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Posts tagged with 'memories'

The Talk of Toxteth

9 September 2010 by Lucy

As part of Heritage Open Days, National Museums Liverpool has a number of events taking place which will provide unique opportunities to explore and enjoy the sometimes hidden, often curious and always interesting areas of some of our venues.

Although not open until next year, the Museum of Liverpool team will also be taking part in this national initiative, in a special event tomorrow – Friday, 10 September – at Toxteth Town Hall from 10:30am – 4pm. Read more…

Free Talk – Forgotten Murals

16 August 2010 by Lucy

The well-loved icon of Liverpool department stores Lewis’s, sadly closed its doors for the last time at the end of May. Prior to that for around the last 30 years the store was mainly recognised for its shopping culture, but until the early 1980s it was much more than a place where you might buy a dress or new handbag.

Before the 80s the store also offered three restaurants and what was at one time the world’s largest hair salon on the fifth floor, until it was closed to the public in the 80s and used as a storage floor ever since. Read more…

Lowry memories – new loan at the Walker

2 June 2010 by stepheng

Man looking at Lowry painting

Stephen with ‘Waterloo Docks’

I was fascinated to get close to LS Lowry’s remarkable painting, ‘Waterloo Docks’, now on a long loan at the Walker Art Gallery. This is a great work of art but when you try to analyse the picture’s qualities they are difficult to pin down. It is like a walk in the fields on a beautiful May day when colours and landscape become perfect for a passing moment.

Look at ‘Waterloo Docks’ as a complete entity and it forms a compelling whole but individual components seem no more than children’s doodles. This is the brilliant essence of its charm. Lowry, as his life studies prove, was a skilful draughtsman who developed his uniquely simple matchstick men style during years of painstaking study. ‘Waterloo Docks’ was painted on a visit to Liverpool in 1962, towards the end of Lowry’s painting career. It has been hung next to the gallery’s ‘Fever Van’, painted in 1935 – it is interesting to compare the two. Read more…

Spring Public Lecture Series

12 May 2010 by Kay C

Picture of Toxteth Deer Park

I can’t believe our Spring Public Lecture Series is concluding tomorrow, Thursday – the weeks have flown by and the talks have been fascinating.

Our topics this week are, at 2pm, Beautiful Toxteth – The Unusually Royal History of Toxteth Deer Park by Dr Clemency Fisher, who will be revealing the beauty of Toxteth and discussing a couple of Toxtethian zoological riddles, including the identity of some very rare cows. This is followed by, at 2.25pm, Prehistoric, Roman and Medieval excavations at the M62 Tarbock Interchange, 2007. As is the case of many in Liverpool, I travel regularly on the M62, so I’m sure future trips will take on added meaning after tomorrow!
The Public Lectures are held in the Treasure House Theatre, World Museum, from 2pm. Read more…

On this day in 2005

29 April 2010 by Lisa

Continuing our celebration of World Museum’s 150th anniversary, today we are looking back to 2005 when we had some exciting new developments completed at the museum…


Man and children cutting ribbon at the door of the museum

Lloyd Grossman and visitors at the museum re-opening.

On this day in 2005, the new entrance, atrium, displays, cafés and shop opened at the World Museum and here is one review that was from Liverpool’s Nerve magazine:

‘The refurbished £35 million museum now promises a view of the world ‘from the oceans to the stars’. Access has been much improved; the entrance is now at ground level instead of up dozens of steps. This leads into the stunning new glass atrium where the old museum connects to the extension in the former John Moores University building, where most of the new galleries are located. The renovation has also seen the reopening of galleries that had been closed since the museum was bombed in World War II. The old mish-mash of exhibits has been replaced by clearly defined new sections: ‘Space and Time’, ‘Natural World’, ‘Human World’, and ‘Earth’. Read more…

Laying the foundations

15 April 2010 by Lisa

I think you’ll agree that there’s nothing like a gentleman in a top hat and tails – it’s truly a stylish and dapper fashion statement. The guys below are all dressed up for a special occasion, so let’s look at the archives – for our celebration of the World Museum’s 150th anniversary – and see what they were up to on this day in 1857…


Old photo of men moving a large foundation stone

Laying the foundations for a great museum!

