Blog

Trailblazing transgender service in the British military

13 February 2017 by Kay

Caroline holding up her military uniform jacket

© Stephen King

Our 3rd blog post from one of our inspiring speakers from OUTing the Past: The 3rd National Festival of LGBT History conference, 25 February is Caroline Paige.

Caroline, born in Wallasey, became the first officer to transition gender in the British Armed Forces. She had already served 19 years in the RAF, on fighter aircraft and battlefield helicopters, and following her transition, completed a further 16 years.

Her fascinating talk will reveal the untold story of what it meant to be transgender in the British military before and after permissive LGBT service, the highs and the lows, in peacetime and in war.  Read more…

A warrior with some marker pens, glue and a photocopier!

6 February 2017 by Kay

red ribbon design with hearts

Our second blog post from one of our excellent speakers from OUTing the Past: The 3rd National Festival of LGBT History conference, which is coming to the Museum of Liverpool on 25 February, is Andrew Dineley. Andrew is the Creative Director of Soft Octopus Design Studio and will be discussing his activism and work designing, amongst many other things, Liverpool’s influential first HIV/AIDS public health materials in the 1980s. Read more…

‘Corruption of public morals’! – OUTing the Past

31 January 2017 by Kay

newspaper front page

International Times with ‘Busted’ headline. Courtesy Liverpool John Moores University

In the run up to our free conference OUTing the Past: The 3rd National Festival of LGBT History on 25 February, we will be publishing some special guest blogs by our exciting speakers to give you a flavour of the day and to find out more.

Our first is Valerie Stevenson, Head of Academic Services, Liverpool John Moores University who will be revealing the prosecution case of the International Times newspaper and the ‘corruption of public morals’. Read more…

Four funerals and a wedding

26 January 2017 by Liz

view of tightly packed city centre buildings

Aerial view of Pembroke Place c1930s © Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine

An amazing team of volunteers have been delving into historic archives to reveal some of the secrets of Pembroke Place as part our current project, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. And there are some very dark secrets indeed!

The annals of Liverpool reveal that the last ever duel fought in Liverpool took place in a field on the corner or Boundary Place and Pembroke Place on 20 December 1806. Major Brooks was killed by Colonel Bolton. It seems a year-long spat developed after Bolton had refused Brooks a pay rise in the regiment. Bolton eventually became fed up of insults being targeted at him and called Brooks to a duel. 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…

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…

The weird and wonderful jobs of Pembroke Place

9 January 2017 by Liz

Street sign for Pembroke Place

Today we have a guest blog from Richard MacDonald, a freelance historical researcher and Blue Badge Guide. Richard is leading a team of volunteers investigating historic street directories as part of the Galkoff’s and the Secret Life of Pembroke Place project.

“Have you ever been in the awkward situation of finding yourself with a filthy ostrich feather and not knowing how best to clean it? Read more…

‘The Star’ and 150 years of the Liverpool Playhouse

20 December 2016 by Laura

Building

The Playhouse as we know it began life as the Star Music Hall in 1866 and became a theatre in 1911.

The Liverpool Playhouse‘s Christmas show, ‘The Star’, is written by Michael Wynne from Birkenhead. In this guest blog Michael reveals how the show came about:


Read more…

Magical Meccano Christmas Window

19 December 2016 by Stacey

student-window-display-meccanoHugh Baird University Centre undergraduate designs Blackler’s Santa themed window for Museum of Liverpool

Museum of Liverpool’s shop has teamed up with the Hugh Baird University Centre to create a unique Christmas window display to celebrate the iconic Blackler’s Santa, currently on display in the Museum atrium.

First year undergraduates from the Foundation Degree in Visual Merchandising and Promotional Design – which is validated by the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) – were tasked with a brief by the Museum’s retail team to create a visual display in its shop window. They were asked to reflect an iconic figure from Liverpool’s retail history, the giant Santa that used to stand at the centre of Blackler’s department store. Until its closure in 1988 Blackler’s was located on the corner of Elliot Street and Great Charlotte Street and was famous for its amazing Winter Wonderland Grottos which attracted more than 10,000 visitors a week. Read more…

Pembroke Place – read all about it!

13 December 2016 by Liz

pp-newspaper-headlines

Today we have a guest blog from Lucy Kilfoyle, a researcher in the History Department at the University of Liverpool. Lucy is leading a team of volunteers investigating historic newspapers as part of the Galkoff’s and Secret Life of Pembroke Place project.

‘Tragic accidents, grisly murders, heart-rending tales of good people fallen upon hard times: what’s not to like? At first glance, historical newspapers are not exactly the most glamorous of places to find human interest stories from the past. Invariably, old papers and journals are dull and faded and unrelentingly uniform in appearance. The font is often minute and the text packed densely together. Until well into the late 19th century, pictures and graphics were few and far between. 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.