7 June 2016 by Emma Duffy
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…
3 June 2016 by Sam Vaux
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…
2 June 2016 by Sarah
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:
“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 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.”
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 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…
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…
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…
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…
3 May 2016 by Sam
Every year on 7 May Merseyside Maritime Museum marks the anniversary of the tragic loss of the Lusitania with a commemoration and minute’s silence at the quayside, by one of the ship’s propellers which is now part of our collection.
For the centenary of the sinking in 2015 there was also a special service at Liverpool Parish Church Our Lady and St Nicholas. The service included an unexpected twist for Mary Jones, who attended in memory of her great grandfather Michael Cooney, a fireman in the engineering department on board the Lusitania who lost his life in the tragedy, along with his son, also called Michael. Read more…
29 April 2016 by Sam Vaux
The Art and the Sea gallery at the Merseyside Maritime Museum has been a hive of activity this week with a rehang of a collection of fourteen maritime paintings; some from the existing collection or only rarely displayed, and one which hasn’t been on public display before. Curator of Maritime Art, Rebecca Smith reveals the history behind some of these works.
‘Liverpool in its heyday caused it to be regarded as a mecca for those with maritime aspirations of any sort’, Sam Davidson, maritime art historian