Our venues


6 Christmas gifts you’ll want on your list

13 November 2015 by Lisa

christmas-felt-wreath-decorationsStarted your feverish browsing for Christmas gift ideas? Fear not, yule* have no problems finding the perfect gift in our online shop, with prices to suit all budgets! We’ve picked our top 6 gifts to get you started…

*see what we did there?  Read more…

Claim no easy victories: Cape Verde and Cabral

12 November 2015 by Richard

Poetry performance at Cidade Velha

Poetry performance at Cidade Velha


I have just returned from Cape Verde where I attended a committee meeting and colloquium in my role as the UK representative of the UNESCO Slave Route project.

The committee is made up of a global mix of experts from disciplines such as anthropology, archaeology and history along with those of us who represent museums and research institutions.   Interests are wide-ranging and all contribute to a greater understanding of the transatlantic slave trade and indeed other routes of enslavement such as the Indian Ocean.

Several committee members gave presentations on this region at the colloquium, which was held at the Universidade de Cabo Verde on the theme of ‘Scientific Research on Slavery and Challenges of the International Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024)’.  Dr. Vijay Teelock (University of Mauritius) spoke on People of African descent in post–emancipation Mauritius and Dr. Abdulazziz Lodhi (Uppsala University) on the spread of the African diaspora in the coastal areas through the Swahili Culture.

Cape Verde has a fascinating and often troubled history. The Portuguese claimed the islands in the 15th century thus starting several centuries of involvement in the transatlantic slave-trade, the enslavement of Africans and colonial expansion.  This was no passive relationship though and subsequently a notable liberation struggle was born.

Standing outside the National Library is a very large public memorial to one Amilcar Cabral, revolutionary, pan-Africanist thinker and a founder of PAIGC Partido Africano da Independência da Guiné e Cabo Verde (African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde).  In 1926 Portugal had become a right-wing dictatorship, one that that was ruled by António de Oliveira Salazah from 1932-1968 who was determined to hold on to their African colonies (and established the infamous prison camp at Tarrafal on Cape Verde).  As a result Cabral and many of his fellow Guinea-Bissauans and Cape Verdeans fought a long war of liberation, which long after much of the independence movements of the 1960s, eventually led to Cape Verde gaining independence from Portugal in 1975 and Guinea-Bissau in 1974.  Cabral’s famous words ‘Claim no easy victories’ sadly ringing true as he was assassinated shortly before independence. Even so his brother Luis Cabral became the first President of Guinea-Bissau.

A lasting impression were the performances one evening in the town square of Cidade Velha – one of the oldest settlements –  not far from where we were staying and some 10 km west of the capital Praia. There was capoeira, various Cape Verdean music and poetry. One might have expected a lull in the tempo but it was the opposite as several young Cape Verdean poets gave rousing performances, their passion palpable, and indeed heartening.

Até logo!


Family History Day: a very special resource

12 November 2015 by Karen O'Rourke

An example of a record from the King's Regiment database

An example of a record from the King’s Regiment database

In my last Family History Day blog, I talked about the experts who will be on hand to help our visitors with their research on all sorts of First World War subjects at our First World War family history day. However there is another “star of the show” – the King’s Regiment database. Read more…

Remembering Liverpool’s First World War

11 November 2015 by Karen O'Rourke

old photo of a soldier in uniform

Captain Frank Watson

This week we have been commemorating those who lost their lives in conflict. With the centenary of the First World War, this year we have naturally been thinking of that war and the impact that it had on Liverpool. As I mentioned in my last blog post, this year Liverpool City Council and Culture Liverpool have created the Liverpool Remembers trail, to accompany the Poppies: Weeping Window installation at St George’s Hall. The trail highlights a number of Liverpool stories from across the city.

