Albert Dock Liverpool

heritage on the dock

Thursday 8 — Friday 9 September 2016

Curated by Theatre in the Rough


Thursday 8 - Friday 9 September

Heritage on the Dock celebrated the rich history of Albert Dock with two days of free walks, talks, workshops and live music.

Curated by the Theatre in the Rough Festival.

Albert Dock has a unique and undiscovered narrative that has played a central role in the ebbs and flows of Liverpool’s own fortunes. This festival discovered the exciting impact of the Dock's culture and history.

Events included:

Meet the Engineers Aboard the Danny

The Daniel Adamson is a newly-restored 1903 Steam Ship with a fascinating past. It was once owned by the Manchester Ship Canal Company, and used as its VIP passenger vessel, boasting magnificent art deco saloons. Committed volunteers and steam enthusiasts have worked for more than 13 years on its restoration, and were on hand to share stories of its renovation, engine re-build, and future as a new attraction for Liverpool's waterfront.

Heritage Walks

Visitors took a stroll through the fascinating history of Albert Dock with professional guides from Liverpool City Walks. It was a great way to get active and gain a rich insight into the UK's largest collection of Grade I listed buildings.

Architecture Presentation and Tour


This fascinating tour began with a presentation on the history of Liverpool before the docks were created, moving through to the development of Albert Dock and the regeneration of the buildings that now house Tate Liverpool. The gallery's building has gone through several transformations since opening in 1988, and this event revealed its secrets.

Photograph credit: Copyright Tate Liverpool, Roger Sinek

RIBA Tours

Visitors joined a RIBA Liverpool City Tours guide for an hour's tour of Albert Dock, learning more about the compelling history of the waterfront and the magnificent architecture of several key buildings.

Liverpool Record Office: Behind the Scenes

Ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes of Liverpool Record Office? This session took visitors behind closed doors and uncovered some of the archives relating to the Albert Dock.

Wildlife Discovery and Talk

"I like to be under the sea…"

Lancashire Wildlife Trust gave visitors a closer look at life under the sea in the waters of Albert Dock. Visitors went plankton fishing, investigated their catches under the microscope, and learned about the vast array of marine life found in the waters of the dock — including eels, moon jellies and crabs.

Chinese Tea Tasting and Talk

At its nineteenth century peak, Albert Dock was Liverpool's chief unloading dock for Chinese and East Asian trade. Its airy, fireproof warehouses were ideal for valuable cargoes such as tea.

Tea specialist, Alison Appleton, hosted a unique tasting event that explored the historical import of tea from China to Liverpool. Visitors sampled a selection of teas from southern China, and learned how the flavours changed and developed to suit Western tastes.

Pagoda Arts Guzheng Ensemble

Pagoda Arts Guzheng ensemble brings 2,000 year-old music to 21st-century audiences. An instrument that fuses Chinese history and culture, the guzheng is the mesmerising sound of a world brought to Liverpool through Albert Dock's role in world trade.

Visitors came along to Ziferblat to hear a special performance.

Sea Shanties

A suite of maritime-themed folk music was performed by choirs from across Merseyside. Headlined by a newly-commissioned shanty, written by Jason Ellis and Kathryn Rudge of Mersey Wave Music, which told the tale of Albert Dock's storied history.

Choirs also performed sea shanties discovered on board the SS Lancastrian in Albert Dock in 1911.

Word and World: How the Docks Shaped the Language of Liverpool

All words come from somewhere; usually somewhere else. The real question is how and why they came.

This talk explored the role played by the docks in the formation of the language spoken in Liverpool over the past three hundred years. By looking at particular examples, Tony Crowley showed how the roots and routes of words have much to tell us about our complicated cultural past and present.

Tony Crowley was born and brought up in Liverpool. He is Professor of English at the University of Leeds.

The Stars are Ours!

In 1845, local brewer William Lassell constructed Britain’s most powerful telescope by selling beer to labourers digging the Albert Dock. And a year later, the Liverpool Observatory began studying the sky to aid ships' navigation.

The sea and the stars are ancient bedfellows, but what is their story?

Through colourful historical anecdotes and science, this talk by Don Kurtz took us from a lonely death in a cold stone tower over 400 years ago to the discovery of the ultimate energy source for humanity. Visitors heard stories of wealth and poverty, castles and dungeons, kings and princes, sailors and maidens, sea battles and Shakespeare, as we look back at the improbable, unpredictable path gave us the Power of the Stars.

Don Kurtz is Professor of Astrophysics at the University of Central Lancashire.

Photograph credit: Damien Johnson


Albert Dock
Liverpool Waterfront
L3 4AA

Albert Dock Liverpool