Blog

Have a happy Father’s Day at National Museums Liverpool!

15 June 2016 by Laura

Museum exterior

Last chance to see Merseyside Maritime Museum’s ‘On the Waterfront’.

Dads can be so difficult to buy for. Three times a year – birthday, Father’s Day and Christmas – I find myself agonising over what to get the man who says he doesn’t actually want anything anyway.

Our venues have some cool gift ideas but if you’re also looking for some inspiration on how to spend the day, then look no further, we’ve got a few suggestions! Read more…

Celebrating Volunteers Week

7 June 2016 by Emma Duffy

Karen Davies, Edmund Gardner volunteer, seated in yellow top

Karen Davies, Edmund Gardner volunteer, seated in yellow top

To celebrate Volunteers Week (1 – 12 June) Karen Davies, one of our dedicated volunteers, wrote a blog about what she does and what it means to her:

“So, here we are at the start of another tour season of the unique Edmund Gardner (EG) pilot cutter – an award winning ship of historic national importance, in this 250th anniversary year since the pilot service began in Liverpool.
I’m very much looking forward to working with my fellow guides and museum visitor hosts, and welcoming new visitors on board, to share what is now an award-winning, volunteer-led guided tour. Read more…

Celebrate the International Mersey River Festival this weekend!

3 June 2016 by Sam Vaux

© Mark McNulty

Merseyside Maritime Museum and Museum of Liverpool © Mark McNulty

From Friday 3 – Sunday 5 June, the waterfront will be awash with fun, nautical activities for all the family at the International Mersey River Festival, which will include tall ships, jet ski stunts, boat races, Royal Marines combat displays and air displays. Our waterfront museums will be hosting crafts and activities including Dockwatch, where you can take a closer look… Read more…

Life on the ocean wave: a Border Force training ship

2 June 2016 by Sarah

steve in pilots cabin

Steve Butler on his tour of Altea II

Steve Butler, Curator at Seized! the Border Force National Museum, is blogging for us today on his tour of Altea II, a huge ship purchased by Border Force, which is used to train its officers in how to safely search every part of a commercial vessel: 

View onto ship

The view out of the window

“I may have worked for many years for the Border Force museum but it is meeting the front line officer which is so memorable and one of the unique pluses of my job. Recently I visited a training ship in Liverpool Docks called Altea II for a tour of the vessel guided by a senior instructor and long serving Border Force officer.

“Colin has many years experience in working in Customs and now Border Force and was once part of the customs cutter service. He has probably visited most ports around the UK coastline aboard a patrol vessel in search of the smuggler. Now he trains officers from both the UK and overseas in how to safely search every part of a commercial ship. 

“Altea II was a mid sized bulk carrier which plied the seas in search of mixed cargo from building material, animal field and general cargo. Operating in seas in the northern hemisphere including Iceland, Nordic states, Russia and called in at ports around the UK. Once bought by Border Force is was adapted to offer real life experience of a commercial ship and how to search it.

“When I boarded the vessel it was as if the former Russian crew had just left the vessel. Crew’s cabin still presented soaps and shaving equipment placed on shelves around the sinks, posters still hung on the cabin walls, sea boots and overalls were slung on bed side cabinets. Books, novels and instructions manual, still lined the shelves adjacent to port holed walls. The bridge offered spectacular views across the Mersey to New Brighton and sea charts and national flags were neatly rolled in cupboards beneath first aid cabinets and barometers on panelled walls.

The hold

The hold

“The hold was vast, now empty except for a special built coffer dam which was stained in red colourant. Why the staining? Colin explained the use of a life like dummy which would carry ‘injury’ and require safely rescuing from inside the coffer dam. This would often be practised in near black out conditions with trainees dressed in cumbersome breathing kit, essential clothing when searching dangerous confined space aboard a ocean going ship. The morning tour and chat with Colin was captivating as he calmly described the dangerous search of ocean going tugs and yachts concealing tons of class A drugs. It is why I do love my job and our unique collection and stories we can share.”

 

Find out more about our collections at Seized!  

Celebrate Merseyside Maritime Museum’s 30th birthday this bank holiday!

27 May 2016 by Sam Vaux

Merseyside Maritime Museum © Tom Adam

Merseyside Maritime Museum © Tom Adam

The bank holiday is fast approaching and we’re marking 30 years since the Merseyside Maritime Museum opened with two fabulous days of fun for all with family! Join us for a whole host of FREE activities, performances and workshops to celebrate our 30th birthday 80s style on Monday 30 May and Tuesday 31 May! Read more…

Half term fun

26 May 2016 by Megan

River Festival

River Festival

Half-term is fast approaching and National Museums Liverpool has a fantastic range of activities to keep the little ones busy.

The Merseyside Maritime Museum’s is the big 3-0 this year and we are celebrating in style! We are taking you back to the 80s with DJ Barryoke playing the hits and a 1980s themed photo booth for visitors to capture all the fun. Performances, workshops and crafts will also be running over the two days (30 & 31 May). See our website for more details Read more…

We’re 30!

12 May 2016 by Lucy

If you’re from Liverpool, you’ll know that the museums and galleries in this city have been around for a long time…165 years to be precise! However, we can still lay claim to celebrating our 30th birthday, because it was actually 30 years ago in 1986, that we were established as a national museums service. Read more…

Winning On the Waterfront photograph by Bernard Rose now on display

11 May 2016 by Sam Vaux

Winner, Bernard Rose with his winning photograph Ferry Cross The Mersey 1972, holding his original Nikon F camera he used for the photograph in 1972.

Winner, Bernard Rose with his winning photograph Ferry Cross The Mersey 1972, holding his original Nikon F camera he used for the photograph in 1972.

It’s been a busy week at the Museum in the lead up to LightNight this Friday, with a brand new addition now finding pride of place in our On the Waterfront exhibition.

Ferry Cross The Mersey 1972 by local photographer Bernard Rose is the winning photograph in our recent On the Waterfront photography competition, hotly deliberated by our judges from almost 500 entries.

Bernard, accompanied by his wife Enid met deputy director of Merseyside Maritime Museum, Ian Murphy to see his winning entry, which is now on display as part of the exhibition until it closes on 19 June 2016.

Bernard reveals the fascinating story behind his winning photograph Ferry Cross The Mersey 1972: Read more…

Online collections – Lusitania and Liverpool’s First World War at sea

6 May 2016 by Ellie

Dry-point etching on paper of RMS Lusitania

1987.306 Lusitania in the Mersey, by W L Wyllie

This time last year, RMS Lusitania was a focus of local, national and international attention as we marked 100 years since the sinking of this famous Cunard ship on 7 May 1915. Read more…

On the Waterfront photography competition winner

4 May 2016 by Sam

children running on the ferry as it goes past Liverpool's waterfront

The winning photograph – ‘Ferry Cross The Mersey 1972’ by Bernard Rose

Our competition to find a photograph to display as part of the On the Waterfront exhibition at Merseyside Maritime Museum attracted almost 500 entries. This meant that our three judges –  the exhibition curator Sarah Starkey, Ian Murphy, deputy director, Merseyside Maritime Museum and exhibition officer Katherine Lloyd – had a very tough but thoroughly enjoyable job to whittle these down to just one winning photograph for the exhibition.  Read more…



About our blog

Welcome to the National Museums Liverpool blog! Written by our staff and volunteers, we’ll give you a peek behind the scenes of our museums and galleries.

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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.