Blitzed: Liverpool Lives

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80 years on, Museum of Liverpool captures the devastation and resilience of local people during the Blitz in rare photographs

Displaying up to 60 photographs taken by Liverpool City Police from 1940 – 1941, a free new photography exhibition at the Museum of Liverpool reveals the devastation the Blitz brought to the lives and city of Liverpool. Through personal accounts, this exhibition brings to life the impact of the war through the eyes of those directly affected by the bombings.

The Port of Liverpool and surrounding areas were key targets for German bombers. In Merseyside, an overwhelming 4,000 civilians were killed, 10,000 homes destroyed and 70,000 people made homeless.

Liverpool itself suffered the second highest number of civilian deaths in air raids in the country and due to censorship, press reports often didn’t tell the whole story.  

At the heart of this exhibition is the people of Liverpool; those affected by the Blitz – their memories, struggles with the aftermath and how they rebuilt their lives. The display will feature audio interviews and written memories of carrying on in the face of a terrible onslaught.

Kay Jones, Curator of Urban Community History comments:

“Seeing these striking images of desolation alongside the experiences of people who were there really brings home what this city and its people went through. They reveal many stories of personal tragedy but also the incredible resilience of local people.

The legacies of these bombings can still be seen and felt in the city today. They also remind us of ongoing conflict around the world and the continuing terrible human cost”.

The exhibition will be divided into three key themes: City centre and shops; Homes and neighbourhoods and Industry, docks and transport.

Visitors will be invited to share their own memories and reactions to the photographs. Selected responses will be displayed alongside the photographs.

Sensory elements will also enable visitors to experience wartime aromas and hands-on tactile images.

Recording scenes of Liverpool in its darkest days, this exhibition showcases some of the most impactful photographs, epitomising the human consequences of war.

Notes to Editors

Museum of Liverpool 

The Museum of Liverpool is the first national museum devoted to the history of a regional city, it showcases popular culture while tackling social, historical and contemporary issues and demonstrating Liverpool’s unique contribution to the world.  It has attracted more than four million visitors since it opened in July 2011. The prestigious Council of Europe Museum Prize for 2013 was awarded to the Museum for its commitment to human rights as well as its work with children and families from all backgrounds.

The Museum has received generous support from several major funders, and grants from trusts and foundations, corporate support and individual donations. Major funders include the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), The European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), the Department for Culture Media and Sport (DCMS),Garfield Weston Foundation and the Clore Duffield Foundation.

About National Museums Liverpool

National Museums Liverpool comprises eight venues, including some of the most visited museums in England outside of London. Our collections are among the most important and varied in Europe and contain everything from Impressionist paintings and rare beetles to a lifejacket from the Titanic. We attracted more than 4m visitors in 2018. Our venues are the Museum of Liverpool, World Museum, the Walker Art Gallery, Merseyside Maritime Museum, International Slavery Museum, Seized! (UK Border Force National Museum), Sudley House and the Lady Lever Art Gallery.