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Hanging out: The histories of Liverpool’s laundry life

23 September 2019 by Kay

Kerrie. Courtesy of Kitty’s Launderette.

Hi, my name is Kerrie McGiveron and I am the lead researcher on an amazing community-led oral history project ‘Hanging Out: The Histories of Liverpool’s Laundry Life.’ The project, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, will explore Liverpool’s washhouses and the communities around them. I am looking forward to working with the Museum of Liverpool to produce a display based on my research and the oral history interviews I have conducted to celebrate the history and lived experience of our Liverpool community. Watch this space! Read more…

Family’s Blitz memories shared and displayed

5 July 2019 by Kay

Formal portrait photo of a smartly dressed young girl

Elizabeth as a child. Courtesy of Jean Phillips

As part of our exhibition Blitzed: Liverpool Lives we are gathering responses to the images and first-hand experiences featured in the exhibition.

Jean Phillips kindly contacted us via our Facebook page with information about her family in response to the photograph of Louisa Street, Everton. I have added this poignant information to the exhibition alongside the Museum label. Read more…

National Museums Liverpool flies the flag for Human Rights

26 June 2019 by Sahar Beyad

This year marks 70 years since the UN Declaration of Human Rights. It was drafted in 1948, with no more than 50 countries getting involved – and today, we have over 190 who have co-signed this much needed legal text. And never before has this been such a vital piece of affirmation, than now in present day. When there is so much uncertainty in the world. Whether it’s politics, war, and economy – we need voices to stand up for basic rights now more than ever!

I was so happy to learn that National Museums Liverpool was taking part in the anniversary of the human right declaration. This year, to mark the occasion, artist and activist Ai Weiwei designed the flag which seems simple and unassuming at first glance, but then inspecting in detail, the footprint, which has lots of tiny white dots, actually represents those who are fleeing conflict – who are often barefoot – with nothing but the shirt (if) on their backs. It was inspired by a recent trip he took to the Rohingya refugee camp – this therefore became the symbol of the human struggle.

Ai Weiwei with the flag he designed

Across National Museums Liverpool, we have an array of programmes, events and exhibitions that give the voiceless and voice, and portray images of unity, peace and demonstrate our efforts to strive for a better world. Read more…

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. Read more…

Volunteers Week spotlight – Corrina from Ethnology

6 June 2019 by Rachel O'Malley

Volunteers are an integral part of National Museums Liverpool, and without them, important work would not be able to take place. To celebrate Volunteers Week we are meeting more volunteers as part of a bumper Volunteer Spotlight series so we can really celebrate the different contributions that our amazing volunteers make.

Alex (L) and Corrina (R)

Life has a habit of going full circle and that is certainly the case with Corrina: a volunteer with the Ethnology team. When she returned to the UK having taught English in Japan for fourteen years, Corrina revisited what she had originally had an interest in before her move, and looked towards the Walker Art Gallery, which she studied as part of her dissertation. This prompted her to make enquires into volunteering for National Museums Liverpool.

Initially Corrina had been interested in archive work  and she also wanted her volunteer role to link back to Japan: assisting the Ethnology department research and record the Japan collection in the museum collections store seemed perfect. Read more…

Volunteers Week spotlight – Melissa from House of Memories

5 June 2019 by Rachel O'Malley

Emma (L) and Melissa (R)

Volunteers are an integral part of National Museums Liverpool, and without them, important work would not be able to take place. To celebrate Volunteers Week we are meeting more volunteers as part of a bumper Volunteer Spotlight series so we can really celebrate the different contributions that our amazing volunteers make.

National Museums Liverpool is definitely a varied place to work not only do we offer world class collections but we have award winning departments behind the scenes too. It’s probably easy to overlook the work that goes into our museums by a whole range of people from across the organisation, but I’m lucky that on my Spotlight visits I get to meet colleagues from different departments and hear about their projects. One common point that every supervisor has made is that, having a volunteer, placement student or intern helps them to appreciate their own roles more and how fortunate we are to work where we do. I know I certainly do!

Melissa is a Hope University student who is currently completing a placement with the House of Memories team whilst studying for her Museums and Heritage MA. As part of the House of Memories team she has been supporting the Happy Older People (HOP) network since March and it has enabled her meet a wide range of people, learn about the varied roles in the organisation and experience the amazing community work that is taking place. Read more…

Volunteers Week spotlight – Chloe from the Aquarium at World Museum

4 June 2019 by Rachel O'Malley

Volunteers are an integral part of National Museums Liverpool, and without them, important work would not be able to take place. To celebrate Volunteers Week we are meeting more volunteers as part of a bumper Volunteer Spotlight series so we can really celebrate the different contributions that our amazing volunteers make.

Laura (L) and Chloe (R)

I’m quite fortunate in my role that I get to go out and about to our various venues to meet amazing volunteers, for this Spotlight, I was incredibly lucky to meet Chloe and Laura from the Aquarium at the World Museum and gain an insight into a small part of their day to day routine, which for me, involved a behind the scenes tour of the Aquarium!

