An interactive session with one of our museum demonstrators using our collection of seafaring handling objects. Find out about the harshness of a life at sea in the past, the different tools used, the importance of Liverpool as a trading city and the significance of shipping to the world today.
The session can be tailored to individual groups' needs and is available at 10.15am, 11.30am and 1.15pm, Monday - Friday.
Please note this workshop was formerly known as 'All hands on deck'.
This hands-on workshop is perfect for pupils studying local history and wishing to find out more about seafaring and its importance to Liverpool, both past and present. The session is led by an experienced member of the museum’s education team, who will tailor the session to the age and abilities of your group.
After a brief welcome to the museum, the students begin to think about the importance of ships and consider how much we rely on them today, what experiences they may have of them – boat trips, ferry rides or relatives who work on ships or in the docks. We take them back thousands of years to think about the first ever ships, and discuss how they have developed over time. We look at changes in ship design and construction over the last three centuries and see what effect they have had on Liverpool.
The students then have the opportunity to handle real objects from our extensive collection in order to appreciate the difficulties of life at sea – both in Victorian Britain and in more modern times, post 1930.
Among these objects are a mallet and iron for caulking (‘waterproofing’) a ship, a real ship’s biscuit to see how disgusting the food could be, a wooden fid (for separating strands of rope), and a Morse key and hand held radio to illustrate communication before mobile phones, both on land and at sea.
A significant moment in shipping in Liverpool was the introduction of containerisation after the Second World War. We demonstrate this revolutionary change by a ‘lifting and loading’ activity. In this, the students use different techniques developed by the dockers of yesteryear to move our ‘cargo’ from quayside to ship’s hold and back again with ropes and pulleys! Then loading and unloading a model container using a more modern method.These activities show how moving goods inside containers is so much faster, and leads onto a discussion of the way work in the docks has changed over the years.