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Family’s Blitz memories shared and displayed

5 July 2019 by Kay

Formal portrait photo of a smartly dressed young girl

Elizabeth as a child. Courtesy of Jean Phillips

As part of our exhibition Blitzed: Liverpool Lives we are gathering responses to the images and first-hand experiences featured in the exhibition.

Jean Phillips kindly contacted us via our Facebook page with information about her family in response to the photograph of Louisa Street, Everton. I have added this poignant information to the exhibition alongside the Museum label.

Portrait photo of Margaret Lea

Margaret Lea. Courtesy of Jean Phillips

Jean tells us more:

“My mum’s family all lived in Anfield and Everton, with her aunt’s family living on Louisa Street. My great aunt, Margaret Lea (aged 60); her daughter, Elizabeth Allmark (aged 32); son, Geoffrey Lea (aged 21) and grandson, Stanley Allmark (aged 5) were all killed when the shelter on their street was hit. So ironic that a place of supposed safety became the complete opposite. They are all recorded in the list of civilian deaths.

I believe the man in the trilby hat looking towards the camera is Stanley Allmark. He was a coal merchant based on Beacon Lane in Everton. He must have felt desperate to have lost his wife and son like this.

Although I didn’t know these people, I feel so sad that they died like this. Even now I get emotional about it. I don’t think my gran ever got over it. She then lost my granddad to cancer in 1941 and her brother in 1943 in a shunting accident at the Royal Ordnance Factory; so tragic. Sadly lots of other families had similar losses.

I know that she would be very proud to be included in your exhibition.”

You can leave your responses in the comments book in the exhibition, share via Museum of Liverpool social media or come along to one of our workshops. Selected responses will be displayed in the exhibition.

At least eight people were killed when two air raid shelters were destroyed in Louisa Street, 16 October 1940. The human tragedy of the war is laid bare by the abandoned ladies’ shoe on top of the rubble of the shelter. It is further etched on the faces of the workers and residents.

People with the rubble from bombed buildings

Louisa Street, Everton. 16 October 1940. © Merseyside Police

John – evacuee and media star!

18 June 2019 by Kay

Our new exhibition, Blitzed: Liverpool Lives brings together dramatic images of Blitz-damaged Liverpool alongside evocative spoken memories of people who experienced the aerial bombardment first-hand. One of those people is John McEwan. John grew up in Salisbury Street, Everton and was evacuated after his family had a very close shave. John’s is one of many interviews in our Liverpool Voices archive which I spent many hours listening to and selecting highlights to be included in the exhibition.

John was invited to our press call the day before the exhibition opened to be interviewed by the local media. Just before it began I had the pleasure of showing him around the exhibition. He listened to the audio of himself in the central ‘cinema area’ and read his quote I used to bring to life a photograph of children outside of bombed homes. It brought back lots of memories for him and he was an absolute pro, recalling many experiences for Radio Merseyside, The Guide Liverpool, Liverpool Echo, Culture Liverpool, Wirral Globe etc.

Read this transcript of John’s audio in the exhibition –
“My dad would be home on leave and he heard sirens and the blackout was on and he made his way home expecting to find my mother and the three children, Betty, Tommy and myself in the air raid shelter.   When he went to the air raid shelter we weren’t there. He then went to the house and my mum was under the kitchen table, or under the dining table, with the three children.   Obviously my dad was very concerned about this. I don’t know exactly what went on other than the fact that the decision was made to evacuate us.  My mother was also pregnant at the time with my younger brother Peter, who is a year younger than myself. And as a result the three children, myself, Betty and Tommy were evacuated to St Joseph’s Children’s Home in Freshfield near Southport, and that would be sometime in 1940, in around maybe the autumn of 1940. Read more…

Share personal memories with new ‘My Memories’ app feature

20 December 2017 by Sam Vaux

Person living with dementia using the My House of Memories app with a carer

My House of Memories app has been designed for, and with, people living with dementia and their carers.

