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Dazzling tea cosies for the Edmund Gardner

3 September 2015 by Sam

colourful tea cosy in front of a ship painted with a similar pattern

Gina’s dazzle ship inspired tea cosy

This summer Chris Moseley, shipkeeping and models conservator, took over responsibility for the Edmund Gardner pilot ship – the largest item in our collections and probably the brightest since it was dazzled last year.

Along with 700 tons of ship he also inherited a couple of old tea pots and had a tea pot polishing competition with George, one of the volunteers on the ship. The results were so good that they decided they needed two new tea cosies, so they asked if National Museums Liverpool’s knitting group, the Knitwits, could help.

One of our knitters, Gina Couch, jumped at the chance to help, as she had a family connection to the Edmund Gardner. Her late brother Gerard, who was known as Sam by most people, worked for the Pilotage Service from 1949 to 1988, so he had worked on the Edmund Garner when it was used as a pilot vessel between 1953 and 1981.  Read more…

VJ Day remembered in Liverpool

14 August 2015 by Sam

man in uniform

Philip Hayden

Karen O’Rourke, Curator of Urban and Military History at the Museum of Liverpool, writes:

“This week I was asked to supply some extracts for a service at Liverpool Parish Church, Our Lady and St Nicholas, happening tomorrow, Saturday 15 August, at 11am. The service is to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Victory over Japan Day (VJ Day). The anniversary will see services and events happening across Britain commemorating Japan’s surrender in the Second World War. The surrender effectively ended the War and allowed British soldiers to begin to return home.

The extracts that I supplied are from some of our journals relating to King’s Regiment men who served in the Far Eastern region in the Second World War. Two battalions of the King’s Regiment served in Burma as part of the Chindit expeditions behind Japanese lines.  Read more…

Lunt Meadows – where history and archaeologists are made

12 August 2015 by Sam

fields of long grass

Lunt Meadows

In this guest blog post Sally Taylor describes her experience working with the Archaeology team from the Museum of Liverpool on a recent excavation:

“For a non-professional archaeologist it can be difficult to find excavations without paying vast sums of money to join training digs. As a mature student with three years studying archaeology under my belt, I was hungry for experience in the field.

Enter Lunt Meadows.   Read more…

Liverpool’s first Town Hall – ‘The House of the Virgin Mary’

10 August 2015 by Sam

Liverpool's Town Hall, old line drawing

Liverpool’s current Town Hall, opened in 1754.
“The pride which it inspired in our ancestors still lives in the veneration with which it is regarded by the citizens to-day.” Ramsay Muir, 1913

As we noted at the start of the year, Liverpool has a number of significant anniversaries in 2015. Jen McCarthy, Deputy Director of the Museum of Liverpool, takes a fascinating look at one of them:

“This year our Town Hall marks its 500th year on the city’s civic landscape. That’s 200 years older than Liverpool’s first commercial wet dock.

The Town Hall we use today is actually the third one, built in 1754 and extensively remodelled at the beginning of the 19th century. It replaced the second Town Hall, which was built in 1673 and located just in front of the present site.

That takes us all the way back to the original Town Hall Read more…

Hiroshima survivors, 70 years on

5 August 2015 by Sam

portrait photo of 3 Japanese women

Hiroshimo survivors Ikuko, Teruko and Takako, iPhone photo taken after their portrait session © Lee Karen Stow

Two weeks ago photographer Lee Karen Stow opened her exhibition Poppies: Women and War at the Museum of Liverpool. The exhibition features the incredible personal stories of many women from all over the world who have been affected by war.

