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John – evacuee and media star!

18 June 2019 by Kay

Our new exhibition, Blitzed: Liverpool Lives brings together dramatic images of Blitz-damaged Liverpool alongside evocative spoken memories of people who experienced the aerial bombardment first-hand. One of those people is John McEwan. John grew up in Salisbury Street, Everton and was evacuated after his family had a very close shave. John’s is one of many interviews in our Liverpool Voices archive which I spent many hours listening to and selecting highlights to be included in the exhibition.

John was invited to our press call the day before the exhibition opened to be interviewed by the local media. Just before it began I had the pleasure of showing him around the exhibition. He listened to the audio of himself in the central ‘cinema area’ and read his quote I used to bring to life a photograph of children outside of bombed homes. It brought back lots of memories for him and he was an absolute pro, recalling many experiences for Radio Merseyside, The Guide Liverpool, Liverpool Echo, Culture Liverpool, Wirral Globe etc.

Read this transcript of John’s audio in the exhibition –
“My dad would be home on leave and he heard sirens and the blackout was on and he made his way home expecting to find my mother and the three children, Betty, Tommy and myself in the air raid shelter.   When he went to the air raid shelter we weren’t there. He then went to the house and my mum was under the kitchen table, or under the dining table, with the three children.   Obviously my dad was very concerned about this. I don’t know exactly what went on other than the fact that the decision was made to evacuate us.  My mother was also pregnant at the time with my younger brother Peter, who is a year younger than myself. And as a result the three children, myself, Betty and Tommy were evacuated to St Joseph’s Children’s Home in Freshfield near Southport, and that would be sometime in 1940, in around maybe the autumn of 1940.

The reason we went more than any other, was that we lived not far from the docks.  Because if they were bombing the docks, the German planes were never allowed to go home with ammunition, they weren’t allowed to.  So they dropped the bombs on the way, you know, when they were retreating from their targets that was the natural thing for them to do.  The British pilots would do the same if they were doing a raid, partly because they had to show they had done the job and also it would be a lighter plane and it would improve their chances of getting back.  So we were in bombing range of the Liverpool docks and there were, I mean, I remember even after the war, long after the war, up to, I say to about 1950, there were bombed houses, and ‘ollers’ as we used to call them, and wasteland all round that area.  So, certainly in the street I lived in, Salisbury Street, there were three or four bombed sites, so it wasn’t a question of maybe, it was a question that you were extremely fortunate if it didn’t happen, to either you, or a relative, or a friend.”

“Peter and I were taken into this lounge and told, ‘John, Peter, this is your daddy’. Because of all the moving around we just accepted it and it was more or less like being introduced to a schoolmaster.   It was very strange, but for my dad, it was very, very emotional.”

John McEwan
Liverpool Voices Archive, Museum of Liverpool

Thank you to John and all of the contributors to the exhibition.

We are gathering memories and responses to the images and memories in the exhibition. Selected responses will be displayed in the exhibition. You can leave a reply in the comments book in the exhibition, share via Museum of Liverpool social media or come along to one of our workshops

Father’s Day at National Museums Liverpool

4 June 2019 by Megan

The countdown is on. Father’s Day is round the corner and it’s safe to say most of us need a plan!

Don’t panic though National Museums Liverpool has something for even the pickiest of pas. So if he is a car enthusiast, art lover, astronomy nerd or would love a Sunday feast overlooking our beautiful waterfront take a look below at what we have on offer. Read more…

1919 Race Riots centenary – looking back at Untold Stories

In November 2013 at the Museum of Liverpool, we launched our Untold Stories project, exploring the stories of some of Liverpool’s Black Families in the First World War. We were able to search back through the histories of several local families, who then featured in our exhibition, Reflecting on Liverpool’s Home Front, which was a great success and ran for a year from July 2014.

As part of the project, we worked with local groups and organisations to create a mix of events, both in the Museum and in the Liverpool 8 area. While working on a series of creative writing workshops with Writing on the Wall, we got the chance to look at an amazing archive of material, relating to the Race Riots in Liverpool that happened in 1919. Now, 100 years on, Writing on the Wall is telling the story of the Riots as part of their WoWFest 2019 programme. Read more…

A final look at a fresh perspective

1 May 2019 by Jacob Spruce

Sadly this weekend is your last chance to visit the fantastic Fresh Perspectives exhibition at the Lady Lever Art Gallery which closes on Bank Holiday Monday, 6 May. GCSE and A-level students from five local secondary schools are exhibiting an inspirational array of artworks. Whether that’s a ceramic flamingo or an oil portrait, the level of talent on show this year is incredible.

