Peoples Heritage – free heritage activities 2016

Workshop 1: Thurs 19 May, 2.30-4pm / Workshop 2: Tues 24 May, 2-3.30pm / Workshop 3: TBC

Merseyside Maritime Museum is producing brand new heritage interpretation for Albert Dock. Installed throughout its colonnades later this year, it will guide visitors through the Dock’s fascinating history.
We are offering a unique chance to be part of this process.
Three workshops will explore the process behind exhibition creation and archive research, drawing on the experience of Merseyside Maritime Museum and Liverpool Record Office staff. They will look at applying these ideas to the themes and stories at the heart of the Albert Dock interpretation project.

Workshop 1: Merseyside Maritime Museum
The first workshop will look at the processes used to put together an exhibition. Maritime Museum staff will explain the steps that they work through when creating a display, using examples and case studies of the Museum’s most recent exhibitions: On the Waterfront and Lusitania: life, loss, legacy.

Workshop 2: Liverpool Record Office (at Liverpool Central Library)
Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of Liverpool Record Office? This session will take you behind closed doors and let you uncover some of the archives relating to the Albert Dock. There will also be information on how to access the archives for general research, with help on hand to answer questions.

Workshop 3: Merseyside Maritime Museum
The final workshop offers an opportunity to discuss the themes of the Albert Dock project in light of the information gained in earlier sessions. Museum staff will discuss the group’s ideas and suggest practical steps for taking these forward, shaping them, and creating a display.

You may book for individual workshops or for the entire series, depending on your availability. We will give first option for places on Workshop 3 to those who have booked for either of the other two workshops once the date has been confirmed.
To book a place, please email Community Engagement Officer:


Monday 23 May & Saturday 16 July, 2pm

This fascinating tour begins with a presentation on the history of Liverpool before the docks were created, moving through to the development of the Albert Dock and the regeneration of the buildings that now house Tate Liverpool. The Tate Liverpool building has gone through several transformations since opening in 1988 and this tour will reveal its secrets.

To book, email Community Engagement Officer:

Bespoke times

Discover the fascinating history of the Albert Dock and its place within Liverpool’s waterfront. Walks last around an hour.
Times can be booked to suit individual groups.
You can also let us know if you have any specific interests that you’d like the walk to include.

Groups of approx. 5-20 people. To book, email Community Engagement Officer:

2015 John Hamilton Lifelong Learning Lecture – ‘A Palestinian Memoir: Where next for the right of return?’

Ghada Karmi

‘A Palestinian Memoir:

Where next for the right of return?’

Thursday 22 October, 6pm

The Quaker Centre, 22 School Lane, (near the Blue Coat Chambers), Liverpool


This year the John Hamilton Lifelong Learning Lecture will be delivered by Ghada Karmi. One of the most passionate and articulate advocates of the cause of the Palestinian people, Ghada is the author of the best-selling In Search of Fatima (Verso 2002). She has also recently published A Palestinian Memoir: Where next for the right of return? (2015).

In her writings she has described the harrowing experience that she and her family went through during the Nakba (‘Catastrophe’) of 1948 when many hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forced out of their homes by the terrorism of the emerging Israeli state. The great majority were displaced to refugee camps in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan; those who are still alive remaining there with their descendants to this day. Currently around five million UNRWA registered Palestinian refugees live in camps after an expulsion lasting nearly 70 years.

Ghada and her family came eventually to London. Her father had worked for the BBC in Palestine and was able to take up a post with its Arabic service. However, the Karmi family always lived with a sense of displacement and longing for their original home and culture. In 2005, after many years of political activism campaigning for the right of the Palestinians to return to their homeland, Ghada took up an opportunity in 2005 to work as a media consultant with the Palestinian Authority. In her most recent book she tells of the frustrations of that experience, working with an organisation that whilst mimicking the manner and organisational style of a ‘state’ is actually powerless to achieve justice for Palestinians, dominated always by the political and military power of Israel.

However, she also insists that just as her own generation looks now to the young educated Palestinians who today staff the various UN funded projects and campaign offices of the Palestinian Authority, so too do they need to know the story of the 1948 generation in order to make sense of their struggle today.

For more information go to:

To book go to:

Life After Life: Reading Kate Atkinson

By Dr Shirley Jones


Twenty years ago, Kate Atkinson’s first novel, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, was published. Its heroine, Ruby Lennox, tells the story of her life from before conception to adulthood with ‘footnotes’ relating to her ancestors, such as her great grandmother who in a moment of despair leaves 6 children to run off with a ‘magician’ or angelic Uncle Albert, who ‘collected good days the way other people collected coins or postcards.’. Cataclysmic historical events such as the two world wars affect Ruby’s family dramatically whilst lesser landmarks, such as the 1953 Coronation and the 1966 World Cup final provide wonderful comic set pieces. At the heart of the novel is a mystery, for the seemingly omniscient Ruby, does not in fact know all.

