Posts tagged with 'social history'
Seventy years since the May Blitz, the spirit of Pitt Street lives on.
Seventy years ago this month, a devastating aerial bombardment struck Liverpool, ending lives, demolishing homes and displacing whole communities. It is in tribute to “the spirit of an unconquered people” that Liverpool’s Anglo-Chinese community were part of the effort to keep calm and carry on, piecing back together not just buildings but homes and livelihoods.
Pitt Street, 1915, shaped by tall converted warehouse buildings and cobbled streets, stretches out under the constant watch of St Michaels Church spire, busy with dozens of Chinese businesses, from boarding houses to grocers and tobacconists. This was the birthplace of Liverpool’s Chinese community, the destination for seamen from all over the world including Spain, the Philippines, Italy, the West Indies and Scandinavia – to name just a few. To the people who lived and grew up there, this was ‘world’s end.’ Pitt Street was the place to go, bustling with shops and cafes all within easy reach of the docks. Kwong Shang Lung was one of the city’s earliest grocers to specialise in Chinese food, trading from 1915 until the bombs fell in 1941. Read more…
13 April 2011 by Lucy
Our press office volunteer Jack is back again, with his musings about collecting popular music…beyond the museum.
Collecting tickets from music concerts is an age old custom amongst many people including myself, in order to preserve the memory of the occasion or simply to say ‘I was there’. This in itself is nothing extraordinary. The question, however, is how significant these physical remnants are in relation to the music itself and why we, as music lovers, conserve them. How do we treat these objects, both personally and through our museums? Is it all about the music or are the relative keepsakes just as important? Read more…
8 April 2011 by Lucy
The Press Office volunteer Jack Poland has spotted a good story again. Here he tells us more about the child-sized post box that’s in our collections:
Fazakerley Cottage Homes were opened in 1889 to accommodate poor and orphaned children, housing up to 584 children at a time. In addition to the 21 cottages where the children lived, there were schools, farm buildings, gardens and a swimming pool. The homes also introduced another unique addition, which, after plans to install it in the Museum of Liverpool were revealed, has roused a fair amount of intrigue.
The object of interest is a child-sized post box which was specially made for the children to post their letters and cards. It was used up until the Homes’ closure in 1964 when it was thankfully rescued by a member of the Post Office staff and kindly donated to National Museums Liverpool.
Curator of community history Kay Jones attended the Fazakerley Cottage Homes Association annual re-unions in June 2009 and 2010 to find out more about this intriguing piece of local history. Read more…
21 March 2011 by Lucy
Francesca Aiken, assistant exhibition curator for the Museum of Liverpool’s Global City Gallery writes:
“How could it happen? How could I not know about this?” was David Yip’s response when he heard for the first time about the enforced repatriation of hundreds of seamen from Liverpool’s Chinese community that took place in 1946.
For many of those directly affected, the wives and children of Chinese seamen who worked for the Merchant Navy during the Second World War, the truth about their sudden disappearance wasn’t known until decades later – many thought they had been abandoned. Now, 65 years later, more and more are discovering the truth. Read more…
28 February 2011 by Lucy
The Museum of Liverpool education team is currently trying to track down a number of objects they can use as handling resources for learning sessions when the new museum opens.
Being able to touch and feel an object is a great way of bringing history to life for visitors, and if you think you can help provide us with any of the objects listed below, then please get in touch.
The list of objects required is as follows:
• Liverpool-made toys
• Victorian metal bucket and spade set
• Vintage Union Jack flag
• Opera glasses
• Top hat
• Items linked to imports and exports from Liverpool history – clay pipes, locally made clocks and watches, Herculaneum pottery, tea chests with Liverpool links.
