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Edmund Gardner tours 2018

29 May 2018 by Ben

Edmund Gardner ship

The Edmund Gardner pilot ship in her original pilot boat livery.

Spring is in the air and summer will soon follow, which means it is time to announce details of this year’s tours of the Edmund Gardner pilot ship!

It will be the eighth year of guided tours, led by our dedicated band of award winning volunteers. Since 2011 more than four and a half thousand visitors have toured the ship, the biggest object in National Museums Liverpool’s collections.

Three of our award winning Edmund Gardner volunteer tour guides.

The Edmund Gardner is one of the gems of Liverpool’s rich maritime history. For 30 years the ship operated as a base at sea for Liverpool pilots, who guide shipping in and out of Liverpool’s ports and the River Mersey. Now sat in a dry dock next to the Museum of Liverpool, visitors can access many parts of the ship such as the wheelhouse and engine room. Our guides bring the ship to life with many fascinating stories and anecdotes. The tours are family friendly, with a free special trail available to take round the ship during your visit.

Edmund Gardner with tour volunteers

Volunteers lead a tour for visitors of the Edmund Gardner.

The tours are available to book every Tuesday and Wednesday from June until September, at 11am, 1pm and 2.30pm. Each tour lasts one hour and is suitable for adults and families. Meet in the Museum of Liverpool entrance foyer. Please see the Museum of Liverpool event listings for full details.

Tours are free but booking is recommended, general visitors can book by calling 0151 478 4545, or enquire at the Museum of Liverpool information desk on the day of the tours to see if any spaces are available. Group bookings call 0151 478 4788.

2018 is also the Edmund Gardner’s birthday – it is 65 years since the ship was launched. To celebrate this there will be a special Edmund Gardner Open Day on Saturday 28 July. Keep an eye out on our website for more details!

Please note that the ship has uneven surfaces, steep stairways and low steps, meaning it is not fully accessible and unable to accommodate wheelchair users, pushchairs or prams. Please wear appropriate sensible footwear for a safe and enjoyable visit.

You can also find out more about the Edmund Gardner on the Merseyside Maritime Museum website. There is also a touchscreen interactive about the ship on the quayside outside Museum of Liverpool.

The 250 year story of the heroic Liverpool Pilots

22 July 2016 by Sarah

(L-R): Geoff Topp (Chairman of the Liverpool Pilots -Retired Division), Ben Whittaker (Exhibition Curator at the Merseyside Maritime Museum) and Chris Booker (Chairman of the Liverpool Pilots). All on board the Spirit of Falmouth, moored outside the Museum. Copyright Gareth Jones

(L-R): Geoff Topp (Chairman of the Liverpool Pilots -Retired Division), Ben Whittaker (Exhibition Curator at the Merseyside Maritime Museum) and Chris Booker (Chairman of the Liverpool Pilots). All on board the Spirit of Falmouth, moored outside the Museum. Copyright Gareth Jones

Our new exhibition, In Safe Hands: The Story of the Liverpool Pilots, opens today. It explores the vital role of Liverpool’s marine pilots, who navigate ships in and out of the city’s port. Read more…

Unique dazzle ship installation – for one weekend only!

8 September 2015 by Sam

ship painted in bright contrasting stripes

Last year when OMD played two sell-out gigs at the Museum of Liverpool, concert-goers were also treated to a special installation on the Edmund Gardner pilot ship. For one weekend only, we are offering visitors another opportunity to experience this, as curator Ben Whitaker explains:

“Join us on 3 and 4 October when we will take you on a tour deep inside the Edmund Gardner Dazzle Ship to experience a unique audio visual installation.

Called ‘Dazzle Ships (Parts I, IV, V & VI)’, the installation uses music, sound and lighting to immerse you into the world of a dazzle ship under attack Read more…

Dazzling tea cosies for the Edmund Gardner

3 September 2015 by Sam

colourful tea cosy in front of a ship painted with a similar pattern

Gina’s dazzle ship inspired tea cosy

This summer Chris Moseley, shipkeeping and models conservator, took over responsibility for the Edmund Gardner pilot ship – the largest item in our collections and probably the brightest since it was dazzled last year.

Along with 700 tons of ship he also inherited a couple of old tea pots and had a tea pot polishing competition with George, one of the volunteers on the ship. The results were so good that they decided they needed two new tea cosies, so they asked if National Museums Liverpool’s knitting group, the Knitwits, could help.

One of our knitters, Gina Couch, jumped at the chance to help, as she had a family connection to the Edmund Gardner. Her late brother Gerard, who was known as Sam by most people, worked for the Pilotage Service from 1949 to 1988, so he had worked on the Edmund Garner when it was used as a pilot vessel between 1953 and 1981.  Read more…

OMD to ‘dazzle’ at Museum of Liverpool

20 October 2014 by Lucy

Andy McCluskey and boat

Andy McCluskey with the Dazzle Ship

On 1 and 2 November 2014 Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark are set to play two sell-out gigs at the Museum of Liverpool.

Here, Andy McCluskey of OMD tells us of the band’s links and love for Dazzle Ships:

“What began as a humble request for us to be allowed to put a musique concrete installation into the ‘dazzled’ Edmund Gardner has somehow, and rather wonderfully, escalated  into two concerts, a display case full of our history and memorabilia, and a mini film festival.  Read more…

Guardians of the dawn: the Liverpool Pilots

27 March 2014 by Ben

man on the deck of a ship on the river Mersey, with the Liverpool waterfront in the background

John Curry

Who ensures the safe passage of shipping into and out of the Port of Liverpool? The Liverpool Pilots!

The sea approaches to Liverpool have always been difficult waters to navigate,  so the Liverpool Pilot Service was established in 1766 to safely guide ships into the port. For almost 30 years our own ship the Edmund Gardner – the largest object in our collections – provided a base for the service in the Irish Sea. Read more…

Well done James and George!

31 October 2013 by Rebecca

Two volunteers stand next to life boat and Edmund Gardner pilot boat in the background

James and George.

Ben Whittaker, Curator of Port History, has some exciting news to share:-

“Congratulations to two of our longstanding volunteers on the Edmund Gardner Pilot ship, who have been honoured with national awards. James Dulson and George Collinson were awarded the prestigious Marsh Volunteer award which recognises outstanding volunteers in the conservation of historic vessels in the UK. George attended the awards ceremony on HMS Belfast in London which was presented by TV personality Julia Bradbury. Read more…



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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.