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Issue Date:- 12 May 2008

New gallery opens at Merseyside Maritime Museum

NEXT weekend sees the opening of a new permanent gallery at the Merseyside Maritime Museum, with two fun-filled days of activities guaranteed to keep the first visitors through the doors entertained for hours.

Seized! Revenue & Customs Uncovered, opening to the public on Saturday 17 May 2008, is the national museum of HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) and the only one of its kind in Britain.

It gives people the opportunity to explore the fascinating and controversial world of the government department HMRC, unveiling all manner of weird and wonderful attempts at smuggling and tax evasion that have kept our Customs Officers on their toes over the years! The exhibition focuses on detective work, fighting crime, patrolling frontiers, catching criminals, undercover surveillance and an insight into the motives of the bad guys.

Visitors can expect to see a variety of objects on display for the first time, including items used for drugs smuggling such as carved African statues and garden gnomes, a chilling collection of smuggled weapons, and an emotive display of tourist souvenirs made out of endangered species.

Saturday and Sunday's activities will focus on themes associated with key areas of the gallery with displays by a Customs Detection Dog Team and, as long as it's not called out on an official operation, a visit by a Cutter. These fast and powerful vessels use high-tech equipment to guard the coastlines of Britain, intercepting smugglers trying to sneak goods such as drugs, into the country.

The new gallery features a host of interactive activities to engage visitors including a specially designed interactive console, which allows you to control your own cutter to help catch - professional smugglers.

Spot the Suspect Traveller focuses on passengers using ports and airports and the ploys some of them use to smuggle illegal goods. Another section explores the adulteration of food and drink revealing that substances such as excrement and hedge clippings have been added to tea and coffee in the past in a bid to boost profits.

There will also be opportunities throughout the weekend for children to take part in 'rummaging', searching a replica ship's cabin to locate smuggled goods; a job that is still an important part of a Customs Officer's work.

Other activities this weekend will include a passport trail, face painting, the Maritime Museum's ever popular 'Dockwatch', and visits from several characters including sneaky magicians, who may just plant something on you to smuggle through the museum!

The museum's learning officers will also be on hand over the weekend to chat about featured programmes, and on Sunday 18 May 2008 there will be a performance by pupils from specialist sports college Claremount School, who have worked with museum staff to develop a piece on the effects of gang and weapon crime.

Merseyside Maritime Museum Albert Dock, Liverpool      Admission FREE

Open 10am-5pm every day Information 0151 478 4499

British Red Cross seeks Wirral walkers

THE British Red Cross is looking for walkers to take part in the Wirral Coastal Walk on Sunday, 18 May 2008, to help raise funds for Myanmar (Burma) Cyclone Disaster Appeal.

Senior Fundraiser, Alexis Fairclough said "Shelter and water are the key priorities at the moment. Money raised from our appeal will support those most affected by the cyclone. The Red Cross operates internationally through a network of national organisations which deliver aid locally.

Widespread destruction is making it more difficult to get aid to people who need it most. Along with relief items, the Myanmar Red Cross is distributing insecticide-treated bed nets to help prevent malaria and purification tablets to provide clean drinking water. The British Red Cross also has emergency relief supplies on standby in the International Federation’s warehouses in Kuala Lumpur and Dubai.

This is the worst cyclone to hit the impoverished Asian country since 1926. Whole towns and villages have been wiped out by the cyclone, which roared for ten hours, tearing off roofs, uprooting trees and destroying power lines. I am urging the people of Wirral, to dust off their walking shoes and take part in the Wirral Walk and raise as much as they can to help the disaster fund.”

Organised by The Rotary Club of North Wirral, the walk was first organised in 1987 and has grown from the humble beginnings of a few hundred walkers to thousands of walkers taking part every year. The 15 mile route starts from Seacombe Ferry on the River Mersey to Thurstaston Country Park on the River Dee with completion points also located at 5 miles, 10 miles and 13 miles.

This is a fun event for walkers of all ages and abilities, and aside from the exercise to be had, walkers can enjoy the fantastic scenery, bands playing along the route, regular refreshment stops and all whilst raising money for the British Red Cross.

To take part costs £3 for adults and £1 for children under 10 years old and we ask walkers to as much sponsorship as they can (around £50 if possible).

For further information about the Wirral Coastal Walk or for a registration form please call Alexis Fairclough on 0151 702 5061/07921 872441 or by email.

Prescot Parish Church "DAVID"

ON Friday, 9 May 2008 from 7.30pm, Jubilate Praise presents "DAVID". This is a biblical musical by Roger Jones that is an hour of music & worship.

Roger Jones is a leading composer of Christian music, with musicals such as While Shepherds Watched and Jail Break!

Achieving great success nationwide.

Jubilate Praise has been presenting his works in and around St Helens and Merseyside for two decades, and is pleased to present this latest production, based on the Old Testament story of King David.

This show will be followed by refreshments.

Admission is free.    For more information available online by visiting

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