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Harris Jonas takes a look at our Japanese swords

11 March 2016 by Emma Martin

Harris (left) taking in the history of the blades with Mark (right).

Harris (left) taking in the history of the blades with Mark (right).

This week we had a visitor to the Japan collections. Ethnology volunteer Mark Jones tells us about it here.

“In a blog I wrote back in 2014, I discussed the different Japanese blades I’ve documented for World Museum’s Japan collection. This week I had the opportunity to meet Harris Jonas, a 6th Dan in karate and a senior instructor at the Liverpool Shotokan Karate Club (LSKC). Read more…

The night World Museum nearly died

26 February 2016 by Emma Martin

The upper horseshoe gallery was home to the natural history collections in 1941. In pride of place was Don Pedro, the Indian elephant

The upper horseshoe gallery was home to the natural history collections in 1941. In pride of place was Don Pedro, the Indian elephant.

Over the next few weeks Lolo, a student working at World Museum, will blog about the events of the 3rd May 1941 – the night World Museum nearly died. Here at the museum we are preparing to launch an on-line exhibition on the 3rd May. We will recount what happened that night 75 years ago and Lolo will also be writing blogs that reveal in more depth what happened to some of the museum’s objects. Read more…

Pride and Prejudice project – first objects revealed!

24 February 2016 by Kay

feather-boas300Today, in celebration of Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender (LGBT) History Month, we are excited to launch our online collections which showcase items with LGBT connections, from across our fine and decorative art, Art Galleries and Museum of Liverpool collections.

The items are wide ranging – from fun feather boas from Garlands nightclub to magnificent Renaissance artworks. They form just a small selection of the first set of items we have discovered as part of the Pride and Prejudice project. This two year funded project involves unearthing, researching and publishing objects which relate to LGBT history and culture. Read more…

On the Waterfront – my office window

12 February 2016 by Sarah Starkey

Photograph of Albert Dock, Liverpool in a derelict state.

Photograph of Albert Dock by Phil Collins, 1982 (Maritime Archives and Library reference PR/623/834/12).

In a previous blog about the On the Waterfront exhibition I named a glass lantern slide view of George’s Dock as one of my favourites. Now I thought I would share another of my favourite images from the exhibition.

Taken in 1982 this photograph shows Albert Dock in a derelict state before the start of the redevelopment work.  Read more…

Portrait of a sailor

11 February 2016 by Ellie

Portrait of Stoker 1st Class Joseph Norman Thomas

MMM.2014.39

In 2014 we acquired this rather striking portrait of Royal Navy Stoker 1st Class Joseph Norman Thomas, who was born in Liverpool in 1892. At Merseyside Maritime Museum, we focus on the history of the Merchant Navy, with some exceptions, but we were drawn to this painting as we have very few portraits of seafarers in the collection. Joseph also had very strong local connections, being born and brought up in Liverpool. Read more…

Poppies – a botanist’s view

1 February 2016 by Geraldine

pressed yellow poppies mounted on paper

Welsh poppy, Meconopsis cambrica. This specimen was collected in May 1949 from Hawkshead, Cumbria. Accession number 1987.376.98

As a botanist I was fascinated to see the Poppies: Women and War exhibition at the Museum of Liverpool, which includes botanical photographs of poppies in the field and draws on themes of strength and resilience inspired by the flower.

Poppies always invoke for me a feeling of happiness, large colourful flowers in bright garish colours. ‘Poppy’ refers to a group of species that cover a number of genera in the family Papaveraceae. The one that springs to mind for most people is Papaver rhoeas which is used as the symbol of remembrance and hope.  Read more…

Found – that’s me in the photo!

27 January 2016 by Kay

Woman and boys with Jubilee decorations

Silver Jubilee street party, June 1977, Old Swan, Liverpool

Julie Howard recently recognised herself when she spotted our appeal to trace the people in this fantastic photograph in our exhibition, ‘Growing up in the city: in photographs’ at the Museum of Liverpool.

The photograph was taken during celebrations for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, June 1977, in Old Swan, by local photographer Harold Douglas Avington.

Julie, 55, was thrilled and honoured to see the photograph, which brought back many happy memories. Julie, then aged 16, was snapped with her two young nephews at their street party in Ulster Road. Read more…

Eberle Street: cock fights, The Tempest and 250 years of transformation

25 January 2016 by Matt

Garlands New Year's Eve poster with people dressed as Wizard of Oz characters

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Eberle Street, it is one of the main streets in Liverpool’s defined ‘Gay Quarter’ around Victoria Street and Dale Street, and is home to Garlands nightclub and to GBar – but more on those a little later.

Eberle Street is soon to have a makeover with ‘a unique paving and lighting scheme paying homage to the mythical Emerald City, Yellow Brick Road and Judy Garland’. Now, makeovers often lead people who work in museums, especially to me working on the Pride and Prejudice project to start thinking about the past. How did Eberle Street go from being a dark and non-descript alley to being a thoroughfare straight out the Wizard of Oz? Read more…

And the winner is… Tramcar 245!

22 January 2016 by Sharon

people holding a 'Tram of the Year' sign by Tramcar 245

Keith Carmichael, Ron Martin and Rob Jones from MTPS and Sharon Brown from the Museum of Liverpool celebrate winning Tram of the Year

Hurrah! The Museum of Liverpool’s Tramcar 245 has been voted ‘Tram of the Year (Traditional)’ by the British Trams Online website.

We know its not the Oscars but this award, voted for by the public, is great recognition for the work done by the members of the Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society (MTPS) on our wonderful tram.

The project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, ran for six years and the majority of work was done by a group of dedicated volunteers from MTPS with support from the Museum of Liverpool and Wirral Borough Council.

Tramcar 245 received 41% of the vote, beating trams from Blackpool, Bury and London. Many thanks to everyone who took the time to vote, your support is much appreciated.  Read more…

Lily of the Scally – her life and legacy

5 January 2016 by Matt

magazine cover featuring Lily Savage

As a child I remember seeing Lily Savage on the television. Growing up in London it was perhaps the first Liverpool accent I heard – it is certainly one of the first I remember anyway.  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.