On 15 April 1857, William Brown laid the foundation stone of the new museum and library – the beginnings of the building in which World Museum is now housed. The records show that:

‘…a select party breakfasted in the Town Hall, with Samuel Holmes Esq, Deputy Mayor.  At half past ten, a numerous company assembled in the large ball-room…

At the close of the Presentation of Addresses, a Procession was formed, which moved through the principal streets to the site of the intended building…’

Those listed in the procession were;

‘Police of the Fire Brigade, Band of the Bluecoat Hospital, Members of the Arrangement Committee, the Bishop, Alderman Home,  W M Brown Esq, M.P. (Deputy Mayor.) Invited Guests, Magistrates of the Borough, Aldermen and Town Councillors. Gentlemen who presented the Addresses, Deputations, Other Gentlemen Present.’

‘They marched three abreast, through Castle Street, Lord Street, Church Street, Parker Street, and Lime Street, to Shaw’s Brow.  Thousands of spectators lined both sides of the streets; and both private houses and public buildings were profusely decorated with flags.  The bells of the Parish Church rang out merry peals. As Mr. Brown emerged from the Town Hall the Band struck up ‘See the Conquering Hero Come’.’

The American author, Nathaniel Hawthorne, was there and described the laying of the museum’s foundation stone;

‘Mr. Browne himself, the hero of the day, was the plainest and simplest man of all. An exceedingly unpretending gentleman in black; small, white-haired, pale, quiet, and respectable. I rather wondered why he chose to be the centre of all this ceremony; for he did not seem either particularly to enjoy it, or to be at all incommoded by it, as a more nervous and susceptible man might have been.

The site of the projected edifice is on one of the streets bordering on St. George’s Hall and when we came within the enclosure, the corner-stone, a large square of red freestone, was already suspended over its destined place. It has a brass plate let into it, with an inscription…’

They certainly laid the foundations for a great museum and it sounds like it was a ceremony worthy of putting on your Sunday Best! Read more…

Toys are Us!

13 April 2010 by Lucy

Every year, kids go crazy for one toy that then sells out everywhere and is nigh-on impossible for parents to get hold of. Remember that film Jingle All The Way, when Arnold Schwarzenegger spends the entire film trying to get hold of a Turbo Man for his son? That’s almost what it was like trying to get hold of a Tamagotchi for my brother’s eighth birthday…

However, the old ones were always the best, and as much as feeding a Tamagotchi, cleaning up after it, and making sure it had 100% happiness was fun (?!) the batteries did tend to run out after some time, much to our mum’s delight! Read more…

Handbags and gladrags

26 February 2010 by Lisa

Grandmas are great aren’t they? They make killer roast dinners, they are a mine of information and can surprise you with their knowledge of blogs and Twitter at the age of 88. Well maybe that’s just my Grandma. But the other great thing is that she is also a great lover of accessories and is generous enough to have passed on some of her well-kept gems to me!

Silver beaded evening bag

Beaded evening bag: not suitable for clubbing.

This beautiful evening bag is starting to fray a little as it is so old and delicate but its beading is totally exquisite. I’m not sure when it dates from, but it’s certainly not one for swinging around on the dance-floor on a Saturday night. Read more…

At the World Museum: on this day in 1956

26 January 2010 by Lisa

Black and white photo of interior of museum

Interior of the museum in 1956

This week’s blog for the World Museum’s 150th anniversary year, is focussing a very important event in the museum’s history; the day it reopened to the public for the first time after World War Two. Our Executive Director of Collections Management, John Millard, has been digging around in the archives and he’s found an interesting anecdote about this day:

On the 26 January 1956, the museum reopened for the first time since war damage in 1941.  Writer, heiress and political activist, Nancy Cunard was visiting the museum and left a note for the director;

“Today, Saturday, 2 days after ceremonial opening and one day after public opening of “Lower Horseshoe” your attendant was counting the people as they came in: by 4pm – (when I arrived) the number was 2,419 – By 5, when the Museum shut, 2,892.  So well over 400 came in the last hour! A very good sale of booklets too.”
Read more…

On this day in history… January 1966

4 January 2010 by Lisa

For the first of our series of ’On this day in history’ blogs to comemorate 150 years of the World Museum, we are looking to the memories of ex-staff member, (former Keeper) Eric Greenwood. Here he recalls an important time in the museum’s history after the destruction of the Second World War, when the museum was able to return to displaying treasured artefacts and hosting evening events…


Front of a museum with stone steps and columns.

The steps up to the old entrance to the museum.

I joined the staff of the then ‘City of Liverpool Museums’ on 1 January 1966. At that time only a temporary display in the Lower Horseshoe Gallery was open to the public.
 
In the following years the newly built ‘phase two block’ - situated behind the steps at the front of the museum in William Brown Street – was opened in stages. This was an exciting time as curators and public alike saw the museum’s treasures for the first time since the beginning of the second world war, 30 years earlier. Read more…