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Posts tagged with 'handling and transport team'

Hanging around in the Walker

17 August 2009 by Sam

As regular visitors will realise, there are always small changes taking place within our galleries, even in the ‘permanent’ displays, as objects do occasionally get removed for loans or conservation treatment. An example is the painting ‘Elaine’ painted by Sophie Anderson, which is going to be included in the exhibition ‘The Rise of Women Artists’ at the Walker from 23 October 2009. Framing conservator Roy Irlam is using this opportunity to address particular areas of the painting’s framework, as access to this painting has been difficult due to its high position on the gallery wall. You can see photos of the de-installation in our Moving stories Flickr set. Handling and transport technician Paula Frew explains just how this large painting was safely removed from display below.

two men in hard heights lifting a painting with ropes and pulleys

Installing ‘Daniel in the Lion’s Den’ in the Walker

“The handling and transport team use specialised equipment for paintings at this height which include a block and tackle system used to elevate and lower paintings. Each block and tackle section is equipped to take a safe working load of 250kg which are suspended from a lifting strap (SWL 1000kgs) which is attached to a load bearing picture rail.

Another piece of equipment which is an old favourite of the team’s goes by the fanciful name of ‘Airwolf’. It’s a gas operated hydraulic lift that enables technicians to access the heights needed to reach the galleries picture rails. Read more…

How to get a head in the handling team

11 March 2009 by Sam

two people wrapping a giant model head in plastic sheeting

The handling team carefully wrap Jude the Giant’s head in plastic sheeting

As I’ve mentioned many times before, life for National Museums Liverpool’s handling and transport technicians is certainly never dull. This Flickr set of photographs of their activities this week look like scenes from a Victorian murder mystery – with dark, mysterious tunnels and body parts being wrapped.

The team were actually moving the mobile statue Jude the Giant. Many people will remember Jude, who was made in workshops at World Museum for the city’s 800th birthday pageant in 2007, and has recently been on display in St Georges Hall. Read more…

King Kong spotted in museum van!

30 January 2009 by Sam

It has been another busy and varied week for the handling and transport team, who have been taking a lot of different objects from storage to the National Conservation Centre for routine condition checking to prevent deterioration. One item in particular caught their eye, as handling technician driver Paul Kelly explains below. You can see more of Paul’s photos of this and other objects in our Moving Stories set on Flickr.

man with a model of the Empire State Building

Handling technician Danny John… or is it King Kong?

“Way back in the mists of time in the 1960s lots of chaps built model buildings for their model railway layouts using Bayko building blocks. Some chaps obviously got into it in a very big way and produced a very large building – none other than the Empire State Building – which is now in the Museum of Liverpool’s collections. It must have taken them weeks to do this and the cost would have been enormous – Grandma must have had a deep pocket money wallet. Read more…

Superfiveadaybanana on the move

26 January 2009 by Sam

2 men with a Superlambanana sculpture

Mr Heggarty, headmaster of St Michael’s School in Kensington, takes delivery of Superfiveadaybanana from Richard Roberts

Here’s the latest picture from Superfiveadaybanana’s travels to local schools. Today the handling and transport team shepherded the sculpture from Brae Street School to St Michael’s School in Kensington.

This is the latest move in a busy month for the team, which has involved taking plant models from World Museum Liverpool to Wrexham Museum for an exhibition and returning the huge Peter Doig painting ‘Blotter’ to the Walker after it had been out on loan. Closer to home, the team have also transported some delicate pieces of sculpture from our stores to the National Conservation Centre for assessment and treatment, as well as helping to install the next big exhibition at the Walker, Fashion V Sport. You can see some of what they’ve been up to in the Moving Stories photographs on Flickr. Read more…

Providing support for the Ancient Egypt artefacts

3 December 2008 by Sam

Man placing Egyptian artefact in a custom made stand

David Whitty places an Egyptian artefact in its specially made display stand

Many people will be going to the new Ancient Egypt gallery when it opens on Friday to see the incredible Egyptian artefacts from our collections, many of which haven’t been on display for decades. But have you ever looked underneath and behind these priceless objects at the display stands and mounts that are supporting them? It may surprise you to know that these have all been specially custom made by the highly skilled technicians in our technical services studio at the National Conservation Centre. Read more…

Gone fishing on Friday

21 November 2008 by Sam

mounted giant turtle specimen suspended in a van

The one that didn’t get away…

It’s Friday so the handling and transport team decided to go fishing. Not in the Mersey though, they fished through the museum stores to find this giant turtle which needed to be taken to the taxidermy department at the National Conservation Centre for restoration.

They finished the week, which has included transporting everything from a Superlambanana to some ancient Egyptian artefacts, by helping taxidermmist James Jackson to install some scenic material on the Chirotherium display at World Museum Liverpool. You can see some of the highlights of their week on our Moving stories Flickr photo page. Read more…

From Egypt to Liverpool via Devon

20 November 2008 by Sam

A large earthenware pot, covered in cracks

Anyone who has ever carefully wrapped their best china in newspaper before moving house will appreciate what a tricky challenge the handling and transport team faced this week. They had to collect this incredibly delicate 5000 year old Egyptian pot from North Devon and transport it to World Museum Liverpool – a distance of 267 miles.

The good news is that drivers Paul Kelly and Andrew Mountfield delivered it safely, so visitors will be able to see it on display when the new Ancient Egypt gallery opens on 5 December.  You can see their photos of the trip – including a shot of the stunning scenery they saw along the way – in our Egyptian gallery Flickr photo page. Read more…

Superlambanana goes to school

17 November 2008 by Sam

two men moving sculpture out of a van

Over the last few weeks the handling and transport team have been helping to prepare the Ancient Egypt gallery, which will open at World Museum Liverpool on 5 December. However in complete contrast to the ancient Egyptian artefacts, today they transported one of the newest works of art in our collections, the popular Superfiveadaybanana.

After spending the summer at the Walker Art Gallery, Superfiveadaybanana has been on display in local schools. Today Paul Kelly, Richard Roberts and Andrew Mountfield took the sculpture from Kensington New Park School to Kensington Junior School. Paul says that the children were really excited to have this unusual guest displayed in the main entrance to the school. You can see more of his photos of Superfiveadaybanana on the move on our Flickr page. Read more…

And was Jerusalem carried here…

6 November 2008 by Sam

People carrying a large painting down a grand staircase

All hands on deck – the handling and transport team carefully manoeuvre the enormous painting of Jerusalem down the stairs

As you are probably aware, the popular Ben Johnson exhibition at the Walker closed earlier this month. Most of the paintings in the exhibition were on loan from other collections, so they have been packed up ready to be returned. One of them, the ‘Jerusalem’ painting, was too big for the lift, so it was carefully carried down the stairs this morning. This was quite an operation – for every person supporting the painting on one side in the photo above, there’s another person hidden on the other side. Read more…

Egypt on the move

31 October 2008 by Sam

stone coffin with Egyptian characters on the side in a crate in a studio with 2 people

A conservator checks an Egyptian sarcophagus as it is packed into a crate ready for transport

We are only weeks away from the opening of the newly refurbished Egypt gallery at World Museum Liverpool, on 5 December 2008. Conservators at the National Conservation Centre have been working hard for months to prepare the objects for display, such as this funerary shroud and – of course – some Egyptian mummies. Now that the artefacts are ready for installation the handling team have been carefully transporting them over to the museum.

Handling technician and senior driver Paul Kelly has sent this update and photo – and you can see more of his photos of the move, as well as others of the objects being prepared for display, on our Egyptian gallery Flickr page. 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.




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.