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Posts tagged with 'social history'

1919 Race Riots Centenary – Looking back at Untold Stories

In November 2013 at the Museum of Liverpool, we launched our Untold Stories project, exploring the stories of some of Liverpool’s Black Families in the First World War. We were able to search back through the histories of several local families, who then featured in our exhibition, Reflecting on Liverpool’s Home Front, which was a great success and ran for a year from July 2014.

As part of the project, we worked with local groups and organisations to create a mix of events, both in the Museum and in the Liverpool 8 area. While working on a series of creative writing workshops with Writing on the Wall, we got the chance to look at an amazing archive of material, relating to the Race Riots in Liverpool that happened in 1919. Now, 100 years on, Writing on the Wall is telling the story of the Riots as part of their WoWFest 2019 programme.

By the summer of 1919, tensions that had been rising for many months finally boiled over. Servicemen had been returning from the War expecting a hero’s welcome, only to find that after four long years away, their jobs had either disappeared altogether, or had been filled by lower paid women and immigrant workers. Angry letters began to appear in newspapers. Racist insults and threats were hurled at both men and women in the street and scuffles frequently broke out. The scuffles escalated into street brawls and the Police were soon trying to track down ring leaders.

On the evening of 5 June, the police raided a boarding house in Upper Pitt Street, home to mainly Caribbean and West African seafarers. Violence broke out and an angry mob gathered on the street, determined to fight with the seafarers. Charles Wotten, a Bermudan ship’s fireman, escaped the house and fled towards the docks, pursued by the Police and by the mob. It is unclear exactly what happened next, but he was apprehended by the police and then somehow ended up in the Dock. He tried to swim away, while the mob pelted him bricks and stones, but soon drowned. The Coroner’s investigation would not give a clear verdict as to whether he had jumped or had been pushed.

The archive researched by Writing on the Wall and a new exhibition at the Liverpool Record Office covers the story of the riots, the resulting outcry, and attempts by Local and National government to deal with the crisis. The fascinating documents look at the families and the places that came under attack and the attempts by the Mayor of Liverpool to repatriate the ‘stranded’ men involved.  Visitors to the festival can take part in a walking tour, taking in relevant places connected to the riots on Sunday 26 May. It’s a really powerful way of connecting to the events of 100 years ago. On Saturday 25 May, a one-day conference at St Georges Hall will reflect on the riots which were happening in Liverpool, but also in other Seaports around the UK and bring the discussion up to the present day and where we are now.

WoW Fest 2019 event details: https://www.wowfest.uk/the-centenary-of-the-1919-race-riots.html

Queering a post-modern music hall

21 February 2019 by Kay

Chris D’Bray, courtesy of Chris D’Bray

Chris D’Bray, courtesy of Chris D’Bray

In the lead up to our OUTing the Past Festival of LGBT History at the Museum of Liverpool, 23 February, we will be sharing blogs from our wonderful speakers.
Last up is Chris D’Bray. Read more…

Sex, crime and punishment throughout history

18 February 2019 by Kay

Steve Boyce, courtesy of Steve Boyce

Steve Boyce, courtesy of Steve Boyce

In the lead up to our OUTing the Past Festival of LGBT History at the Museum of Liverpool, 23 February, we will be sharing blogs from our wonderful speakers.

Fifth up is Steve Boyce. Steve is a member of the Management Committee and also Chair of Trustees to Schools Out UK and LGBT History Month. Read more…

The LGBT+ Switchboard: an untold history

15 February 2019 by Kay

In the lead up to our OUTing the Past Festival of LGBT History at the Museum of Liverpool, 23 February, we will be sharing blogs from our wonderful speakers.
Fourth up is Natasha Walker who was recently appointed co-chair of Switchboard.

She tells us more – Read more…

UNISON: Our proud history

5 February 2019 by Kay

Adam Hodson

Adam Hodson

In the lead up to our OUTing the Past Festival of LGBT History at the Museum of Liverpool, 23 February, we will be sharing blogs from our wonderful speakers.

