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Behind the Scenes: Setting up the ‘Hanging Out’ display

30 November 2019 by Kay

Kerrie McGiveron and May

Kerrie McGiveron and May

Kerrie McGiveron is lead researcher for the community-led oral history project ‘Hanging Out: The Histories of Liverpool’s Laundry Life.’ This is her final blog post revealing the background secrets of installing our display. Read more…

Fumigation at Liverpool Museum, 1930s style

29 November 2019 by Sarah Starkey

newspaper story about fumigation of collections at Liverpool Museum

Newspaper cutting regarding fumigation at Liverpool Museum, Hivey Fumigation Company, c1934 (MAL reference B/HI/4)

The Maritime Archives and Library seeks to collect and preserve the maritime history of the Port of Liverpool. Because of the wide range of businesses that were involved in the maritime economy, we hold some slightly unusual collections. These include a box of documents from Hivey Fumigation Company, providers of fumigation and pest control services to warehouses and ships. So, not a giant of maritime commerce, but another vital part of the industry, without which cargoes would have been ruined, voyages made unbearable, and disease spread far and wide. Read more…

The Perfect Christmas Dinner: Our Head Chef’s Ultimate Guide

28 November 2019 by Heather

The festive season is nearly upon us. Food galore, drinks flowing, exchanging gifts and spending time with your nearest and dearest… Who doesn’t love this time of year? For many though, the thought of having to cook Christmas dinner can be stress-inducing to say the least. To help you out, we’ve asked our Head Chef –  James Behan – to share his top ten tips for that perfect Christmas roast…

Head Chef James Behan

1.Start the preparation early

For a stress-free Christmas day, preparation is key. ‘Fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ as the kitchen saying goes. This can start weeks before by making the Christmas pudding, Christmas cake, cranberry sauce and chutneys; all of which get better with time.

Most of the time-consuming preparation should take place on Christmas Eve. I always cook the gammon and prepare the vegatables and stuffing the day before. It’s a perfect chance to spend time with the family and get everyone involved with the cooking, and will make for a more relaxing Christmas day. Trust me!

2. Early bites

Instead of serving starters at the table, I do nibbles and canapés to start as people are arriving. It’s much more informal and allows you time to concentrate on cooking the dinner itself. As we all know, the last hour is when it all comes together.

I like to serve smoked salmon and horseradish crostini, duck liver and spiced cherry chutney en croute – and of course, a glass of champagne to drink. Read more…

Liverpool’s Dancing Queen!

22 November 2019 by Lisa Peatfield

Norah standing with dance students

Image courtesy of Norah Button

The Museum of Liverpool’s oral history project, Liverpool Voices, collects and preserves the stories of Liverpool and its people. As part of this project we recently recorded Liverpool resident Norah Button talking about her pioneering work at the Liverpool Theatre School on Aigburth Road.

Norah took over the running of the Liverpool Theatre School, founded during the Second World War by her grandmother, Anastasia Morrisey, when she was just 15 years old. She told us how she combined her own dance training with running the school and taking on paid work to support her family following the death of her father. “I knew I had to get a job but I still wanted to train [as a dancer] so I got a job, you mention it, I got it: canteen assistant, cleaning, washing glasses in the priests’ house, all sorts”. Attracted by its £100 prize money Norah also entered and won the 1962 Miss Liverpool beauty pageant. She went on to win numerous other beauty competitions, using the prize money to support herself and the school. Read more…

Extinct or indistinct? The Canary Islands Oystercatcher

21 November 2019 by John Wilson

World Museum’s Canary Island Oystercatcher, specimen T16000

Among World Museum’s zoological treasures is our collection of extinct birds. Many of these extinct birds are island species such as the Dodo, the Green Spotted Pigeon, and the Lord Howe Island group of endemic birds, found only on small islands and nowhere else in the world. Read more…

Fancy a swim in the Mersey? First Ladies 1 Mile Championship

18 November 2019 by Lisa Peatfield

Lucy Morton's gold brooch

16 year old Lucy Morton won this gold brooch in the Ladies 1 Mile Mersey Championship in August 1914. She was one of eleven competitors and finished in 24 minutes, 25 seconds with a lead of 40 yards (36 metres). The race took place along the western side of the Mersey from Eastham to the Conway training ship moored near Rock Ferry.  It was billed as featuring the “pick of England’s Amazonic wonders”! Read more…

Museum of Liverpool wins family friendly award

12 November 2019 by Megan

Pictured at the awards ceremony L-R: Julia Bryan, Senior Education Manager, Melody Sparks, Visitor Assistant, Philp Mould, art dealer, broadcaster and host, Chris Kerfoot, Education Team Leader, Museum of Liverpool. © Jayne Lloyd

Some of the team at the Museum of Liverpool were recently invited along to the Kid’s in Museums award ceremony in London. Chris Kerfoot, Education Team Leader takes us through the nomination process and the excitement of the awards.

Acknowledgement can be so powerful and inspiring. Earlier this year, over 800 museums, galleries and heritage attractions across Great Britain were nominated by the public for the Family Friendly Museum Awards 2019. These annual prizes are awarded by the charity Kids in Museums.

From over 800 nominations, fifteen venues were chosen as finalists, amongst them National Museums Liverpool had two venues nominated, World Museum and Museum of Liverpool. The finalists were invited to the Mayfair Hotel in London for the announcement of the winners.

The awards are described as the ‘Baftas of the Museum World’ and venues were split into categories depending upon their visitor numbers for the judging. All the finalists received certificates presented by television broadcaster and President of Kids in Museums Philip Mould. Then the winners in each category were announced.

The winner of the Large Museum category was Museum of Liverpool.

Kids in Museums Family Friendly Award

This wonderful accolade is testament to all the wonderful teams working at the Museum of Liverpool now, in the past and in the developing stages of our Museum. Together we have faced many challenges along the way but have triumphed to be regarded as one of the most family friendly museums in the country.

Thank you to all those people who nominated the Museum of Liverpool, thank you to all the judges, we are glad you enjoyed your visits and thank you for acknowledging all our hard work. We welcome everybody to our Museum and are particularly happy that families feel particular welcome. You are all very welcome to share our Museum and remember acknowledging others can be so important and heartening.

The Fearful Object

8 November 2019 by Jen

19th century short sword and scabbard

Sword bayonet brought back from the Crimea by Cunard seafarer George Paynter. – MMM.2012.41.1-2

A couple of years ago I attended a talk at a Museums Association conference entitled ‘The Fearful Object’. The idea behind which was a discussion of objects that are difficult for museums to display and interpret due to emotional or controversial associations. These can take many different forms, from artworks created by artists whose personal activities are unacceptable to us, to objects that are difficult in and of themselves, such as human remains, torture and force-feeding equipment, or weapons.

Just as there are some objects that we find ourselves drawn to, there are also those that repel us. Difficult or unpleasant objects; objects that can ignite a visceral response in us. I recently encountered one within the Maritime History collections that elicited such a response in myself. Read more…

Hitler bombed my Wendy house!

6 November 2019 by Kay

Valerie outside of her Wendy house. Image courtesy of Valerie Williams Nimmo

As part of Blitzed: Liverpool Lives we are gathering people’s first-hand experiences of the Blitz to include in the exhibition. Read more…

Breathing new life into old records

5 November 2019 by Abbie Brennan

This year we decided to put our old aerial photographs to use, to create an insightful new resource…

Read more…



About our blog

Welcome to the National Museums Liverpool blog! Written by our staff and volunteers, we’ll give you a peek behind the scenes of our museums and galleries.

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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.