Liverpool – home of the Beatles and the coolest/hippest city in England. The former is true and the latter is opinion. We dropped off our rental car yesterday morning and headed straight for the Beatles Story Museum at Albert Dock. The dock is absolutely beautiful packed with restaurants and museums. There are two bands in this world I love more than I should: the Beatles and Franki Valli and the Four Seasons. So the Beatles Museum was an obvious start to the trip. Putting it out there I cannot be completely unbiased reviewing this museum. In fact I’m writing this review listening to Hello, Goodbye. If the museum was just two boards that said THE BEATLES I still would have loved it.
But it wasn’t so here’s a go at a review. The audio guide is voiced by John Lennon’s sister and, at times, Sir Paul McCartney. Already it was winning in my books. The guide was excellent providing so much information! The museum is set out really well. As you move through their career you are transported to different “sets”. One of the Cavern Club, one of their time in America etc etc. Each contained many objects and great explanatory boards. The whole museum explains the Beatle phenomenon very well. The gift shop at the end is a whole other post in itself.
Moving on before I give myself away as a Beatles fan…
The other museum I visited at the dock was very very different: the International Slavery Museum. What I respected most about this museum is it didn’t shy away. It had everything from letters about slaves to forms of punishment that were inflicted. It presented the trade in full – the only way, I believe, we can properly learn from the past. Slavery is still everywhere. The museum did a great job bringing this to everyone’s attention. The bit I enjoyed the most was a whole exhibit on life in West Africa. In a way this exhibit provides more of an identity to the slaves than I think anything else would. You can learn what customs and lifestyle they may have had before their time in slavery.
The other two segments of the museum are about the trade itself and its legacy. Really glad I’m presenting in a couple of days on this theme of slavery and museums. So, a fantastic and insightful start to our time in Liverpool. A huge thanks to both museums and the history they are preserving.