Hello, I’m Lesley and one of the Liverpool volunteers. I’m sort of new to this heritage malarkey (I do have half a history degree) and I’m enjoying every minute of it so far! We’ve already been round the public record office where we were given a comprehensive introduction to the resources that we’ll have available to us as we develop all the elements of the project.
This time we went to the Museum of Liverpool. We met first for lunch in the Museum café (I recommend the broccoli and feta quiche) where we caught up on what we’ve been doing over the past couple of weeks and got to meet two new volunteers – Greg and David.
We started first in the Skylight Gallery which is where our exhibition will be – a lovely space with plenty of natural light as the name suggests. I must admits it’s both daunting and exciting thinking about what we need to do to fill it!
For my part I’ve been deep in the Michael Royden book about the history of the Royal School for the Blind. For me, the most interesting part so far is that Royden says Edward Rushton was one of two people with the idea for the School (the other being a blind musician called John Christie) and he was not involved in the setting up of the school – the first few years were in the hands of a chap called Henry Dannett who was a famous anti-slavery campaigner.
Kay Jones, one of the curators was kind enough to give us a tour of the museum after lunch. It focussed on exhibits with links to the Blind School and the lives of people with disabilities in Liverpool more generally. We started first in the Skylight Gallery which is where our exhibition will be – a lovely space with plenty of natural light as the name suggests. I must admits it’s both daunting and exciting thinking about what we need to do to fill it! I do recommend visiting it though, to get a feel for what we need to do.
The founding of the Blind School features as one of the main date points in the history of the city in the History Detectives Gallery. In the People’s Republic Gallery there is an application to the school from 1921. Kay told us about several other exhibits featuring the school or people living with disabilities – though not as many as I thought there would be. We finished the tour in the Reel Stories exhibition where we saw the football shirt of a soldier (Craig Lundberg) blinded in Iraq who went on to star in one of the films shot in Liverpool – Route Irish.