Botanic Garden Museum

Most of the material currently on show in The Atkinson’s museum, Between Land & Sea, is from The Botanic Garden Museum. Much of it is from the old displays but a lot of additional material was conserved and put on display in 2013 and we are continuing to conserve items and return them to the displays as funds allow.

Most of the larger items, for example the shrimping cart and the Crossens canoe, are on display in The Atkinson and most of the material associated with William Sutton is on display as well as key items such as the ivory models made by Andrew Kiddie. There is a large case given over to Frank Hampson and the Eagle comic, based on material from the BGM but we have added to it with new material. Other cases look at the history of lifeboats on the Southport coast, there is a taxidermy display, a display about The Wreck of the Mexico, another large case about aviation and the beginnings of the motor industry in Southport, all of which came from the Botanic Garden Museum. The Goodison collection of Egyptology was also conserved in 2013 and there is now a large Egyptology display in the museum in a separate gallery. The collection was previously stored in the BGM and a small number of items were on display.

One large item that is not on display at The Atkinson is a 19th century fire engine. This is on loan to the fire service museum in Crosby. When the Botanic Garden Museum closed a number of loans were given back to their owners, including a suit of armour and part of the doll collection, so are not included in the Atkinson museum displays.

We also use the Botanic Garden Museum collections in temporary exhibitions in our first floor galleries. In recent years we have had exhibitions of Churchtown and Southport watercolours, botanical illustrations by Bessie Downes, photographic exhibitions made from historic glass negatives and a Dan Dare / Frank Hampson exhibition. Our staff also give talks and tours and write blogs about the collections regularly as well as giving back-of-house tours.

If there are specific items that people would like to see that are not currently on display we are more than happy to show them to individual visitors in our stores by appointment (once Covid restrictions allow). We also take bookings from U3A and other special interest groups. If you would like to arrange a visit to see the collection please email info@theatkinson.co.uk.