It was great to see that many people who came to see the installation at St George’s Hall when it opened this weekend then followed the Liverpool Remembers trail panels across town to the Pier Head. What they probably won’t realise is just how much work goes into making a city-wide trail happen. Read more…

A view from the Lady Lever’s South End

10 November 2015 by Jen

Port Sunlight War Memorial

Port Sunlight War Memorial

If you stand looking out of the south doors of the Lady Lever Art Gallery you take in a stunning vista from the nearby fountain, through the rose gardens, towards the Port Sunlight War Memorial. Originally these doors are where you would have entered the gallery and one of the things we wanted to do as part of the South End redevelopment was to restore this view.  When the new galleries open in spring 2016 a new pair of glass doors will allow visitors to gaze out upon the village, helping those within the Lady Lever to connect with her beautiful surroundings. Read more…

Follow the Liverpool Remembers poppy trail

9 November 2015 by Karen O'Rourke

Liverpool Remembers poppy trail logo

I was pleased to be asked to work with Liverpool City Council and Culture Liverpool on a trail, to accompany their Poppies: Weeping Window installation at St George’s Hall. Like many people, I was really excited when I heard that the artwork would be in the city during the Remembrance commemorations. I also thought it was very apt that it should be situated at St George’s Hall, where thousands of men had enlisted for the First World War, and where we now gather every year, to commemorate those who have lost their lives in conflict.

I hope that visitors to the Weeping Window will also explore the Liverpool Remembers trail panels that lead down to the Pier Head. Read more…

Remembering the women on Poppy Day

5 November 2015 by Sam

woman in uniform

Iris M Newbould, Women’s Land Army © Lee Karen Stow

Photographer Lee Karen Stow shares the story of another one of the women she met during the research for her exhibition Poppies: Women and War, which is currently on display at the Museum of Liverpool.

Don’t forget that Lee will be back at the Museum to hold a free photography workshop and tour of the exhibition on Saturday 14 November. Full details of this and other events are on our Remembrance events page.

“In Whitehall, London, a few strides north of the Cenotaph and the tomb to the unknown soldier is the Monument to the Women of World War II. This tall, bronze pillar, sculpted by artist John W Mills, is a giant coat rack. Seventeen types of uniform, representing the roles thousands of women undertook during the war, hang on coat hooks, symbolising their job done. Unveiled by the Queen in 2005, this monument of recognition was a long time coming.

One of the uniforms represents members of the 80,000-strong Women’s Land Army (WLA). Women like Iris Newbould, now aged 90. Iris is one of the few ‘Land Girls’ still around to share memories Read more…

Graham Crowley: “…a mix of cubist syntax and a raw, punk aesthetic”

5 November 2015 by Lisa

Victorian houses with a shopping mall sign

‘The Chain Store’ © Graham Crowley.

It’s the final few days of the John Moores Painting Prize call for entries and the last weeks of the REALITY exhibition – so who better to interview than an artist strongly connected to both; Graham Crowley.

Tell us about your history with the Walker and the John Moores Painting Prize…

The Walker Art Gallery has been instrumental in exhibiting my paintings and has played a major part in my career. Read more…

Large Mason Bee stamp

4 November 2015 by Paula

Female Large Mason Bee

Female Large Mason Bee

Carl Clee, an Honorary Curator at World Museum, has been coming into the museum most Tuesday’s and Thursdays for the last 25 years, or so. Carl  re-discovered the Large Mason Bee in the UK in 1998. It was previously thought to be extinct and we have been studying its ecology and promoting its conservation management for the last 15 years. Here Carl tells us about this fascinating bee: Read more…

Family History Day, a day to remember

2 November 2015 by Karen O'Rourke

Our expert Graham travels all the way from the South West to help with Machine Gun Corps queries

Our expert Graham travels all the way from the South West to help with Machine Gun Corps queries

Last week saw the launch of the Royal British Legion 2015 Poppy Appeal, focusing on ‘Memories of the Fallen’, and it seems fitting that we at the Museum of Liverpool begin to think about our own annual event, our First World War family history day, which takes place at the museum on Saturday 21 November 2015.

Each year we gather together a team of friends, from around the region (and often further afield). 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.

Award-winning blog

corpcomms awards winner logo




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.