Blog

Happy 65th birthday Edmund Gardner!

11 July 2018 by Michelle

museum staff holding up a flag with 65 on it

This specially made pilot’s flag is now flying on the Edmund Gardner.

On Monday we celebrated the 65th birthday of the pilot vessel Edmund Gardner. To mark this fact we are holding a special open day on Saturday 28 July 2018. The ship will be open between 10.30am to 4.30pm for visitors to pop in and have a look around. Some of our award winning volunteer guides will be on hand to provide a unique visitor experience as you walk through the ship.

Step back in time and imagine what it was like to sit in the saloon trying to eat your tea in rough weather, or pretend to be a pilot waiting in the sun lounge for the next vessel to board. Seize the opportunity to view the world from the bridge deck and see up close the largest object in National Museums Liverpool’s collections.  Read more…

Through My Eyes

26 June 2018 by Sarah Han

Photograph by Charleigh

As one of the education managers at Seized! The National Border Force Museum I have the privilege of working with lots of different people of all ages in a number of different ways, including staff, visitors, school groups and families. It can be hectic at times but certainly the variety keeps me interested and the energy and enthusiasm of the groups I work with spurs me on to share that interest and enthusiasm with our visitors. Read more…

British child refugees

20 June 2018 by Jen

Refugee Week, founded in 1998 “as a direct reaction to hostility in the media and society in general towards refugees and asylum seekers”, is marking its 20th anniversary this week, and one of the 20 Simple Acts they have asked people to consider doing this year is spread the word.

Sadly the hostility that inspired this campaign in 1998 is still present and their work is as important as ever. I believe that it is harder to be hostile towards someone once we begin to empathise with them, and as human beings we often empathise most easily with people when we realise they are like ourselves. In keeping with that idea I want to talk about Britain’s own child refugees. Read more…

Edmund Gardner tours 2018

29 May 2018 by Ben

Edmund Gardner ship

The Edmund Gardner pilot ship in her original pilot boat livery.

Spring is in the air and summer will soon follow, which means it is time to announce details of this year’s tours of the Edmund Gardner pilot ship!

It will be the eighth year of guided tours, led by our dedicated band of award winning volunteers. Since 2011 more than four and a half thousand visitors have toured the ship, the biggest object in National Museums Liverpool’s collections.

Three of our award winning Edmund Gardner volunteer tour guides.

The Edmund Gardner is one of the gems of Liverpool’s rich maritime history. For 30 years the ship operated as a base at sea for Liverpool pilots, who guide shipping in and out of Liverpool’s ports and the River Mersey. Now sat in a dry dock next to the Museum of Liverpool, visitors can access many parts of the ship such as the wheelhouse and engine room. Our guides bring the ship to life with many fascinating stories and anecdotes. The tours are family friendly, with a free special trail available to take round the ship during your visit.

Edmund Gardner with tour volunteers

Volunteers lead a tour for visitors of the Edmund Gardner.

The tours are available to book every Tuesday and Wednesday from June until September, at 11am, 1pm and 2.30pm. Each tour lasts one hour and is suitable for adults and families. Meet in the Museum of Liverpool entrance foyer. Please see the Museum of Liverpool event listings for full details.

Tours are free but booking is recommended, general visitors can book by calling 0151 478 4545, or enquire at the Museum of Liverpool information desk on the day of the tours to see if any spaces are available. Group bookings call 0151 478 4788.

2018 is also the Edmund Gardner’s birthday – it is 65 years since the ship was launched. To celebrate this there will be a special Edmund Gardner Open Day on Saturday 28 July. Keep an eye out on our website for more details!

Please note that the ship has uneven surfaces, steep stairways and low steps, meaning it is not fully accessible and unable to accommodate wheelchair users, pushchairs or prams. Please wear appropriate sensible footwear for a safe and enjoyable visit.

You can also find out more about the Edmund Gardner on the Merseyside Maritime Museum website. There is also a touchscreen interactive about the ship on the quayside outside Museum of Liverpool.

Happy 10th birthday Seized!

16 May 2018 by Alayna

Curator on quayside by Border Force ship

Curator Steve Butler at the recent Seized! open day

Seized! is ten years old today! The new Customs & Excise museum opened on 17 May 2008. Previously situated on the ground floor of the Merseyside Maritime Museum, it was redesigned and relocated to a larger gallery space in the basement.

