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Posts tagged with 'second world war'

Waves on the Mersey

15 February 2013 by Lucy

image of a giant radio

The Waves on the Mersey team with the giant radio located at the Museum of Liverpool

Hurrah for half term! Aside from all the great half term events that are taking place at our venues next week, we are also set for some radio interference across the city from 18 – 22 February.

Waves on the Mersey is a project that has been created by Open the Door Theatre in Education, who are bringing five giant radios into the city to broadcast documentaries about major historical events that have shaped Liverpool’s history.

The documentaries have been created by young people between the ages of 14 and 21, who have researched, interviewed and devised radio shows and plays on each topic. They have also decorated the radios, which will be located at five locations around the city, broadcasting a different documentary every day. Read more…

Remembering SS Ceramic – lost 70-years-ago today

6 December 2012 by Dickie

photo of a ship

Liverpool liner SS Ceramic sunk on 6 December 1942.

At first families back home in Liverpool were oblivious to the horror that had befallen their loved ones.

On November 23 1942 my grandmother watched from Crosby beach as Liverpool liner SS Ceramic left the River Mersey. Her husband Fred was aboard working as a steward. Clutching her three-month-old baby, Annie Felton waved the ship off, unaware that this would be the very final farewell.
 
The 18,400 ton Ceramic was launched in 1912 by Harland and Wolff in Belfast. She was the first ship built by White Star Line after Titanic and spent her years sailing the Liverpool to Australia route. Read more…

Britain’s Black Community on the home front

19 November 2012 by Sam

Vikky Evans Hubbard from the International Slavery Museum has news of a talk this Thursday:


archive photo of a young Black evacuee holding a suitcase

An evacuee. Courtesy of the Imperial War Museum

During this month of remembrance, the International Slavery Museum are pleased to welcome author and historian Stephen Bourne, whose work documents the history of Black communities living in Britain.

Stephen’s book, ‘Mother Country – Britain’s Black Community on the Home Front, 1939-45’, unearths a ‘hidden history’ of Britain and the Second World War.

At the International Slavery Museum this Thursday 22 November at 1.30pm, Stephen will give an illustrated talk highlighting some of the forgotten Britons he features in the book, including the community leaders Dr Harold Moody and Learie Constantine, Esther Bruce, singer Adelaide Hall and bandleader Ken ‘Snakehips’ Johnson. Read more…

Iceberg

21 December 2011 by Sarah Starkey

Photograph of crew clearing ice from deck of ship

Clearing ice from the deck of Montrose, 1928 (reference PR 154)

I have been trying to find a photograph on a Christmas/Winter theme for a festive blog post to advertise the Maritime Archives & Library online exhibition Christmas at Sea. I discovered this photograph of the crew of the Canadian Pacific vessel Montrose shovelling ice off the deck after the ship struck an iceberg in fog off Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada.  I could have passed this off as a winter event, but unfortunately it happened on Easter Monday in April 1928.  This is not the festival I was looking for, but a good reminder of how harsh conditions can be at sea.  The Montrose was requisitioned during the Second World War and renamed HMS Forfar.  It was torpedoed and sunk on 2nd December 1940 with the loss of 184 crew – a tragic winter event. Read more…

Maritime Tales – Roaring Twenties

12 December 2011 by Stephen

Painting of shi[p

Image courtesy Liverpool Daily Post & Echo

 

I have some fabulous foxtrot 78 rpm wax records from the 1920s which evoke the crazy days when people reacted to the horrors of the Great War.

 

This was also a time when countries such as the United States started to put restrictions on immigration after the great free-for-all when virtually any healthy person could settle.

 

The three sister ships took settlers to Canada in the closing years of the great age of emigration which lasted from 1830 to 1930. Read more…

Unexpected shrapnel

10 November 2011 by Sarah Starkey

Photograph of box containing documents

File of papers relating to postwar repair of the Port of Liverpool building (MDHB collection).

The Maritime Archives & Library holds a very large collection of records relating to the Mersey Docks & Harbour Board (MDHB), who ran the Liverpool & Birkenhead dock system from 1858 until 1971. The MDHB, like most large organisations, were keen on committees and reports, and produced a lot of documents.  These are a great resource for studying the history of Liverpool, but can be a little overwhelming.  Occasionally a box reveals something unexpected, such as this piece of shrapnel stored amongst a file relating to the repair of the Dock Office, the Port of Liverpool Building at the Pier Head.  The note on the envelope states that the shrapnel was taken out of the ‘copper covering of Dome, Dock Office’. The Port of Liverpool Building was hit by a mine on the morning of 3rd May 1941 which caused a fire that destroyed most of the east side of the building before being brought under control. Read more…

Maritime Tales – twice lucky

9 November 2011 by Stephen

ship model

Image courtesy of Liverpool Daily Post & Echo

Many ships survive attacks in wartime and stay afloat and I like this story because the ship concerned was obviously built to last.

Some ships have a certain look about them – this is one reason vessels hold a great deal of interest to lots of people.

Eight men died in the torpedo attack by a German U-boat submarine but the ship stayed afloat – and went on to survive a second attack later in the First World War. Read more…

Maritime Tales – Bomb Blitz

1 November 2011 by Stephen

Painting of burning city.

Image courtesy of Liverpool Daily Post & Echo

In the early 1950s we spent our holidays at Llandonna, Anglesey, and locals would describe seeing Liverpool burning 50 miles away across the sea during the Blitz.

Whenever I look at this spectacular painting I am reminded of the vivid stories and how even distant communities felt involved.

The Liverpool Blitz brought the Battle of the Atlantic home to everyone when German bombing raids cost thousands of lives and brought huge amounts of destruction.

Although the docks were the main targets, enormous damage was caused to city and residential areas on both sides of the River Mersey. Four thousand people were killed and a similar number seriously injured. Read more…

Politicians

26 September 2011 by Sarah Starkey

Photograph of Harrison Line ship named Politician leaving Liverpool

Politician, Harrison Line, leaving dock in Liverpool (reference McR/38/142).

Ok it’s a poor link, but as we don’t have any photographs of politicians, apart from ex-merchant seafarer John Prescot, I thought I’d throw in this photograph of the Harrison Line vessel Politician while the Labour Party Conference is on in Liverpool.

T & J Harrison, like many shipping companies, used a theme when naming their vessels.  In their case it was professions, which are slightly easier to remember than Blue Funnel’s(Ocean Steamship Company) use of characters from Greek mythology.  Harrison Line never named a ship Archivist, but they did have 3 vessels named Custodian, which is pretty close to my job description.  Read more…

Merchant Navy Day (2)

1 September 2011 by Sarah Starkey

Cartoon of man being told not to spoke

Cartoon from Peter Rogan’s wartime log (reference DX/2503)

Merchant Navy Day is celebrated on 3rd September, to commemorate the contribution the merchant navy has made, and continues to make, to Britain.  There is a special service being held on Sunday 4th September at St Nicholas’ Church, Liverpool at 12pm.

This cartoon is taken from the wartime log kept by merchant seafarer Peter Rogan while he was a POW in Milag Nord during the Second World War.  More images from the diary are on our website in a small online exhibition.  With so much merchant navy history to cover, this is just a small example of the service given and hardship suffered by merchant seafarers, plenty more information is available in the records held by the Maritime Archives & Library or on display at the Merseyside Maritime Museum. Read more…



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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.