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Posts tagged with 'maritime history'

Recognition for those who served on WWII Arctic Convoys

18 May 2015 by Jen

Brenda Shackleton holding her Father's Artic Star

Brenda Shackleton holding her Father’s Arctic Star.  Image courtesy of Brenda Shackleton.

Last December I blogged about Brenda Shackleton’s fight for greater recognition of the remarkable story of the Merchant Navy Rescue ships and their vital contribution to the Second World War. Men of the Merchant Navy, including Brenda’s father Bill Hartley, crewed these small coastal vessels following the Allied convoys from 1940 onwards, with the sole purpose of rescuing survivors should any of the ships be torpedoed. It was a dangerous and difficult task but their actions succeeded in saving the lives of 4194 men throughout the Second World War.

The ships on all the convoys suffered high risks and terrible losses but there was one particular convoy route described by Churchill himself as:

“The worst journey in the world.”

Read more…

Lusitania: an engineering triumph

15 May 2015 by Sam Vaux

Ship painting

Contrary to popular opinion, the decision in favor of turbines on the Lusitania and Mauretania had nothing to do with the success of the Carmania over her sister Caronia, pictured here. (J. Kent Layton Collection)

This blog post is the second in a series written by maritime historian and author J Kent Layton, the author of ‘Lusitania: an illustrated biography’, to accompany the exhibition Lusitania: life, loss, legacy:

“In order to propel the Lusitania at an unprecedented 25 knots, it was clear that something unique was going to be required in the design of her powerplant. Read more…

Cunard Staff display

11 May 2015 by Sarah Starkey

Image of a ticket for a Cunard Staff Dinner, Liverpool, 1924

Ticket for the 26th Cunard Staff Dinner, 1924 (reference DX/1851 part of)

In honour of this year’s 175th anniversary of the first Cunard sailing from Liverpool, we’ve changed the display outside the Maritime Archives and Library on the second floor of the Merseyside Maritime Museum. Read more…

Remembering the Lusitania on the 100th anniversary

7 May 2015 by Sam

Ellie signing a large picture of the Lusiitania

A signature canvas commemorating the Lusitania will be a ‘living’ work of art. Lustania exhibition curator Ellie Moffat was one of the first to sign it.

Every year Merseyside Maritime Museum pays tribute to the 1,191 people who lost their lives on the Lusitania, with a commemoration by the ship’s propeller on the quayside on 7 May, the anniversary of the sinking. The event brings together many of families affected by the loss of the Lusitania, reflecting what a huge impact the tragedy had on Liverpool, where most of the crew were based.

We have been working closely with many of the Lusitania families, particularly over the last year in preparation for the major exhibition Lusitania: life, loss, legacy. I was fortunate to meet some of them at the opening of the exhibition and was moved to see their pride in how their relatives’ stories had been portrayed. Read more…

Lusitania – to save the company

5 May 2015 by Sam

painting of an ocean liner

The German liner Kaiser Wilhelm der Grosse of 1897 © J Kent Layton Collection

This week we are marking the centenary of the sinking of the Lusitania with a series of events, including a memorial service at Liverpool Parish church and a commemoration at the Lusitania propeller on the waterfront on Thursday 7 May. See our Lusitania events page for full details.

To explain why the loss of the Lusitania was such a significant event, J Kent Layton – maritime historian and author of ‘Lusitania: an illustrated biography’ – has written a series of blog posts about the history of the ship. Read more…

Father and son lost in the Lusitania sinking

1 May 2015 by Ellie

old portrait photo

Mary Griffin, the eldest child of Michael Cooney senior and sister of Michael Cooney junior. Image courtesy of Joyce Percival

On 7 May we will mark the centenary of the sinking of RMS Lusitania when 1,191 men, women and children lost their lives.

Our new exhibition Lusitania: life, loss, legacy remembers those people and highlights the strong ties between the ship, her crew, and Liverpool.

Whilst working on the exhibition I have been fortunate to become acquainted with many Lusitania relatives, and Joyce Percival has kindly agreed to share her family story with us:

“My great grandfather Michael Cooney was born in Liverpool to Irish immigrants Peter and Margaret Cooney from Limerick. Michael and his son, also called Michael, were both killed when the Lusitania was sunk by a German U-boat in 1915 off the coast of Ireland. Read more…

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…

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