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Second World War - the Piermaster's House

Perfect for groups looking at Liverpool during the Second World War, this session takes place in our Piermaster's House which has been faithfully recreated as a wartime family home. Themes covered include air raids, evacuation, rationing and true stories from the local area.

This session is available at 10.15am, and 11.30am Monday to Wednesday during term time.

The Piermaster's House

Key facts

  • Suitable for: Key Stage 2
  • Subjects: English, History
  • Session type: Museum led
  • Duration: 60 minutes
  • Class size(maximum): 30
  • Venue: Merseyside Maritime Museum
  • Free
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Workshop details

During this activity pupils have a unique opportunity to experience life in a Liverpool wartime home as they explore our faithfully recreated Piermaster’s House. The class is split into two: 15 pupils enjoy a tour, while the other 15 participate in a simple teacher-led activity about rationing.  After 30 minutes, the groups swap.

Tour: Children are welcomed into the Piermaster’s House and introduced to the concept of ‘travelling back in time’ to 1940s Liverpool, at the height of the Second World War. They discover how Liverpool played a key role in the conflict and how many of the supplies for the whole country were unloaded at the docks here. They handle a range of real objects from our extensive collection, such as an ARP Warden helmet, gas masks, ID cards and posters such as ‘Dig for Victory’ and ‘Make Do and Mend’.

As they explore the various rooms of the house – kitchen, scullery, parlour and bedrooms – new aspects of wartime life are uncovered: domestic technology, the contribution of women to the war effort, the experiences of children and evacuation, along with local stories of disaster, bravery and luck.

Teacher-led wartime rationing game: We provide straightforward instructions for this activity. This simple game helps the pupils, working as a group, to understand the problems and decisions that had to be faced when food and clothing were rationed. Discussion around which items are most important creates a keen sense of empathy for those involved.