Blog

Suez Canal crew sought

9 March 2017 by Andrew

Melampus and Agapenor on Great Bitter Lake

Merseyside Maritime Museum is looking for former seafarers who were on a stranded ship on the Suez Canal between June 1967 and June 1975, to attend a special 50th anniversary reunion at the Museum on Thursday 1 June. Read more…

Surviving the TSS Yorkshire sinking

6 March 2017 by Ben

TSS Yorkshire painted by Ernest Barrett. 1987.118.3.37

TSS Yorkshire painted by Ernest Barrett. 1987.118.3.37

The maritime history department at Merseyside Maritime Museum have recently collected an object connected to the sinking of the TSS Yorkshire in 1939.

TSS Yorkshire was built in 1920 by Harland and Wolff in Belfast for the Liverpool based Bibby Line.  The ship was on her way to Liverpool from Rangoon as part of the allied convoy HG-3.  The Dixon family had joined the ship at Gibraltar, including brother and sister Cyril (aged 15) and Maureen (aged 8), and their mother and father.  On 17 October, 1939 the convoy was in the North Atlantic 160 miles off the north-west coast of Spain.  That afternoon the convoy was attacked by the German U-boat U-37.  Yorkshire was hit and sank with the loss of 58 lives.  Read more…

Take part in National Museums and Wellbeing Week 2017

3 March 2017 by Emma Riley

People laughing and clapping at a museum event

Image © Pete Carr

The second ‘National Museums and Wellbeing Week’ is taking place from 6 – 12 March.

The National Alliance for Museums, Health and Wellbeing is coordinating the week and describes it as “an opportunity for museums to showcase their health and wellbeing offer and raise awareness of this valuable area of work.” Read more…

International Women’s Day at National Museums Liverpool

2 March 2017 by Laura

sculpture of woman holding a 'votes for women' sign

Statue of Mary Bamber – A Revolutionary Woman by artists Carrie Reichardt and Nick Reynolds, on display at Museum of Liverpool.

The theme for this year’s International Women’s Day is #BeBoldForChange and the programme of events across National Museums Liverpool’s venues, starting this weekend, explores this challenge through the lives of real women, past and present. Read more…

Celebrating 100 years: Seafarers UK

22 February 2017 by Ben

Atlantic star ship image

Container ship Atlantic Star approaching Liverpool. Image courtesy of Phillip Parker

Seafarers UK is a charity that helps people in the maritime community by providing vital support to seafarers in need and their families.

The charity does this by giving grants to projects and organisations that make a real difference to people’s lives, across the Merchant Navy, Fishing Fleets, Royal Navy and Royal Marines. In 2016 Seafarers UK gave grants totalling £2.5million to more than 70 maritime welfare charities.  Read more…

Share a moment at a museum this Valentine’s Day

9 February 2017 by Laura

Gallery

Lady Lever Art Gallery makes a perfect destination for a romantic date this Valentine’s. Image © Pete Carr

It’s that time of the year again… when I try and convince you to give something money can’t buy this Valentine’s Day – the pleasure of your company in surroundings full of beauty, culture and history. Read more…

Caught by the Wolf: remembering the SS Matheran

26 January 2017 by Ben

men on the deck of a ship

Prisoners on the deck of SMS Wolf. © IWM (Q 53085)

In today’s Times newspaper, there is a small but poignant notice:

“BOY ABDUL, Indian Merchant Service. Sole casualty, SS Matheran, Brocklebank Line, Liverpool, Captain Maurice Addy. Sunk by a mine off Cape Town, SA, 26 January 1917. Remembered today on the Seamen’s Memorial in Mumbai and by his Captain’s family.”

100 years ago today, the Liverpool ship SS Matheran was sunk by a mine laid by one of Germany’s most notorious ships – the SMS Wolf.  Read more…

Centenary of the sinking of White Star Line’s Laurentic

25 January 2017 by Ellie

Laurentic at Belfast

MCR/82/167 Copyright unknown, believed to be expired

As we continue to mark the centenary of the First World War, I wanted to highlight a Liverpool ship that was lost on 25 January 1917.

Laurentic (originally named Alberta) was built in Belfast by Harland & Wolff in 1908 for the Dominion Line. During construction, Alberta and her sister ship Albany were purchased by White Star Line and were renamed Laurentic and Megantic.  Laurentic departed on her maiden voyage from Liverpool to Canada in 1909, and over the next few years carried thousands of passengers across the Atlantic. Read more…

Weaving herstory

23 January 2017 by Mitty

Susan’s grandmother Helen Akiwumi (nee Ocansey) and her family

The Sankofa project aims to highlight people’s amazing collections and offer advice about how these precious histories can be preserved for future generations. Passing down information to future generations can be done in lots of ways.  A brilliant example is Helen Renner’s and her daughter Susan Goligher’s incredibly vibrant collection of textiles. Helen and Susan came up with the idea of the company Afrograph in 1985 and have exhibited their collections across the country. Here’s Susan to tell us more:

“Afrograph’s textile collection encapsulates both an oral tradition and a women’s history. Many of the textiles have been passed down through five generations of women within the family. Read more…

Can you help tell the untold stories of Black seafarers?

19 January 2017 by Rebecca

Archive photo of the crew on board a ship, including a Black seafarer

The ship and crew of Moel Eilian, c1889. Merseyside Maritime Museum, Maritime Archives and Library (reference DX/1328)

Hello, I’m Rebecca Smith, Curator of Maritime Art at the Merseyside Maritime Museum and I’m currently working on the forthcoming exhibition Black Salt, which will tell the story of the Black seafarers who have worked on British ships.

Sailors of African descent have been part of crews sailing from the United Kingdom for at least 500 years, but their contribution to the country’s maritime identity is often marginalised or overlooked.

Building on research carried out by Dr Ray Costello for his book Black Salt, the exhibition will put the often hidden story of Britain’s Black seafarers in the context of 500 years of life at sea. 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.