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World Museum celebrates Tim Peake’s return to Earth

13 June 2016 by Andrew

Major Tim Peake telephones the museum from space!

Major Tim Peake telephones the Museum from space!

After six months floating almost 200 miles above the planet on the International Space Station, Major Tim Peake returns to Earth on Saturday 18 June.

Read more…

Wonderful watercolours and drawings

10 June 2016 by Lisa

Belem-Tower-Lisbon

Belém Tower, Lisbon (April 30th 1877) by Dr Richard Caton (1842 – 1926)

Curator, Alex Patterson, tells us some of the stories behind the watercolours in the Walker Art Gallery’s collection…

“Digitising the works on paper collection is such a great project to work on. I get to see all the wonderful watercolours and drawings that are rarely displayed due to their light sensitivity. Read more…

80th birthday celebrations for Carl Davis

9 June 2016 by Kay

Union Jack waistcoat in museum display

Carl’s Union Jack waistcoat, 2010

Today, BBC Radio 3 are recording a special 80th birthday performance for Carl Davis. Carl will discuss his career in film and conduct some of his best loved scores including his music for The World at War, The Far Pavilions and Pride and Prejudice. Read more…

Father’s Day gift guide – our top 6 picks

8 June 2016 by Lisa

dads-army-whisky-glasses-header

From traditional brass calendars to funky patches, we’ve got quirky Father’s Day presents covered in our gift guide for this year.

Find out our top six gifts and see which one would suit the superhero in your family…

Read more…

Celebrating Volunteers Week

7 June 2016 by Emma Duffy

Karen Davies, Edmund Gardner volunteer, seated in yellow top

Karen Davies, Edmund Gardner volunteer, seated in yellow top

To celebrate Volunteers Week (1 – 12 June) Karen Davies, one of our dedicated volunteers, wrote a blog about what she does and what it means to her:

“So, here we are at the start of another tour season of the unique Edmund Gardner (EG) pilot cutter – an award winning ship of historic national importance, in this 250th anniversary year since the pilot service began in Liverpool.
I’m very much looking forward to working with my fellow guides and museum visitor hosts, and welcoming new visitors on board, to share what is now an award-winning, volunteer-led guided tour. Read more…

Hospice artwork displayed for 20th anniversary

7 June 2016 by Kay

tree collage artwork with Liverpool waterfront in background

Today we put on display this special ‘tree of life’ artwork in the Museum of Liverpool.

It was made by a group of around 40 people, 2013 – 2015 at Woodlands Hospice, Aintree. The members of the drop-in group consisted of people of all ages and backgrounds who had lost loved-ones cared for by the Hospice.

The members chose the Liverpool skyline as the backdrop as this was a common bond they all shared. Sentimental items, unique to each person, were chosen by each participant and carefully added to the tree. Each item tells an individual story and represents each loved-one’s life. Read more…

Celebrate the International Mersey River Festival this weekend!

3 June 2016 by Sam Vaux

© Mark McNulty

Merseyside Maritime Museum and Museum of Liverpool © Mark McNulty

From Friday 3 – Sunday 5 June, the waterfront will be awash with fun, nautical activities for all the family at the International Mersey River Festival, which will include tall ships, jet ski stunts, boat races, Royal Marines combat displays and air displays. Our waterfront museums will be hosting crafts and activities including Dockwatch, where you can take a closer look… Read more…

Life on the ocean wave: a Border Force training ship

2 June 2016 by Sarah

steve in pilots cabin

Steve Butler on his tour of Altea II

Steve Butler, Curator at Seized! the Border Force National Museum, is blogging for us today on his tour of Altea II, a huge ship purchased by Border Force, which is used to train its officers in how to safely search every part of a commercial vessel: 

View onto ship

The view out of the window

“I may have worked for many years for the Border Force museum but it is meeting the front line officer which is so memorable and one of the unique pluses of my job. Recently I visited a training ship in Liverpool Docks called Altea II for a tour of the vessel guided by a senior instructor and long serving Border Force officer.

“Colin has many years experience in working in Customs and now Border Force and was once part of the customs cutter service. He has probably visited most ports around the UK coastline aboard a patrol vessel in search of the smuggler. Now he trains officers from both the UK and overseas in how to safely search every part of a commercial ship. 

“Altea II was a mid sized bulk carrier which plied the seas in search of mixed cargo from building material, animal field and general cargo. Operating in seas in the northern hemisphere including Iceland, Nordic states, Russia and called in at ports around the UK. Once bought by Border Force is was adapted to offer real life experience of a commercial ship and how to search it.

“When I boarded the vessel it was as if the former Russian crew had just left the vessel. Crew’s cabin still presented soaps and shaving equipment placed on shelves around the sinks, posters still hung on the cabin walls, sea boots and overalls were slung on bed side cabinets. Books, novels and instructions manual, still lined the shelves adjacent to port holed walls. The bridge offered spectacular views across the Mersey to New Brighton and sea charts and national flags were neatly rolled in cupboards beneath first aid cabinets and barometers on panelled walls.

The hold

The hold

“The hold was vast, now empty except for a special built coffer dam which was stained in red colourant. Why the staining? Colin explained the use of a life like dummy which would carry ‘injury’ and require safely rescuing from inside the coffer dam. This would often be practised in near black out conditions with trainees dressed in cumbersome breathing kit, essential clothing when searching dangerous confined space aboard a ocean going ship. The morning tour and chat with Colin was captivating as he calmly described the dangerous search of ocean going tugs and yachts concealing tons of class A drugs. It is why I do love my job and our unique collection and stories we can share.”

 

Find out more about our collections at Seized!  

Celebrate Merseyside Maritime Museum’s 30th birthday this bank holiday!

27 May 2016 by Sam Vaux

Merseyside Maritime Museum © Tom Adam

Merseyside Maritime Museum © Tom Adam

The bank holiday is fast approaching and we’re marking 30 years since the Merseyside Maritime Museum opened with two fabulous days of fun for all with family! Join us for a whole host of FREE activities, performances and workshops to celebrate our 30th birthday 80s style on Monday 30 May and Tuesday 31 May! Read more…

A passion for social justice

27 May 2016 by Emma Duffy

four people seated, holidng up campaign signs

Campaigners at the launch of the Federation of Human Rights Museums, including David Fleming, Director of NML, second from right

As we mark 30 years since we became a national museums service in 1986, it’s given us a moment to reflect on the positive work we have done over the past three decades. We believe in the power of museums to help promote good and active citizenship, and to act as agents of social change. From this belief we founded the Social Justice Alliance for Museums (SJAM) in 2013, in response to a growing recognition of the importance of the social value in museums and its impact on the public. Read more…



About our blog

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.