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Posts tagged with 'maritime history'

Stranded in the Suez Canal

22 March 2017 by Ben

Flags flying from one of the Suez Canal ships, 1967. Reproduced with permission of George Wharton.

On 1 June Merseyside Maritime Museum is hosting a special reunion event to mark the 50th anniversary of ships being stranded on the Suez Canal between 1967 and 1975.  Three of the stranded ships were from Liverpool; MS Melampus and MS Agapenor from the Blue Funnel Line and MS Scottish Star from the Blue Star Line.

Our guest blogger Cath Senker explains how the event came about:

Read more…

Surviving the TSS Yorkshire sinking

6 March 2017 by Ben

TSS Yorkshire painted by Ernest Barrett. 1987.118.3.37

TSS Yorkshire painted by Ernest Barrett. 1987.118.3.37

The maritime history department at Merseyside Maritime Museum have recently collected an object connected to the sinking of the TSS Yorkshire in 1939.

TSS Yorkshire was built in 1920 by Harland and Wolff in Belfast for the Liverpool based Bibby Line.  The ship was on her way to Liverpool from Rangoon as part of the allied convoy HG-3.  The Dixon family had joined the ship at Gibraltar, including brother and sister Cyril (aged 15) and Maureen (aged 8), and their mother and father.  On 17 October, 1939 the convoy was in the North Atlantic 160 miles off the north-west coast of Spain.  That afternoon the convoy was attacked by the German U-boat U-37.  Yorkshire was hit and sank with the loss of 58 lives.  Read more…

Celebrating 100 years: Seafarers UK

22 February 2017 by Ben

Atlantic star ship image

Container ship Atlantic Star approaching Liverpool. Image courtesy of Phillip Parker

Seafarers UK is a charity that helps people in the maritime community by providing vital support to seafarers in need and their families.

The charity does this by giving grants to projects and organisations that make a real difference to people’s lives, across the Merchant Navy, Fishing Fleets, Royal Navy and Royal Marines. In 2016 Seafarers UK gave grants totalling £2.5million to more than 70 maritime welfare charities.  Read more…

Caught by the Wolf: remembering the SS Matheran

26 January 2017 by Ben

men on the deck of a ship

Prisoners on the deck of SMS Wolf. © IWM (Q 53085)

In today’s Times newspaper, there is a small but poignant notice:

“BOY ABDUL, Indian Merchant Service. Sole casualty, SS Matheran, Brocklebank Line, Liverpool, Captain Maurice Addy. Sunk by a mine off Cape Town, SA, 26 January 1917. Remembered today on the Seamen’s Memorial in Mumbai and by his Captain’s family.”

100 years ago today, the Liverpool ship SS Matheran was sunk by a mine laid by one of Germany’s most notorious ships – the SMS Wolf.  Read more…

Centenary of the sinking of White Star Line’s Laurentic

25 January 2017 by Ellie

Laurentic at Belfast

MCR/82/167 Copyright unknown, believed to be expired

As we continue to mark the centenary of the First World War, I wanted to highlight a Liverpool ship that was lost on 25 January 1917.

Laurentic (originally named Alberta) was built in Belfast by Harland & Wolff in 1908 for the Dominion Line. During construction, Alberta and her sister ship Albany were purchased by White Star Line and were renamed Laurentic and Megantic.  Laurentic departed on her maiden voyage from Liverpool to Canada in 1909, and over the next few years carried thousands of passengers across the Atlantic. Read more…

Can you help tell the untold stories of Black seafarers?

19 January 2017 by Rebecca

Archive photo of the crew on board a ship, including a Black seafarer

The ship and crew of Moel Eilian, c1889. Merseyside Maritime Museum, Maritime Archives and Library (reference DX/1328)

Hello, I’m Rebecca Smith, Curator of Maritime Art at the Merseyside Maritime Museum and I’m currently working on the forthcoming exhibition Black Salt, which will tell the story of the Black seafarers who have worked on British ships.

Sailors of African descent have been part of crews sailing from the United Kingdom for at least 500 years, but their contribution to the country’s maritime identity is often marginalised or overlooked.

Building on research carried out by Dr Ray Costello for his book Black Salt, the exhibition will put the often hidden story of Britain’s Black seafarers in the context of 500 years of life at sea. Read more…

Worse things happen at sea

19 December 2016 by Ellie

man at the Liverpool waterfront

Eugene McLaughlin in Liverpool

Today marks a First World War anniversary that many of us will not have heard about before. Our guest blogger Eugene McLaughlin explains why he is visiting Merseyside Maritime Museum today to remember his grandfather’s fateful voyage 100 years ago.

“My grandfather died when I was a baby.  I knew very little about him.  I knew he was from Sligo, he was a sailor and he was once Captain of the Galway Bay tender SS Dun Aengus.  I recall childhood tales that he was the Captain of a ship that was torpedoed during “the” war, which I assumed to be the Second World War.  My grandmother had given me two of his brass buttons from his time at sea.  Other than that, nothing.

So, when my wife gave me a Christmas present of a subscription to an ancestry research website, I had to investigate.  Read more…

Indefatigable figurehead restoration

15 November 2016 by Ben

group of people around a huge figurehead of a man in uniform

Unveiling the restored Indefatigable figurehead, with museum staff and members of the Indefatigable Old Boys Association and their families

There was an event at the Maritime Museum recently to unveil the newly restored Indefatigable figurehead.

The figurehead is from the ship HMS Indefatigable, which was a training ship preparing boys for the Royal and Merchant Navy. The school eventually moved to land and closed in 1996.

The Indefatigable Old Boys Association generously funded the conservation and restoration of the figurehead, Read more…

Arctic Convoys 75th anniversary event

4 November 2016 by Ben

lots of people, including war veterans with medals, looking at museum objects on a table display

There was an event at Liverpool Town Hall on 31 October to mark the 75th anniversary of the first Arctic Convoy in the Second World War.

The convoys took vital supplies and munitions to Russian ports, braving U-boat attacks and the harsh arctic conditions. The first convoy left Liverpool on 12 August 1941.  Read more…

“How did the ship get into the bottle?!”

17 October 2016 by Rebecca

'Leader' model sailing ship in a bottle

As a child I first came across ships in bottles at my late uncle’s house. He used to make them and I remember being fascinated about how the ship ended up in the bottle. Now as Curator of the ship models collection, the Museum’s ships in bottles still evokes the same fascination and intrigue.

The maritime art of making ships in bottles can be traced back as early as the 18th century. 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.