A New Dimension at the Planetarium

The World Museum’s immersive fulldome Planetarium is currently screening a number of daily shows exploring the mysteries of the Solar System and Earth’s place within it.

The 20-30 minute shows allow visitors to travel through time and space and discover the wonders of the galaxy. The introductory screening, From Earth to the Universe, starts with a history of astronomy, and then embarks on a journey of exploration across the Solar System, out into the Milky Way and beyond. This is the perfect introduction to the mysteries of the universe for people of all ages.

A new show, The Edge of Darkness, explores the outer reaches of the Solar System and what can be found there, including the dwarf planet Pluto, asteroids, comets and other strange and mysterious objects. The Little Star That Could is a cartoon for young children about a newly formed star and how he discovers other stars and planets.

The Planetarium’s other three daily screenings cover one of the great mysteries in astronomy, Dark Matter; the ongoing search for planets orbiting distant stars (exoplanets); and a 20 minute show looking at the discovery and history of the telescope. Visitors will need to make sure they arrive at the correct time for each screening, as no late admittance to shows is possible due to the nature of the experience.

The World Museum’s Planetarium is the oldest planetarium in a British museum, and has been visited by more than two million people since its 1970 opening. The Planetarium’s opening hours are Tuesday to Sunday, 10am – 6pm, with screenings starting at 11.30am and ending at 5.25pm. Find out more:


Damp & Mould Problems For Tenants

Damp and mould is a real problem for tens, if not hundreds of thousands of tenants living in local authority housing and housing association properties. The airborne spores released by mould pose various health risks when inhaled, especially to young children who may develop breathing problems, flu-type symptoms and asthma. Damp and mould is a danger to the health of tenants of all ages, and can make pre-existing medical conditions significantly worse.

Local authorities and housing associations face the same legal responsibilities as private landlords in terms of keeping their properties in a decent state of repair, and taking swift and effective measures to deal with disrepair and damp and mould issues when they are reported. Apart from health problems, damp and mould can cause considerable disruption to tenants’ lives, including damage to personal possessions, stress, sleeping difficulties and time off work. 

Damp and mould is usually the result of structural issues at local authority and housing association properties, such as damaged roof tiles, cracks in plastering and rot around window frames that allow water to penetrate inside the home. Once damp and mould is entrenched, it can be difficult to get rid of, which is why many landlords try to ignore such issues or delay having the necessary repair work carried out. By doing so, they endanger the health of their tenants, frequently causing emotional and domestic turmoil in the process.

Local authority and housing association tenants have a legal right to expect that their landlord will deal with damp and mould problems within a reasonable time frame, and at the very least will address the disrepair issue within 20 working days of it being reported to them. If they fail to do so, the tenant may then sue the local authority or housing association for property disrepair and the associated problems it has caused.

Find out more about damp and mould, disrepair and the expertise and experience of our housing law team in suing local authorities and housing associations:


Emmanuel Bell Strikes 70

2021 marks the 70th anniversary of Liverpool Cathedral’s record-breaking bells being rung for the first time in 1951. When Liverpool businessman Thomas Bartlett died in 1912, he left a bequest for the construction of a huge array of 13 bells for the new cathedral which was then being built. The bells were cast at Whitechapel’s famous bell foundry in 1938 and 1939. The ring of bells weighs 17 tonnes, and surrounds the massive ‘Great George’ bell which weighs 15 tonnes on its own, making it bigger than Big Ben and second only to St Paul’s Cathedral’s ‘Great Paul’ bell. Great George cannot be swung, and is instead struck with a hammer.

Visitors to Liverpool Cathedral can view a small exhibition about the bells, including video and audio content and a selection of photos and drawings showing how the bells were made and put in place from the Cathedral’s archives. Each bell was given a unique name, such as the ‘Emmanuel’ Tenor bell (pictured above) relating to bible characters, historical figures and eminent people associated with the Cathedral’s history. Each bell also bears a unique inscription from the Prayer Book version of Psalms (Old Testament), except for the Emmanuel’s inscription which is taken from the New Testament.

Thomas Bartlett is a direct ancestor of our firm’s owners, and Bartletts are proud to continue a tradition of support for Liverpool Cathedral in its current fundraising efforts. It is possible to support the Cathedral in various ways, especially by making a donation or leaving a gift in a will to help this venerable Liverpool institution continue to provide its unique spiritual and charitable services in the community.