Third up is Adam Hodgson. Adam is one of the co-convenors of the UNISON North West LGBT Group. He works for Merseyside Police and has been a UNISON activist for ten years. He tells us more – Read more…

OUTing the Past! Festival of LGBT History 2019

21 January 2019 by Kay

Rainbow coloured light bulb Come and join us this LGBT History Month at The Museum of Liverpool, 23 February, for our OUTing the Past Festival of LGBT History. This year we are one of 18 venues in the UK and Ireland, Norway, Sweden and New York! Speakers will be coming from around the UK , including some home-grown talent.

It will be a bumper day of diverse talks and a performance to end the day on a high (more details will be revealed). Why not combine it with a last chance to see our fabulous exhibition Tales from the city, which explores the lives and experiences of Liverpool’s LGBT+ community from 1967 to today? There are also a range of tours and drag tales to enjoy before the exhibition closes 31 March.The festival and exhibition are free and everyone is welcome.

Museum of Liverpool interior. (C) Pete Carr

Museum of Liverpool interior. (C) Pete Carr

OUTing the Past Festival of LGBT History –

11am Christian Owens – From Small Town Boy to ‘Visible’ City Cop

11.30 Val Stevenson – Trans-Verses: Poetry themes in The Glad Rag and Cross-Talk Magazines 1970s – 1990s

12 noon Pierrette Squires – Bisexual representation in museum collections – how you can help your history to be represented.

12.30pm Adam Hodgson – UNISON: Our Proud History – from lone voices to collective action for LGBT equality

1pm Chris D’Bray – Queering a Post-Modern Music Hall.

2pm Hilary McCollum – Public and private lesbian worlds in the 1920s

2. 30pm Steve Boyce – Sex, Crime and Punishment throughout history.

3pm Addea, G – Scrumming Together & Tackling Homophobia

3.30pm Natasha Walker – Better Connected – The History of Switchboard

Location – Education room 3, Floor 1.

 

Liverpool is Burning! House of Suarez

18 January 2019 by Kay

Vogue Ball 2017. Image  courtesy of Fotocad

Vogue Ball 2017. Image courtesy of Fotocad

“It’s always been my dream to create a Vogue Ball since I was first introduced to the vogue dance style in the ‘80s. To see the growth and passion of the Ball reach so many people is truly amazing and beyond my expectations!”
Darren Suarez, 2019

Read more…

Volunteer helps uncover the secret life of Pembroke Place

10 January 2019 by Rachel O'Malley

Liz Stewart and Susan Bennett

Liz Stewart and Susan Bennett

Volunteers are an integral part of National Museums Liverpool, and without them, important work would not be able to take place.

This month, I had the pleasure of meeting Susan Bennett who has been volunteering at the Museum of Liverpool with Liz Stewart since 2016; they have both recently worked on the Galkoff’s and the Secret Life of Pembroke Place project, which has driven Susan to further her research… but more on that later. I could have talked with Susan and Liz all day, Susan’s stories are fascinating and she has had quite a life! Read more…

Digging Up ‘Little Hell’!

20 December 2018 by Liz

Looking back on 2018, this has been a fascinating and fun year at the Museum of Liverpool. One of my professional highlights of the year has been the excavation we undertook in July at Oakes Street (between London Road and Pembroke Place). As part of the Galkoff’s and Secret Life of Pembroke Place project the Museum of Liverpool archaeology team worked with Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine to see what was hidden under their car park.  With the support of the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) we’d been able to undertake extensive map and desk-based research, which had told us that this was the site of some courtyard housing, but you never know what you’ll actually find when you start digging! Read more…

University Women banner – revealing histories and mysteries

19 December 2018 by Kay

Women carrying banners

Women’s suffrage procession outside of Liverpool Central Library in 1910. Photograph courtesy of Lancashire Archives DDX 1137/5/24

The British Federation of University Women, (today known as the British Federation of Women Graduates), was founded in 1907 to bring University women together. The following year, a Liverpool Association was formed by Eleanor Rathbone and other local ladies.

Members worked for women in the city.  Mrs Nan Mackean, former Honorary Secretary of the Association explained –

“They raised money for beds in the new Women’s Hospital, campaigned for women to serve in the Police Force, and battled bravely against the introduction of the marriage bar for university women staff, which meant that if women married, they were automatically dismissed from their posts and were unable to continue with their careers. During the 1930s, and in wartime, members welcomed European women who were refugees fleeing from the Nazis, giving them hospitality while they waited for a passage to the USA, and providing them with clothes and money for the journey”.

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.