Blog

#Thankstoyou

13 November 2018 by Laura

Image of the Museum of Liverpool

Museum of Liverpool opened in 2011.

As a charity, National Museums Liverpool relies on the support of charitable donations. However big or small, all donations go into supporting our work looking after the wonderful collections, sharing and making them accessible to millions of visitors every year.

One very important and long-time supporter of National Museums Liverpool is the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), without whom some of our venues might look very different and in some cases would not exist at all.

  • In 2005 HLF backed the development of the International Slavery Museum with more than £1.5 million. Opened on Slavery Remembrance Day in the bicentennial year of the abolition of the British slave trade (23 August 2007), it is a unique Museum. Highlighting slavery in both a historic and contemporary context, it is also an international hub for resources on human rights issues.
  • In 2007 we were awarded £11.4 million from HLF towards the building of the brand new Museum of Liverpool. When it opened in 2011 it was the largest newly-built national museum in Britain for more than a century. Since that time it has attracted more than 4 million visitors and received the prestigious Council of Europe Museum Prize in 2013 for its commitment to human rights as well as its work with children and families from all backgrounds.
  • More recently in 2014 we completed work on the South End galleries at the Lady Lever Art Gallery thanks to a HLF grant of more than £1.4 million, which allowed us to restore this area of the gallery to its former glory.
Shop front

Galkoff’s shop front beautifully conserved and protected for future generations thanks to HLF

These major capital projects often grab the headlines, but HLF’s backing also makes a crucial difference to smaller projects. Most recently we opened Galkoff’s and the Secret Life of Pembroke Place at Museum of Liverpool, which following HLF support enabled a team of conservators to rescue and conserve the beautiful Art Deco tiled frontage of a kosher butchers. The funding also supported research into the Jewish and wider community of the area, as well as an archaeological dig of Liverpool’s last remaining courthouse.

These are just a few of the reasons we’re extremely grateful to the Heritage Lottery Fund and why we are delighted to back their campaign, #Thankstoyou, a week of free events and openings for National Lottery players who support good causes whenever they buy a lottery ticket.

From 3-9 December there will be free tours and events for lottery players at the Museum of Liverpool. Some of the fascinating stories this amazing building holds will be shared through tours and interactive sessions for the whole family.

There will also be free curator-led tours of the wonderful Galkoff’s exhibition. Visitors will be given a unique experience, learning from the curators how the project came about and learning fascinating details about the vibrant history of this part of the city.

More information about the events for lottery players here.

Terms and conditions:

  • One National Lottery ticket provides free places for a family of six on the #Thankstoyou events at Museum of Liverpool.
  • All National Lottery games qualify for a free place (including both National Lottery draw-based games and National Lottery Scratchcards). Proof of purchase of a National Lottery game can be either a hard copy ticket or a digital ticket.
  • The offer is valid from 3 to 9 Dec 2018.
  • Museum of Liverpool has the right to refuse entry in the unlikely event of the venue reaching capacity, as well as other circumstances outside of its control.
  • Tickets will be given at the welcome desk at Museum of Liverpool when visitors arrive with their National Lottery tickets.
  • The promoter is National Museums Liverpool.
  • In the event of queries on the day, the manager’s decision is final.

Alternative Miss Liverpool crowning glory

7 November 2018 by Kay

Alternative Miss Liverpool 2011, wearing the crown

© Steven Cheshire, 2011

Homotopia Festival is now in full swing with events happening across the city up until 1 December.

To help celebrate Homotopia’s 15th birthday we have loaned the inaugural Alternative Miss Liverpool crown. It can be seen in all of its glittery glory in Tales from the city exhibition.

Zoe Graham, ‘Miss Voodou’, was crowned the first ever Alternative Miss Liverpool at The Kazimier on 12 November 2011. The high-spirited pageant was part of the annual festival. 23 people of diverse ages, genders and sexualities took part.

Zoe was presented with the amazing crown specially designed by local milliner Hayley Marsden.  Read more…

Building Britannia: behind the scenes at the Museum of Liverpool

31 October 2018 by Vanessa

man examining archaeological finds in a large room full of boxes on shelves

Luke selecting objects for display from the stores

Today we have a guest blog by Luke Daly-Groves. Luke is currently studying a PhD on Anglo-American intelligence relations in occupied Germany at the University of Leeds:

“For five weeks I have been working with the team of archaeologists at the Museum of Liverpool as part of a placement, in order to create a display about the Romans in Merseyside. My interest in Roman history was sparked by tales of Emperors and Empire, travels around ancient sites throughout Europe, and the works of Professor Dame Mary Beard. But studying the Romans is not all about those at the top but also about revealing something of the lives of ordinary people. This is why archaeology is so important.

Here in Liverpool, the smallest fragment of Roman tile is bagged and recorded because it may provide vital evidence. Context, in archaeology, as in history, is key. The North West was in the past considered to be an area devoid of Roman archaeology. I certainly had no idea of any Roman presence here prior to my work at the museum!  Read more…

Helen Woolstencroft: from migration to me

30 October 2018 by Stephen Carl-Lokko

Dress with family photographs printed on the fabric

Detail of Helen’s dress ‘Eva’.

In this guest blog for the Sankofa project and as part of Black History Month, artist Helen Woolstencroft reveals how family and history play an important role in her sense of identity as an artist. In this moving tribute to her grandparents,  Helen tells us about the source of inspiration for her work:

“From a young age, I was always curious about my family. Being of mixed race heritage, I always wanted to know where I fit into the world. I was captivated by my Grandad Lionel, and always wondered what his life was like in Barbados before he came to England during the Second World War.  Read more…

Liverpool Black Sisters doing it for themselves

25 October 2018 by Kay

group of women with placards and loud hailers

Members of Liverpool Black Sisters protest at Derby Square, 1980s. © Liverpool Black Sisters/Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre

This Black History Month we are celebrating diverse voices from Liverpool’s Black community. This final blog in our series commemorates the pioneering work of the Liverpool Black Sisters.

