Archive for the ‘Liverpool’ Category

Albert Dock

Albert Dock

Albert dock

Albert dock

Albert Dock

Albert Dock

Merseyside Maritime Museum

Merseyside Maritime Museum

The Old Customs House soon to be the extension of the International Slavery Museum

The Old Customs House soon to be the extension of the International Slavery Museum

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The Edmund Gardner is one of three large pilot cutters built for the Mersey docks and Harbour board in the 1950s. It entered into service in 1953 and is named after a former chairman of the harbour board. It served as a base in the Irish Sea for pilots guiding ships into and out of Liverpool docks, providing accommodation for up to 32 pilots. As an example – in one 24 hour period in 1960 it provided 10 inbound pilots (two passenger liners, two tankers and six cargo vessels)and collected pilots from six outbound vessels. It remained in service to 1982 when ownership passed to the Merseyside Maritime Museum, where it is now displayed. It is one of only two preserved large pilot boats in the world (the other being in Australia). Unfortunately on the day that I was there, there were no tours of the ship. However, Merseyside Maritime Museum does provide a virtual tour on their website for anyone who’d like to see around the ship. It can be found at http://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/maritime/collections/edmundgardner/tour/index.aspx

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Some posters associated with the Liverpool Overhead Railway including the notice of closure from 1956.

These and many other items related to this pioneering and unique Railway are on display in the Museum of Liverpool

Views of Liverpool (1)

Posted: October 15, 2013 in Liverpool, UK
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Radio City Tower

Radio City Tower

World Museum

World Museum

Anglican Cathedral

Anglican Cathedral

Walker Art Gallery

Walker Art Gallery

Central Library

Central Library

The Liverpool overhead railway ran the entire length of the dock front in Liverpool.

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It was referred to locally as the ‘dockers umbrella’. It opened in 1893, having taken fewer than four years to build and in its construction signalling and the use of electricity as a power source ( as opposed to steam) it had many unique and innovative design features.

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Run as a private railway,it escaped nationalisation although this ultimately may have led to its downfall. In 1955, a report on the structure of the overhead lines listed extensive repairs needed to be carried out in order to make the railway safe. The private company who owned the railway, deemed these were unaffordable and opted to close it down. It closed to passengers in 1956 and the track was dismantled the following year.

This carriage and the section of track are preserved in the Museum of Liverpool

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This statue is of Dionysos, the Greek god of wine, theatre and vegetation. He can be identified by the fact that he is carrying a kantharos (a drinking cup) and a thyrsus (staff) with a pine cone on the top. In the stories of the Greek gods. he is portrayed as quite different to the majority. Unusually legends recall that he was a vegetarian. He was renowned for wandering across the Greek lands, followed by bands of women, promoting the growth of vineyards. Also, he seems to have been a particularly revengeful God, who punished any disobedience to his will.

This statue is a Roman first century copy of an earlier Greek statue and can be seen in the World Museum, Liverpool

Liver Birds

Posted: October 7, 2013 in Liverpool, UK
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The Liver bird is the symbol of the city of Liverpool. It’s use dates from the Middle Ages and it is normally described as a cormorant with a frond in its mouth, although there is still some discussion as to what exact species the bird actually is. It may have started out as an eagle, one of the symbols on the seal of King John, who granted the city’s original charter in 1207, but more modern depictions have tended to resemble a cormorant.

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The most famous examples of the liver bird today seen on the top of the Royal Liver building, built in 1911. One bird looks out over the city, watching over its people, and the other looks out to sea, watching over the city’s sailors and the source of the city’s prosperity. There is a legend that if the birds fly away the River Mersey will flood and destroy the city.

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This example of the Liver bird was originally from above the doorway of the city’s Seaman’s home, which served as a place of temporary accommodation for seaman arriving in the port. A census in 1881 recorded 118 sailors from many different nations staying at the home. It was closed in 1969 and demolished to make way for a new shopping centre. This Liver bird is now on display in the Museum of Liverpool.

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The Lion is one of the UK’s earliest railway locomotives, built at Leeds in 1838 for the Liverpool & Manchester Railway. It remained in service for only 20 years before it was transferred to Liverpool docks to act as a pumping engine. In 1928, it was presented to Liverpool Engineering Society and placed on a plinth at Lime Street station, where it remained until 1941 when it was removed and sent to Crewe for safekeeping. After the Second World War, it did not return to Liverpool but remained at Crewe making a few public appearances and was used in films. Most notable of these was ‘The Titfield Thunderbolt’ made in 1952. It remained in storage until 1967 when its owners first loaned it, and subsequently donated it, to Liverpool Museum. Amazingly, it was still capable of being steamed and in 1980 took part in 150th anniversary celebrations of the Liverpool and Manchester Railway at Rainhill, where it pulled a train under its own steam. Subsequently, however, the decision was made that due to the historic nature of the locomotive and the amount of work that would be required to keep it in steaming condition it would be withdrawn and placed on static display in the Museum of Liverpool.

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The Kingston Down brooch dates from between 600 to 625 A.D. This is one of the finest Anglo-Saxon brooches ever discovered and contains over 830 pieces of metal together with garnets, blue glass and Pearl inlay on a gold framework. It has been suggested that it may well have come from the same workshop as the finds discovered at Sutton Hoo in Essex. However despite it’s finery this was not just a display item and the wear pattern suggests it was quite regularly used and had been repaired a number of times. It was discovered at Kingston Down in Kent by Brian Fausett in 1771 and was offered the British Museum, following his death, in 1853. Amazingly, the British Museum declined the offer, apparently because at that time it had no interest in British history! A few years later it was purchased by Joseph Mayo and presented to Liverpool Museum where it can be seen today.