The ‘Angels of Pervyse’

27 October 2015 by Sam

poppies in a field in Flanders

© Lee Karen Stow

Photographer Lee Karen Stow shares the story of two brave women who she researched as part of her preparations for the exhibition Poppies: Women and War. You can see more of her photos and read about other women’s stories in the exhibition.

“This image of poppies growing in Flanders, marks the spot where Elsie Knocker and Mairi Chisholm, the only women known to nurse on the Western Front in the First World War, saved countless lives. These heroic women, their stories largely forgotten, became two of the most famous women of the war.  Read more…

First World War ‘munitionettes’

21 October 2015 by Sam

traditional woman's cap and explosive shell in museum display

© Lee Karen Stow

Photographer Lee Karen Stow reflects on the dangerous work carried out by women during the First World War:

“Thank you to all those who came to the Poppies: Women and War guided tour of the exhibition at the Museum of Liverpool earlier this month. One woman in the audience later spoke to me about her mother who had been a munitions worker. After seeing the stories of women and war on the walls, she felt keen to go home and learn more about the nature of the work her mother had undertaken.  Read more…

National Adoption Week

20 October 2015 by Lucy

Image of the projection

Mary McCartney’s image projected onto the Museum of Liverpool

On Monday 19 October, the Museum of Liverpool took part in a nationwide campaign to mark the beginning of National Adoption Week, which runs from 19 – 25 October.

The Museum played host to a giant projection of an image by celebrity photographer, Mary McCartney, who recently took the official portrait of the Queen.

The image of a small boy captioned ‘Too Old at 4?’ illuminated the exterior of the building, which could be seen from the Strand, drawing attention to the fact that this is the average age of children waiting the longest for adoptive families.

The image has also been projected on other iconic buildings across the country, including City Hall in London, the Blackpool Tower, as well as other locations in Bristol, Manchester, Leicester, Bolton, Birmingham and Newcastle.

There are 660 children waiting for adoptive parents in the North West, and 35 of these children are in Liverpool.

Janet Dugdale, Director of the Museum of Liverpool said:

The exterior of the Museum of Liverpool lends itself really well to projections, and as an iconic building on the waterfront, we really hope that this provides an opportunity for the National Adoption Week message to be seen. We are a family-friendly museum, so our young visitors are extremely important to us. The work that First4Adoption is doing to help find happy homes and families for children is extremely important, so we’re really pleased that the Museum of Liverpool can act as a positive platform to help raise awareness to the people of Liverpool.

For more information, go to or call First4Adoption on 0300 222 0022.



Jet the dog – Liverpool superhero (to curators and small boys!)

19 October 2015 by Kay

man in uniform with a black dog

Painting of Jet by Alfred Kemp Wiffen, 1949. Presented by Mrs Babcock Cleaver in 1967, accession number WAG 7004

Jet has always been a hero close to my heart. I was initially introduced to his story whilst working on my first exhibition here at National Museums Liverpool – Spirit of the Blitz at Merseyside Maritime Museum in 2003. We included the bronze bust and oil painting shown here of Jet, from the Walker Art Gallery collections, which took pride of place. The exhibition even had a specially designed Jet the Dog children’s trail. We also interviewed his owner’s daughter, Lillias Ward about Jet’s wartime heroics Read more…

Park pipes

15 October 2015 by Jeff

Three 'Morgan' stamped pipes excavated at Calderstones Park

Three ‘Morgan’ stamped pipes excavated at Calderstones Park

The Museum of Liverpool archaeologists have been analysing finds from our excavations at Calderstones Park, which ran in spring, in partnership with the Reader Organisation. During this finds work I have noticed some interesting parallels between the clay tobacco pipes found there and at the Manchester Dock, the site under the Museum of Liverpool. Read more…

Appeal – is this you in the photograph?

13 October 2015 by Kay

Mother and sons with Jubilee decorations

Silver Jubilee street party, June 1977, Old Swan, Liverpool

Our display Growing up in the city: in photographs features a range of fantastic photographs depicting Liverpool childhoods from the 1870s to the 1990s, from the Museum of Liverpool’s collections.

After searching through many postcards, photographs and glass plate negatives in our stores, it was a hard choice to select the final 25 images. I could have included so many more – especially as I wanted to ensure that lots of different children and childhoods were represented.

One of my favourites is this image of a young mum, with presumably her two young sons in Old Swan – Ulster Road, we believe. It was taken in June 1977 by local photographer, Harold Douglas Avington. Read more…

Women’s Suffrage in Liverpool – the campaign for the right to vote

9 October 2015 by Kay

sculpture of woman holding a 'votes for women' sign

Statue of Mary Bamber – A Revolutionary Woman

On 12 October a new film Suffragette is released. If you’re interested in the local campaign to give women the right to vote you should visit our display, Taking liberties – women’s suffrage in Liverpool. The display was created in partnership with the 1918 Club, a local discussion forum for women established in 1918 by Eleanor Rathbone, a prominent politician and campaigner.

1918 is a significant year for many reasons, but particularly as this was the year that the campaign to give women the right to vote gained success with the Representation of the People Act, which gave the vote to tax-paying women over the age of 30.

Many prominent Liverpool people fought for this basic right. Read more…

Nurse Edith Cavell

8 October 2015 by Sam

memorial with statue of nurse and inscription

Memorial statue to Nurse Edith Cavell in London’s Trafalgar Square © Lee Karen Stow

Photographer Lee Karen Stow tells the story of one of the women featured in her exhibition Poppies: Women and War at the Museum of Liverpool:

“The exhibition Poppies: Women and War honours one of the bravest women in the history of the First World War who was executed one hundred years ago this coming October 12.

Edith Louisa Cavell was a British nurse. She is celebrated for saving the lives of soldiers from both sides without discrimination and in helping some 200 Allied soldiers escape from German-occupied Belgium. She was executed by German Army firing squad at dawn on October 12, 1915 aged 50.  Read more…

1856 time capsule – connecting the Abbott family across the generations

2 October 2015 by Kay

photo of 3 women

Sisters Caryl Woof, Susan Towler and Anne Lurcott (Sarah’s mother). Their mother, Dorothy, was Florence’s daughter.

Back in June we put a special time capsule on display which gave us a fascinating glimpse of Liverpool life in 1856. Originally laid on 9 December, 1856 in the foundation stone of the workshop, warehouse and showroom of Abbott’s Cabinet Makers, it was rediscovered by builder John Connell during renovation work at the ‘Scandinavian Hotel’, on the corner of Nelson Street earlier this year.

Sarah Light, from West Sussex, heard about the display and got in touch to tell us that she is a descendant of the Abbot family and was very interested to see that the time capsule had been laid by her great great great grandfather, Samuel Abbott! Read more…

Pride and Prejudice – but not what you think!

30 September 2015 by Matt

programme cover with illustration of the theatre

Royal Court Theatre Programme, 1951

A lot of my colleagues saw the title of the Pride and Prejudice project and thought we were doing an exhibition on Jane Austen, or at the very least Georgian life.  Luckily for me, they were wrong.  Instead what we have started work on is an amazingly interesting but admittedly challenging task.  We are undertaking a unique two year project, funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund, to identify, research and better present objects and stories relating to Liverpool’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) communities held within our collections. Easy? Think again… Read more…

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