor racing track. Aintree hosted five Grand Prix races, including the 1957 race won by top British driver, Stirling Moss.

This programme from 1960 is on display in the Wondrous Place gallery along with many items relating to the world’s oldest steeplechase. Read more…

Our amazing Liverpool women

7 March 2013 by Kay

sash will applique lettering 'For a woman's right to jobs'

Banner made for the 1981 People’s March for Jobs, on display in The People’s Republic gallery

It is International Women’s Day tomorrow and we are celebrating all week with various talks and events at the Museum of Liverpool.

Today’s talk, ‘Our Amazing Liverpool Women’ at 3pm will include many inspirational women featured across the museum. Just one example is Catherine Harvey, who aged 24 was one of 25 women to join the 1981 People’s March for Jobs to protest against injustice and to demand the right to work. You can see the sash, which Catherine made and wore on the march on display in The People’s Republic gallery. Read more…

Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans History Month

21 February 2013 by Kay

April Ashley at the Museum of Liverpool

Lesbian Gay Bisexual Trans History Month takes place every year this month. It celebrates the lives and achievements of the LGBT community. A Liverpool Trans pioneer and inspiration, Miss April Ashley MBE, will be the focus of a groundbreaking exhibition at the Museum of Liverpool opening in September.

In partnership with Homotopia, the exhibition will tell the story of April’s life and will explore the significant role she has played in making social and political history in Britain. In detailing April’s life, the project will tell the wider story of social, political and legislative change affecting Trans, LGB and many other people in Britain over the past 70 years, and of the impact April’s story has had on family law and legal definitions of gender and identity. Read more…

Love boat

13 February 2013 by Kay

wooden rowing boat

Love blossomed for Marjorie and John Wilson in a rowing boat just like this one on Sefton Park’s boating lake during the 1940s.

John was a young medical student at Liverpool University and would revise whilst Marjorie rowed.

They got married when Marjorie was 21. John went on to have a successful medical career, becoming a consultant at Wirral Hospital.

This rowing boat is on display in The People’s Republic gallery at the Museum of Liverpool. It was used on Sefton Park Lake until the late 1970s. Who knows what other romances it may have witnessed? Read more…

Ensuring the Holocaust will never be forgotten

22 January 2013 by Kay

Yesterday the Museum of Liverpool hosted ‘Never Forget’, a Holocaust Memorial Event in partnership with the Liverpool Association of Jewish Refugees. It was a very moving day where holocaust survivors, including Inge Goldrein who came to Liverpool aged 8 on the Kindertransport from Vienna, told us their experiences.

At the end of the day Dr Sylvia Jayson presented a special tablecloth to the Museum of Liverpool, which she had personally embroidered with the names of 42 Holocaust survivors who came to Merseyside. It is a wonderful addition to the museum’s collections and will help to ensure that their stories are never forgotten. Read more…

A sign of great hospitality

9 November 2012 by Kay

plaque with tourism symbols on a Union Jack flag

This year’s Biennial theme – Hospitality and the Unexpected Guest – made me think of this great object in the Museum of Liverpool’s collection. It is a plaque awarded to the City of Liverpool by Dutch reality TV programme ‘Nu we er toch zijn’.

A film crew from the show travelled around the country to determine how hospitable certain cities were. They would knock on stranger’s doors and ask if they could stay the night! Liverpool, of course, was one of the few cities to receive the gold award. The programme showed some great Liverpool characters and proved what a friendly and hospitable city we are.

The Wheel of Fortune

6 November 2012 by Kay

painting of men at a circular urinal

As it’s Homotopia time again I thought I would highlight this painting from the Museum of Liverpool’s collection.

It was painted by Liverpool born artist, and well-known local character, Yankel Feather (1920-2009).

The painting, which is not currently on display, shows the interior of a men’s public convenience in Williamson Square, which was known locally as ‘The Wheel of Fortune’. It reflects the time, prior to 1967, when homosexuality was illegal. Read more…

Liverpool Sailors’ Home

19 August 2011 by Kay

section of metal railing with a mermaid figure

After 60 years absence, the beautiful gates from Liverpool Sailors’ Home have been returned to the city where they now act as a gateway to Liverpool ONE and the World Heritage Site.

The large gates feature the same mermaid design as this railing which you can see on display in The People’s Republic gallery, Museum of Liverpool. 

These railings from the interior balconies were made specially for the Home, which opened in Canning Place in 1850. The Home was a safe place for seafarers to stay while in port. Other items from the Sailors’ Home on display in the Museum of Liverpool include an original enamel sign and a Seaman’s Register 1966–68. Read more…

1911 Liverpool General Transport Strike

12 August 2011 by Kay

Engraved silver bowl

Silver porringer. Accession number MMM.2003.280

This silver porringer was presented to Percy R Agnew for services rendered as a special constable at the Liverpool branch of the Bank of England, Castle Street during the 1911 Liverpool General Transport Strike.

Despite the massive police presence in the city, they were under such pressure that many men acted as special constables, 40 of whom were from the Bank’s Liverpool branch. Due to the mass rallies of Liverpool people who came out in support of the strike, reinforcements had to be sent from other parts of the country. 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.