The Poppies project is an ongoing one, which has taken Lee to Japan this week to mark the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945. She reports from Japan on the eve of the anniversary:

“This photograph shows A-bomb hibakusha – survivors – Ikuko, Teruko and Takako. Each has shared their memories of the day of the bombing and what they experienced subsequently, in the hope that ours and future generations will cease to develop nuclear bombs and strive for a world of peace without wars.  Read more…

Strong and resilient women in Poppies exhibition

31 July 2015 by Sam

curator placing a book in a display cabinet

Curator Karen O’Rourke installing objects in the exhibition, beneath a photo of Colonel Debbie Telford

Karen O’Rourke, the curator of the Museum of Liverpool’s latest exhibition, reflects on its first week:

“It’s been a week since our Poppies: Women and War exhibition opened at the Museum of Liverpool. Every new exhibition we stage involves lots of preparation and in the weeks before we open it’s pretty chaotic for the team; agreeing final designs, getting all of the right objects and people in the right place at the right time and making all of the last minute arrangements. Fortunately we have an amazing team, who are all fabulous at what they do.

I have one of the best jobs, which is that I get to watch the reaction of the visitors as they see the exhibition for the first time and this week I have spoken to lots of people who have all had positive things to say. Read more…

Lusitania: 7 May 1915

2 July 2015 by Sam

ship hit by a huge splash of water almost as high as the funnels

An artist’s conception of the torpedo impact on the Lusitania. © Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division/J Kent Layton Collection

This is the 9th and penultimate blog post in a series by J Kent Layton, maritime historian and author of ‘Lusitania: an illustrated biography’, to accompany the exhibition Lusitania: life, loss, legacy at Merseyside Maritime Museum.

“On the morning of Friday 7 May 1915 the Lusitania was enshrouded in fog. Captain Turner sounded the ship’s foghorn and decelerated to 18, and sometimes to 15, knots to help prevent a collision with any ship that could have been traveling through those busy waters.

Many passengers were irritated by the foghorn, believing that it could give the ship’s position away to any enemy U-Boats. Read more…

Lusitania: ‘If business demanded’ it

19 June 2015 by Sam

Large ship being led into docks by 3 small tugs

The Mauretania being manuevered around the Liverpool docks by tugboats. © J Kent Layton Collection

This is the 7th blog post in a series by J Kent Layton, maritime historian and author of ‘Lusitania: an illustrated biography’, to accompany the exhibition Lusitania: life, loss, legacy at Merseyside Maritime Museum:

“As the winter months began to wind down in early 1915, bookings were increasing on the North Atlantic again. Fears were beginning to subside, and with the threat of naval dangers at sea seeming more remote to prospective passengers, there was apparently less reason not to travel. As a result, Cunard began to see an increased need for passenger capacity. Indeed, on her 202nd crossing, headed east from New York on 1 May, the Lusitania’s second class spaces were overbooked, and overall it was her longest east-bound passenger list since the war’s outbreak.  Read more…

Victory for the Lusitania

29 May 2015 by Sam

old photo of the Lusitania cruise liner

The Lusitania approaches the Prince’s Landing Stage in Liverpool for the first time. © J Kent Layton Collection

This is the fourth blog post in a series by J Kent Layton, maritime historian and author of ‘Lusitania: an illustrated biography’, to accompany the exhibition Lusitania: life, loss, legacy at Merseyside Maritime Museum.

“Saturday 7 September 1907 was an unforgettable day in the annals of maritime history: the Lusitania was to begin her maiden voyage from Liverpool, England that evening. Excitement was running high and bookings for the crossing were strong.

Britishers, alarmed at the way their maritime prestige had been usurped by German liners during the preceding decade, were keen to see their new greyhound take back the Blue Riband. Read more…

Remembering the Lusitania on the 100th anniversary

7 May 2015 by Sam

Ellie signing a large picture of the Lusiitania

A signature canvas commemorating the Lusitania will be a ‘living’ work of art. Lustania exhibition curator Ellie Moffat was one of the first to sign it.

Every year Merseyside Maritime Museum pays tribute to the 1,191 people who lost their lives on the Lusitania, with a commemoration by the ship’s propeller on the quayside on 7 May, the anniversary of the sinking. The event brings together many of families affected by the loss of the Lusitania, reflecting what a huge impact the tragedy had on Liverpool, where most of the crew were based.

We have been working closely with many of the Lusitania families, particularly over the last year in preparation for the major exhibition Lusitania: life, loss, legacy. I was fortunate to meet some of them at the opening of the exhibition and was moved to see their pride in how their relatives’ stories had been portrayed. Read more…

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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.