Now known as the Border Force National Museum, it is the only museum of its kind in the country with around 300,000 visitors each year.  Read more…

New resources and quiet sessions for visitors with Autism and learning difficulties

10 May 2018 by Ann

Welcome guides for World Museum, Museum of Liverpool and Merseyside Maritime Museum

National Museums Liverpool, working with partners Autism Together, has signed up to the Autism Charter to help make our museums and galleries more autism-friendly for visitors, families and colleagues living with autism and learning difficulties.

We have produced a new range of Welcome guides for the museums and will be rolling out new guides for the galleries later in the year.  We’d love you to take a look and let us know what you think of them.  We hope they will help visitors prepare for a visit and answer many of your questions during a visit.  They can be downloaded from our website or copies can be borrowed from the information desks at World Museum, Museum of Liverpool and Merseyside Maritime Museum.

Read more…

RMS Lusitania – remembering Alfred Faulkner Wheelhouse

4 May 2018 by Ellie

People gathered at Lusitania propeller

Lusitania commemoration 2017

Monday 7 May will mark the 103rd anniversary of the sinking of RMS Lusitania, and we will be gathering alongside the Lusitania propeller for our annual commemorative service.

Peter Kelly, Lusitania historian and biographer, is continuing his work on our ‘People of the Lusitania’ resource and is here to share details from a rather moving biography:

“As the anniversary of the sinking of Lusitania approaches, I’d like to recount a story of a conspiracy! A conspiracy demonstrating the humanity, compassion, consideration, and decency of two men – one in Liverpool, and the other in the south west of Ireland – in an effort to ease the pain and heartache of the widowed mother of one of the crew members who perished in the sinking, and give her some inner peace by facilitating her visit to the final resting place of her dear son. Read more…

Chinese seafarers drop-in event at Maritime Museum

20 April 2018 by Andrew

Blue Funnel vessel, Cyclops

Recent visitors to the Merseyside Maritime Museum will have noticed works taking place on the second floor where we’re developing what will become the new Sea Galleries. As part of this work, we’re looking for help from the Liverpool public to help tell the stories of the city’s unique maritime communities. On 26 April there will be a drop-in afternoon focused on finding out more about Liverpool’s Chinese seafarers. Deputy Director and Curator of Maritime History, Ian Murphy, talks about how the gallery needs the input from one of Liverpool’s oldest communities.

Read more…

Centenary of Mersey ferries’ daring Zeebrugge raid

19 April 2018 by Jen

Black and white photograph of two Mersey ferries

The Mersey ferries Daffodil and Iris II at Dover soon after the vessels returned from the Zeebrugge Raid © IWM (Q 18888)

Anyone who’s looked out across the Mersey in the last couple of years has probably noticed the very colourful Mersey ferry Snowdrop in her fabulous dazzle-inspired livery. Designed by Peter Blake to mark the centenary of the First World War, it is reminiscent of the Dazzle camouflage used by thousands of ships in the conflict. If you step on board and visit the display co-curated by National Museums Liverpool you’ll discover that when the Mersey ferries played their own role in the war, their livery couldn’t have looked more different to the spectacular Dazzle. Read more…

“He was a fine fellow”: Henry T Wilde and Titanic

17 April 2018 by Michelle

Henry T Wilde about 1900. Images are not to be reproduced without permission.

Sunday 15 April marked the anniversary of the sinking of RMS Titanic. At the time of her sinking she was the largest passenger ship in the world and the dramatic circumstances of her demise reverberated around the globe. In 1910 one ship in every 100 was lost, yet by 1912 technological advancements in shipbuilding led Titanic’s owners White Star Line to believe she was unsinkable.

This was not to be the case. Four days into her maiden voyage from Southampton to New York she struck an iceberg south-east of Newfoundland, and sank two hours and forty minutes later with the loss of over 1500 lives.

The sinking of Titanic is as famous as it is tragic and as such the individual impact of the disaster can be overshadowed by the catastrophic nature of the event.

Last week I was able to re-display some of Chief Officer Henry Wilde’s personal effects in our exhibition Titanic and Liverpool: the untold story. On display are his White Star Line cap, a pair of epaulettes and three letters; two to his eldest daughter Jennie and one to his children’s nanny. We are very privileged and honoured to be able to display these items and I would like to share his story with you.  Read more…



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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.