Tuesday, 28 April 2009

National Museums Liverpool Destroy the Historic Liverpool Ferry Bell

How do they get away with this, another act of vandalism from the very people who are empowered to look after it.
This is a letter from one of the "Soft Alecs" at the museum who let it rot and then sent a Crane to snap it in two.

Bell tower safe
IN RESPONSE to the comments of Mr Brocklebank (Pier Head peering, Daily Post, April 7), the fog bell tower was removed from the Merseyside Maritime Museum car park in 2006. After many years of exposure to the elements and various repairs, there were concerns for the stability of the tower and it was carefully and deliberately removed in two pieces.
The bell tower is currently safely housed in National Museums Liverpool’s secure store, and is not at risk. It does require extensive repair to restore its stability and it remains a priority for treatment when the current programme of work associated with the Museum of Liverpool is complete. However, we would be reluctant to return it to an exposed outdoor location where it would only deteriorate again, and we will be looking at other options.
Tony Tibbles, Director of Merseyside Maritime Museum, National Museums Liverpool.

Our Response.
I read today a letter from the Director of the Merseyside Maritime museum reagarding Liverpools historic bell tower.
Tony Tibbles was proclaiming that after many years of exposure to the elements it was carefully and deliberately removed in two pieces.
This is un-factual and incorrect.
I wrote to David Fleming Director of NML on the 20th January 2006 advising him of the awful state a article was done in the Merseymart highlighting the danger to the structure that had been scaffolded for over 2 years and despite the staff and curators of NML walking past it almost Daily parking their cars in the car park owned by NML, it had been subsequently ignored and left to rot.
I in my capacity as a time served carpenter I wrote to NML advising them of the dangers after I surveyed the structure with a ladder taking a great number of pictures.
I warned of the risks in great detail.
A Crane was subsequently sent out to lift it and it snapped in two. I was there when it happened and advised the crane driver to that effect. He was under instructions to do his job on that day to my horror.
I have pictures of the full extent of the damage, as it lay snapped in two, hidden behind the hoardings behind what was the Voss motors.
The rot had set in on the uprights and had gathered within the mortise and tenons and had harboured there due to lack of maintenance.

The four upright sections were snapped and the wet rot had run through to the horizontal braces to the arched sections, which were designed, to take the weight of the bell were shot.

I have to disagree with Mr Tibbles this historic bell tower can never be repaired, as 85% of it would have to be cut out. Only the lead roof could be kept and it is an insult to mine and the public at larges intelligence to suggest otherwise.
Are Liverpool Museums supposed to be looking after our heritage or assisting to destroy it, because that is what they have effectively done here?

Wayne Colquhoun

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