Our venues

Blog

Posts tagged with 'seized - the border and customs uncovered'

Guess what? All is not what it seems in our new display!

17 July 2018 by Alayna

Metal 'Guess' belt buckles

Counterfeit ‘Guess’ belt buckles.

Some of the most well known fashion brands are on display in the Seized! gallery at Merseyside Maritime Museum. At first glance, the fashion items may appear like the genuine article but they are in fact all fakes. Our new display, which opens on Wednesday 18 July, features counterfeit versions of brands such as Gucci, Chanel, Philipp Plein, Hermes and many more.

No sooner has a new fashion product hit the market, and the counterfeiters are fast to follow with a cheaper and more inferior copy. Border Force monitors the UK ports, airports and postal hubs for fake items. These new exhibits were seized at Heathrow airport as part of a large consignment from Turkey.

Although it’s tempting to fall for the cheaper counterfeit version, corners are cut in the production, resulting in poor quality and often dangerous products. Read more…

Through My Eyes

26 June 2018 by Sarah Han

Photograph by Charleigh

As one of the education managers at Seized! The National Border Force Museum I have the privilege of working with lots of different people of all ages in a number of different ways, including staff, visitors, school groups and families. It can be hectic at times but certainly the variety keeps me interested and the energy and enthusiasm of the groups I work with spurs me on to share that interest and enthusiasm with our visitors. Read more…

Happy 10th birthday Seized!

16 May 2018 by Alayna

Curator on quayside by Border Force ship

Curator Steve Butler at the recent Seized! open day

Seized! is ten years old today! The new Customs & Excise museum opened on 17 May 2008. Previously situated on the ground floor of the Merseyside Maritime Museum, it was redesigned and relocated to a larger gallery space in the basement.

Now known as the Border Force National Museum, it is the only museum of its kind in the country with around 300,000 visitors each year.  Read more…

Easter at the Museums

22 March 2018 by Megan

Hop along to your local museum for a free dose of Easter fun! We have a fantastic selection of events, activities and new exhibitions there’s something for everyone to be ‘egg-cited’ about at National Museums Liverpool this Easter. Read more…

Seized! forensics display reveals secrets

3 May 2017 by Andrew

Part of the forensics display in Seized!

This week a new forensics display was added to Seized! The border and customs uncovered gallery at Merseyside Maritime Museum. Here, Steve Butler, Curator of the Border Force National Museum Collection explains the lengths criminals go to to smuggle contraband, and the ingenuity of the Border Force in detecting it.

Read more…

Don’t get scammed this season

5 December 2016 by Sarah

Fake NutriBullet. A closer look reveals it has no warranty, there are small spelling mistakes on the packaging and in reality the blades would probably only last a few months before snapping.

Fake NutriBullet. A closer look reveals it has no warranty, there are small spelling mistakes on the packaging and in reality the blades would probably only last a few months before snapping.

The displays in the Seized! gallery in the basement of Merseyside Maritime Museum highlight the issue of fake goods, or counterfeits.

These images show some recent counterfeit goods from our collection. They may look like things you’d want to receive as a Christmas present, or buy for a gift – but don’t be fooled!

For every genuine item that exists there is a counterfeited replica, as soon as a ‘new’ item enters the market the counterfeiters are never far behind to cash in on the products that we desire. Counterfeiters have no limits; they span all industries including clothing, electronics and toiletries.

Counterfeit items constantly change to reflect contemporary trends so it’s important to us that these changes and trends are documented through our display cases and our handling collection. Read more…

Life on the ocean wave: a Border Force training ship

2 June 2016 by Sarah

steve in pilots cabin

Steve Butler on his tour of Altea II

Steve Butler, Curator at Seized! the Border Force National Museum, is blogging for us today on his tour of Altea II, a huge ship purchased by Border Force, which is used to train its officers in how to safely search every part of a commercial vessel: 

View onto ship

The view out of the window

“I may have worked for many years for the Border Force museum but it is meeting the front line officer which is so memorable and one of the unique pluses of my job. Recently I visited a training ship in Liverpool Docks called Altea II for a tour of the vessel guided by a senior instructor and long serving Border Force officer.

“Colin has many years experience in working in Customs and now Border Force and was once part of the customs cutter service. He has probably visited most ports around the UK coastline aboard a patrol vessel in search of the smuggler. Now he trains officers from both the UK and overseas in how to safely search every part of a commercial ship. 

“Altea II was a mid sized bulk carrier which plied the seas in search of mixed cargo from building material, animal field and general cargo. Operating in seas in the northern hemisphere including Iceland, Nordic states, Russia and called in at ports around the UK. Once bought by Border Force is was adapted to offer real life experience of a commercial ship and how to search it.

“When I boarded the vessel it was as if the former Russian crew had just left the vessel. Crew’s cabin still presented soaps and shaving equipment placed on shelves around the sinks, posters still hung on the cabin walls, sea boots and overalls were slung on bed side cabinets. Books, novels and instructions manual, still lined the shelves adjacent to port holed walls. The bridge offered spectacular views across the Mersey to New Brighton and sea charts and national flags were neatly rolled in cupboards beneath first aid cabinets and barometers on panelled walls.

The hold

The hold

“The hold was vast, now empty except for a special built coffer dam which was stained in red colourant. Why the staining? Colin explained the use of a life like dummy which would carry ‘injury’ and require safely rescuing from inside the coffer dam. This would often be practised in near black out conditions with trainees dressed in cumbersome breathing kit, essential clothing when searching dangerous confined space aboard a ocean going ship. The morning tour and chat with Colin was captivating as he calmly described the dangerous search of ocean going tugs and yachts concealing tons of class A drugs. It is why I do love my job and our unique collection and stories we can share.”

 

Find out more about our collections at Seized!  

Half term fun

26 May 2016 by Megan

River Festival

River Festival

Half-term is fast approaching and National Museums Liverpool has a fantastic range of activities to keep the little ones busy.

The Merseyside Maritime Museum’s is the big 3-0 this year and we are celebrating in style! We are taking you back to the 80s with DJ Barryoke playing the hits and a 1980s themed photo booth for visitors to capture all the fun. Performances, workshops and crafts will also be running over the two days (30 & 31 May). See our website for more details Read more…

Don’t be fooled by fakes

5 April 2016 by Sarah

Seized! counterfeit display, including the new fakes

Seized! counterfeit display, including the new fakes. Can you spot them?

For every genuine item that exists, there is a counterfeited replica. As soon as a ‘new’ product enters the market, the counterfeiters are never far behind to cash in on what we desire. Counterfeiters have no limits; they span all industries from clothing and electronics, to toiletries and prescription drugs. Read more…

New immigration display for Seized!

1 October 2015 by Andrew

Visitors meet a Border Force Officer at passport control

Visitors meet a Border Force Officer at passenger control

Seized! The Border and Customs Uncovered is the UK Border Force national museum. Located in Merseyside Maritime Museum’s basement, this week we unveil a new display looking at the work of Border Force Officers who work on passenger control. Read more…



About our blog

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.

Subscribe

RSS RSS Feed

Disclaimer

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.