Blog

An archive can be your story

16 January 2017 by Mitty

To celebrate Jamaican independence a Ball was organised in Liverpool. This photograph was donated to the collections by Tayo Aluko

The Sankofa project is looking to support local Black people and communities in highlighting their stories and protecting their histories for generations to come – and we want you to get involved! Heritage consultant Heather Roberts tells us why archives are so important and can be made by anyone:

“Archives aren’t just boxes of dusty paper in ye olde handwriting. Archives, basically, are just evidence. They are evidence of something or someone from the past, which you want to remember for the future.

Leaflets and posters of community activist groups and their events are certainly archives. As are minutes of meetings and annual reports of a community organisation. Newspaper clippings about local activism and activists certainly help shape the story, too.  Read more…

Worse things happen at sea

19 December 2016 by Ellie

man at the Liverpool waterfront

Eugene McLaughlin in Liverpool

Today marks a First World War anniversary that many of us will not have heard about before. Our guest blogger Eugene McLaughlin explains why he is visiting Merseyside Maritime Museum today to remember his grandfather’s fateful voyage 100 years ago.

“My grandfather died when I was a baby.  I knew very little about him.  I knew he was from Sligo, he was a sailor and he was once Captain of the Galway Bay tender SS Dun Aengus.  I recall childhood tales that he was the Captain of a ship that was torpedoed during “the” war, which I assumed to be the Second World War.  My grandmother had given me two of his brass buttons from his time at sea.  Other than that, nothing.

So, when my wife gave me a Christmas present of a subscription to an ancestry research website, I had to investigate.  Read more…

Don’t get scammed this season

5 December 2016 by Sarah

Fake NutriBullet. A closer look reveals it has no warranty, there are small spelling mistakes on the packaging and in reality the blades would probably only last a few months before snapping.

Fake NutriBullet. A closer look reveals it has no warranty, there are small spelling mistakes on the packaging and in reality the blades would probably only last a few months before snapping.

The displays in the Seized! gallery in the basement of Merseyside Maritime Museum highlight the issue of fake goods, or counterfeits.

These images show some recent counterfeit goods from our collection. They may look like things you’d want to receive as a Christmas present, or buy for a gift – but don’t be fooled!

For every genuine item that exists there is a counterfeited replica, as soon as a ‘new’ item enters the market the counterfeiters are never far behind to cash in on the products that we desire. Counterfeiters have no limits; they span all industries including clothing, electronics and toiletries.

Counterfeit items constantly change to reflect contemporary trends so it’s important to us that these changes and trends are documented through our display cases and our handling collection. Read more…

Movember 2016

24 November 2016 by Sarah Starkey

Photograph of crew members of the ship Lusitania

Photograph of crew members of Lusitania, Cunard Line, taken in New York, 1910 (Maritime Archives and Library reference DX/1055).

I almost made it through November this year without mentioning Movember – the month of charity moustache growing. So many men have massive facial hair at the moment that I sometimes wonder who would notice if they grew a moustache.

But the charity’s mission is still an important one, so we are highlighting our gallery of moustache images from the collections of the Maritime Archives and Library on the Merseyside Maritime Museum website.

And then I came across this photograph Read more…

Activism and archives

23 November 2016 by Mitty

exploring Liverpool's Black history at a Sankofa event

I’ve been given a really exciting opportunity to work on the Sankofa project, which aims to support Black communities in Liverpool with looking after their precious objects and materials and hopefully making this material more accessible.

This task, as well as being incredibly exciting, is also quite daunting. Many of you might already be aware that Liverpool has the oldest Black community in Europe but what evidence is there of this? And what information do we have about more recent migrations of people of the African diaspora to Liverpool? Read more…

Remembering Britannic – Titanic’s sister ship

21 November 2016 by Ellie

Postcard of HMHS Britannic

DX/2108/4/3

Today marks the centenary of the sinking of White Star Line’s Britannic.

Built at Harland and Wolff’s shipyard in Belfast, she was the third of the Olympic-class passenger liners – sister ship to Olympic and Titanic.

Read more…

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…



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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.