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Behind the scenes at the Maritime Museum

2 July 2012 by Rebecca

Curator with gloves photographed with museum model of the ship the Great Eastern

Ben Whittaker with silver model of the SS Great Eastern ship

From Curator of Port History Ben Whittaker:

While working in our museum stores I came across this beautiful silver model of the SS Great Eastern which was presented to Sir James W Paton on behalf of his employees at Paton, Calvert & Co Ltd. It was given to celebrate the company’s Golden Jubilee in 1937.  Sir James had a personal connection to the Great Eastern – his father Captain Walter Paton captained the ship, and Sir James was born on the ship in the mid-Atlantic on the 15th January, 1863. Read more…

Edmund Gardner gets the thumbs up

26 June 2012 by Rebecca

Ben Whittaker, Curator of Port History reports:

Pilot boat in the water, with crew in smaller boat approaching it

A punt with pilots approaching the Edmund Gardner c1960s. Collection no MDHB/EG/7/11/14

We had some great feedback recently from a family who went on one of the Edmund Gardner pilot ships tours:

“We all enjoyed the tour very much, please pass on my thanks to the guys who took us round, they made the whole experience great fun and very interesting. We spent the weekend at the dock and visited many of the attractions but we all agree that the Edmund Gardner was very much the highlight of the weekend.” 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…

Fit for a Queen

16 May 2012 by Rebecca

Celebratory painting for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubliee

Campania at the Spithead Review, 1897 by P. Greenwood. Copyright National Museums Liverpool

We’re all very excited about the forthcoming visit by Her Majesty the Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh to the Merseyside Maritime Museum. To mark this momentous occasion, one of the museum’s fantastic paintings will be displayed as a centrepiece for the visit, alongside some objects from the Ismay silver collection which is currently on display in the Titanic and Liverpool exhibition.

Campania at the Spithead Review, 1897’ by Parker Greenwood depicts one of the greatest naval occasions, ‘The Review of the Fleet’ for Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee on 26 May 1897. Famous merchant vessels attended and accommodated guests celebrating this exciting occasion. Read more…

Remembering Lusitania

10 May 2012 by Sam

detail of flowers

Many flowers were left at the Lusitania’s propeller at the service to mark the 97th anniversary of the sinking

On Bank Holiday Monday, Merseyside Maritime Museum held its annual commemoration for the sinking of Cunard liner ‘RMS Lusitania’. Ellie Moffat, Curator of Maritime Collections, explains why this is an important event for the museum:


“On 7th May 1915 ‘Lusitania’ was nearing the Old Head of Kinsale, off the southern coast of Ireland, when she was torpedoed by German u-boat U-20. She sank in only 18 minutes and 1201 lives were lost. It was one of the most horrific incidents at sea during the First World War.

‘Lusitania’ had strong ties to Liverpool. She was registered in Liverpool, her home port, and was owned by Cunard, still based in the city at that time. The ship, referred to affectionately as “Lusie” by local people, was a familiar sight at the landing stage. In 1907 she sailed from Liverpool on her maiden voyage, bound for New York. Over 200,000 people came down to the Mersey to watch her depart. For the next eight years she provided a regular service across the Atlantic, breaking speed records along the way. Read more…

Maritime Tale – Lusitania Survivor

4 May 2012 by stepheng

Painting of Lusitania

A contemporary postcard of Lusitania

The Lusitania story is one of my favourites because not only does the disaster seem unbelievable to this day but because this was Liverpool’s favourite liner.

At my local church – St James’s in West Derby – you can see a unique glass memorial with an image of Lusitania prominently included to symbolise Liverpool’s suffering in the Great War. Read more…

Titanic Playathon – can you play?

17 April 2012 by Lucy

Boy playing a violin

We are appealing for string quartets of all ages to play this Saturday and Sunday

Do you play an instrument? No matter how old or young, or how long you’ve been playing, we’d love you to get involved in our Titanic Playathon this weekend at the Museum of Liverpool.

This Saturday and Sunday, we’re hosting a poignant tribute to the brave Titanic Orchestra, who courageously played as the Titanic sank on 15 April 1912.

Local string quartets are invited to take part in the Titanic Playathon which is aimed at sustaining constant live music throughout opening hours at the Museum. Read more…

Titanic: the families

11 April 2012 by Rebecca

black and white photograph of Mary Gregson, a Titanic stewardess

Liverpool born Mary Gregson, a Titanic stewardess who features in the Aftermath section of the exhibition. Copyright Liverpool Daily Post and Echo archives

James Johnston was born in Dumfriesshire, Scotland in 1871 and he lived in Liverpool with his wife and five children. He worked for White Star Line and boarded Titanic for her delivery voyage from Belfast as a first class steward.

Millvina Dean was born in London in 1912 and boarded Titanic in Southampton. She was only six weeks old and she was travelling as a third class passenger with her family who are moving to America to start a new life. Read more…

Win a mounted print of the RMS Olympic ship!

10 April 2012 by Lisa

RMS Olympic ship

White star liner Olympic – sister of Titanic – looking aft (1920). Reproduced by permission of English Heritage: BL24990/021

To commemorate the Titanic centenary, we’re offering you the chance to win an A3 mounted print of either Titanic’s sister ship RMS Olympic or the White Star Line’s Liverpool offices! 

One runner up will receive a copy of ‘Titanic and Liverpool’ by Alan Scarth and a photography book which accompanies our current exhibition at the Lady Lever Art Gallery.

To enter, you need to answer this question:

Which photographer(s) were commissioned by the White Star Line to photograph RMS Olympic in 1920?  Read more…

Titanic & Liverpool: the untold story- first object installed

15 March 2012 by Rebecca

4 handling team members lifting a large ship's bell

The handling and transport team with the Britannic Bell.

I’m really exited to announce that the Britannic (III) bell was the first object to be installed for the exhibition. I met with our handling and transport team Monday morning and it’s always fascinating to watch these guys work. One of main assets within NML is the collections the bold and beautiful items that range from the very small to the very large. The Maritime Museum collections include the pilot cutter Edmund Gardner – the largest accessioned object in National Museums Liverpool – as well as delicate paper items from our archives. 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.