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Posts tagged with 'World Museum 150th anniversary'

World Museum fact for the day – post-war reopening

15 October 2010 by Lisa

Our World Museum 150th anniversary celebrations kick off tomorrow, so here it our final fact for the day taken from our archives.

Did you know… that in January 1956 the museum reopened for the first time since war damage in 1941.  Writer, heiress and political activist, Nancy Cunard also visited the museum that day.

Don’t forget to leave your memories of the World Museum on our ‘memory wall’ if you are visiting us this weekend!

Black and white photo of interior of museum

Interior of the museum in 1956

Did you know…World Museum fact!

14 October 2010 by Lisa

Here is our World Museum fact for the day in our daily countdown to all the 150th birthday celebrations happening this weekend:

Did you know… that the museum was bombed during World War II? It happened on 3 May 1941 and you can see the extent of the damage in the before and after images below.

Photos of the inside of the museum

Before and after the museum was bombed.

World Museum fact for the day

13 October 2010 by Lisa

Our 150th birthday weekend is drawing closer… here is our World Museum fact for the day in our daily countdown to all the celebrations:

Did you know… that in 1867 a large number of collection items were handed over to the museum by the collector Joseph Mayer. This haul of treasures included the ‘Kingston Brooch’ which dates back to Anglo-Saxon times. This item is currently on display in the Ancient World area of the museum.

Multi-coloured brooch

The Kingston Brooch

Museum birthday countdown!

12 October 2010 by Lisa

We are counting down to the World Museum’s 150th birthday celebrations which are happening this weekend on 16 and 17 October. Each day we’ll be giving you a fascinating fact from the 150 year history of the museum in our countdown to the big day!

World Museum fact for the day:

Did you know…that on 8 March 1853 the museum opened for the first time on Slater Street in Liverpool. It was then called the ‘Derby Museum of the Borough of Liverpool’ in honour of the Earl of Derby’s bequest of over 20,000 natural history specimens. Read more…

Green monster loose in the World Museum

11 June 2010 by Lisa

Ever wondered what might happen if one of the animals in the museum escaped? To continue our celebration of the World Museum’s 150th anniversary, we have asked Senior Education Manager of sciences, Mike Graham to tell us about one of his memories from working in the Aquarium in the 1970s…


Fish at the aquarium

Some of Mike’s fishy friends from the aquarium

I started in 1972 at the museum in Liverpool when it was the city museum. We had 26 four-foot, cube shaped, aquaria displaying temperate and tropical marine fish, invertebrates and temperate and tropical freshwater fish. We also had a number of displays of snakes lizards, spiders and other invertebrates. It was a brilliant place to work and in those days it was at the cutting edge of aquarium technology. Every day was different with something new to see and experience. We accepted numerous donations from the general public with surprising results.

We were once offered a large green Iguana which had out grown its owner’s home. It’s owner told us that it was about 4.5 foot long – which we assumed was an exaggeration – and when she appeared with a tiny zipped shopping bag, we thought our assumptions were correct. I made the big mistake of opening it in the public gallery to have a quick look and this 4.5 foot monster poked its head and shoulders out of the bag. How she got it in there in the first place was beyond me! It scanned the area in a nonchalant sort of way and then leapt out and scuttled off down the gallery. We had a marble floor and it wasn’t really able to run on this surface, so it made loads of noise which alerted the visitors and of course lead to absolute pandemonium. I rugby tackled it at the end of the corridors and managed to get back into the lab area. Read more…

The Kingston Brooch: Anglo-Saxon bling!

4 June 2010 by Lisa

This week in our celebration of the World Museum’s 150th anniversary we have a blog from Curator of Antiquities, Gina Muskett. Gina is passionate about the objects in the museum’s classical and European collections – here she is to tell us about one of her favourite pieces…


I was really pleased that the ‘Kingston Brooch’, one of the objects I curate, was chosen to represent one of the ‘big dates’ in the 150 years since the museum was founded – 1867, when Joseph Mayer presented most of his collection to the museum. You can read more about Joseph Mayer here.  Read more…

The ambassador Lion

24 May 2010 by Lisa

Let’s look back to 24 May 1980 for this week’s celebration of World Museum’s 150 year history. Our Senior Editor of Educational Resources, Paul Rees, can tell us why this was an important day for the museum…


Steam engine

Lion locomotive

On 24 May 1980, the first day of the celebrations for the 150th anniversary of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway, the replica of George Stephenson’s Rocket fell off the track while moving into position to head the cavalcade. The ‘Lion’ locomotive, from our collections, was then moved up to lead the procession instead. And worthy she was to lead the procession! She was the only remaining working locomotive to have been built by the L&MR.

Lion has a rich history. It was a luggage locomotive in 1838 and then retired to more peaceful work as a stationery pumping engine for the Mersey Docks and Harbour Board in 1859. It was later restored to haul the  ‘Old Time Train’ for the 100th Anniversary celebrations in 1930 and was the star of the film ‘The Titfield Thunderbolt’ in 1953. Finally, Lion came to rest in Liverpool Museum’s Land Transport Gallery in 1969. Just ten years later she was hauled out again and sent to Ruston Diesels works in Newton-le-Willows to be brought back into operating condition. Read more…

Titantic – star of the silver screen

21 May 2010 by Lisa

Model of the Titanic

Today we’re looking back to 21 May 1957 for our celebration of the World Museum’s 150th year. 


On this day in history, our Titanic model set off from the museum for Pinewood studios to star in the film ‘A Night to Remember’.  The model is now on show at the Merseyside Maritime Museum where its label says:

This is the unique, full builder’s model of Olympic/Titanic.  It was built at the Harland & Wolff shipyard in Belfast at the same time as the sister ships concerned.  Originally named Olympic, it was used by White Star to advertise both ships.  After the Titanic disaster the model was altered to represent Britannic, the third ship of the class, which was sunk while serving as a hospital ship during the First World War.  Read more…

Poor Don Pedro!

13 May 2010 by Lisa

Today we are looking back to 15 May 1898 in our scouring of the World Museum‘s archives for our 150th anniversary blog series. Unfortunately it is a sad tale involving an elephant called Don Pedro…


When Barnum and Bailey Circus was in Liverpool between 2 and 21 May 1898, James Bailey decided that Don Pedro, a male Indian elephant, must be ‘euthanised’ because he was aggressive.  The director of the Liverpool Museum attended the killing on 15 May.  The corpse of Don Pedro was transported to the museum where he remained on show until 1941 when the museum was bombed and Don Pedro’s body was destroyed. 

The Liverpool Echo told the story:

‘Don, the second largest elephant of the Barnum and Bailey herd and a beautiful ‘tusker’, was quietly put to death in the menagerie pavilion of the bug show at Newsham Park yesterday morning… Read more…

Spring Public Lecture Series

12 May 2010 by Kay C

Picture of Toxteth Deer Park

I can’t believe our Spring Public Lecture Series is concluding tomorrow, Thursday – the weeks have flown by and the talks have been fascinating.

Our topics this week are, at 2pm, Beautiful Toxteth – The Unusually Royal History of Toxteth Deer Park by Dr Clemency Fisher, who will be revealing the beauty of Toxteth and discussing a couple of Toxtethian zoological riddles, including the identity of some very rare cows. This is followed by, at 2.25pm, Prehistoric, Roman and Medieval excavations at the M62 Tarbock Interchange, 2007. As is the case of many in Liverpool, I travel regularly on the M62, so I’m sure future trips will take on added meaning after tomorrow!
The Public Lectures are held in the Treasure House Theatre, World Museum, from 2pm. Read more…