Tenant Sues Housing Association For £150k

A recent claim brought against a private housing association in London offers insight into the difficulty in determining whether the landlord was responsible for an accident involving a tenant, or whether sheer bad luck was to blame. The claimant had been walking up the driveway to her home one night when she tripped over a large stone in her path and fell into a bush, causing a sharp branch to penetrate her left eye, and subsequently leaving her blinded in that eye.

The claimant’s barrister argued that the pathway was unsafe at the time of the accident, and the landlord had failed to take ‘reasonable care’ to keep its tenants safe from the risk of getting injured while walking on it. The injured tenant had apparently notified the housing association multiple times that the pathway was uneven and unsafe due to large stones and potholes, while the lighting was also poor, yet no action has been taken to repair the surface or make the path better lit.

The housing association’s legal team strongly contested the claimant’s arguments, suggesting she may have been drinking on the night of the accident, which she denied, and questioning whether she had in fact complained to the housing association about the state of the driveway, citing a lack of evidence of messages she had allegedly sent. Work had recently been carried out on the driveway, and this amounted to reasonable care having been taken to make it safe.

The claimant lost her £150,000 compensation claim against her housing association after fierce arguments in court from both sides, with the judge agreeing the the defense that the claimant’s injury was the result of an ‘unfortunate accident’. The case highlights how difficult it can be to prove that a housing association was to blame for an accident, as well as the fact that they are likely to strongly challenge claims made against them, including defending a claim in court.

Find out more about: Suing a Housing Association for Disrepair and Personal Injury

Child Accidents At Theme Parks

Many parents will be taking their children to theme parks this summer during the school holidays and as part of the staycation trend for UK breaks this year. Theme park rides are normally well maintained and properly supervised by park staff, with strict safety measures in place to prevent accidents. However, the sheer number of people visiting theme parks every day combined with the amount of land that theme parks occupy means that accidents do happen, and the majority of these involve children getting injured.

Child accidents at theme parks are often the result of lack of supervision on the part of parents, as well as children’s lack of coordination, carefree behaviour and natural susceptibility to injuries. Other accidents are caused by theme park ride defects and poor maintenance, such as when a seat on a ride tilts or cracks due to wear and tear, or mechanical issues lead to rides speeding up, slowing down or stopping unexpectedly. Theme park owners need to have an efficient system of inspection and repairs in place to prevent accidents of this kind, with safety checks before the park opens and at regular intervals during the day.

Other accidents involving children at theme parks are caused by maintenance failures in the park grounds, such as when rubbish and similar obstructions are allowed to accumulate, or when areas of the site have potholes and uneven surfaces resulting in children tripping and falling. Spilled food and drinks can cause slipping accidents in cafes and restaurants at theme parks, while toilets and washing facilities need to be regularly inspected, cleaned and maintained in a safe state. Children may be struck by objects falling from height at theme parks, for example, when signs become detached and fall due to windy conditions, and park owners need to have safety measures in place that anticipate storms, strong winds and heavy rainfall.            

Theme park owners have a legal duty to ensure that their premises, facilities, rides and other attractions are properly maintained and in a safe condition for visitors, as far as reasonably possible. When the blame for an accident lies with a park’s owners or employees, an injured child will be entitled to compensation. Children under the age of 18 are known as ‘protected parties’ in legal terms, as they are not suitably mature to conduct legal proceedings. They will therefore need to be represented by a ‘litigation friend’, usually a parent or guardian, who can make a claim on their behalf. Compensation will be paid into the court funds office, and held until the child has reached the age of 18. You can find out more about theme park accidents on our dedicated page:


Peace Doves at Liverpool Cathedral

Until the end of August, Liverpool Cathedral continues to host the major ‘mass participation’ art installation, Peace Doves, created by Peter Walker, an artist and sculptor with considerable experience of bringing inspiring large-scale artworks to historic places of worship in Britain.

Peace Doves consists of 18,000 paper doves suspended on ribbons and rising towards the ceiling of the Well (an area of the Cathedral that is regularly used as a display space for art). Before the recent series of lockdowns, Cathedral visitors, local school children and community groups were invited to write their thoughts and messages of peace, hope and love on the paper doves, with thousands of people thereby participating in the work’s staging. Peace Doves is accompanied by a soundscape created by composer and sound artist David Harper.

