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Remembering the role of Mersey ferries in the First World War

23 April 2015 by Sam

ferry decorated with colourful geometric patterns

The dazzled Mersey ferry Snowdrop

On Sunday Ben Whittaker, curator of maritime history and technology at Merseyside Maritime Museum, is taking part in events to mark the role that the Mersey Ferries played in the First World War, as he explains

“Today, Thursday 23 April, is St George’s Day, and on this day 98 years ago the Mersey ferries Iris and Daffodil took part in the daring First World War raid on Zeebrugge Harbour.  Read more…

Mersey training ships

9 April 2015 by Sarah Starkey

Black and white photograph of training ships on the Mersey

Photograph of training ships, Conway and Indefatigable, in the Mersey, 1934 (MAL reference McR/90/18)

There was a great need in the merchant navy for trained men and to satisfy this demand a number of training schools were set up. Several of these were in vessels moored on the Mersey, although those that survived into the late 20th century eventually became shore based. The Maritime Archives and Library holds the records of two training ships, the Conway and the Indefatigable. Read more…

Dazzle ferry exhibition

2 April 2015 by Sam

artist Sir Peter Blake on the colourfully decorated ferry

Sir Peter Blake, patron of the John Moores Painting Prize, on the Snowdrop dazzle ferry

This morning the dazzled Mersey ferry Snowdrop, painted with an amazing dazzle inspired design by Sir Peter Blake, sailed across the river for the first time. From the fantastic reaction of the commuters, tourists and press on board today it looks set to become a popular attraction on the river.

There’s more to the dazzle ferry than the colourful exterior though, as Merseyside Maritime Museum curator Ben Whittaker has co-curated an on board exhibition with Tate Liverpool. Read more…

Lusitania: her people remembered

27 March 2015 by Sarah

poster illustration of people on a U-boat watching the Lusitania sink

Today our major new exhibition Lusitania: life, loss, legacy opened at Merseyside Maritime Museum. The exhibition includes a resource, People of the Lusitania, which tells the stories of the passengers and crew on the ship’s final voyage. The resource is the result of many years of research by the Lusitania biographer and historian Peter Kelly, as he explains here:

“As a child I read about the sinking of the Lusitania and became fascinated with her story, especially as I grew up on the south-west coast of Ireland and was very familiar with the Old Head of Kinsale and Cobh (formerly Queenstown), which featured prominently in the story of her loss. To know that such a tragic event had occurred close to where I lived made me curious to learn all I could, Read more…

Centenary of the sinking of Falaba

27 March 2015 by Ellie

men with lifting equipment hanging a large painting on a wall

The huge painting of Falaba was installed by our specialist handling team ready for the opening of the ‘Lusitania: life, loss, legacy’ exhibition

This Saturday, 28 March, marks the centenary of the sinking of the Falaba – a passenger ship of Liverpool’s Elder Dempster Line. She left Liverpool on 27 March 1915 and sighted the German submarine U-28 off the southern coast of Ireland the following day.

U-28 surfaced, sent two warnings and Falaba’s crew were ordered to abandon ship. As the final lifeboat was being lowered, a torpedo hit. The ship sank in under 10 minutes. Germany claimed that U-28 had allowed 23 minutes for evacuation. Britain said it was only 5 minutes. Read more…

The Old Dock – Liverpool’s amazing hidden monument

5 March 2015 by Sam

Old Dock senior tour guide Yazz

Along with the Old Dock, Yazz’s hair has become one of the must-see sights of Liverpool

Over the last five years thousands of visitors have enjoyed our free tours of Liverpool’s Old Dock – which are regularly voted one of the top things to do in the city on Tripadvisor.

Yazz, one of our visitor hosts who know the Old Dock best, explains why this fascinating piece of history has such enduring appeal: Read more…

Lusitania: Queen of the Seas!

16 February 2015 by Lucy Johnson

Front cover of music showing and illustration of LusitainaLusitania: life, loss, legacy opens at the Merseyside Maritime Museum on 27 March. This new exhibition will tell the story of the Liverpool passenger liner RMS Lusitania and her tragic sinking during the First World War.

The sheet music for a piano waltz titled ‘Lusitania: Queens of the Seas’ is in the Museum’s archive collection. The front cover of the sheet music is signed and dated by the composer George Manners Herd on 1 January 1908, just four months after the passenger liner’s maiden voyage. Read more…

The Old Dock – where it all began for Liverpool

9 February 2015 by Sam

people on a viewing platform over an old brick structure

Danny leading a tour of Liverpool’s Old Dock © Paula Parker

Danny is one of the visitor hosts who take visitors on tours of Liverpool’s historic Old Dock. This is a special year for the Old Dock, as Danny explains:

“Since May 2010 I have had the privilege of leading tours of Liverpool’s first enclosed commercial wet dock. I like to think of the Old Dock as a huge 300 year old time capsule located directly under Liverpool One. As a local, born and bred, I am extremely proud to represent where it all began for Liverpool. Read more…

Everybody Razzle Dazzle

2 February 2015 by Lucy

Image of Sir Peter Blake

Sir Peter Blake, seen here in his studio

We are really excited to be involved in a new project announced today, to ‘dazzle’ one of the Mersey Ferries, and even more so because it involves Sir Peter Blake.

Peter Blake is perhaps most famous for designing the cover of The Beatles’ album, ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ (1967). However, he has been a prolific artist during his career and his status in the art world far exceeds Sgt. Pepper’s.

Sir Peter is a leading figure in the development of British pop art, and became the first Patron of the John Moores Painting Prize – held every two years at the Walker Art Gallery – in 2011.  Read more…

A Christmas gift from 1914

15 December 2014 by Jen

Offer of WIlliam Galvin's framed tin (2) - blog size

Framed Princes Mary gift received in 1914 by Royal Navy Stoker, William Galvin. In the bottom right of the frame you can see a piece of shrapnel that fell on the deck of his ship the HMS Lion.

Once again, (and, as usual, far sooner than those of us who haven’t finished the shopping yet had expected), we are fast approaching Christmas. A season as much associated with ideas of peace and goodwill as with gift giving and good food. Christmas presents have become an inescapable part of the season, one which many people (or at least those who are very well organised) start to think about a couple of months in advance.

In October 1914 one young girl seems to have been doing exactly that and her Christmas list was certainly more ambitious than most! Princess Mary, the 17 year old daughter of King George V, decided she wanted to send a gift to:

“every sailor afloat and every soldier at the Front”

Read more…

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