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How class distinctions have become blurred

13 June 2014 by David Fleming

Head and shoulders shot of David Fleming in suit and tie

This is the third of a five part series looking at museums and democracy, this time considering changes in the perception and identity of the working classes over the last 200 years. The series is from the text of a lecture I gave in May 2014 at Liverpool’s Institute of Cultural Capital research symposium entitled ‘The Arts, Them and Us: creating a more equitable system for subsidised culture’. Read more…

Would you like to meet a giant millipede?

13 June 2014 by Tony

millipede_resized

Would you like to meet a giant millipede?

National Insect Week (NIW) 2014 is nearly upon us and we’ll be holding a series of events celebrating insects from 21-29 June 2014, at World Museum.

As well as ‘close encounters’ sessions with impressive invertebrates such as the giant millipede pictured here, there will be behind the scenes tours of the insect collections, microscope sessions and craft activities. Read more…

Liver Bird in the making – the Bromsgrove connection

10 June 2014 by Kay

Liver Bird 1910 0012This fabulous photograph of one of the Liver Birds being constructed in the Bromsgrove Guild Workshops, 1910, was recently sent to us by Charles Bateman from Bromsgrove.

The Bromsgrove Guild were awarded this important new commission by The Royal Liver Assurance Company who wanted two mythical Liver Birds to be mounted on the twin towers of its new head office at the Pier Head when it opened 19 July, 1911.

The Illustrated History of The Bromsgrove Guild reveals that the Liver Birds presented various design problems during construction, both because of their large size and the height at which they were mounted – 300 feet from the ground. They also had to withstand extremely high winds without being too heavy. Read more…

Are museums for the people or just the elite?

9 June 2014 by David Fleming

A man stood at with microphone speaking in front of SJAM logo

This is the second of a five part series looking at museums and democracy, this time looking at the early days of UK museums. Were they built for the enlightenment of the people? or were they just private clubs for the ruling classes? The series is from the text of a lecture I gave in May 2014 at Liverpool’s Institute of Cultural Capital research symposium entitled ‘The Arts, Them and Us: creating a more equitable system for subsidised culture’.

Read more…

Pilot memorials unveiled at New Brighton

9 June 2014 by Jen

memorial being unveiled at New Brighton waterfront

© John MacLeod Photography

Two new memorials were unveiled in New Brighton on 19 May to commemorate the losses suffered by the Liverpool Pilot Boat Service in the First and Second World Wars.

For hundreds of years the Pilot boats have been invaluable to ships entering the docks at Liverpool and on the Wirral.  They supply a local Pilot who boards the visiting ship and guides it safely through the difficult channel and into the docks.  The Pilots continued this work throughout the two World Wars, providing an essential service to the wartime convoys.

The wars made the Pilots more valuable than ever but also added massively to the difficulty and danger of their job. Read more…

Sam’s tribute to the Lusitania

3 June 2014 by Sam

young boy holding up a drawing

Sam Colley with his picture ‘The sinking of the Lusitania’

The tragic sinking of the Lusitania during the First World War had a devastating effect on the tight-knit dockland communities in north Liverpool, where most of the liner’s crew lived. 404 crew members died, including many Liverpool Irish seamen.

Every year on 7 May Merseyside Maritime Museum marks the anniversary of the sinking with a memorial service on the quayside by the Lusitania’s propeller. Unknown to us, this year a 6 year old boy many miles away in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire was also inspired to make his own tribute to the ship. His mother Joanne Colley got in touch with us when she realised the coincidence. Read more…

dot-art Schools at the Walker Art Gallery

2 June 2014 by Laura

children and mayor

dot-art Schools 2014 winners with Lord Mayor Gary Miller

With a week left to catch the fabulous artwork of local school children in the dot-art Schools exhibition, coordinator Beth Harvey gives us some background to the project: Read more…

When April met Winston

2 June 2014 by Lucy

Image of April Ashley meeting Sir Winston Churchill

April Ashley meeting Sir Winston Churchill in 1964

A new photograph showing April Ashley meeting Sir Winston Churchill has gone on display in the April Ashley: Portrait of a lady exhibition at the Museum of Liverpool.

This rare press image shows April and Winston meeting for the first time in April 1964 and was only recently re-discovered in time to mark 50 years since the event took place.  Read more…

Queen Victoria in Liverpool

30 May 2014 by Jen

Queen Victoria cruise liner moored in Liverpool

The magnificent Cunard liner MS Queen Victoria arrived this morning at the Liverpool landing stage to spend the night in the city, making her the first Cunard liner to do so since the Franconia in 1968. She is a spectacular sight down here at the waterfront and people have been flocking to see her, bowled over by her size and grandeur! Read more…

Maya Angelou: a soulful life

30 May 2014 by Richard

Maya Angelou at TSGHello,

Sadly, the great poet, author and activist Maya Angelou – born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1928 has passed.  She opened the Transatlantic Slavery gallery (predecessor to the International Slavery Museum) in 1994. Tony Tibbles, who later became the Director of the Merseyside Maritime Museum, worked closely on the development of the groundbreaking gallery and wrote an interesting article on how it came to be.   He notes how they persuaded Maya Angelou to attend the opening and indeed we still have a plaque in our collection which marks this unique event.  Read more…