Vikingen, 1929



The decision to display a few ship models in the corner of the Upper Hoseshoe gallery in 1930 had proven to be a great success. The Shipping Gallery steadily took over more and more space in the gallery and as you can see in the photograph as many ship models as possible were squeezed into this very popular gallery. The model of the Vikingen came to the museum in 1937. The Vikingen was a twin screw whaling factory ship, built by Messrs. Swan, Hunter and Wisham Richardson Ltd of Wallasend, for the Viking Whaling Co Ltd, Newcastle. The Vikingen was the first ship to be specifically designed and built for use as a whaling factory. When Miss S Heughan wrote about the collection and the gallery in an article for Liverpolitan in 1935 she described the importance of building a collection that covered all types of ships from the earliest coracles to the most modern cruise liners. As a first of its kind the model of the Vikingen had an important role to play in telling the history of shipping. The model seems to have been moved to the basement before the Blitz began. This was thought to be the safest place in the museum for the museum’s some valuable and popular exhibits. This would be the worst hit gallery and the collections on display and in store there were all destroyed.