Step inside of The Atkinson and discover the stories of the sea! Set back on the famous Lord Street, you will find a centre for entertainment, history and culture all intertwined for the perfect day out.
Between Land and Sea, a permanent Museum exhibition, explores Sefton’s local history from the industrial docks of Bootle all the way up to the sunny tourist destination of Southport. Focussing on different subjects you can travel in a world of Meccano, Dan Dare comic books, golf, aeronautics, war and motor racing. Adults and children are also invited to be immersed into history with entertaining interactives throughout and with free entry it makes for the perfect way to celebrate Sefton’s Year of the Coast!
Extending along the railway line from Liverpool to Southport you’ll see an astonishing number of golf clubs which have all contributed to the economic development of Sefton’s coastline since the 1870s. The Atkinson’s museum hosts items relating to the Ryder Cup that was held in Sefton in 1933. Pictured are ex-captains putting a few balls before a formal club dinner at the famous Royal Birkdale Golf Club around 1936-39.
As well as the museum, you can also explore golfing history at The Atkinson as they host two remarkable golfing exhibitions – Golf and Glamour: Fashion on the Fairways from the Nineteenth Century to today and Hole in One, both open until Monday 28 August.
Experimental flights were taking place alongside Sefton’s coastline from as early as 1910 and early aeronaut Cecil Compton Paterson tested his first ever aircraft at Freshfield beach. You can explore Sefton’s aviation history with pieces displayed, including a propeller dating from around 1918 from an aircraft that would have been flown by Giro Aviation.
Not only does Sefton have a rich history of golf and aviation, Sefton’s history of motor racing stretches all the way back to the beginning of the automobile industry. Back in 1903, Southport hosted a number of speed trials which included an entry by the first ever female racer Dorothy Levitt. Ainsdale beach was also home to Sir Henry Segrave’s Land-Speed Record in the famous Sunbeam Tiger. Back in March 2016, The Atkinson celebrated the 90 year anniversary with a re-enactment of the record attempt in full view of the public. See items linking to Sir Henry Segrave, “the world’s fastest man” and a wheel alleged to have once been off the famous Campbell Bluebird.
The now international brand Meccano was first invented by Sefton born Frank Hornby in 1898 when he began making toys for his two sons. By creating a system of re-usable metal pieces, his sons built cranes inspired by the Port of Liverpool. Built sets and original packaging can been seen in the Museum and our favourite is this fantastic plane!
The Atkinson’s museum also celebrates the life and work of Frank Hampson, creator of Dan Dare and co-creator of Eagle comics. Hampson was a superb draughtsman who offered a future that was enthusiastic, adventurous and exhilarating, so unsurprisingly, the comic book was an instant success. See life-sized models of Dan Dare and The Mekon, comic book strips and more!
Bootle, in south Sefton took the heaviest bombing in the whole of the country for its size! On display you can see a map that the German bomber had of the area and an interactive display that lets you explore the impact that the bombings had on different roads. The Atkinson has also recently acquired a new donation of a WW2 Street Shelter Key for Chester Road in Southport!
Written by: India Ikonomides