Yoko Ono sees Beatles and Bed-in memorabilia at the new Museum of Liverpool

Liverpool Echo

YOKO Ono was reunited with the bedspread from the 1969 Montreal Bed-in For Peace yesterday.

The 78-year-old was one of the special guests at the opening of the new Museum of Liverpool last night.

She had the chance to see the handcrafted All You Need Is Love bedspread presented to her and John Lennon by Hull-born designer Christine Kemp during their Bed-In at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel in Montreal.

The bedspread forms part of a display of Beatles memorabilia in the museum’s Wondrous Place gallery.

Yoko, who made a special trip from her home in New York to be at the museum opening, said: “It was very sweet and generous of them – I appreciate that.

“It will surprise a lot of people.”

She also had a chance to see the stage from Woolton Church Hall where Lennon and Paul McCartney first met in July 1957.

She said: “It seems like a little thing but it is a big thing.

“That made everything happen and a lot of people in the world really do not know about it.”

The gallery also houses a model of Mendips, Lennon’s childhood home, brought from Japan and donated by Yoko to the museum.

She added: “I really felt it was so important people could see where John came from.”

The new £72m Museum of Liverpool opens its doors to the public

by Catherine Jones, Liverpool Echo

LIVERPOOL’S new museum finally opened its doors to the public today.

Lucky holders of “golden tickets” – including five ECHO readers and their guests – were the first to get a glimpse inside the £72m waterfront landmark from 8.30am.

The Museum of Liverpool, the largest newly-built national museum in the UK for more than a century, was being officially opened by National Museums Liverpool chairman Phil Redmond, director Dr David Fleming, and by six-year-old city schoolboy Finn O’Hare, who wrote to NML asking if he could cut the ceremonial ribbon.

Phil Redmond said: “It’s fitting that in Finn we have a regular Liverpool lad helping out at such a pivotal event in our city’s history.

“Liverpudlians across the ages have created a city with a host of tales to tell, and that is what the Museum of Liverpool is all about, and why we have chosen to celebrate with a ‘people’s opening’.”

Museums staff were busy putting the finishing touches to the interior of the site yesterday, including polishing glass display cases, putting up signs and some last-minute painting of fixtures and fittings.

The Beatles immersive and footballing film in the second-floor Wondrous Place gallery were also put through their paces.

The gallery is one of five – Wondrous Place, People’s Republic, Global City, Little Liverpool and the Skylight gallery – being opened today.

A second phase, taking in the Great Port gallery, Overhead Railway, City Soldiers and History Detectives sections of the museum, will open in the autumn.

Dr Fleming said: “Our ambition for the Museum of Liverpool was to create the world’s greatest urban history museum.

“For the past 10 years, our team has worked tirelessly, with a great deal of help from the public, to channel this ambition and develop a museum which explains Liverpool using objects to illustrate its story.

“Liverpool is very easily misunderstood, not least because in living memory it has been a poor city, plagued by unemployment and poverty.

“But, less than 100 years ago, Liverpool was one of the greatest cities on earth, and only through knowing this, and understanding why this was, can anyone understand the modern city.”

The new museum is being launched 100 years to the day that its neighbour, the Royal Liver Building, first opened its doors.

Funding for the new building came from the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA), Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF), Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and £1m from the Garfield Weston Foundation.

NWDA chairman Robert Hough said: “The rejuvenation of Liverpool’s world-famous waterfront is a major part of the legacy the NWDA leaves for this city and the region.

“The museum is a great and fitting representation of Liverpool’s identity as a cultural mecca, celebrating the city’s past and looking towards a bright future.”

Exhibits on show range from a scale recreation of an 18ft Liver Bird statue and cycle legend Chris Boardman’s famous Lotus Sport bike to the stage where Lennon and McCartney first met in 1957, and a new atrium artwork created by youngsters from the Redi Extra project, based in Bootle, and artist Faith Bebbington , and sponsored by ECHO in the Community.

The new museum will be open daily from 10am to 5pm, and is free.

Museum of Liverpool Galleries

Ground floor

The following will open on 19 July 2011:

Please note that the Great Port gallery and the Theatre on the ground floor are still being fitted out and will open towards the end of 2011.

First floor

The galleries on the first floor – including Liverpool Overhead RailwayHistory DetectivesCity Soldiers and the community spaces – will open in a second phase towards the end of 2011.

Second floor

All of the second floor galleries galleries open on 19 July 2011. These are:

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Museum of Liverpool 
Pier Head, Liverpool L3 1DG, England
Telephone 0151 478 4545


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General enquiries can be submitted using our contact pages.

If you would like to book a self-guided group visit from September 2011 please either complete the education enquiry form on this website or ring our group bookings team on 0151 478 4788.

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Donating items to the collections

The Museum of Liverpool collects material with a strong connection to Liverpool’s history. If you have an object that you would like to donate to the collection you can find out how to do this on our object donations page.