Family, identity and heritage are consistent themes in Atkinson’s work as is history and the passing of time. Atkinson’s 2004 novel, Case Histories, opens with 3 unexplained crimes from the past which the novel’s hero, Jackson Brodie, is called upon to unravel. As we follow his progress we come to understand that his own personal history is shaped by devastating loss. In the Jackson Brodie series (four novels to date), Atkinson’s plotting is complex and compelling. At the same time these novels are rich tales of contemporary life with all of its comic absurdity, violence, and love.


Atkinson’s recent 2013 Costa Novel Award winner, Life after Life represents the pinnacle of her achievement so far, narrating the multiple possibilities of one woman’s life. Over and over again we are told the tale of Ursula Todd, and her many deaths and extraordinary lives. Astonishingly, this narrative experimentation does not lessen the reader’s emotional involvement with the character but enchants and ensnares.

The most wonderful thing about Atkinson’s writing is that whatever form it takes, family saga, short story, crime novel, experimental fiction, her work is always absolutely readable.

Reading list: 

Kate Atkinson, Behind the Scenes at the Museum, 1995

Kate Atkinson, Not the End of the World, 2002

Kate Atkinson, Case Histories, 2004

Kate Atkinson, Life after Life, 2013

Kate Atkinson, A God in Ruins, 2015

Shirley will be teaching Life After Life: Reading Kate Atkinson at the Central Library from Thursday 15 October, 2-4.30pm for 8 meetings. If you would like to book on that course you can enrol online here Life After Life: Reading Kate Atkinson

Maritime Public Lecture Series 2014 – World War: From the Front to the Margins

Our Maritime Public Lecture Series are free – however you will need to sign in on the day. If you would like to reserve a place beforehand you can do so by visiting our website Maritime Lectures 2014 .

All lectures take place at the Maritime Museum, Albert Dock – 1-2pm (except the 7 May which will take place 12-1pm).

May 7

* this lecture is 12-1pm

The Front Line at Sea: how the ships and men of the north-west coast held the line.

Discover the response of the north-west coast to the First World War: we associate ‘Make Do and Mend’ and rationing with the Second World War. This talk shows how, with losses outweighing the capacity to build, and the country facing starvation by April 1917, Britain turned to Lancashire trawlers, Mersey ferries, small Cheshire schooners, Liverpool-built ocean liners and concrete ships built in Barrow to make do and mend, and get vital supplies through.

Serena Cant, English Heritage
May 14


Lusitania: Liverpools liners and the First World War

Liverpools RMS Lusitania was a record-breaking world famous ship and her tragic sinking on 7 May 1915 by a German U-boat sent shockwaves around the world. Her loss was felt particularly keenly in Liverpool due to her strong ties to the city, and the fact that so many of her crew were drawn from the area. Find out more about Merseyside Maritime Museums upcoming exhibition to mark the centenary of the sinking, set against the backdrop of the pivotal role that Liverpools seafarers, liners and merchant ships played during the First World War


Ellie Moffat
Merseyside Maritime Museum
May 21


Constructing Conchies: Conscientious Objectors to the Military Service Act 1916

This lecture focuses on the men who conscientiously objected to compulsory military service in WW1, looking at who they were, why and how they resisted, how they were seen and what happened to them. Illustrated by contemporary images, the story told also includes reflections on more recent examples of objection and how we see these men today. The lecture draws upon over 20 years of research on conscientious objection to the military in England and, in particular, Lois’s monograph Telling Tales About Men: Conceptions of Conscientious Objectors to Military Service During the First World War (Manchester: MUP, 2009).

Lois S Bibbings University of Bristol
May 28 A Birkenhead Boy in Bordeaux: Wilfred Owen a Century Ago

Wilfred Owen is the quintessential war poet. He grew up in Oswestry, Birkenhead and Shrewsbury but in 1914 he was living in France. This talk will look at Wilfred Owen’s life in Bordeaux a hundred years ago, before looking at the arrival of the war in the summer of 1914 and Owen’s decision to enlist in 1915. The talk will consider his responses to the war and his reasons for choosing to fight. This lecture will be followed by a short poetry reading. Speaker Dr Guy Cuthbertson, Liverpool Hope University, author of Wilfred Owen (Yale University Press, 2014)

Guy Cuthbertson

Liverpool Hope University



Black Tommies: soldiers of African descent in the First World War

Join author Dr Ray Costello as he talks about his forthcoming book.Ray will give an illustrated talk on this untold history, which highlights some of the many forgotten British-born Black soldiers who played their part including Black Liverpudlians.

Dr Ray Costello

Centre for the Study of International Slavery

June 11 Veiled Warriors: the true story of allied nursing in the First World War

Although allied nurses were admired in their own time for their altruism and courage, their image was distorted by the lens of popular mythology. They came to be seen as self-sacrificing heroines, romantic foils to the male combatant and doctors’ handmaidens, rather than being appreciated as trained professionals performing significant work in their own right.Professor Christine Hallett will challenge these myths to reveal the true story. Drawing upon evidence from archives across the world, she will describe nurses’ wartime experiences and give a clear appraisal of their work and its contribution to the allied cause between 1914 and 1918, on both the Western and the Eastern Fronts.


Christine Hallett, Professor of Nursing History, University of Manchester