“The biggest legacy of Liverpool Black Sisters is the impact made to the lives of the women and families who gained support, advice or guidance in order to access opportunities not afforded to them in the 70s and 80s, and who were able to gain a better perspective of their contribution to the city and the Black community. Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre is a community building that was the vision of the Sisters, that has turned into their reality”
Michelle Charters, CEO of Kuumba Imani Millennium Centre and former member of Liverpool Black Sisters, speaking in 2018.

Liverpool Black Sisters were a Black women’s group, based in L8 who worked to improve the lives of women in their community.  Read more…

Celebrating Angus Wood

11 October 2018 by Kay

group photo of men in suits

Angus Wood (with coat over his arms)

This Black History Month we celebrate diverse voices from Liverpool’s Black community. This second blog in the series celebrates the life of Angus Wood and his contribution to the war effort during the Second World War.

“Because I am from Jamaica, an engineer didn’t think I was capable of sharpening a drill, although after that you know we got on smashing. I was treated quite well, especially when they suddenly realised that everything in Kingston was the same as in England”

Angus Wood, speaking in 2002. Liverpool Voices, Liverpool Lives archive, Museum of Liverpool.

Angus was born in Kingston, Jamaica and came to Liverpool when he responded to the call for engineers to come and work in munitions factories here in Britain.  He left Kingston on 13 January 1940 with a large group of other skilled men.

After a long journey they docked in Scotland and travelled by train to Liverpool. Initially they lived at the YMCA in Birkenhead.

Angus was employed at ROF Fazakerley, a newly opened rifle manufacturing factory. Initially he was treated a little differently but once he proved that he knew his job he was treated the same as the other workers. His job, a protected occupation, was to set up machines that the women workers used to cut and grind components for rifles.

Angus also joined the factory’s own Home Guard, performing night fire watches and guard duty before and after a full days work.

The women workers in the factory helped them to find lodgings with local families. Angus lived for two years with the Roberts family, in Crescent Road, Fazakerley, before meeting his wife at the factory and setting up their own home.

Angus and his friends often went to the Grafton Ballroom in their free time. Here they experienced some racism from American GIs. Angus tells us more –

“The Americans didn’t want any coloured chaps in there, and we were British so they couldn’t stop us, and when they objected there was a fight.  I always keep clear of any fights. I was never personally involved in any of them”.

After the war the men were offered the opportunity to return to Jamaica, or stay in Britain. Angus, who was by then married with young children, chose to stay. He lived and worked in Liverpool, staying on at the factory until it closed in 1962.

Don’t forget to download our trail exploring how Liverpool’s Black community is represented in our displays and check out the Black History Month events across National Museums Liverpool’s venues throughout October.

Happy Birthday John and Sean!

9 October 2018 by Victoria

9 October 1978 – John and Sean celebrate a double birthday

Photo by NIshi F. Saimaru  © Yoko Ono
9 October 1978 – John and Sean celebrate a double birthday

Today marks John Lennon and his son Sean Taro Ono Lennon’s joint birthday. John would have been 78 today and Sean is celebrating turning 43.

Sean was born on 9 October 1975, on John’s 35th birthday. Around that time John and Yoko decided that raising Sean, and having a more traditional family life, was the most important thing for them so John decided to cut back on work and dedicate himself to Sean’s early years. During this time John and Sean developed a very close bond. Read more…

Standing and walking proud

3 October 2018 by Kay

Addae wearing his rugby shirt

Addae, 2017. Courtesy of Liverpool Tritons RUFC

This Black History Month we celebrate diverse voices from Liverpool’s Black community.

The first is Addae, a member of Liverpool Tritons Inclusive Rugby Club. The Tritons, founded in 2016, is the first gay inclusive rugby team on Merseyside. They encourage new members from all backgrounds, ages, fitness levels, and rugby experience.

Tritons Rugby Club tshirt with a picture of Neptune holding a trident

Liverpool Tritons Inclusive Rugby Club t-shirt worn at Liverpool Pride, 30 July 2016; the day the club was officially launched. You can see this t-shirt on display in Tales from the city exhibition

Addae, tells us more about what the Club means to him:

“When I recently relocated to Liverpool from Trinidad & Tobago, via London, I realized that I wasn’t particularly fond of the area. Liverpool was cold, damp, and windy, and understanding the Scouse dialect seemed more of a task than a pleasure. I didn’t feel like I belonged here.

Frequently bored and uninspired, the only solace that I found was from running and reading, until I got the opportunity to leave. One day while I was leaving the Liverpool Central Library (which I consider a literary oasis), and although I had been there innumerable times, on that day my eyes were drawn to a flyer that had the holy words, ‘Liverpool Tritons: Inclusive Rugby’.  Read more…

Latest archaeological discoveries

26 September 2018 by Liz

NML archaeologist shows recent find at Rainford

This year’s Merseyside Archaeological Society Conference, being hosted at the Museum of Liverpool on Saturday 13 October, is exploring ‘Recent developments in Merseyside archaeology’. Talks will present some of the latest finds, with reference to many periods of our region’s past.
Read more…

Teacher’s Evening – Get Involved!

24 September 2018 by Matt

Children in Museum

School visit

Want your class to experience a bit of hard work – Victorian style?  Ever fancied packing them off permanently on a ship to faraway climes?  Here’s your opportunity to find out how we can make this happen! 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.