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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.

Remembering the loss of the Alfred H Read pilot boat, 1917

20 December 2017 by Ben

The Alfred H. Read pilot boat. From the Norman Morrison Collection, National Museums Liverpool.

Since the Liverpool Pilots Service was created in 1766, the pilots have risked their lives on a daily basis to ensure the safe passage of ships to and from Liverpool.  There are many tales of bravery where a pilot’s actions have saved lives and cargo from disaster.  Unfortunately there are also tales of tragedy, where the Pilot Service laments the loss of one (or many) of their own.  On 28 December 2017, it will be the 100 year anniversary of the worst disaster to befall the Liverpool Pilots.  This was the loss the Alfred H Read pilot boat in 1917.  Read more…

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…

Liverpool Pilots exhibition – can you help?

11 December 2015 by Sam Vaux

Bob Davis, aged 93, wears his cap and jacket from his time as 2nd Engineer on the pilot ships, recently donated to Merseyside Maritime Museum.

Bob Davis, aged 93, wears his cap and jacket from his time as 2nd Engineer on the pilot ships, recently donated to Merseyside Maritime Museum.

We are very excited to announce our forthcoming exhibition about the Liverpool Pilots Service, which will open on 22 July 2016 at the Merseyside Maritime Museum.

The Liverpool Pilots guide shipping in and out of Liverpool waters, and celebrate their 250th anniversary in 2016.

The exhibition will look back at their long history, exploring why marine pilots are needed and what the particular challenges are for shipping entering Liverpool Bay and the River Mersey. There are many examples where the skill and bravery of pilots has saved lives and cargo, and the exhibition will bring to life many of these dramatic stories. You will also be able to learn about the vital role the pilots continue to play in the thriving modern port of Liverpool. 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…



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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.