10 Things we learned about our city at Museum of Liverpool
4 years ago
From elephants at the Dental Hospital to magic spell books and medals from distant lands, Museum of Liverpool tells the tale of our city and its incredible people.
There’s over 10,000 years of history on offer at Museum of Liverpool. Approaching it’s 9th birthday on the waterfront, the galleries and Instagram famous sweeping staircase are the home of local culture, history, music, people and so much more. Ground breaking exhibitions, such as the hugely successful Double Fantasy, have drawn visitors from around the globe as well as right here in Liverpool.
You can see our city streets through the ages. Photographs and personal stories show, first hand how our city landscape has changed, yet local pride remains as strong as ever. Now a meeting place for groups old and young, as well as a warm, welcoming, free visitor attraction, Museum of Liverpool is your one stop shop even if you think you know your history!
Here’s 10 things we learned (and loved) about our visit to Museum of Liverpool…
1 – Liver Birds Flock Together
Did you know Museum of Liverpool has its very own replica Liver Bird? Part of The People’s Republic exhibition, the 18ft tall green bird looks out to its brother and sister atop of the Royal Liver Building. It’s a stunning view and a great selfie opportunity.
2 – Lights Out
The May Blitz all but devastated Liverpool. A seven day sustained attack on the thriving port city reduced the streets and city centre to rubble. Bootle was left with less than 15% of its streets in tact. Looking at photos of the city in the Bombed Out exhibition in contrast to what we know today, and reading about how people survived an rebuilt afterwards is both emotional and rewarding.
3 – Liverpool City Zoo
Did you know that Liverpool city centre once had it’s very own zoo? A map from 1835 is clearly marked with ‘Zoological Gardens’ on the site where the current Dental Hospital sits, behind the Royal. It’s thought the site may have been a holding place for travelling circus! Imagine seeing an Elephant knocking about on London Road!
4 – Memory Walk
Museum of Liverpool regularly welcomes community groups and schools. The museum is also keen for senior Liverpool residents to visit and connect with their part in local history. We learned how Memory Walk events encourage older visitors to share their memories and stories and to find out how the city’s history is being told today. These gallery tours are part of the wider House of Memories programme. If you’d like to get involved, head this way.
5 – The Magician of Pembroke Place
Liverpool’s links with New York have been well documented and celebrated thanks to our maritime history. However, did you know there is a magical connection too? William Dawson Bellhouse was a self proclaimed Professor of Electricity and Galvanism and he resided at Pembroke Place in the mid 19th century. He hand wrote a booked filled with spells, magical ceremonies and astrological theories.
Museum of Liverpool has a replica on display as the original book is kept in the New York Public Library archives, you know, where they set the opening scenes of Ghostbusters!
6 – Discover Your Roots
In the Global City exhibition on the ground floor at Museum of Liverpool – you can trace a number of fascinating family histories. Local people have loaned personal belongings and recorded their incredible stories of how they have come to call Liverpool their home. We learned that every single one of us plays a part in the rich tapestry of our international city. Photos, fashion and stories of integration are so heart warming.
7 – All The King’s Men
The King’s Regiment is one of the countries oldest military regiments, and it’s Liverpool’s own. The City Soldier’s Gallery at Museum of Liverpool not only looks at the history of the regiment but also the daily lives of soldiers and their families through the ages. We tried on some of their (very heavy) kit, checked out the medals and saw a rare albino beaver skin from 1777!
8 – The Cathedral that Never Was
Liverpool is famed for it’s two stunning Cathedrals. Sitting either end of Hope Street, visited by thousands and an instantly recognisable part of our world famous skyline, there’s more to the history of one of these buildings than what we see today.
From the enormous model of Sir Edwin Lutyens’ design for Liverpool’s Catholic Cathedral – one of the most elaborate architectural models ever built in Britain, we discovered the story of the extraordinary ambition of the plan to build the world’s second largest cathedral, right here in Liverpool.
9 – Eye of the Tiger (and Lion)
There’s a very famous Lion at Museum of Liverpool. Made in Leeds along with her sister Tiger, Lion the Locomotive was made to join the Liverpool to Manchester railway which had opened in 1930. The engine, which is in incredible condition, takes centre stage at the Museum of Liverpool’s The Great Port exhibition.
Once the poster girl for transport in the city, Lion was restored in Crewe before going on display at Lime Street Station. The bright lights of Hollywood beckoned as Lion then featured in a number of films including; Victoria The Great, Lady With The Lamp and she starred in the first Ealing comedy in techni-colour in 1952! What a star!
10 – Little Liverpool
Museum of Liverpool is a fantastic place for little ones to explore, learn and have fun. Little Liverpool on the ground floor of the museum is filled with hands on activities that are educational and great fun. Liverpuddles encourages kids to sail dinky boats, fish for pretend marine life and rubbish as part of environmental awareness. It’s just one of many activities that offer little hands and minds a real challenge.
To find out more about what’s on at Museum of Liverpool this winter, head to www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk and follow @MuseumLiverpool on Twitter for updates.