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Wait a minute Mr Postman…

8 April 2011 by Lucy

The Press Office volunteer Jack Poland has spotted a good story again. Here he tells us more about the child-sized post box that’s in our collections:


Fazakerley Cottage Homes were opened in 1889 to accommodate poor and orphaned children, housing up to 584 children at a time. In addition to the 21 cottages where the children lived, there were schools, farm buildings, gardens and a swimming pool. The homes also introduced another unique addition, which, after plans to install it in the Museum of Liverpool were revealed, has roused a fair amount of intrigue.

The object of interest is a child-sized post box which was specially made for the children to post their letters and cards. It was used up until the Homes’ closure in 1964 when it was thankfully rescued by a member of the Post Office staff and kindly donated to National Museums Liverpool.

Fazakerley Children's Home Post Box

This is the post box which children at the Fazakerley Cottage Homes used to post their letters. (c) Mark McNulty

Curator of community history Kay Jones attended the Fazakerley Cottage Homes Association annual re-unions in June 2009 and 2010 to find out more about this intriguing piece of local history. Read more…

A Glass Act is Revealed

23 March 2011 by Lucy

This week, our guest-blogger in National Museums Liverpool press office is Jack Poland, who was lucky enough to have a sneak preview of the new Museum of Liverpool.


Last week, I was one of a fortunate few to witness the unveiling of the iconic Liverpool Map as the Museum of Liverpool revealed its latest instalment.
The Liverpool Map

The Liverpool Map has been installed in the new Museum of Liverpool.

The map was the product of sculptors Jeffrey Sarmiento and Inge Panneels’ nine months of arduous work. It took little time, however, to acknowledge that such labour had well and truly paid off as the six-segment sculpture, each one weighing 100kg, was finally unveiled.

Even the picturesque Pier Head as its backdrop could not entice the viewing eyes away from the magnificent art piece which binds the geographical map of Liverpool with a cultural one. As light shines through the 17 layers of fused glass the map takes on a whole new level of interest. Hours upon hours of time are guaranteed to be lost when viewing the map as well known faces, places and words will burst out at every possible angle. The attention to detail of the artists was there for all to see, from the intricate implementation to the famous faces being placed as close as possible to their relevant geographical locations. Read more…

Where has my father gone?

21 March 2011 by Lucy

Francesca Aiken, assistant exhibition curator for the Museum of Liverpool’s Global City Gallery writes:


David Yip

David Yip narrated ‘Where has my father gone?’ for East meets West – The Story of Shanghai and Liverpool. With special thanks to David Yip and Lisa O’Neil for providing these images.

“How could it happen? How could I not know about this?” was David Yip’s response when he heard for the first time about the enforced repatriation of hundreds of seamen from Liverpool’s Chinese community that took place in 1946.

For many of those directly affected, the wives and children of Chinese seamen who worked for the Merchant Navy during the Second World War, the truth about their sudden disappearance wasn’t known until decades later – many thought they had been abandoned. Now, 65 years later, more and more are discovering the truth. Read more…

Chinese Artists

14 March 2011 by stepheng

Chinese painting of sailing ship.

Image courtesy of Liverpool Daily Post & Echo

I like the way Chinese artists have depicted the West over the centuries, particularly on ceramics and canvas.

Their work shows a fine delicacy which is charming as well as inspirational. Chinese marine art perhaps lacks the sense of movement captured by European artists but I am drawn in by the incredible technical detail.

A number of Chinese artists worked in Far East ports specialising in ship portraits for Western captains.

Several fine examples from the period 1850 to 1910 are on display in Merseyside Maritime Museum’s Art & the Sea gallery. Read more…

Convoy HX 219

8 March 2011 by stepheng

Small model ships

Image courtesy of Liverpool Daily Post and Echo

I would not like to be a pirate – apart from being illegal, the chances of meeting a violent end are too great– but I do like the swashbuckling aspects.

The sight of the Jolly Roger (the pirate skull and crossbones) being raised is pretty exciting – it is a part of pirate lore which has been adapted by submariners. 

A British commander first flew the notorious flag in modern times nearly 100 years ago. Read more…

Holding History

28 February 2011 by Lucy

The Museum of Liverpool education team is currently trying to track down a number of objects they can use as handling resources for learning sessions when the new museum opens.

Visitors touching a historical object

If you think you could help us track down one of the objects we require for handling sessions like this one, please let us know

Being able to touch and feel an object is a great way of bringing history to life for visitors, and if you think you can help provide us with any of the objects listed below, then please get in touch.

The list of objects required is as follows:
• Liverpool-made toys
• Victorian metal bucket and spade set
• Vintage Union Jack flag
• Opera glasses
• Top hat
• Items linked to imports and exports from Liverpool history – clay pipes, locally made clocks and watches, Herculaneum pottery, tea chests with Liverpool links.
• First World War or home front items linked to Liverpool such as postcards, mementos or photographs
• Carpet bag
• 19th Century Italian lire
• Victorian Knife sharpening equipment or tailoring equipment
• Items related to the Liverpool Overhead Railway
• Docker’s Hook
• Original Beatles records
• 1950s or 1960s transistor radio and TV
• 1960s primary or secondary school text books
• Old-style school desk  – wooden with inkwell
• 1960s Afghan coat Read more…

An act of defiance

1 December 2010 by davidl

Today marks 55 years since Rosa Parks, a 42-year-old seamstress, defied the segregation laws of the southern states of the USA by refusing to give up her seat on the bus for a white man, and in doing so became a figurehead for the Civil Rights movement.

As the bus she was travelling on in Montgomery, Alabama, became more crowded, the bus driver decided to move the ‘colored’ sign which divided the passengers by race further back the bus, and demanded that Parks also move back to allow white passengers to sit down — Parks’ refusal and subsequent arrest led to a 381-day boycott of the Montgomery bus system, organised by the then-unknown Reverend Martin Luther King. Though Parks was not the first to defy segregation laws in this way, her protest was the catalyst for mass action which led ultimately to the 1964 Civil Rights Act and an end to segregation.

Parks’ story is just one of the inspirational stories in the history of the Civil Rights movement: find out more in the Legacy gallery of the International Slavery Museum. Read more…

Painting History

23 November 2010 by Laura

One of the things I love most about the John Moores Painting Prize is the convincing way it demonstrates just how versatile painting is. In its 53 year history it has brought a wildly varied selection of paintings to our attention. It is not just the subject or themes of the images that differ but also the way the artists use the materials and the act of painting itself.

A talk by John Moores exhibitor Sigrid Holmwood last week was a fascinating insight into an artist whose dedication to detail and accuracy goes beyond the usual expectations. Read more…

Object Detectives

19 November 2010 by Eleanor

My name is Ellie and I am a new addition at the National Conservation Centre in Liverpool.  I am here on a year long internship in Objects Conservation and Public Engagement, funded by ICON (Institute of Conservation) and the Heritage Lottery Fund

While I am here I will post regular updates on the blog to provide a glimpse of what is happening behind-the-scenes at the National Conservation Centre, as conservators look after and investigate fascinating objects from the collection. Read more…

Did you know…World Museum fact!

14 October 2010 by Lisa

Here is our World Museum fact for the day in our daily countdown to all the 150th birthday celebrations happening this weekend:

Did you know… that the museum was bombed during World War II? It happened on 3 May 1941 and you can see the extent of the damage in the before and after images below.

Photos of the inside of the museum

Before and after the museum was bombed.