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Living with the forties

Key facts

  • Suitable for: Key Stage 2
  • Subjects: English, History
  • Session type: Museum led
  • Duration: 90 minutes
  • Class size (maximum): 35
  • Venue: Merseyside Maritime Museum
  • Free


Living with the forties is a unique, award winning learning opportunity led by the members of the Liverpool Women’s History Group.

These sessions are available in March, June and November.

Dates for workshops in 2018 are:

November - 7, 8, 9, 12, 13, 14

Workshops begin at either 10.15am or 1pm.

Further details

women dressed in 1940s clothing

Is your class studying Liverpool’s local history or life during the Second World War? Then the women of Liverpool Women’s History Group are able to bring a first hand knowledge of local and national  life in the 1940s, as most of them lived through it!

The class are introduced to life in wartime Britain viewed through a series of scenes based on their personal experiences and using original wartime objects such as different types of gas masks, stirrup pumps, all in ones, home made toys and pixie hats.

The session begins with the sound of the traditional song 'The Big Ship Sails on the Ally Ally O' being sung as the children and any accompanying adults are led to their seats under an archway of outstretched arms.

Topics covered include, evacuation, rationing, air raids, and the blackout.

It is a highly interactive presentation with children being asked to volunteer as evacuees. The ladies play the characters, such as the billeting officers, and people from the countryside taking in the evacuees.

This can be booked in conjunction with a museum staff led tour and self led rationing activity at the Piermasters House,  a recreated Second World War house five minutes walk away from Merseyside Maritime Museum, to make a full day of Second World War themed sessions

Curriculum links

Key Stage 2 - History


  • Pupils should be taught about: a local history study

Non statuary

  • a study of an aspect of history or a site dating from a period beyond 1066 that is significant in the locality.
  • a significant turning point in British history, for example, the first railways or the Battle of Britain


  • The range should include opportunities for pupils to listen to live talks, readingsor presentations