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A Hard Day’s Night – Hello Goodbye

9 July 2014 by Sam

two grey Beatles suits displayed on mannequins

Paul and George’s suits on display in the Wondrous Place gallery

This week it’s the anniversary of one of the last visits that The Beatles made to their home town – an exciting moment at the height of ‘Beatlemania’ that you can relive in our gallery, as Paul Gallagher, Acting Senior Curator of Urban History at the Museum of Liverpool, explains:

“It was 50 years ago, on 10 July 1964, that the Beatles swept into Liverpool for the northern premiere of their groundbreaking film A Hard Day’s Night.

What a homecoming it was too. John, Paul, George and Ringo flew into Speke Airport and were met by more than 3000 screaming local fans. They were then whisked off in a police motorcade to a civic reception at Liverpool Town Hall, with an estimated 200,000 people – roughly a quarter of the city’s population – lining the route.  Read more…

Flying the flag for Seafarers Awareness Week

23 June 2014 by Sam

logo with text: An island nation, Seafarers Awareness Week 21-29 June 2014

Ben Whittaker, curator of port history at Merseyside Maritime Museum, explains why Seafarers Awareness Week is important, and how we can all get involved:

“Are you reading this blog on a computer, smartphone or tablet? Chances are it was brought to this country in a metal box on the back of a ship, along with your TV, clothes and most of your other possessions. Read more…

Sam’s tribute to the Lusitania

3 June 2014 by Sam

young boy holding up a drawing

Sam Colley with his picture ‘The sinking of the Lusitania’

The tragic sinking of the Lusitania during the First World War had a devastating effect on the tight-knit dockland communities in north Liverpool, where most of the liner’s crew lived. 404 crew members died, including many Liverpool Irish seamen.

Every year on 7 May Merseyside Maritime Museum marks the anniversary of the sinking with a memorial service on the quayside by the Lusitania’s propeller. Unknown to us, this year a 6 year old boy many miles away in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire was also inspired to make his own tribute to the ship. His mother Joanne Colley got in touch with us when she realised the coincidence. Read more…

HMS Thetis memorial to be unveiled

27 May 2014 by Sam

black band or ribbon with faded gold lettering 'HMS Thetis'

HMS Thetis cap band donated to Merseyside Maritime Museum in 2011. The donor’s uncle was involved in the salvage of the submarine. Accession number MMM.2011.13

Ben Whittaker, curator of port history at Merseyside Maritime Museum, has news of a new memorial to the submarine HMS Thetis:

“On Sunday 1 June 2014 at 1pm a memorial will be unveiled at the River Walkway, Birkenhead. It will mark 75 years since the worst peacetime submarine accident in the history of the Royal Navy. On 1 June 1939 HMS Thetis sank in Liverpool Bay and 99 men perished. Read more…

Remembering the Empress of Ireland

15 May 2014 by Sam

museum display

New material has been added to the Empress of Ireland display to mark the centenary of the sinking.

Lots of people have heard about the sinking of the Titanic and Lusitania. However did you know that more passengers were lost in another major shipping disaster around that time, which had a big impact on Liverpool?

Ben Whittaker, curator of port history at Merseyside Maritime Museum, has more information about the ‘forgotten Empress’:

“Today is 15 May, and 100 years to the day that the Canadian Pacific Liner Empress of Ireland last set sail from Liverpool bound for Canada. Read more…

Lusitania memorial service remembers Manx rescuers

6 May 2014 by Sam

archive photo of a group of men

Crew of the Wanderer. Photo courtesy of the Leece Museum in Peel.

Tomorrow, Wednesday 7 May, Merseyside Maritime Museum is holding a memorial service to commemorate the 99th anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania. As part of this year’s service Roy Baker, Curator of Leece Museum, will talk about how a ship from the Isle of Man played a key role in the rescue efforts. Guest blogger Valerie Caine has more details:

“The sinking of the luxurious liner Lusitania in just eighteen minutes off the Old Head of Kinsale in Ireland in 1915 by a German submarine resulted in the loss of 1,198 lives. One of the first rescue vessels on the scene was a small Manx fishing boat PL11 Wanderer, from Peel on the west coast of the Isle of Man. Read more…

Charles Lightoller, a Lancashire lad who went to sea

6 May 2014 by Sam

ship during construction

Concrete ship under construction in Warrington, image courtesy of English Heritage

Merseyside Maritime Museum’s series of free spring lectures starts tomorrow, Wednesday 7 May, at 12 noon, with a talk by Serena Cant, English Heritage. Serena will be talking about the front line at sea, and in particular the contribution of the ships and the people of the north west coast to the First World War. In this guest blog post she discusses the wartime service of  Charles Lightoller:

“Charles Lightoller, a Lancashire lad who went to sea, was one of at least two known survivors of the Titanic, both of whom survived further wreck incidents during the Great War, as it was called by contemporaries. Read more…

Investigating an Ainsdale shipwreck

25 April 2014 by Sam

Someone using technical equipment to survey a partly-exposed shipwreck on a beach

Surveying the site of the shipwreck

Mark Adams, Senior Archaeological Project Officer at the Museum of Liverpool’s archaeology department, has been uncovering a mystery hidden by the sand on a nearby beach. He explains:

“Last Wednesday and Thursday I swapped the office for Ainsdale Beach to conduct a geophysical and auger survey of a shipwreck off the Ainsdale coast with volunteers from the Sefton Coast Landscape Partnership. The wreck is the remains of a wooden vessel, last seen in the early 1980s before it was exposed again by last winter’s storms. Read more…

Making three new guns for Oceanic 2

14 April 2014 by Sam

detail of guns on the deck of a ship model

Oceanic 2, showing an original gun (left) and a new one (right)

Here’s the latest update from ship and historic models conservator  David Parsons, in a blog series about conserving the model of Oceanic 2:

“The last of the major pieces of work that I have done for the conservation of the builder’s model of Oceanic 2 was the making of three replacement guns, similar to Bofors guns, or 12 pounder Quick Firing guns.

Originally the model had eight guns but three of these were missing. Read more…

Guardians of the dawn: the Liverpool Pilots

27 March 2014 by Sam

man on the deck of a ship on the river Mersey, with the Liverpool waterfront in the background

John Curry

Ben Whittaker, curator of port history at Merseyside Maritime Museum, has news of a special free talk next week:

“Who ensures the safe passage of shipping into and out of the Port of Liverpool? The Liverpool Pilots!

The sea approaches to Liverpool have always been difficult waters to navigate,  so the Liverpool Pilot Service was established in 1766 to safely guide ships into the port. For almost 30 years our own ship the Edmund Gardner – the largest object in our collections – provided a base for the service in the Irish Sea. Read more…