• First World War or home front items linked to Liverpool such as postcards, mementos or photographs
• Carpet bag
• 19th Century Italian lire
• Victorian Knife sharpening equipment or tailoring equipment
• Items related to the Liverpool Overhead Railway
• Docker’s Hook
• Original Beatles records
• 1950s or 1960s transistor radio and TV
• 1960s primary or secondary school text books
• Old-style school desk – wooden with inkwell
• 1960s Afghan coat Read more…
21 February 2011 by Stephen
Image Courtesy of Liverpool Daily Post & EchoAs a young news reporter in the 1970s I flew by helicopter to an exploratory gas rig in Morecambe Bay on a facility trip. We were taken on a fascinating tour but what I remember most was how strange we all looked in flight suits and helmets. This was especially true of Ron and Les Clare – twin brothers who were at that time the Liverpool correspondents of the Daily Telegraph and Daily Express respectively. Oil and gas rigs may not be the most beautiful structures on the seas but they have become familiar sights off our coasts. A 1:100 exhibition model of the Sovereign Explorer semi-submersible oil rig at Merseyside Maritime Museum bristles with amazing detail and demonstrates the supreme practicality of these craft. In 1981 shipbuilders Cammell Laird of Birkenhead received an order from Dome Petroleum Ltd of Canada to build this drilling unit for offshore oil exploration. At that time it was the most valuable offshore contract obtained from abroad for a British yard, marking the start of a new era for Laird’s. The massive Sovereign Explorer was handed over in June 1983. Standing at 109 metres, she was specially designed to tap the vast resources of oil located beneath the sea bed in the North Sea’s British section. Sovereign Explorer was a steel catamaran where two huge hollow barges or pontoons supported a three-deck platform on four columns. She was capable of drilling to a depth of 7,600 m and exploring underwater depths of up to 600 m in severe wind and sea conditions. Another 1: 100 exhibition model depicts the self-lifting offshore accommodation platform AV-1 of 1985, also built at Cammell Laird’s, It was built for British Gas for use in the Morecambe Bay Gas Field. This unit had four 88 m legs with a hydraulic jacking system enabling it to operate in tidal waters to a maximum depth of 47.5 m. It had a helicopter landing deck (helideck), storage areas, workshop, cinema and gymnasium. A huge crane could lift up to 150 tonnes over a radius of 50m. A gangway provided access to adjacent gas or oil rigs. Until 1975 most of Britain’s oil had to be imported and natural gas came in liquid form on tankers from North Africa. Once natural gas and oil were discovered in the North Sea, a number of fields were developed off North East Scotland and further south. Fields were later developed in Liverpool and Morecambe Bays. Before Britain’s resources began to decline, the industry supported more than 300,000 jobs including 4,000 seafarers on various kinds of offshore and support vessels.
A new Maritime Tale by Stephen Guy appears every Saturday in the Liverpool Echo. A paperback – Mersey Maritime Tales (£3.99) – is available from the museum, newsagents and bookshops.
It’s that time of year when many of us will be making our annual trip up to the loft to get down the tinsel, fairy lights and all important star for the Christmas tree. But this time while you are up there cast your eyes around- you may very well be able to help the Walker Art Gallery with one of their major exhibitions for 2011!
Curators at the gallery are on the hunt for paintings by local artists that were included in a ground-breaking exhibition held in Liverpool almost 100 years ago and feel sure some of them must have made their way into local homes. Read more…
19 November 2010 by Eleanor
My name is Ellie and I am a new addition at the National Conservation Centre in Liverpool. I am here on a year long internship in Objects Conservation and Public Engagement, funded by ICON (Institute of Conservation) and the Heritage Lottery Fund.
While I am here I will post regular updates on the blog to provide a glimpse of what is happening behind-the-scenes at the National Conservation Centre, as conservators look after and investigate fascinating objects from the collection. Read more…
5 November 2010 by Lucy
Thirty two members of the St Michael in the City Church Group attended an event at the Maritime Museum this week to mark the close of six months of fact-finding in partnership with the Museum of Liverpool Global City gallery team.
Attending the event were those who grew up around Pitt Street and Cleveland Square, whole streets that were flattened in the May Blitz of World War Two. This area was once a hub of activity for Seamen from all over the world, their families part of a vibrant community that would form the foundations of Liverpool’s Chinatown as its known today. Read more…
25 October 2010 by Lucy
A film about football in Liverpool wouldn’t be complete without an insight into ‘Derby Day’, and soon we will be recreating our very own with the help of reds and blues across the city.
It’s true to say that football can unite, but many families across Merseyside are split down the middle, with some members supporting one team, and others pledging allegiance to another. Read more…