From the get go, it was clear how much knowledge and passion Chloe has for her role volunteering with the Live Centres team; she is currently studying Wildlife Conservation at Liverpool John Moore University and was ready for a new challenge when she came across the Aquarium Volunteer – Student Placement. The placement would provide her new experiences and fill the gap between university and work. Not only that – but the experience would look good on a CV. Read more…

Volunteer Spotlight: Amani Magdoubi

1 May 2019 by Rachel O'Malley

Volunteers are an integral part of National Museums Liverpool, and without them, important work would not be able to take place. As part of the Volunteer Spotlight series I am meeting up with volunteers who have been making outstanding contributions to the organisation and finding out more about the work that they do.

Amani and Jacinta

If I’m being truly honest, coming away from this month’s Volunteer Spotlight interview with Amani Magdoubi left me full of inspiration. Amani is an extremely well deserving nominee for the Spotlight, not only because of the valuable support that she offers us here at National Museums Liverpool, but for the support that she offers other organisations and communities around Liverpool.

Amani has been volunteering since she was at college and has thoroughly enjoyed the opportunities that have come her way. Many of Amani’s volunteering roles have introduced her to new contacts through networking which have turned into new roles; this is how she started with us at National Museums Liverpool. Amani met a member of the Development team at the SheTrades event in Liverpool, who told her about roles within the department, this then led to Amani’s current role in the Finance team. Amani also volunteers with Tate Liverpool as part of the Tate Collective and a local women’s community group as well as roles with the Liverpool Arab Arts Festival and the Sony Photography Awards to name but a very small few.

Volunteering with the Finance department has provided a great number of career development opportunities; Amani has been able to learn how to use the SAGE finance system which is something that she had previously wanted to use and gain experience in a finance, office environment. Typical day to day tasks include researching new suppliers and categorising the information, proof reading, analysing data and working with foreign currencies. Amani has played an integral part in the organisations set up of the Approval2Buy scheme, having watched the project develop, she is now tasked with facilitating communications with teams who want to use the new scheme, this has helped her get to know other people in the organisation. Amani strikes me as a meticulous individual who takes pride in her work, explaining that she wants the work that she does and the data that she handles “to be of value”.

One aspect of volunteering for National Museums Liverpool that Amani has really enjoyed has been the family-like atmosphere that she has felt from her team. She explains that everyone has been lovely and very understanding, Amani’s supervisors Sam and Jacinta have provided her with professional support and help with her CV; Amani and Sam meet regularly to discuss her development, provide feedback and any other support that she may need. It was lovely hearing how valued Amani is in her team, Sam explained that he trusts Amani to make progress and that it is a relief to have her support projects; they are able to help her to make her next career steps but she is also helping them to improve: it is mutually beneficial. The role that volunteers play is vital to the organisation and helps to make it what it is. Something that has set National Museums Liverpool a part from other places that Amani has volunteered has been the recognition programmes, such as the monthly rewards scheme that we have signed up to through THRIVE. By having a long term volunteering role, Amani explained that she feels valued, and having access to an email account makes her part of the team.

Amani’s education background is in accounting, finance and business management but has fallen into arts and culture through her volunteering roles almost accidently. She has now developed a passion for the arts which also feeds in to her interests outside of volunteering (where she finds the time I do not know), her hobbies include various crafts including sewing and she is currently enrolled on to a course to help develop skills that she can hopefully turn into an entrepreneurial project. Creativity aside, she also keeps up to date with the business world through podcasts, talks and networking.

When asked why others should volunteer Amani was incredibly poised when she explained that despite people saying “it’s not worth it” or that “it’s a waste of time”, volunteering actually helps you to develop your professional skills and is a stepping stone to help you find a your career direction. Furthermore, volunteering helps you to find your feet before you find a job, so that the world of work doesn’t seem like such a shock. Amani explained that she still plans to volunteer when she is in a job because she wants to give back.

Jacinta is an advocate for volunteers within the organisation and has always embraced embedding volunteers and those on placements within her team; Sam is here as part of the Civil Service Fast Streamers programme and this is the first time he has had supervisor responsibility and is enjoying helping Amani to develop her skills.

Volunteer spotlight: Andrew Richardson

28 March 2019 by Rachel O'Malley

Volunteer Andrew Richardson with a regional archaeological find.

Volunteers are an integral part of National Museums Liverpool, and without them, important work would not be able to take place. As part of the Volunteer Spotlight series we will be meeting up with volunteers who have been making outstanding contributions to the organisation and finding out more about the work that they do.

For this month’s spotlight, I was able to make my way to the waterfront in the beautiful February sunshine (hopefully not too much of a distant memory by the time you read this) to meet Andrew Richardson, a Regional Archaeology volunteer who volunteers with Vanessa Oakden, Curator of Regional and Community Archaeology in National Museums Liverpool’s Archaeology departmentRead 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.

 



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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.