'Avril', shell ship



This extraordinary shell ship, 'Avril', was made by James Heppell in 1979. He was inspired to build it after seeing a house covered in sea shells. He spent a year creating it in his North East home. A true labour of love, we believe he named the ship after his wife. ​ How the ship ended up in Liverpool remains a mystery. It sat in the window of an abandoned antiques shop on Bold Street, in the city centre, for 30 years. When the area was redeveloped in 2015 the ship was put up for auction where it was bought by Liverpool BID to save the ship for the local community. Liverpool BID gave the ship to FACT who in turn generously donated it to the museum in 2019. ​