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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…

5 years on twitter – a look back

25 March 2014 by Sam

screen showing the message 'Am I on your tweetwall? How exciting is this?'

The tweetwall at the opening of the Museum of Liverpool

As it’s #MuseumWeek on twitter it felt like an appropriate time to reflect on our oldest and most popular twitter account.

The Museum of Liverpool’s twitter account was set up on 23 February 2009, just over 5 years ago. It was our first venue to start tweeting, in fact not many other museums were even on twitter at the time. As you can see from this photo taken the previous week, the museum looked very different back then as it was still under construction. Read more…

Microfade testing of light sensitive collections

19 March 2014 by Sam

Man with technical equipment and a decorative table

Visiting conservation scientist, Bruce Ford, testing the light fastness of a painted table from the Lady Lever Art Gallery

Siobhan Watts, Head of Conservation Science at the Conservation Centre, has news about some of the vital behind-the-scenes work that she does to protect our collections:

“What do a watercolour by Burne-Jones, regimental colours, Native American quillwork moccasins, and silk furniture covers have in common? Answer – they are all sensitive to light, and will fade to a greater or lesser degree when they are on display. Read more…

Inspiring women photographers

6 March 2014 by Sam

Rebecca Seeley Harris standing in front of a photo of her great grandmother in the Congo

Rebecca Seeley Harris said she felt very proud of her pioneering great grandmother Alice when she visited the Brutal Exposure exhibition

Marilyn Monroe famously claimed “Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world”. However, two exhibitions that have opened recently on Liverpool’s waterfront show that if you give a girl a camera then she can change the world.

Brutal Exposure: the Congo at the International Slavery Museum features photographs taken by Alice Seeley Harris when she and her husband were working as missionaries in the Congo Free State in the early 1900s. They became active human rights campaigners after witnessing first hand the atrocities carried out in the name of King Leopold II. Read more…

Ford Escort with top gear from the 1970s

3 February 2014 by Sam

yellow-ford-escort-atrium

Sharon Brown, curator of land transport and industry at the Museum of Liverpool, has news of a brand new arrival that you may have spotted in the window today:

Question: What’s yellow and shiny and new to the Museum of Liverpool?

Answer: A 1975 Ford Escort 1100L, 1975 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.