Peace Doves was due to be displayed in Liverpool Cathedral in spring 2020 to commemorate the 75th anniversary of VE Day, but the staging was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Dean of Liverpool, the Very Revd Dr. Sue Jones commented, “This artwork builds on previous installations and enables us to continue our mission to be a place of Encounter…We feel enormously grateful to be able to host this amazing installation at Liverpool Cathedral.” 

The artwork is a visual treat, particularly when displayed in Liverpool Cathedral, an unrivalled exhibition space for intriguing and contemplative artworks such as Peace Doves. With only just over a month left to view the installation and the school holidays rapidly approaching, visitors should take the opportunity to view Peace Doves, as well as the popular Angel Wings moving light projection and the interactive art installation Peace to Ourselves.

Peace Doves will be exhibited at Liverpool Cathedral until 31 August 2021, from 11am to 3pm. The Cathedral’s art installations are free to view, however, bookings must be made in advance due to COVID regulations. Find out more:


Staying Safe on Staycation

Many people are opting against travelling abroad this summer given the uncertainties surrounding the coronavirus pandemic and confusion over travel regulations, and are instead planning to take a holiday closer to home. Millions of people will be taking a staycation this summer at various types of destinations, including hotels, resorts, holiday homes, campsites and caravan parks. These establishments are likely to be extremely busy over the coming months, as people look to get away after so many months of lockdown restrictions.

Management and staff at these holiday destinations will need to pay particular attention to safety procedures to minimise the risk of guests getting injured or made ill through no fault of their own during their stay. Internal appliances such as gas boilers and immersion heaters need to be working properly, and all electrical goods and appliances must be in similarly good condition. Slips, trips and falls are common accidents at holiday establishments, and are often the result of lack of maintenance or poor inspection and cleaning routines. Frayed or worn carpeting, uneven floor surfaces and rotten floorboards are all possible causes of accidents of this kind. 

Other examples of disrepair that can cause accidents include defective or damaged furniture, problems with banisters on stairs and hazards in outdoor areas, such as potholes in car parks or uneven paving stones in gardens. Bed bugs are a regular problem at many holiday destinations, as the resilient insects are quick to breed and hard to eradicate. Apart from being bitten, guests also run the risk of taking the bed bugs home with them in their luggage, which can lead to an infestation that will be unpleasant and expensive to deal with.


Campsites and caravan parks need to make sure that pitches and outdoor areas at the site are maintained in a good state and kept free from hazards, as far as reasonably possible. Outdoor activities need to be properly organised and supervised, especially when children are taking part. Showers, toilets and cooking areas must be regularly inspected and an efficient cleaning system should be in place to maintain a safe environment for guests. Swimming pool activities need to be supervised by a qualified lifeguard, and safety rules should be clearly on display and properly enforced.


Amid surging demand for staycations this summer, with prices rising to record highs in certain popular locations, owners, managers and staff at holiday destinations of every type need to make sure that safety measures are in place and properly applied so that guests do not face the risk of getting injured or made ill during their stay due to the negligence of the owner, management or employees.

Sickert: A Life in Art

A major new exhibition at the Walker Art Gallery will open in September and run until the end of February next year. Sickert: A Life in Art will be the largest retrospective of Walter Richard Sickert’s work to have been held in the UK for more than 30 years, showcasing drawings from the Walker’s own unique collection, along with paintings loaned to the Gallery from national and international collections of the artist’s work.

The Walker Art Gallery holds 349 of Sickert’s drawings, making it the largest collection in the world. Most of the 200 drawings that will feature in the exhibition have never been displayed before, and the new exhibition promises to give us real insights into how these drawings influenced Sickert’s major works and the vital role they played in his artistic practice.

Walter Sickert (1860-1942) is one of Britain’s best known and most successful artists, whose importance was recognised by his contemporaries, and whose reputation as one Britain’s most influential artists of the 20th century has only grown over time. Munich-born Sickert was a member of the Camden Town Group, a group of Post-Impressionist artists who met on a weekly basis in his London studio in Camden Town.

Sickert was a radical painter, who in a career spanning six decades repeatedly reinvented himself while maintaining a characteristic realism and rawness in his work, which often saw him tackle somewhat seedy subject matter. He profoundly believed that art should hold a mirror up to the modern world and strive to depict the unvarnished truth about society. He was also a colourful and fascinating character who was fond of courting controversy and changing his appearance. He has even been touted as a suspect in the Jack the Ripper murders, including by well-known crime author Patricia Cornwell in her 2002 book Portrait of a Killer.