To mark the end of this vibrant exhibition students from Birkenhead School who created a series of print and collage pieces on the theme of travel, will be running a free family printing workshop on Saturday 4th May between 1-4pm in the Activity Rooms. Families are welcome to drop in and have a go and make their own artwork using maps and bird imagery. Read more…

Exploring a fresh perspective

24 April 2019 by Siobhan

Five Wirral schools have been selected to show their work in the biennial exhibition Fresh Perspectives at the Lady Lever Art Gallery.

This unique opportunity allows local students a chance to display their work in a national gallery and enables our visitors to enjoy the work of the artists, makers, designers and creatives of the future.

With the exhibition half way through it’s run we thought we would take a closer look at the work and the views of the students and teachers from two of the schools involved. Read more…

Fun-tastic February half-term

15 February 2019 by Megan

For families looking for a fun-packed half-term, National Museums Liverpool has lots of free events for everyone to enjoy. Read more…

OUTing the Past! Festival of LGBT History 2019

21 January 2019 by Kay

Rainbow coloured light bulb Come and join us this LGBT History Month at The Museum of Liverpool, 23 February, for our OUTing the Past Festival of LGBT History. This year we are one of 18 venues in the UK and Ireland, Norway, Sweden and New York! Speakers will be coming from around the UK , including some home-grown talent.

It will be a bumper day of diverse talks and a performance to end the day on a high (more details will be revealed). Why not combine it with a last chance to see our fabulous exhibition Tales from the city, which explores the lives and experiences of Liverpool’s LGBT+ community from 1967 to today? There are also a range of tours and drag tales to enjoy before the exhibition closes 31 March.The festival and exhibition are free and everyone is welcome.

Museum of Liverpool interior. (C) Pete Carr

Museum of Liverpool interior. (C) Pete Carr

OUTing the Past Festival of LGBT History –

11am Christian Owens – From Small Town Boy to ‘Visible’ City Cop

11.30 Val Stevenson – Trans-Verses: Poetry themes in The Glad Rag and Cross-Talk Magazines 1970s – 1990s

12 noon Pierrette Squires – Bisexual representation in museum collections – how you can help your history to be represented.

12.30pm Adam Hodgson – UNISON: Our Proud History – from lone voices to collective action for LGBT equality

1pm Chris D’Bray – Queering a Post-Modern Music Hall.

2pm Hilary McCollum – Public and private lesbian worlds in the 1920s

2. 30pm Steve Boyce – Sex, Crime and Punishment throughout history.

3pm Addea, G – Scrumming Together & Tackling Homophobia

3.30pm Natasha Walker – Better Connected – The History of Switchboard

Location – Education room 3, Floor 1.

 

Beauty and Virtue in Mexico City

14 January 2019 by Chrissy Partheni

Togate and Faustina

Just before Christmas we opened the exhibition ‘Beauty and Virtue: 18th century English collecting of classical art’ at the National Museum of Anthropology – the largest and most visited museum in Mexico City. It’s taken two years of careful planning and has involved the work of different NML teams and an ongoing collaboration with our Mexican colleagues from INAH. Showcasing the diversity and richness of our collections,  the core of the exhibition is from the sculpture collections of Henry Blundell, alongside paintings from the Walker’s and Lady Lever Art Gallery’s collections, including works on papers and Wedgwood material. They serve well to introduce the theme of 18th century Grand Tour and also help demonstrate the influence classical antiquity had on artists’ education and training, and the new ways artists reimagined the ancient classical world.

Read more…

Alternative Miss Liverpool crowning glory

7 November 2018 by Kay

Alternative Miss Liverpool 2011, wearing the crown

© Steven Cheshire, 2011

Homotopia Festival is now in full swing with events happening across the city up until 1 December.

To help celebrate Homotopia’s 15th birthday we have loaned the inaugural Alternative Miss Liverpool crown. It can be seen in all of its glittery glory in Tales from the city exhibition.

Zoe Graham, ‘Miss Voodou’, was crowned the first ever Alternative Miss Liverpool at The Kazimier on 12 November 2011. The high-spirited pageant, organised with Andrew Logan, the founder of Alternative Miss World, was part of the annual festival. 23 people of diverse ages, genders and sexualities took part.

Zoe was presented with the amazing crown specially designed by Norwegian jeweller, Borre Olsen, Liverpool fashion guru’s Pashina & Lupo and Liverpool milliner Hayley Marsden.  Read more…

Gary Lawrence wins John Moores 2018 Visitors’ Choice

26 October 2018 by Andrew

Visitors’ Choice winning artist, Gary Lawrence

Visitors to the John Moores Painting Prize 2018 have spoken in their thousands and voted for Gary Lawrence’s Kos Town Paradise Hotel Front Terrace to be their winner for this year’s Visitors’ Choice Prize. The dark and deceptive painting won the £2,018 prize, sponsored by Rathbones. Read more…



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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.