24 July 2017 by Megan
Six long weeks to fill and entertain the kids is looming. But National Museums Liverpool has a fun-filled summer of events and activities planned for the whole family so there is no excuse to feel bored!
Here is a post from Cath Senker, co-organiser of a special reunion event held recently at the Merseyside Maritime Museum:
“In June 1967, at the outbreak of the Six-Day War, 14 merchant ships were passing through the Suez Canal. As hostilities erupted, they were ordered to halt in the Great Bitter Lake. Although the war was brief, after it finished, the Egyptian government refused the ships permission to leave. Those ships remained stranded in the Suez Canal until June 1975.
Four of them were British-flagged, including three from Liverpool shipping lines: MS Melampus and MS Agapenor from Blue Funnel Line, and MS Scottish Star from Blue Star Line. Over the period, 3,000 seafarers served on the trapped ships in the middle of a war zone, maintaining the vessels and protecting their valuable cargos. Although they came from both sides of the Iron Curtain, they formed a close community. Read more…
5 July 2017 by Andrew
“The ‘U boat peril’ was as Churchill himself said the only thing that really scared him during World War Two. But Liverpool and the people who lived through bombing, especially during the may Blitz in 1941, their story was never really spoken about during the war. So I thought to bring the story to life, become someone who lived through it all, both on land and at sea.
Lights Out, Liverpool! is the reminiscences of sailor turned ARP warden, Jim Coleman who worked on the tugs on the River Mersey, before signing onto a tanker to bring much needed supplies back to Britain. Though a fictional character, his experiences are based on true stories that I’ve weaved together to give visitors a sense of the period during World War Two when Liverpool was a vital link in helping to win the War. Important events that affected the city that Jim talks about include the 1941 May Blitz and Battle of the Atlantic. We also get to hear that despite the challenges of the War, there was a great sense of humour on the docks.”
Performances are at intervals from 1.30 and are free, click here for more information.
8 June 2017 by Emma Walmsley
Over the past few months, I have been working on a new performance Titanic – A Race to the Rescue, to add to our programme of public events linked to the incredibly popular Titanic and Liverpool: The untold story exhibition at the museum. The performance had its premiere on Sunday 11 June, but visitors can enjoy it again on Sunday 16 July.
I wanted to find a point of view about the story that we hadn’t really explored before so was very excited when I hit upon the idea of looking more closely into the experiences of passengers aboard the rescue vessel, Carpathia. Read more…
The first works to be featured are the Liverpool shipping posters that were previously displayed in our Sail Away exhibition (May 2014 – April 2016). They were selected from over 100 posters in our collection, illustrating the history of more than a century of sea travel. Read more…
Geoff Pawling, who spoke at this year’s Lusitania commemoration, describes a remarkable letter written by his grandmother and the emotional impact on one family of the sinking:
“Our home was haunted by the Lusitania. My grandmother Winifred Hull, travelling alone to visit her parents in Wallasey, was fortunate. She survived the torpedoing of the great transatlantic liner on 7th May 1915. Yet the terrible scenes she witnessed stayed with her for the rest of her life and cast their shadows over the childhood of her daughter, Ruth. Ruth, in turn, passed on to me and to her other two sons that legacy of memory: another family story, but this one, in its scale and horror, unlike any of the others. Read more…
3 May 2017 by Andrew
This week a new forensics display was added to Seized! The border and customs uncovered gallery at Merseyside Maritime Museum. Here, Steve Butler, Curator of the Border Force National Museum Collection explains the lengths criminals go to to smuggle contraband, and the ingenuity of the Border Force in detecting it.
2 May 2017 by Ellie
As we approach the 102nd anniversary of the tragic sinking of RMS Lusitania, guest blogger Lucy London is here to tell us about her research project and how she came across a Lusitania survivor as a result:
“Since 2012 I have been researching the First World War for a series of commemorative exhibitions. I began by researching women poets and discovered quite a few poets with a link to Merseyside, for instance, May Sinclair, very famous on both sides of the Atlantic in the early 20th century, was born in Rock Ferry, Wirral. I then moved on to forgotten male poets and, again, found quite a few with links to Merseyside who were not as famous as Wilfred Owen, Siegfried Sassoon and Robert Graves.
The role of women during the First World War came next; then I added the heading ‘Fascinating Facts’, such as Rin Tin Tin the American film star dog found as a puppy in a bombed out kennels by an American soldier.
During the course of my research to commemorate 1917, I discovered a writer called Osmund Bartle Wordsworth, who was related to the poet William Wordsworth of ‘Daffodils’ fame. I was interested to discover that Merseyside Maritime Museum was looking for further information about Lusitania survivors, and Osmund was one of those. Read more…
7 April 2017 by Andrew
“LGBT history is everyone’s history and we’re proud to tell it”, says Charlotte Keenan, Curator of British Art at the Walker Art Gallery. Here, she blogs about National Museums legacy in programming LGBT exhibitions, artists and events that spans decades. Read more…