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Replacing model gratings – a delicate operation

17 September 2013 by Sam

detail of ship model deck with missing part

Detail of hatchway, showing the missing grating.

Ship and historic models conservator David Parsons has news of a very delicate piece  of conservation work that he has been working on:

“Oceanic 2 was built for the White Star Line by Harland & Wolff in 1899, it was commissioned as a merchant-cruiser in the First World War but sank soon after.

I’ve been working on the conservation of the builder’s model of Oceanic 2 for some time now and I’m getting towards finishing it. One of the early decisions I made was to leave the most complicated parts until last, and one of the most complicated things was replacing missing gratings.

Read more…

Disaster averted

29 August 2013 by Sam

archive photo of a ship and a tug

‘Kirriemoor’ ship in the Mersey

Curator of Photographic Archives Anne Gleave has found a photograph amongst the Maritime Archives and Library collections which depicts an incident  that occurred on this day 63 years ago: Read more…

Watch the new Museum of Liverpool video

28 August 2013 by Sam

men with a video camera filming in the museum

How do you capture the Museum of Liverpool in just a couple of minutes?

It’s a tall order but local production company Mocha were up for the challenge.

Read more…

New Brighton – mecca for photographers

19 August 2013 by Sam

photo of people on a beach, wearing warm clothing

‘New Brighton 1976′ © Martin Parr Magnum Photos

During a social evening on the opening weekend of Derby’s Format International Photography Festival a couple of years ago I mentioned in passing that I live in New Brighton. The reaction of one of my companions, one of the charismatic team behind Cardiff’s Third Floor Gallery, was fantastic – a shocked “You mean New Brighton is a real place?!”

In many ways New Brighton is no different from many other seaside towns. In its heyday it was a bustling resort with people outnumbering pebbles on the beach and in the outdoor pool. Those days are long gone though, leaving behind a funfair and an army of ice cream vans that have somehow clung on stubbornly through the quiet times. So far, so unremarkable. However New Brighton gained a degree of notoriety in the 1980s with the publication of Martin Parr’s ‘The Last Resort’. Controversial, in your face and unflinchingly honest, the book is now considered a classic. A mark of its influence is the number of photographers drawn to the top right corner of the Wirral to pay tribute, such as Peter Dench, who made the pilgrimage in 2011 on the 25th anniversary of the book’s publication. His account The Last Resort Revisited perfectly describes the sense of nostalgia for the recent past that keeps photographers coming back.  Read more…

Pirates ahoy!

5 August 2013 by Sam

museum staff and children dressed as pirates and a parrot

Captain Jo Connor, Education Manager at Merseyside Maritime Museum, has news of a fun weekend:

“On Saturday 3 August and Sunday 4 August Merseyside Maritime Museum welcomed all pirates to join the World Pirate Navy.

We had a different pirate band each day and visitors joined in the fun and the muster marches. Read more…

Help an archaeologist!

25 July 2013 by Sam

archaeologist documenting objects from an excavation

Kerry processing finds from the Rainford’s Roots project

Here’s an update from Kerry Massheder, Community Archaeology Trainee, on this week’s events at the Museum of Liverpool:

“Yesterday Clare Ahmed, Archaeological Project Officer, and I ran the first of two  ‘Help an Archaeologist’ sessions this week. The interactive family sessions are being held as part of the Festival of Archaeology events at the Museum of Liverpool.

We had a really busy afternoon with lots of children and their families taking part in different hands-on activities, including a handling session involving Roman artefacts, sorting Post-Medieval finds, drawing, weighing and describing Roman and Post-Medieval finds to record them and helping on a simulated dig. We also had a number of craft activities including colouring sheets, worksheets, cutting and glueing tasks and quizzes. Read more…

‘Leader’, our first ship model

11 July 2013 by Sam

large sailing ship model

Chris Moseley, Head of Ship and Historic Models Conservation, reports on a historic ship model that was recently conserved ready for a new display that opened this week:

“The ‘Leader’ was the very first ship model presented to National Museums Liverpool’s collections in 1862. It has gone on display this week in the Art and the Sea gallery in Merseyside Maritime Museum, as part of a small display about the Liverpool pilots, marking the 60th anniversary of the launch of the Edmund Gardner pilot ship.

Read more…

Liberty scarf from the QE2

2 July 2013 by Sam

square headscarf with illustrations of glamorous liners, passengers and locations

Scarf, accession number MMM.2007.24

Here’s a sneaky preview of a new display at Merseyside Maritime Museum, from Head of Organics Conservation, Tracey Seddon:

“As we have no textile conservators I get to do sewing again this week.  Last week was a 500 year old tapestry.  This week I had a rather chic silk scarf from the 1970s.

The scarf was a souvenir from the glamorous QE2 liner. It was designed by the London fashion house, Liberty, with a print featuring Art Deco style images of planes, liners and beaches occupied by beautiful people generally having a fabulous time.   Read more…

Battle of the Atlantic weekend

24 May 2013 by Sam

ships in the Albert Dock

View from the top of the Pilotage Building, with ‘HMS Pembroke’ moored in front of Merseyside Maritime Museum

This weekend Liverpool is marking the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Atlantic with lots of free events at the waterfront. It has been fantastic watching lots of ships arriving in the docks over the last few days ready to take part.If you have been down at the waterfront you may have noticed the red ensign flag, the flag of the Merchant Navy, flying from the flag pole on top of the Pilotage Building. Maritime Museum staff braved blustery conditions to raise the flag yesterday as a mark of respect for the crucial role the Merchant Navy played in the Battle of the Atlantic. Britain’s merchant fleet were a vital lifeline for the country throughout the Second World War. Read more…

Moby Dick on the Mersey weekend

8 May 2013 by Sam

students in costume, crowded into a small boat

Students performing the Chester Noah play

Jo Connor, education manager at Merseyside Maritime Museum, reflects on a busy Bank Holiday weekend packed full of events:

“Call me Ishmael…” Must be one of, if not the most famous opening line to a novel perhaps next to “It is a truth universally acknowledged…”

And so started the weekend of Moby Dick on the Mersey marathon readings at 9am on Saturday, each day beginning on board the wonderful Kathleen and May schooner moored outside the Merseyside Maritime Museum, then moving inside the museum from 10am. 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.