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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

Volunteer spotlight: Randa Craig

12 February 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 we are meeting up with volunteers who have been making outstanding contributions to the organisation and finding out more about the work that they do.

Randa Craig and Anne Gleave in the Maritime Archives Library

This month, I had the pleasure of meeting Randa Craig, a volunteer with the Maritime Archives and Library, whose enthusiasm for the role was clear from the get go! Randa was introduced to National Museums Liverpool and volunteering through a friend in 2012 and began working with the Archives in 2014.  Her first project was working with Paper conservation: cleaning glass plate negatives from the Stewart Bale collection.

Randa told me that it is exciting to be surrounded by beautiful art and that it is a privilege to be so close to the works. Read more…

Double Fantasy John & Yoko

20 March 2018 by Laura

John and Yoko

Photo by Keith McMillan (c) Yoko Ono

On what would have been the couple’s 49th wedding anniversary we are very proud to announce a major new exhibition, telling the story of John Lennon and Yoko Ono Lennon’s profound personal and creative chemistry at the Museum of Liverpool. Read more…

Fresh Perspectives: Call out to Wirral secondary schools

13 February 2018 by Siobhan

Young people admiring their artwork in teh Fresh Perspectives art exhibition at the lady lever Art Gallery

Opening of the Fresh Perspectives exhibition at the Lady Lever Art Gallery

April 2019 will see the return of the biennial schools exhibition Fresh Perspectives: Art from Wirral schools at the Lady Lever Art Gallery.   Fresh Perspectives is a fantastic opportunity for schools to nurture and promote the talents of their students, for young people to engage with arts and culture outside of the classroom environment and to support those with an interest in further education in the arts, offering them an insight into creative careers.   This will be the fourth occasion that the exhibition has taken place but for the first time schools will have the opportunity to apply to have their students GCSE and A Level work included.

Read more…

Unseen photographs of Gerry and the Pacemakers in new exhibition at Museum of Liverpool.

13 July 2017 by Laura

Band and fans

Gerry and the Pacemakers performing at the Cavern.

‘Gerry and the Pacemakers: Hit Makers and Record Breakers’, a collection of more than 30 photographs, opens to the public this Friday. Read more…

Guest blog: Yan Preston on her work, ‘Now and Before’

24 April 2017 by Laura

Man

Yihao, student and amateur footballer, Wyncote Sports Grounds, Liverpool, 2016 © Yan Preston.

As part of Look/17 Yan Preston’s ‘Now and Before’ is on display on Museum of Liverpool‘s media wall and within Liverpool One shopping district.

In this guest blog Yan tells us more about the project: Read more…

How to shoot into the light – photography tips by Ant Clausen

5 October 2016 by Laura

Large window

View from The People’s Republic in Museum of Liverpool. Image © Ant Clausen

Last week we were incredibly excited to announce the window from The People’s Republic gallery had won MyGlazing.com’s UK’s Best Window with a View. While the view is outstanding we also have to thank Ant Clausen for his dramatic photograph which caught the attention of so many voters. Read more…

The evolving story of Poppies: Women and War

19 May 2016 by Sam

close up detail of a bright orange poppy

© Lee Karen Stow

There is not long left to catch the incredibly moving and inspiring exhibition Poppies: Women and War, which closes on 5 June 2016 at the Museum of Liverpool before going on tour. Photographer Lee Karen Stow reflects on the exhibition and her plans for the future in her latest blog:

“As the Poppies: Women and War exhibition comes to a close at the Museum of Liverpool, so the poppy flowers begin to bud and bloom in the gardens and fields of England. I’ve planted a few seeds and plants myself this spring, to see and capture the pink, tangerine, blue and black poppies.

For this story is evolving. Read more…

Winning On the Waterfront photograph by Bernard Rose now on display

11 May 2016 by Sam Vaux

Winner, Bernard Rose with his winning photograph Ferry Cross The Mersey 1972, holding his original Nikon F camera he used for the photograph in 1972.

Winner, Bernard Rose with his winning photograph Ferry Cross The Mersey 1972, holding his original Nikon F camera he used for the photograph in 1972.

It’s been a busy week at the Museum in the lead up to LightNight this Friday, with a brand new addition now finding pride of place in our On the Waterfront exhibition.

Ferry Cross The Mersey 1972 by local photographer Bernard Rose is the winning photograph in our recent On the Waterfront photography competition, hotly deliberated by our judges from almost 500 entries.

Bernard, accompanied by his wife Enid met deputy director of Merseyside Maritime Museum, Ian Murphy to see his winning entry, which is now on display as part of the exhibition until it closes on 19 June 2016.

Bernard reveals the fascinating story behind his winning photograph Ferry Cross The Mersey 1972: Read more…

On the Waterfront photography competition winner

4 May 2016 by Sam

children running on the ferry as it goes past Liverpool's waterfront

The winning photograph – ‘Ferry Cross The Mersey 1972’ by Bernard Rose

Our competition to find a photograph to display as part of the On the Waterfront exhibition at Merseyside Maritime Museum attracted almost 500 entries. This meant that our three judges –  the exhibition curator Sarah Starkey, Ian Murphy, deputy director, Merseyside Maritime Museum and exhibition officer Katherine Lloyd – had a very tough but thoroughly enjoyable job to whittle these down to just one winning photograph for the exhibition.  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.