Our venues


Search results

Shackleton’s Antarctic Adventure Competition

24 November 2010 by David

Open now at Merseyside Maritime Museum, Endurance: Shackleton’s Antarctic Adventure tells the amazing story of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1914 expedition to the vast continent of Antarctica, as told through the photographs taken of the voyage by Frank Hurley, who dove into icy waters to retrieve his negatives.

To celebrate this pioneering explorer spirit we want to see photos of your travels and explorations, whether from exotic destinations thousands of miles away or somewhere unusual closer to home. You don’t have to brave the harsh conditions that Shackleton and his crew endured, just be imaginative! Read more…

Alexandra Shackleton – a fascinating members’ lecture

27 September 2010 by Lisa


Here’s Sarah Houghton our Fundraising & Membership Officer to tell us about a unique members’ event that happened earlier this month:

Ladies getting their books signed

Alexandra signs books for our members

At the beginning of the month our members’ were given the exciting opportunity to meet and hear from Alexandra Shackleton, granddaughter of the famous explorer Ernest Shackleton.

Not only did Alexandra give the members a fantastic insight into her grandfather’s character and numerous expeditions but she also talked about the journeys she had made too, many in memory of the great Ernest Shackleton. Alexandra also made time to sign books that the members had bought on Shackleton. This was a lovely ending to a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

The visit was inspired by the latest exhibition at the Merseyside Maritime Museum; Endurance Shackleton’s Antarctic Adventure. This moving exhibition tells the epic story of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1914 Endurance expedition – an incredible real life tale of survival.

This was another great event for our members to enjoy all free of charge as part of their benefits package. For more information on how you can become a member and take part in our fantastic events along with many other exciting benefits call our Membership Officer on 0151 478 4157 or visit our membership web page.
Read more…

The spirit of Shackleton

16 July 2010 by Sam

portrait of a smiling man

Lt Col Henry Worsley in the exhibition

I was fortunate to be able to attend the official opening of Endurance: Shackleton’s Antarctic adventure yesterday. The exhibition was officially opened by Lt Col Henry Worsley, whose grandfather Frank Worsley was part of Shackleton’s Endurance expedition and a key member of his rescue party.

However our speaker wasn’t invited just on the merits of his grandfather. In 2008-09 he led an expedition of his own, taking a group made up of descendents of Shackleton’s original expedition members to recreate one of the great explorer’s earlier attempts to reach the South Pole a century before them.

In an incredible lecture he described the difficulties faced by Shackleton’s original team and how, even with the advantages of modern technology, his own expedition faced a monumental challenge. The entire audience was spellbound throughout, especially when Henry showed us pictures of Shackleton’s very own compass, which his grandaughter lent to him to guide them on their journey. Read more…

Boaty McBoatface and other unusual ship names

28 March 2016 by Sam

sketch of a ship in the river Mersey

Sketch of the unpronouncable Tyrrhenia leaving Liverpool by EW Barrett, 26 January 1924. Accession number 1987.118.4.14

Just across the river from Merseyside Maritime Museum, Camell Laird shipyard in Birkenhead has produced many well-known ships over the years – HMS Ark Royal and Mauretania II to name just two. However a ship is currently being built there which is arguably more famous than any of these – quite an achievement when it isn’t due to be launched until 2019. But then this is the £200million research vessel that the British public want to call Boaty McBoatface. Read more…

Recognition for those who served on WWII Arctic Convoys

18 May 2015 by Jen

Brenda Shackleton holding her Father's Artic Star

Brenda Shackleton holding her Father’s Arctic Star.  Image courtesy of Brenda Shackleton.

Last December I blogged about Brenda Shackleton’s fight for greater recognition of the remarkable story of the Merchant Navy Rescue ships and their vital contribution to the Second World War. Men of the Merchant Navy, including Brenda’s father Bill Hartley, crewed these small coastal vessels following the Allied convoys from 1940 onwards, with the sole purpose of rescuing survivors should any of the ships be torpedoed. It was a dangerous and difficult task but their actions succeeded in saving the lives of 4194 men throughout the Second World War.

The ships on all the convoys suffered high risks and terrible losses but there was one particular convoy route described by Churchill himself as:

“The worst journey in the world.”

Read more…

Rescue Ships addition to Battle of the Atlantic gallery

4 December 2014 by Jen

Brenda Shackleton on gallery with new Rescue Ships panel

Brenda Shackleton on gallery with new Rescue Ships panel

Many people are familiar with the important role the shipping convoys played during the Second World War and the dangers they faced to keep Britain supplied. Shipping provided all the oil, half of all the food, and most raw materials required by Britain. By 1939 this was 55 million tons of food and raw materials per year. The convoys were famously escorted by the Royal Navy, who worked hard to offer protection to the vital shipping, but there was another group supporting them whose role is less well known. Read more…

Polar prizewinner

11 February 2011 by Dawn

Last year we invited you to share your pictures of spectacular scenery, unusual locations and far-flung destinations as part of our photography competition, inspired by the ‘Endurance: Shackleton’s Antarctic Adventure’ exhibition. We teamed up with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic to give one lucky winner and three friends the chance to see the live orchestral & cinematic production, ‘Polar’.

The quality of entries was exceptional, but we’re thrilled to report that the prize was won by Mr Bernard Bowler for his truly outstanding photograph, Skiddaw. Despite the apparent Antarctic conditions depicted, the picture was taken in the Lake District. Read more…

New exhibitions for a great new year!

31 December 2010 by Lisa

Are you ready for new year’s eve? Thinking about what the new year will bring? I’m planning my party outfit and looking ahead to all the new exhibitions that will be coming to our venues. We’ve had a great year in 2010, with a record number of visitors to the ‘John Moores painting prize’ exhibition, the epic tale of survival brought to life in our Shackleton exhibition and the fascinating insight into wedding clothes and customs in ‘Hitched’ at Sudley House.
Read more…

On the Waterfront

16 July 2010 by Lucy

view of the Museum of Liverpool and riverside walkway

Copyright Mills Media

Liverpool’s waterfront is going to be a hive of activity this weekend, as the On the Waterfront season begins with one of two weekends packed full of free cultural events.

Inspired by nature’s forces of air, wind, fire and water, the events will take place throughout 16 – 18 July and 6 – 8 August across the Albert Dock and Pier Head. People attending both weekends will also be glad to know that the riverside walkway in front of the new Museum of Liverpool will open specially for the On the Waterfront season. Read more…

Polar explorers do the paperwork

16 January 2007 by Sam

Detail of customs document completed by Shackleton

Detail of a Master’s Declaration, announcing Shackleton’s last expedition in 1921

Today is the anniversary of the day that polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton found the magnetic south pole in 1909. You’d think that after returning from an adventure like that he’d just want to stay at home with a warm mug of cocoa, or tick off the ‘visit south pole’ box on his travel wish list and start planning a cruise round the Caribbean to thaw out. He obviously wasn’t the sunbathing type though, as he led several more expeditions to the Antarctic after this. 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.




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.