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In Safe Hands: The Story of the Liverpool Pilots

Add In Safe Hands: The Story of the Liverpool Pilots to your Itinerary

Merseyside Maritime Museum
Albert Dock
L3 4AQ

Tel: 0151 478 4499

In Safe Hands: The Story of the Liverpool Pilots

Guide Prices

Ticket TypeTicket Tariff
Admission freeFree

Note: Prices are a guide only and may change on a daily basis.


Merseyside Maritime Museum's brand new exhibition focusing on the Liverpool Pilotage Service; the second oldest institution in Liverpool, the oldest being the Town Corporation (now City Council).

From 22 July until 4 June 2017, In Safe Hands: The Story of the Liverpool Pilots will tell the story of their vital role in navigating ships in and out of the Port of Liverpool, and will explore 250 years of maritime history.

Visitors will be inspired by dramatic stories of pilots’ bravery, such as four young apprentices who died in the Second World War trying to rescue colleagues in stormy seas. People can also learn about pilot ships, including a famous incident in 1881 when the aptly named pilot boat ‘Leader’ led 12 ships into the port during a heavy storm.

The exhibition will explore the development of the Pilotage service within the wider history of the Port of Liverpool, from the explosion of growth in the 18th and 19th centuries, decline in the mid to late 20th century, through to the thriving port of the 21st century.

Treasures from the Royal Yacht Mary, one of the most famous shipwrecks in local waters, will be on display, as an example to illustrate the dangers of navigating ships in the age of sail. Never-before-seen items include a hat band from HMS Thetis, on which 99 men tragically died in 1939, including a Liverpool pilot, and a modern pilot’s jacket, which has fascinating hidden features like an integrated lifejacket with automatic inflation by pulling a chord, a safety light and strobe light, and a concealed whistle.

The exhibition follows four main themes including A Safe Passage to Liverpool, which introduces the role of a pilot and the hazards in local waters, as well as the founding of the pilot service in 1766. The Storms and Seamanship section looks at the life of a pilot in the nineteenth century and era of sail. The third section, Port in a Storm, examines the formidable challenges and seismic changes to the Port of Liverpool in the twentieth century, including both World Wars and containerisation, and how the Liverpool Pilot Service had to adapt. Finally, 21st Century Pilotage looks at the role of the pilots today in the thriving modern Port of Liverpool.

For more information go to and #liverpoolpilots

Map & Directions

Road Directions

The Maritime Museum is located at the Albert Dock on Liverpool's famous waterfront, adjacent to the Pier Head. Please note that the riverside walkway between Pier Head and the Albert Dock will be closed while construction takes place in the area.

Public Transport Directions

Located in the Albert Dock complex, the nearest train station is at James Street.

Opening Times

22 July 2016 – June 2017 (22 July 2016 - 1 May 2017)

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