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Remembering the Empress of Ireland

15 May 2014 by Sam

museum display

New material has been added to the Empress of Ireland display to mark the centenary of the sinking.

Lots of people have heard about the sinking of the Titanic and Lusitania. However did you know that more passengers were lost in another major shipping disaster around that time, which had a big impact on Liverpool?

Ben Whittaker, curator of port history at Merseyside Maritime Museum, has more information about the ‘forgotten Empress':

“Today is 15 May, and 100 years to the day that the Canadian Pacific Liner Empress of Ireland last set sail from Liverpool bound for Canada. Read more…

Lusitania memorial service remembers Manx rescuers

6 May 2014 by Sam

archive photo of a group of men

Crew of the Wanderer. Photo courtesy of the Leece Museum in Peel.

Tomorrow, Wednesday 7 May, Merseyside Maritime Museum is holding a memorial service to commemorate the 99th anniversary of the sinking of the Lusitania. As part of this year’s service Roy Baker, Curator of Leece Museum, will talk about how a ship from the Isle of Man played a key role in the rescue efforts. Guest blogger Valerie Caine has more details:

“The sinking of the luxurious liner Lusitania in just eighteen minutes off the Old Head of Kinsale in Ireland in 1915 by a German submarine resulted in the loss of 1,198 lives. One of the first rescue vessels on the scene was a small Manx fishing boat PL11 Wanderer, from Peel on the west coast of the Isle of Man. Read more…

Charles Lightoller, a Lancashire lad who went to sea

6 May 2014 by Sam

ship during construction

Concrete ship under construction in Warrington, image courtesy of English Heritage

Merseyside Maritime Museum’s series of free spring lectures starts tomorrow, Wednesday 7 May, at 12 noon, with a talk by Serena Cant, English Heritage. Serena will be talking about the front line at sea, and in particular the contribution of the ships and the people of the north west coast to the First World War. In this guest blog post she discusses the wartime service of  Charles Lightoller:

“Charles Lightoller, a Lancashire lad who went to sea, was one of at least two known survivors of the Titanic, both of whom survived further wreck incidents during the Great War, as it was called by contemporaries. Read more…

Making three new guns for Oceanic 2

14 April 2014 by Sam

detail of guns on the deck of a ship model

Oceanic 2, showing an original gun (left) and a new one (right)

Here’s the latest update from ship and historic models conservator  David Parsons, in a blog series about conserving the model of Oceanic 2:

“The last of the major pieces of work that I have done for the conservation of the builder’s model of Oceanic 2 was the making of three replacement guns, similar to Bofors guns, or 12 pounder Quick Firing guns.

Originally the model had eight guns but three of these were missing. Read more…

An amazing escape

3 April 2014 by Sarah

A black and white photograph of sea and sky with an upturned table barely visible in the centre of the image.

Photograph taken during the aftermath of the sinking of Nova Scotia, Mozambique Channel, 28 Nov 1942 (Maritime Archives reference DX/2592).

This photograph doesn’t look like much, just a grey sea and sky, but if you look closely there is a speck in the middle of the image.  This is a photograph of the aftermath of the wreck of the Liverpool registered Furness Withy ship Nova Scotia which was torpedoed on 28th November 1942 off the coast of Mozambique.  The speck is Read more…

Guardians of the dawn: the Liverpool Pilots

27 March 2014 by Sam

man on the deck of a ship on the river Mersey, with the Liverpool waterfront in the background

John Curry

Ben Whittaker, curator of port history at Merseyside Maritime Museum, has news of a special free talk next week:

“Who ensures the safe passage of shipping into and out of the Port of Liverpool? The Liverpool Pilots!

The sea approaches to Liverpool have always been difficult waters to navigate,  so the Liverpool Pilot Service was established in 1766 to safely guide ships into the port. For almost 30 years our own ship the Edmund Gardner – the largest object in our collections – provided a base for the service in the Irish Sea. Read more…

Pancakes at sea

4 March 2014 by Sarah

Recipe for pancakes

Recipe for pancakes, from Sea Cookery by Richard Bond (Maritime Archives & Library reference 413.BON)

I’m sure there are plenty of pancake batter recipes available on the internet, but there’s always room for one more.  This is from a 1911 edition of ‘Sea Cookery’ by Richard Bond, which the author describes as ‘a cookery book which will on sensible and plain lines give a number of recipes of value both on sea and shore’. Read more…

Global Scouse Day

26 February 2014 by Lucy

Image showing a bowl of Scouse

Our Head Chef Ben’s beautiful Scouse

Scouse is our city’s traditional dish. A stew often made with lamb, beef, or both, it originates from the word ‘lobscouse’, which was a stew often eaten by sailors throughout Northern Europe, popular in port cities such as Liverpool.  By association, Liverpudlians are known as Scousers, and many have their own special recipies for this delicious Liverpool staple. Here’s our Head Chef Ben’s thoughts on Scouse:  Read more…

MV Derbyshire Trust Fund launched this week

13 February 2014 by Ellie

Pamphlet about the charity

For a while now I have been privileged to work with members of the Derbyshire Family Association (DFA). In September 2012 we opened a permanent display on the First Floor of Merseyside Maritime Museum, dedicated to the story of the bulk carrier MV Derbyshire, lost in the South China Sea with all hands on 9 September 1980. 42 crewmen and 2 wives perished, including 17 from Liverpool. The oil/bulk/ore carrier MV Derbyshire was the biggest British merchant ship ever lost. Read more…

Valentine’s Day menu

12 February 2014 by Sarah

Menu from ship Baltic for 14th Feb 1913

This Valentine Day linked item is a menu from the White Star Line vessel Baltic for 14th February 1913, when the ship was approaching New York on a voyage from Liverpool.  It’s an impressive array of food, so is probably a first class menu.

The Maritime Archives and Library holds a lot of ship menus and I find them fascinating.  Read more…

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