Has your life been touched by dementia? The House of Memories team has just released a brand new ‘My Memories’ feature as part of the My House of Memories app, which enables users to upload their own photographs and add memories.

‘My Memories’ is really easy to use. Simply upload a selection of your favourite photographs, and a photo display can be played back with a choice of accompanying music, courtesy of Liverpool Philharmonic. Read more…

House of Memories’ award-winning support for carers

24 November 2017 by Emma Riley

Earlier this month our House of Memories dementia awareness programme scooped an award at the Liverpool Older People’s Awards.

House of Memories received an award for the family and friends workshops which take place monthly at the Museum of Liverpool, and we are delighted that the programme was recognised in the Outstanding Older Person Initiative category.

The free workshops are open to anyone whose life has been touched by dementia. Read more…

House of Memories’ 5th birthday!

21 September 2017 by Emma Riley

Last week we celebrated House of Memories’ 5th birthday!

We’re delighted that our dementia awareness programme has been running for over five years. During this time we’ve trained over 11,500 paid and family carers across the UK to help people to live well with dementia.

To celebrate we held a birthday party at the Museum of Liverpool – a special celebration afternoon for carers who have taken part in House of Memories, and their VIPS (the people they care for living with dementia). Read more…

A memory suitcase for Liverpool’s LGBT+ community!

28 July 2017 by Sam

Through our House of Memories dementia awareness programme we aim to show people how to deliver a positive quality of life experience for people living with dementia.

There are thought to be more than 800,000 people in the UK living with dementia, each person with their own individual story, background, relationships, and care requirements.

As part of our memory suitcase loan service you can borrow a suitcase filled with images and objects to help you deliver a reminiscence session with someone living with dementia. By recognising that each person has an individual story we felt it was vitally important to offer a range of suitcases to reflect different experiences and lives lived.

Working on the Pride and Prejudice project I did a lot of reminiscence work with older LGBT+ people, hearing their fantastic stories and finding out what life was like in the city for them. I realised how important it was for there to be a dedicated LGBT+ memory suitcase that the community could loan.  Read more…

Vote to help House of Memories’ film win an international award

3 July 2017 by Emma Riley

We’re incredibly excited that our House of Memories – Dementia Awareness for Family Carers film has been shortlisted for the Museums in Short Awards (in partnership with ICOM Italia and the European Museum Academy).

The Museums in Short Awards is an international contest for short videos and aims to share the most effective and innovative works in the field of museum communication and visitor experience.

Our video is up for the Public Special Mention Award and the Museums in Short Award. Read more…

“It’s good to know you are not alone” – free dementia awareness workshop for family carers

1 June 2017 by Emma Riley

At National Museums Liverpool we’re delighted to be able to offer another free half-day dementia awareness workshop for family carers, taking place on 20 June at the Museum of Liverpool.

House of Memories is National Museums Liverpool’s award-winning dementia awareness training programme, providing both professionals and family carers with practical skills and resources to support people to live well with dementia. Read more…

Betty and her cookery books

1 June 2017 by Mitty

Betty with part of her cook book collection

Betty with part of her cook book collection

Whilst having a stand at the Granby Street Market, I was lucky enough to meet Betty Vandy and try some of her amazing food. I told her about the Sankofa project and she told me all about her cook book collection. I’ll let Betty tell you more.

“My books are almost as important as the food I cook. I started collecting my now nearing three hundred strong cook book collection well over twenty two years ago.

I remember my first significant purchases, a set of seven vintage cook books published in the 1960s, I paid five pounds and they were and still are in excellent condition. But more importantly the recipes are detailed, accurate and they work!  Read more…

Dementia Awareness Week 2017 at National Museums Liverpool

17 May 2017 by Emma Riley

Image © Robin Clewley

This week (15 – 21 May) is Dementia Awareness Week – an annual event organised by Alzheimer’s Society as an opportunity for everyone across England, Wales and Northern Ireland to unite against dementia. 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.