MerseyMade Celebrates Turning Two, marking its second birthday with an energetic celebration and commemoration of the rich history of their beautiful Grade II Listed building.
Just months before the pandemic, on November 10th 2019, MerseyMade opened its doors. Missing their first birthday due to a national lockdown, they made up for lost time with a wonderful celebration of the creative community they have built over the past two years.
To mark the milestone, MerseyMade looked towards the past with the official opening of their history timeline, acknowledging those who first put their mark on the very building in which the inclusive hub stands today.
Opening in 1900, the Chancery House building was originally home to The Gordon Smith Institute for Seamen. The building was gifted to the seamen of Liverpool by Gordon’s father, Samuel Smith, a prominent local figure who was an MP and philanthropist supporting the city during that time.
In a serendipitous moment, MerseyMade were lucky enough to be reunited with the original plaque that once adorned the wall of The Gordon Smith Institute for Seamen. One October afternoon, Marcus Hardman, chairman of Liverpool Retired Seafarers, walked into MerseyMade, showcasing the brass plaque that had been saved from a car-boot sale. Not wanting the plaque to be lost or hidden away in an attic, Marcus researched the origins of the plaque before finding that MerseyMade’s Gordon Smith Café was in fact named in honour of the building’s history.
On their second birthday, MerseyMade unveiled the plaque, which is showcased right beside their entrance. As Vicky Gawith, founder of MerseyMade so eloquently put it:
“In light of Liverpool being stripped of our UNESCO World Heritage title, we at MerseyMade see it as more important than ever to commemorate the city’s past whilst still looking forward. Not losing our heritage, but acknowledging it and building on the rich history we have to offer.”
MerseyMade’s second birthday was a celebration that mirrors the symbiotic relationship Liverpool has with Britain’s maritime history, in the form of a beautiful community hub and its historic roots.