VJ Day remembered in Liverpool

14 August 2015 by Sam

man in uniform

Philip Hayden

Karen O’Rourke, Curator of Urban and Military History at the Museum of Liverpool, writes:

“This week I was asked to supply some extracts for a service at Liverpool Parish Church, Our Lady and St Nicholas, happening tomorrow, Saturday 15 August, at 11am. The service is to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Victory over Japan Day (VJ Day). The anniversary will see services and events happening across Britain commemorating Japan’s surrender in the Second World War. The surrender effectively ended the War and allowed British soldiers to begin to return home.

The extracts that I supplied are from some of our journals relating to King’s Regiment men who served in the Far Eastern region in the Second World War. Two battalions of the King’s Regiment served in Burma as part of the Chindit expeditions behind Japanese lines.  Read more…

It’s a left-handed thing

13 August 2015 by Emma Duffy

Proud to be left-handed

Our Internal Communications Officer, Emma Duffy, on why she’s happy to be celebrating International Left Handers Day.

I love being left-handed (one of the 10% of the world’s population that is), not only that but I’m proud to be left-handed. In years gone by, being left-handed was frowned upon. Children were forcibly made to write with their right-hand. Left-handedness was associated with all things evil, and southpaws were considered to be ‘children of the Devil’. Even the word ‘left’ has negative connotations, coming from the Anglo-Saxon word ‘lyft’ meaning weak or broken. The Latin word for left is ‘sinister’ which doesn’t exactly conjure up positive images either! But today – International Left Handers Day – all those dated concepts can be swept aside and the contribution of awesome left-handers can be celebrated, and awareness raised of the everyday troubles faced by lefties the world over. Read more…

Liverpool’s first Town Hall – ‘The House of the Virgin Mary’

10 August 2015 by Sam

Liverpool's Town Hall, old line drawing

Liverpool’s current Town Hall, opened in 1754.
“The pride which it inspired in our ancestors still lives in the veneration with which it is regarded by the citizens to-day.” Ramsay Muir, 1913

As we noted at the start of the year, Liverpool has a number of significant anniversaries in 2015. Jen McCarthy, Deputy Director of the Museum of Liverpool, takes a fascinating look at one of them:

“This year our Town Hall marks its 500th year on the city’s civic landscape. That’s 200 years older than Liverpool’s first commercial wet dock.

The Town Hall we use today is actually the third one, built in 1754 and extensively remodelled at the beginning of the 19th century. It replaced the second Town Hall, which was built in 1673 and located just in front of the present site.

That takes us all the way back to the original Town Hall Read more…

Hiroshima survivors, 70 years on

5 August 2015 by Sam

portrait photo of 3 Japanese women

Hiroshimo survivors Ikuko, Teruko and Takako, iPhone photo taken after their portrait session © Lee Karen Stow

Two weeks ago photographer Lee Karen Stow opened her exhibition Poppies: Women and War at the Museum of Liverpool. The exhibition features the incredible personal stories of many women from all over the world who have been affected by war.

The Poppies project is an ongoing one, which has taken Lee to Japan this week to mark the 70th anniversary of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima in 1945. She reports from Japan on the eve of the anniversary:

“This photograph shows A-bomb hibakusha – survivors – Ikuko, Teruko and Takako. Each has shared their memories of the day of the bombing and what they experienced subsequently, in the hope that ours and future generations will cease to develop nuclear bombs and strive for a world of peace without wars.  Read more…

Liverpool’s Hispanic community – get involved

3 August 2015 by Kay

Chinese costume and fans in museum display

The de Larrinaga family display in the Global City gallery

Liverpool’s many global connections are celebrated across the Museum of Liverpool; including the city’s Hispanic communities. 19th century Liverpool was home to thriving Spanish, Basque, Galician, Filipino and Latin American communities who lived and worked in the maritime and trade networks connecting Liverpool with its sister ports in the Luso-Hispanic world.

In the Global City gallery you can see personal items relating to the de Larrinaga family – a successful Basque shipping family in Liverpool. From the 1860s the Larrinaga Steamship Company made regular journeys to the Philippines, stopping off in the great trading ports of Hong Kong and Singapore. The Larrinaga’s bought silks, lacquer boxes and Chinese-style furniture for their grand Liverpool homes. There is also a painting of one of the Larrinaga line ships – Anselma de Larrinaga on display.

In The People’s Republic gallery there is a ledger from a Basque Boarding House at 41 Hurst Street which records the names and destinations of dozens of Basque migrants who passed through Hurst Street on their way to the New World. Read more…

Strong and resilient women in Poppies exhibition

31 July 2015 by Karen O'Rourke

curator placing a book in a display cabinet

Installing objects in the exhibition, beneath a photo of Colonel Debbie Telford

It’s been a week since our Poppies: Women and War exhibition opened at the Museum of Liverpool. Every new exhibition we stage involves lots of preparation and in the weeks before we open it’s pretty chaotic for the team; agreeing final designs, getting all of the right objects and people in the right place at the right time and making all of the last minute arrangements. Fortunately we have an amazing team, who are all fabulous at what they do.

I have one of the best jobs, which is that I get to watch the reaction of the visitors as they see the exhibition for the first time and this week I have spoken to lots of people who have all had positive things to say. Read more…

Treasure acquired for the region!

20 July 2015 by Liz

old brooches

Brooches from the Knutsford Hoard

Great news! The Museum of Liverpool and Congleton Museum have received £65,400 from the Heritage Lottery Fund for an exciting project that will help to acquire two locally-discovered hoards of Roman treasure.

The Hoards of Cheshire project will enable us to acquire the Knutsford and Malpas hoards for the region, and create a small exhibition around them, which will tour. Read more…

Summer fun for young archaeologists!

16 July 2015 by Liz

children in a workshop with a woman in period clothing

School’s out for the summer next week! If you’re looking for an interesting way for your child (aged 8-17) to spend a few days over the holidays, try our Young Archaeologists’ Club summer school workshops!

Tuesday 28 July 2015: Sheep to Shirt
A day of hand-on activities to explore what people wore in the past and how things were made: dyed, woven, braided, and sewn! How did the Vikings wash their socks? Why were nettles so important in clothing? Read more…

We dig football!

13 July 2015 by Liz

old map showing houses and fields, with one property highlighted

Detail from James Newlands’ 1847 map of Liverpool showing the Queen’s Head. Courtesy of Digital Archives Association

This weekend, on Saturday 18 July, our archaeologists will be heading out looking for a pub – but this one won’t serve them a pint, it’s the site of an important historical event, and is under the ground!

The Museum of Liverpool archaeology team will be leading a community excavation in search of the Queen’s Head, Village Street, Everton in partnership with Friends of Everton Park . We’re looking to find the spot where the agreement was made to rename St Domingo’s Football Club – it became Everton FC in 1879, and from this time grew in size, and became a founder member of the Football League in 1888.

Local historian and former Liverpool Echo sports editor Ken Rogers, author of the best-selling ‘Lost Tribes of Everton’ books has undertaken considerable research about the building, and has discovered Read more…

Scouse hair-rollers from the past

6 July 2015 by Liz

small ceramic bar

18th century wig curler found during excavations before the construction of the Crown Court in Liverpool

The HAIR exhibition in the Museum of Liverpool explores how Black hair styles have evolved and how they reflect wider social change and political movements. It considers the ways in which hairstyles have reflected status, identity and creativity from early African origins to the present. As an archaeologist this got me thinking about what we might be able to interpret about Black British people’s hairstyles from archaeological evidence.   Read more…

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