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Second World War - the Piermaster's House

Perfect for groups looking at Liverpool or any British city badly bombed 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 the local, national, and international signifigance of the docks in the war effort, rationing, air raids and evacuation.

Please note: This house has no lift or access to upper floors apart from stairs. A book with pictures of the rooms and activity that takes place in there will be provided on the ground floor.

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
  • £90 including VAT per session
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Workshop details

During this multi sensory workshop pupils have a unique opportunity to experience life in a Liverpool wartime home as they explore our faithfully recreated Piermaster’s House. Part self led tour with discussion questions provided, and part museum staff-led activities within a 'bombed out shop setting'.

Introduction: Pupils are welcomed into the Piermaster’s House by a museum demonstrator presenting as a costumed character from the Second World War. They are 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 and replica objects from our extensive collection such a replica incendiary bomb, replica rations, ration books and pre-decimal money.

Activities: In groups, pupils are provided with discussion questions to inspire their curiosity as they explore various rooms in the house which contain era appropriate sounds and objects such as different gas masks and a stirrup pump. They take in the kitchen, scullery, parlour and bedrooms. They will also participate in activities in the rooms which illustrate wartime themes such as 'Dig for Victory'.

Pupils are introduced to 'The Bombed Out Grocer's Shop' and the class get to roleplay as wartime family groups and take part in activities that illustrate different rationing allowances for food, clothes and other goods across society and the difficult decisions needed to prioritise necessary items. We also explore the moral dilemmas of obtaining black market goods from a 'Spiv'.