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In safe hands

The story of the Liverpool Pilots

Man in Liverpool Pilots uniform on a ship by the Liverpool waterfront

© Colin McPherson

22 July 2016 to 4 June 2017

Free entry

Set sail with the Liverpool Pilots on a journey from 1766, through the world wars and onto the thriving modern port of Liverpool. 

This exhibition tells the story of the heroic Liverpool Pilots and explores their vital role in navigating ships in and out of the Port of Liverpool.

Marking the 250th anniversary of the Liverpool Pilotage Service in 2016, In safe hands highlights dramatic examples where the Pilots’ judgement and bravery have saved lives and cargo from disaster. Liverpool waters are some of the toughest in the world to navigate. Ships entering Liverpool Bay and the River Mersey face serious hazards and rely on the skills and knowledge of pilots to ensure their safe passage.

The exhibition explores the development of the Pilotage service within the wider history of the Port of Liverpool, from the explosion of growth in the 18th and 19th centuries, decline in the mid to late 20th century, through to the thriving port of the 21st century. 

Meet the Liverpool Pilots

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Free events

The exhibition is accompanied by talks, Edmund Gardner pilot ship tours with our award-winning guides and a lightship craft activity for all the family.  See all In safe hands events.

men in a small boat sailing towards the pilot ship

A punt with pilots approaching the Edmund Gardner c1960s. Collection number: MDHB/EG/7/11/14.