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

Loo-ney Tunes

19 November 2008 by Dawn

It’s World Toilet Day.  There’s no polite way of introducing it – you’ve just got to say it. You have to wonder who thinks these things up, but then there is a serious and worthy message about the state of the world’s sanitation to be gleaned.

Actually, museums and art galleries have formed a healthy relationship with the toilet that goes back beyond Duchamp’s ‘Fountain’ or urinal.  What self-respecting museum would be caught out without the humble (or in some cases the ridiculously ornate) chamber pot? You can see one that was designed for Napoleon, no less, in the Walker’s Craft & Design Gallery. Read more…

Where there’s a wool there’s a way

17 November 2008 by Sam

two women knitting

Workshop leader Ildi Szabo wearing one of her amazing woolly creations, with museum demonstrator Pam Hale

I went to a great knitting workshop at Merseyside Maritime Museum at lunchtime. It was organised by the Seized learning team who normally hold events looking at how smugglers try to get firearms, drugs and other illegal substances through customs – and how customs officers stop them. Apparently wool also used to be smuggled out of the country centuries ago – I never knew that I had been knitting with such a precious material before!

As a fledgling knitter I had great fun learning some new techniques and making a few mini projects. If you want to have a go then the good news is that Ildi will be back at the Maritime Museum on Sunday afternoon with some fun things for knitters of all ages and abilities to make in the ‘Where there’s a wool there’s a way’ workshop. Have a look at the Seized! events page for further details. Read more…

Seize the day!

16 May 2008 by Sam

Seized! Revenue and Customs uncovered logo

Strange things are afoot in the basement of Merseyside Maritime Museum, where a brand new permanent gallery ‘Seized! Revenue and Customs uncovered’ opens this weekend.

The gallery reveals the mysterious world of smuggling and surveilance that’s all in a day’s work for Customs Officers, with help from unusual exhibits including exotic birds, dangerous weapons and a highly suspicious garden gnome.

To celebrate the opening a busy weekend of events is planned, including displays by sniffer dogs and hopefully a visit by a Customs cutter – as long as it isn’t called away for an official operation. Read more…

Easter holiday fun

30 March 2007 by Sam

Poster advertising Easter travel on Liverpool's trams and buses

Poster accession number RD00042.0012

The Easter holidays start this weekend, and as you’d expect, we’ve got lots of free activities at our venues to keep the kids entertained while they’re off school.

In the spirit of the season, the National Conservation Centre are holding five Easter craft afternoons from Wed 4 April, which include card making and egg painting. You could also take part in an Easter rummage at the Customs and Excise Museum over the next 3 Sundays. Please check the What’s On listings for the times of each session. Read more…

Born romantic

9 February 2007 by Sam

painting of embracing couple

‘An Idyll’ by Maurice Greiffenhagen

If you haven’t been in outer space you’ve probably noticed that Valentine’s Day is fast approaching. Wherever you turn in the shops you see hearts, cupids, chocolates and completely pointless fluffy pink things that men everywhere will buy in a panic minutes before closing time on 13 February.

Being a big soppy romantic myself (well maybe not, but I have my moments) I thought it’d be nice to gather together the most loved-up objects from our collections for a romantic online exhibition. So I asked the curators for ideas and what did they suggest? An obscene novel, a tale of bigamy, a pair of boots a painting of a tiff and nasty disease carrying bugs responsible for killing and maiming people in Central America, amongst other things. Hmmm. This could take years of therapy to sort out. Read more…

Burns baby Burns

25 January 2007 by Sam

Head and shoulders portrait of Robert Burns

Print of Robert Burns from the Customs and Excise Museum collection, accession number CENM1996.928

Here’s a bit of trivia to impress your whisky drinking chums with when you’re out celebrating Burns night this evening. If you ask most people for 3 facts about Robert Burns, they would probably tell you that he was Scottish, he was a poet and he has a night held in his honour every year to celebrate his birthday. But did you know that he worked as an Excise Officer?

In 1789 Burns was appointed Excise Officer in Dumfries. His job was to gauge the vessels used by brewers and other traders in the manufacture of liquors on which Excise duty was charged and to charge the duty on the liquors when manufactured. A very conscientious officer, Burns was selected for promotion to supervisor, the official in charge of an excise district, but unfortunately died before he could take up his post. Read more…

Polar explorers do the paperwork

16 January 2007 by Sam

Detail of customs document completed by Shackleton

Detail of a Master’s Declaration, announcing Shackleton’s last expedition in 1921

Today is the anniversary of the day that polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton found the magnetic south pole in 1909. You’d think that after returning from an adventure like that he’d just want to stay at home with a warm mug of cocoa, or tick off the ‘visit south pole’ box on his travel wish list and start planning a cruise round the Caribbean to thaw out. He obviously wasn’t the sunbathing type though, as he led several more expeditions to the Antarctic after this. Read more…

Winter weather on the website

11 December 2006 by Sam

Detail of an illustration of some leaves

Detail of a botanical print of frankincense

It’s cold outside, so the latest online exhibition to grace the National Museums Liverpool website is on the theme of winter weather.

As always the online exhibition draws on items from different venues, many of which are not usually on public display. This time we’ve got exhibits and animals from some of the coldest places on the planet, plants traditionally associated with Christmas and the perfect teapots to make a warming cuppa on a cold day, to name just a few. Read more…

Beatles online exhibition

25 August 2006 by Sam

Beatles Russian nesting dolls in Sgt Pepper outfits

Beatles Russian nesting dolls in Sgt Pepper outfits

This weekend thousands of Beatles fans will make a pilgrimage to Liverpool for the International Beatles Week and Mathew Street Festival. Some may find their way to the Walker Art Gallery to see Stuart Sutcliffe’s Hamburg Painting No 2.  

You might not know this but there are lots of other Beatles related objects in National Museums Liverpool’s collections, which are not currently on display at any of our venues. So for the first time the highlights, including items from the collections of the Customs and Excise Museum and the Museum of Liverpool, have been brought together for an online Beatles exhibition. Read more…

Sniffer dogs – spot the difference

24 August 2006 by Sam

Roleplayers dressed as a customs officer and sniffer dog

Today I encountered two very different sniffer dogs at the Customs and Excise Museum.

Two of our roleplayers, dressed as the larger-than-life characters Smugglebuster the customs officer and Sniffer the dog, were greeting visitors to the museum.

Outside I met the real deal – customs officer Claire Dewhirst with her sniffer dog, who were at the museum today doing demonstrations for the public.

If you missed today’s demonstrations then you have another chance to see a real sniffer dog at the museum next Thursday. 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.