Blog

Indefatigable figurehead restoration

15 November 2016 by Ben

group of people around a huge figurehead of a man in uniform

Unveiling the restored Indefatigable figurehead, with museum staff and members of the Indefatigable Old Boys Association and their families

There was an event at the Maritime Museum recently to unveil the newly restored Indefatigable figurehead.

The figurehead is from the ship HMS Indefatigable, which was a training ship preparing boys for the Royal and Merchant Navy. The school eventually moved to land and closed in 1996.

The Indefatigable Old Boys Association generously funded the conservation and restoration of the figurehead, Read more…

Exploring Young Roots with the Together Trust

8 November 2016 by Emma Walmsley

group photo with lots of young children

Emigration Party outside Manchester Town Hall, 1897. Courtesy of the Together Trust

Liverpool docks have seen many people leave England’s shores to start new lives abroad over the centuries. One lesser known part of this history, which was explored in our recent exhibition On their own: Britain’s child migrants, was the story of the child migration schemes which sent British children to Canada, Australia and other Commonwealth countries between 1869 and the early 1970s. These were run by charities and religious organisations and supported by governments.

One such charity which was involved in emigration between 1872 and 1914 was the Manchester and Salford Boys’ and Girls’ Refuges and Homes, now known as the Together Trust. Read more…

Arctic Convoys 75th anniversary event

4 November 2016 by Ben

lots of people, including war veterans with medals, looking at museum objects on a table display

There was an event at Liverpool Town Hall on 31 October to mark the 75th anniversary of the first Arctic Convoy in the Second World War.

The convoys took vital supplies and munitions to Russian ports, braving U-boat attacks and the harsh arctic conditions. The first convoy left Liverpool on 12 August 1941.  Read more…

“How did the ship get into the bottle?!”

17 October 2016 by Rebecca

'Leader' model sailing ship in a bottle

As a child I first came across ships in bottles at my late uncle’s house. He used to make them and I remember being fascinated about how the ship ended up in the bottle. Now as Curator of the ship models collection, the Museum’s ships in bottles still evokes the same fascination and intrigue.

The maritime art of making ships in bottles can be traced back as early as the 18th century. Read more…

The Shipping Gallery at Liverpool Museum

4 October 2016 by Emma Martin

A model ship with sails being studied by two young boys in school uniform

The Leader model was the museum’s first ship model, acquired in 1862 for the Mayer Museum, the predecessor of Liverpool (now World) Museum.

In the final blog in our series on World Museum and the Blitz I asked Rebecca, Curator of Maritime History at the Merseyside Maritime Museum to tell us about the development of the now lost Shipping Gallery which was once described as “the department which probably holds the greatest public interest, particularly for the citizens of Liverpool” Read more…

The 250 year story of the heroic Liverpool Pilots

22 July 2016 by Sarah

(L-R): Geoff Topp (Chairman of the Liverpool Pilots -Retired Division), Ben Whittaker (Exhibition Curator at the Merseyside Maritime Museum) and Chris Booker (Chairman of the Liverpool Pilots). All on board the Spirit of Falmouth, moored outside the Museum. Copyright Gareth Jones

(L-R): Geoff Topp (Chairman of the Liverpool Pilots -Retired Division), Ben Whittaker (Exhibition Curator at the Merseyside Maritime Museum) and Chris Booker (Chairman of the Liverpool Pilots). All on board the Spirit of Falmouth, moored outside the Museum. Copyright Gareth Jones

Our new exhibition, In Safe Hands: The Story of the Liverpool Pilots, opens today. It explores the vital role of Liverpool’s marine pilots, who navigate ships in and out of the city’s port. Read more…

Rare photos of Cunard Building on its centenary

1 July 2016 by Sarah

Foundations of Cunard building, dated 28 July 1913. Credit: Courtesy of National Museums Liverpool (Merseyside Maritime Museum)

Foundations of Cunard building, dated 28 July 1913. Credit: Courtesy of National Museums Liverpool (Merseyside Maritime Museum)

On Saturday 2 July 2016, Cunard is celebrating the centenary of its former Liverpool headquarters – the iconic Cunard Building on the city’s world famous waterfront. Did you know that in our Maritime and Archives Library, we have some very rare images of the building under construction 100 years ago? Anne Gleave, Curator of Photographic Collections, Merseyside Maritime Museum tells us more: Read more…

Celebrating Volunteers Week

7 June 2016 by Emma Duffy

Karen Davies, Edmund Gardner volunteer, seated in yellow top

Karen Davies, Edmund Gardner volunteer, seated in yellow top

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…

Celebrate the International Mersey River Festival this weekend!

3 June 2016 by Sam Vaux

© Mark McNulty

Merseyside Maritime Museum and Museum of Liverpool © Mark McNulty

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…

Life on the ocean wave: a Border Force training ship

2 June 2016 by Sarah

steve in pilots cabin

Steve Butler on his tour of Altea II

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: 

View onto ship

The view out of the window

“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

The hold

“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.”

 

Find out more about our collections at Seized!  



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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.