I spent Monday with a film crew from the popular BBC 2 show Flog It! – not at an auction but perusing some of our fabulous collections.
First stop was the Merseyside Maritime Museum and the Albert Dock where I was interviewed by presenter Paul Martin walking along the quayside admiring the stunning architecture and remarkable Victorian cranes, winches and pulleys.
It’s not easy talking and walking with a camera crew in front of you. Then there was the issue of my face. “We’re getting too much profile,” said the cameraman. It was explained that the viewer likes to see your full face not the side of it.
I managed to get the hang of facing forward and occasionally glancing at Paul. We talked about the dock’s builder Jesse Hartley, Prince Albert’s visit in 1846 and why the dock was almost demolished in the 1960s.
After lunch featuring the excellent pies at the Maritime Museum café, we headed to our workshops to see some amazing exhibits being conserved for the Museum of Liverpool when it opens late next year.
Paul interviewed land transport curator Sharon Brown in the 3rd class carriage from the legendary Liverpool Overhead Railway (pictured - more information here). It is one of the many stars of the new museum.
It may have been the carriage I rode in with my father in 1953 to see the smouldering wreck of the Empress of Canada in Liverpool docks. I was only five but remember vividly the incredible experience of clattering along in the elevated railway and seeing the capsized ship resembling a great whale.
The crew also filmed senior conservator David Letsche working on the Lion which once hauled carriages on the Liverpool to Manchester railway in the 1830s. Lion starred in the classic Ealing comedy The Titfield Thunderbolt.
They were fascinated by the first car off the assembly line at Liverpool’s Halewood plant in 1963 – an immaculate Ford Anglia.
We ended the day at the Museum of Liverpool with its breathtaking views of the Liverpool waterfront and River Mersey.
National Museums Liverpool’s building operations manager Martin Hemmings took Paul and crew on a tour of the enormous building.
Martin pointed out the specially-constructed area where the Overhead Railway carriage will stand, overlooking the Lion.
The cameraman cleverly used artist’s impressions of the new galleries to line them up exactly with the real display areas.
The day had started with cloud and rain but ended in bright sunshine, enabling the crew to get superb shots of the dazzling stonework and huge shimmering windows.
This edition of Flog It! is due for screening in the autumn.