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Posts tagged with 'maritime archives and library'

Merchant Navy Day

30 August 2012 by Sarah

Image of document belonging to seafarer Thomas Crone

Mariner’s Register Ticket, issued to Thomas Crone, reference DX/850

Whilst remembering the contribution the merchant navy has made, and continues to make, to Britain, you may be tempted into a little family history research on your seafaring ancestors. 

Merchant seafarers are well documented compared with other professions.  Most of the records are held at the National Archives although to complicate matters the documentation changes over time as each system set up by the Board of Trade was overwhelmed by the growth of Britain’s merchant fleet.  The Maritime Archive & Library has an information sheet that explains how to track the records down.  Read more…

Sport and the Sea

2 August 2012 by Sarah

Photograph of people using gym equipment, 1930s

Anchor Line brochure for vessels Cilacia and Circassia showing on-board gym (cropped), reference SAS/33F/1/4.

I do enjoy cycling, so the last few weeks have been fantastic. Not the weather, unfortunately, but watching the exploits of Bradley Wiggins, Chris Froome, Mark Cavendish and David Millar et al. in the Tour de France and the Olympics.  All topped off with yesterday’s brilliant time trial.  The Maritime Archives & Library are celebrating the Olympics with an online exhibition Sport and the Sea which includes images of on-board sports facilities such as this rather uncomfortable looking gym on the Anchor Line vessels Cilacia and Circassia from the 1930s. Read more…

Titanic survivor’s daughter visits maritime museum

31 May 2012 by Rebecca

two curators pictured with Titanic survivor Thomas Jones' daughter

Dawn Littler, Ellen Jones and Ian Murphy pictured in the maritime archives

We had a special visitor at the Maritime Museum yesterday. 91 year old Ellen Jones is the daughter of Titanic crewman Thomas Jones. She came in to the Merseyside Maritime Museum to see our exhibition Titanic and Liverpool: the untold story and look at a postcard in the Maritime Archives collection sent by her father to her mother Clara.

Able seaman Thomas Jones was born in Anglesey and was living in Liverpool when he signed on for Titanic’s maiden voyage. He was put in charge of lifeboat number 8 which had been ordered away carrying only 27 people, as other passengers had chosen to remain on Titanic believing it would not sink. Jones and a few others in the boat wanted to return to pick up other survivors, but they were overruled by the rest of the people in boat number 8. Read more…

IDAHO 50

14 May 2012 by Sam

Marketing Officer Andrew Winder has news of how National Museums Liverpool will be one of 50 organisations marking the city’s International Day Against Homophobia on 17 May:


IDAHO 50 logo

“National Museums Liverpool will join Everton FC, Liverpool Cathedral, University of Liverpool, Liverpool John Moores University and Merseytravel, amongst many others in support of the worldwide initiative against homophobia and transphobia, lead in Liverpool by Homotopia.

Many of the organisations involved will fly equality flags, host planters containing pansies created by artist Paul Harfleet and programme events.

At National Museums Liverpool, we plan to mark it with a special tour of Hello Sailor! at Merseyside Maritime Museum. The exhibition uncovers gay life at sea, particularly pre-decriminalisation of homosexuality in 1967. For many gay people, cruise ships and the merchant navy provided refuge that could not be found on land. A date for the tour of Hello Sailor has yet to be confirmed. Read more…

International Mine Awareness Day

4 April 2012 by Sarah

Photograph of damaged side of a ship

Damaged hull of City of Exeter, Ellerman Lines (reference DX/1507)

It’s rather hard to make out, but this photograph shows a large hole in the Ellerman Line vessel City of Exeter caused when it was mined 200 miles off Bombay (Mumbai) in 1917.  The ship safely reached Bombay (Mumbai) and was put into dry dock for repairs.