Pre-sale members tickets for Sickert: A Life in Art went on sale today, 24th June, and the exhibition promises to be one of the highlights of Liverpool’s cultural scene when it opens in 12 weeks time. The Walker Art Gallery is open Tuesday to Sunday from 10am to 6pm. You can find out more about the Walter Sickert retrospective from our friends and partners at the Walker Art Gallery below:


Compensation for E-Scooter Accidents

In the latest electric scooter accident to hit the headlines, an Italian woman was killed after being hit by an e-scooter while walking along the Seine in Paris. She was knocked over and hit her head on the pavement, suffering a cardiac arrest and later died in hospital. The two female e-scooter riders did not stop at the scene of the accident, and French police have opened an investigation into “murder, aggravated by failure to stop”.

E-scooters are becoming a common sight in towns and cities including London, which launched a 12-month rental trial earlier this month. Pilot schemes have taken place in more than 40 locations across the UK, as the government considers legalising their use on UK roads. E-scooters are popular among the young (the minimum age to legally ride one in 14), commuters, tourists and those looking for an ecological and quick way to get around urban areas. The main problem is the risk they pose to other road users, particularly pedestrians, as the recent tragic case in Paris illustrates.

While it is illegal to ride privately owned e-scooters on roads, cycle lanes and pavements, rented electric bikes and scooters can be used on roads and cycle lanes. This is just one example of the confusion surrounding their use. The speed limit for e-scooters in the UK is 15.5mph (25km/h), but many are available to buy which can travel much faster, and it is also relatively easy to increase their speed using a conversion kit. Earlier this year, French police stopped a man riding an e-scooter at 61mph (98km/h), which shows the scale of the challenge in enforcing the law.

Many e-scooter riders are unaware of the rules regarding their use or else simply disregard them. A trial scheme in Coventry was suspended after five days due to riders using e-scooters in pedestrianised areas, including on pavements and in shopping centres. E-scooters are clearly fun to ride leading to irresponsible use among a minority, while rented e-scooters are often hired by tourists and others who are not regular riders, and are therefore unable to use them safely or unaware of where they are permitted to ride them.

If you are a cyclist or pedestrian and have been injured in an accident involving an e-scooter, contact our firm for expert legal advice from solicitors who are themselves cyclists, and have many years of experience with all types of cycling accident claims. Find out more:


A Journey Through Time

Liverpool’s World Museum houses the Ancient Egypt gallery, the second largest gallery of ancient Egyptian antiquities and artefacts in the UK after the British Museum.

The collection of objects from ancient Egypt and Nubia covers a timespan of over 5,000 years of human life in the Nile Valley, with highlights including one of Egyptology’s rarest discoveries – the Ramesses Girdle – a wonderfully well-preserved item of royal clothing originally worn by Pharaoh Ramesses III (1186 – 1155 BC).

The evolution of the collection began in 1852, when goldsmith Joseph Mayer opened his Egyptian Museum in Liverpool. Many of Mayer’s objects came from the same sources as those now in the British Museum and the Louvre, and there is no doubt that Liverpool’s status as a port city, supplying cotton from Egypt to Lancashire’s cotton mills, helped him build such a substantial and diverse collection.

In 1867, Mayer donated the collection to The Liverpool Free Library and Museum (now World Museum), establishing it as the most important public collection of Egyptian antiquities outside London. 3,000 objects were destroyed when the museum was bombed in 1941, but the collection subsequently increased in number by 10,000 over the next 40 years, and currently stands at around 20,000 objects – 1,2000 of which are showcased in the current ancient Egypt gallery.

Apart from the world famous Ramesses Girdle, the collection includes a gold ring that belonged to King Amenhotep II, a four-metre long Book of the Dead illustrated papyrus, and ‘Papyrus Mayer B’ – a unique account of a tomb robbery in the Valley of the Kings. The exhibition tells the story of how the collection came into being, and Liverpool’s connections with archaeological digs in both Egypt and Sudan.

As we regularly highlight, our friends and partners at National Museums Liverpool are the custodians of some of not just the UK’s, but the world’s most famous art and antiquities. Following the reopening of NML’s museums and galleries on 17th May, we encourage both locals and visitors to explore these free venues, including taking a ‘journey through time’ at World Museum’s magnificent Ancient Egypt gallery.