Liverpool has long been a beacon for philanthropy and service to others. The wealth and squalor of the City in the 19th century, when great privilege and abject suffering existed side by side, meant there were always people who needed help and others with the resources to provide it. Through the 20th century to today, Liverpool and its people have continued to face challenges and develop strategies to meet them, often leading the way for the rest of the UK.
This year, the annual public lecture series organised by National Museums Merseyside and Continuing Education at the University of Liverpool, takes as its theme In the Service of Others. The Museum of Liverpool is a new venue for the lectures; in previous years they have been held at the Maritime Museum. With this year’s focus on society, philanthropy and service, the Museum of Liverpool is an ideal venue. This lecture series is a free public event which traditionally launches the University of Liverpool’s Continuing Education programme. You’ll be able to pick up a copy of the new prospectus for 2016-17 which details the huge range and type of short courses, lectures and events available. You can preview this now by visiting www.liverpool.ac.uk/continuing-education
This year at the Museum of Liverpool, on Thursdays in September at 1-2pm, our expert lecturers will be shining the spotlight on some little-explored issues and histories of helping others. Topics include those connected to Merseyside but also subjects with a different or more national focus.
On September 8, John Lansley will begin the series with an overview of Liverpool: City of Philanthropy. John will be investigating the many social conditions that demanded action, and describing the religious, political and business attitudes of those that responded.
September 15 takes us further afield as Anna Bocking-Welch talks on Youth Against Hunger: Youth Service, Idealism and Humanitarianism in 1960s Britain. As today perhaps, in the 1960s there was widespread concern about youth. Could the solution be solved by diverting young people’s energies to humanitarian action? Anna will be sharing her research into the important role that young people played in 1960s campaigns against hunger in the developing world; she will seek answers to the question ‘did humanitarianism really manage to redirect youthful idealism away from destructive protest towards service to others?’.
September 22 brings us a very different take on helping others in the City. Ben Whittaker, will talk on The Liverpool Pilots: 250 Years of Service, charting its history since 1766 as the indispensable aid to ships navigating in and out of the Port of Liverpool. Why are the pilots so essential and how has their role has changed from the 18th century to the present day?
September 29 brings another perspective again, with Michael Lambert talking about his research on ‘Problem families’ on Merseyside, 1943-74. The idea of ‘problem families’, as well as what help they needed, was pioneered in Liverpool. Using the records of mothers sent to the Brentwood Recuperative Centre, a residential rehabilitation institution, Michael will explore what it meant to be a ‘problem family’ in post-war Merseyside.
There is a warm welcome to all who join us. We’ll be in Education area 3 on the first floor of the Museum of Liverpool, and no booking is required.