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Posts tagged with 'social history'

Eberle Street: cock fights, The Tempest and 250 years of transformation

25 January 2016 by Matt

Garlands New Year's Eve poster with people dressed as Wizard of Oz characters

For those of you who aren’t familiar with Eberle Street, it is one of the main streets in Liverpool’s defined ‘Gay Quarter’ around Victoria Street and Dale Street, and is home to Garlands nightclub and to GBar – but more on those a little later.

Eberle Street is soon to have a makeover with ‘a unique paving and lighting scheme paying homage to the mythical Emerald City, Yellow Brick Road and Judy Garland’. Now, makeovers often lead people who work in museums, especially to me working on the Pride and Prejudice project to start thinking about the past. How did Eberle Street go from being a dark and non-descript alley to being a thoroughfare straight out the Wizard of Oz? Read more…

Vote for Tramcar 245 as Tram of the Year!

10 December 2015 by Sharon


The restored Tramcar 245 at Birkenhead Heritage Tramway

The restoration of Tramcar 245 has been recognised by British Trams Online and our wonderful tram is in the running for their award of Best Tram (Traditional) for 2015. But it needs your votes to win.

Please vote for Tramcar 245. Voting closes mid-January 2016.

Read more…

HIV – fighting fear with education

20 November 2015 by Matt

Matt and John Walter by a huge pink inflatable sculpture

The launch of the Pug Virus installation.

Not that long ago I met up with artist John Walter as he unveiled his Pug Virus at the Walker Art Gallery. The installation, a massive bright pink representation of the HIV Virus, got me thinking about how HIV and other sexually transmitted infections have been represented in Merseyside across the years.

Many people will remember the information campaigns of the mid 1980s which used icebergs, mountains and falling monoliths to shock and scare people into taking precautions against catching the HIV/AIDS virus. Some of them were documented in the Now+then display, at the Museum of Liverpool earlier this year. These ‘doom-laden’ fear-inducing adverts, shot in blues and greys and black, seem a far cry from the bright pink creation of John Walter. How did we get from one representation to the other?  Read more…

Follow the Liverpool Remembers poppy trail

9 November 2015 by Karen O'Rourke

Liverpool Remembers poppy trail logo

I was pleased to be asked to work with Liverpool City Council and Culture Liverpool on a trail, to accompany their Poppies: Weeping Window installation at St George’s Hall. Like many people, I was really excited when I heard that the artwork would be in the city during the Remembrance commemorations. I also thought it was very apt that it should be situated at St George’s Hall, where thousands of men had enlisted for the First World War, and where we now gather every year, to commemorate those who have lost their lives in conflict.

I hope that visitors to the Weeping Window will also explore the Liverpool Remembers trail panels that lead down to the Pier Head. Read more…

Jet the dog – Liverpool superhero (to curators and small boys!)

19 October 2015 by Kay

man in uniform with a black dog

Painting of Jet by Alfred Kemp Wiffen, 1949. Presented by Mrs Babcock Cleaver in 1967, accession number WAG 7004

Jet has always been a hero close to my heart. I was initially introduced to his story whilst working on my first exhibition here at National Museums Liverpool – Spirit of the Blitz at Merseyside Maritime Museum in 2003. We included the bronze bust and oil painting shown here of Jet, from the Walker Art Gallery collections, which took pride of place. The exhibition even had a specially designed Jet the Dog children’s trail. We also interviewed his owner’s daughter, Lillias Ward about Jet’s wartime heroics Read more…

Appeal – is this you in the photograph?

13 October 2015 by Kay

Mother and sons with Jubilee decorations

Silver Jubilee street party, June 1977, Old Swan, Liverpool

Our display Growing up in the city: in photographs features a range of fantastic photographs depicting Liverpool childhoods from the 1870s to the 1990s, from the Museum of Liverpool’s collections.

After searching through many postcards, photographs and glass plate negatives in our stores, it was a hard choice to select the final 25 images. I could have included so many more – especially as I wanted to ensure that lots of different children and childhoods were represented.

One of my favourites is this image of a young mum, with presumably her two young sons in Old Swan – Ulster Road, we believe. It was taken in June 1977 by local photographer, Harold Douglas Avington. Read more…

Women’s Suffrage in Liverpool – the campaign for the right to vote

9 October 2015 by Kay

sculpture of woman holding a 'votes for women' sign

Statue of Mary Bamber – A Revolutionary Woman

On 12 October a new film Suffragette is released. If you’re interested in the local campaign to give women the right to vote you should visit our display, Taking liberties – women’s suffrage in Liverpool. The display was created in partnership with the 1918 Club, a local discussion forum for women established in 1918 by Eleanor Rathbone, a prominent politician and campaigner.

1918 is a significant year for many reasons, but particularly as this was the year that the campaign to give women the right to vote gained success with the Representation of the People Act, which gave the vote to tax-paying women over the age of 30.

Many prominent Liverpool people fought for this basic right. Read more…

1856 time capsule – connecting the Abbott family across the generations

2 October 2015 by Kay

photo of 3 women

Sisters Caryl Woof, Susan Towler and Anne Lurcott (Sarah’s mother). Their mother, Dorothy, was Florence’s daughter.

Back in June we put a special time capsule on display which gave us a fascinating glimpse of Liverpool life in 1856. Originally laid on 9 December, 1856 in the foundation stone of the workshop, warehouse and showroom of Abbott’s Cabinet Makers, it was rediscovered by builder John Connell during renovation work at the ‘Scandinavian Hotel’, on the corner of Nelson Street earlier this year.

Sarah Light, from West Sussex, heard about the display and got in touch to tell us that she is a descendant of the Abbot family and was very interested to see that the time capsule had been laid by her great great great grandfather, Samuel Abbott! Read more…

Pride and Prejudice – but not what you think!

30 September 2015 by Matt

programme cover with illustration of the theatre

Royal Court Theatre Programme, 1951

A lot of my colleagues saw the title of the Pride and Prejudice project and thought we were doing an exhibition on Jane Austen, or at the very least Georgian life.  Luckily for me, they were wrong.  Instead what we have started work on is an amazingly interesting but admittedly challenging task.  We are undertaking a unique two year project, funded by the Esmee Fairbairn Collections Fund, to identify, research and better present objects and stories relating to Liverpool’s Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) communities held within our collections. Easy? Think again… Read more…

Tramcar 245 is launched!

18 September 2015 by Sharon

historic tram running on a tramline in Birkenhead

Tramcar 245 looking fantastic after restoration

As Curator of the Transport Collection at the Museum of Liverpool I work with a fantastic collection of vehicles, and over the years I have worked with some very special groups of people associated with these vehicles.

I first met members of the Merseyside Tramway Preservation Society (MTPS) about 18 years ago. Sitting on a restored tram at the Wirral Transport Museum they told me all about their work. I was really impressed by their skills and their enthusiasm for the work they did. When a request to restore Tramcar 245 came through from them a short while later I thought the tram couldn’t be in better hands.

Tramcar 245 has a special place in Liverpool’s transport story. Read more…

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