Blog

Red Ensign flying for Merchant Navy Day

3 September 2014 by Jen

Red Ensign flag flying above the Pilotage building.

The Red Ensign flying above the Pilotage building.

Anyone visiting us down at the Liverpool waterfront this week might have noticed a distinctive red flag flying above the old Liverpool Pilotage building next door to the Museum of Liverpool. Bright red, with the Union flag in the top left corner, it’s known as a Red Ensign. Yesterday myself and a couple of colleagues had the slightly hair-raising task (it looks a lot higher up once you get up there!) of climbing up to the roof and raising the flag in time to mark Merchant Navy Day on  3 September. Read more…

Sir John Moores family travelling trunk on display at the Maritime

7 August 2014 by Jen

group photo pf people wearing fancy dress costumes

Fancy Dress party on board Franconia l-r: Edna, John, John Jr, Betty & Ruby
(courtesy of Clare and Barney Moores)

Next month sees the exciting announcement of the John Moores Painting Prize winner for 2014. The shortlist has been drawn up and we’re all excited to see who the next winner of this prestigious competition will be.

Here at the Maritime Museum though we’ve been focusing on the man who founded the Painting Prize. Sir John Moores was a local businessman and founder of the Littlewoods Pools; by the mid 1930s he had made his fortune and could easily afford one of the great luxuries of the age, seeing the world on the magnificent passenger liners. Read more…

Lego prize draw winner announced

31 July 2014 by Jo

Woman in museum uniform with a boy holding a big Lego box

Emma from our Education team presented Toby with his prize today

Nine year old Toby Sherwen received a great surprise today when he turned up with his parents and brothers to the Merseyside Maritime Museum.

His Mum and Dad were in on the secret, but Toby had no idea that he was one of the winners of our Lego prize draw.

Back in May Toby and his family had taken part in our ‘Building on the past’ activity, where visitors helped to recreate one of the colourful posters in the current Sail Away exhibition, using thousands of small Lego bricks. You can see the Lego poster building up in our photo gallery with progress shots from each day of the workshops.

Everyone who took part in the May workshops was entered into the prize draw to win one of two Lego ships, kindly donated by Lego.

children holding up Lego bricks, by a section of the Lego poster

Lots of visitors have been helping to make our Lego poster

Toby didn’t know he had won a Lego ‘Lord of the Rings’ ship until he arrived at the Museum. He was thrilled with his win and couldn’t wait to show it off to his friends. His Mum said “See, wasn’t that worth getting out of your pyjamas for!” Toby had to agree.

The last of our winners has already been chosen and will be announced next week.

In May visitors helped to make about half of the huge poster, but there’s still more to do! If you would like to have a go yourself, our ‘Building on the past’ activity is back again on Monday 4 August, Tuesday 5 August, and Wednesday 6 August at Merseyside Maritime Museum. There are no more prizes this time, but there’s lots more of our Lego poster left to make.

No need to book, just drop in from 1-4pm each day.

Details of a picture made up of lots of small Lego bricks

Our Lego poster is made up of thousands of tiny Lego bricks

80th anniversary of Queensway Mersey Tunnel

18 July 2014 by Anne

archive photo of crowds at the opening of the Queensway Mersey tunnel

Queensway Mersey Tunnel entrance hung with ceremonial curtains prior to the official opening, with the royal stand in the foreground. Archive reference number 11256-8

The Queensway Mersey Tunnel, connecting Liverpool with Birkenhead beneath the River Mersey, was officially opened 80 years ago, on 18 July 1934 by King George V, accompanied by Queen Mary. The distinguished company of Stewart Bale Ltd, a Liverpool based firm of commercial and industrial photographers, was selected as the photographers to officially capture this prestigious event.

The Stewart Bale collection is now part of the Maritime Archives and Library, including some 195,445 negatives and a souvenir photograph album recording the opening ceremony of the Queensway Mersey Tunnel. Read more…

Flying the flag for Seafarers Awareness Week

23 June 2014 by Sam

logo with text: An island nation, Seafarers Awareness Week 21-29 June 2014

Ben Whittaker, curator of port history at Merseyside Maritime Museum, explains why Seafarers Awareness Week is important, and how we can all get involved:

“Are you reading this blog on a computer, smartphone or tablet? Chances are it was brought to this country in a metal box on the back of a ship, along with your TV, clothes and most of your other possessions. Read more…

New display on Brunel’s SS Great Eastern

18 June 2014 by Jen

Photograph of the SS Great Eastern with large Lewis' Department Store advert on the side.

This image is copyright unknown/ expired. Please contact us if you are the copyright holder of this image.

Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s SS Great Eastern was, in her day, the largest ship ever built. A truly ambitious project from one of the most famous names in engineering history, the Great Eastern was built to provide a ship that could travel all the way to Australia or the Far East without the need to stop and take on more coal. Despite this she was only used on the transatlantic routes, travelling to Canada and North America as a passenger liner, often departing from Liverpool and playing a part in the emigrant trade.

Read more…

Pilot memorials unveiled at New Brighton

9 June 2014 by Jen

memorial being unveiled at New Brighton waterfront

© John MacLeod Photography

Two new memorials were unveiled in New Brighton on 19 May to commemorate the losses suffered by the Liverpool Pilot Boat Service in the First and Second World Wars.

For hundreds of years the Pilot boats have been invaluable to ships entering the docks at Liverpool and on the Wirral.  They supply a local Pilot who boards the visiting ship and guides it safely through the difficult channel and into the docks.  The Pilots continued this work throughout the two World Wars, providing an essential service to the wartime convoys.

The wars made the Pilots more valuable than ever but also added massively to the difficulty and danger of their job. Read more…

Sam’s tribute to the Lusitania

3 June 2014 by Sam

young boy holding up a drawing

Sam Colley with his picture ‘The sinking of the Lusitania’

The tragic sinking of the Lusitania during the First World War had a devastating effect on the tight-knit dockland communities in north Liverpool, where most of the liner’s crew lived. 404 crew members died, including many Liverpool Irish seamen.

Every year on 7 May Merseyside Maritime Museum marks the anniversary of the sinking with a memorial service on the quayside by the Lusitania’s propeller. Unknown to us, this year a 6 year old boy many miles away in Beaconsfield, Buckinghamshire was also inspired to make his own tribute to the ship. His mother Joanne Colley got in touch with us when she realised the coincidence. Read more…

Queen Victoria in Liverpool

30 May 2014 by Jen

Queen Victoria cruise liner moored in Liverpool

The magnificent Cunard liner MS Queen Victoria arrived this morning at the Liverpool landing stage to spend the night in the city, making her the first Cunard liner to do so since the Franconia in 1968. She is a spectacular sight down here at the waterfront and people have been flocking to see her, bowled over by her size and grandeur! Read more…

HMS Thetis memorial to be unveiled

27 May 2014 by Sam

black band or ribbon with faded gold lettering 'HMS Thetis'

HMS Thetis cap band donated to Merseyside Maritime Museum in 2011. The donor’s uncle was involved in the salvage of the submarine. Accession number MMM.2011.13

Ben Whittaker, curator of port history at Merseyside Maritime Museum, has news of a new memorial to the submarine HMS Thetis:

“On Sunday 1 June 2014 at 1pm a memorial will be unveiled at the River Walkway, Birkenhead. It will mark 75 years since the worst peacetime submarine accident in the history of the Royal Navy. On 1 June 1939 HMS Thetis sank in Liverpool Bay and 99 men perished. 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.

Award-winning blog

corpcomms awards winner logo

Subscribe

RSS RSS Feed

Disclaimer

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.