Today is International Mine Awareness Day part of a campaign to highlight the danger to civilians from mines laid during wars.  The charity MAG (Mines Awareness Group) does a lot of work in this area, both in educating children to recognise and avoid mines and in clearing land so it can be safely used again. Read more…

Titanic & Liverpool: the untold story- telegrams

27 March 2012 by Rebecca

three curators on gallery with Titanic telegrams

Ian Murphy, Rebecca Watkin and Dawn Littler from the Merseyside Maritime Museum- with the telegrams ready to be displayed for the exhibition

Some of the key objects on display in the Titanic & Liverpool: the untold story exhibition is telegrams from the Merseyside Maritime Museum’s extensive archive and library collection. These messages sent and received using the Marconi wireless on the rescue ship Carpathia between 15-17 April 1912, when Titanic’s survivors were rescued and taken to New York. Read more…

Victoria Drummond, an inspirational woman for International Womens Day

8 March 2012 by Sarah

Image of wage list showing Victoria Drummond

Extract from Blue Funnel wages book showing Victoria Drummond as 10th engineer on Anchises (reference OA/986/1922).

This is an entry from a wages book for a voyage on the Blue Funnel vessel Anchises beginning in August 1922. It might not look significant, but it is. This is the first voyage of Victoria Drummond, signed on as 10th Engineer and paid £12 a month. Drummond was the first woman to qualify as a marine engineer and she managed to have a successful career at sea despite encountering prejudice and discrimination. She was awarded the Lloyd’s Bravery Medal and an MBE for heroic actions during the Second World War when her ship Bonita was bombed. More information about her life can be found online here and the Maritime Archives & Library holds a copy of her biography. Her pioneering life is also remembered by the Victoria Drummond Award given by Nautilus, the Merchant Navy Union, to women whose achievements boost the profile of women at sea.  Read more…

HMS Liverpool bids farewell

5 March 2012 by Sarah

Photograph of ship HMS Liverpool in Mersey

HMS Liverpool leaving the Mersey for the last time.

It’s lovely down by the Mersey today, as long as you can avoid the cold wind.  The crew of HMS Liverpool were braving the wind as they stood on deck during the ship’s final voyage down the river this morning.  We took this photograph from the window of the Maritime Archives & Library as HMS Liverpool, built in Birkenhead by Cammel Lairds, headed to Portsmouth for decommissioning.  It was a sad moment, but we were pleased to see that, like us, many people stopped to pay their respects.  Read more…

Iceberg

21 December 2011 by Sarah

Photograph of crew clearing ice from deck of ship

Clearing ice from the deck of Montrose, 1928 (reference PR 154)

I have been trying to find a photograph on a Christmas/Winter theme for a festive blog post to advertise the Maritime Archives & Library online exhibition Christmas at Sea. I discovered this photograph of the crew of the Canadian Pacific vessel Montrose shovelling ice off the deck after the ship struck an iceberg in fog off Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.  I could have passed this off as a winter event, but unfortunately it happened on Easter Monday in April 1928.  This is not the festival I was looking for, but a good reminder of how harsh conditions can be at sea.  The Montrose was requisitioned during the Second World War and renamed HMS Forfar.  It was torpedoed and sunk on 2nd December 1940 with the loss of 184 crew – a tragic winter event. Read more…

King Cotton

7 December 2011 by Sarah

Drawing of John Bull worshipping cotton whilst kneeling on a slave

King Cotton postcard, published New York, 1861, on loan from Museum of Science & Industry, Manchester.

The Merseyside Maritime Museum is currently marking the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War with an exhibition outside the Maritime Archives & Library on the second floor and a trail pointing out relevant collections throughout the museum.  This image shows part of an envelope that we have borrowed from the Museum of Science & Industry in Manchester to add to the exhibition.  It was printed in New York and was designed to send a powerful message regarding the economic and moral position of England (represented by John Bull).  England claimed to be powerful and free, but the economic success of places like Manchester was reliant on access to cotton produced by slave labour.  John Bull is kneeling on a slave while worshipping King Cotton. Read more…