Made of Iron

May - November

Various locations

Discover how shipbuilding changed Wirral forever.

Wirral-built ships have travelled all over the globe, setting sail across oceans to the furthest corners of our world. Made of Iron charts Wirral’s contribution to shipbuilding and maritime exploration – through exhibitions and cultural events recognising Wirral’s unique links to this fascinating industry.

We will dive into the personal stories of those whose lives were shaped by the shipyard. Voices of local people - past and present - will take their place alongside the tales of legendary vessels manufactured in the borough.

Made of Iron is a celebration of our shipbuilding and maritime heritage story as Wirral takes its place on the world stage as the birthplace of the RRS Sir David Attenborough.

More events and exhibitions will be added to this page throughout the year as they are announced.

Image: AJW Burgess & EF Skinner - Visit of their Majesties King George V and Queen Mary to Cammell Laird, Birkenhead, 14 May 1917. Courtesy of Williamson Art Gallery & Museum, Birkenhead; Wirral Museums Service

Sat 28 Sep – Sun 24 Nov

Williamson Art Gallery | Free entry – donations welcomed

Women of Iron is a new photography exhibition, capturing the female workforce at Cammell Laird as the shipyard worked on the new polar ship, the RRS Sir David Attenborough.

Young female photographers from Wirral were given unprecedented access to Cammell Laird during the construction of this incredible research vessel, creating striking portraits of the women who have joined the Laird workforce.

More information

Sat 11 May – Sun 22 Sep

Williamson Art Gallery | Free entry – donations welcomed

Explore the stories behind six Wirral-built ships which travelled the world. Models and historic artefacts will feature alongside new artwork to celebrate Wirral’s industrial heritage and the borough’s contribution to maritime exploration.

More information

Thu 29 Aug - Sun 1 Sep

Floral Pavilion

Wirral writer Brian McCann’s Down Our Street is the musical play celebrating the life and times of Cammell Laird, from the industrial revolution to the present day. Through drama, comedy and song, Down Our Street celebrates this through the eyes of the people of Merseyside and the workers ‘down the yard’.

More information and tickets


21 September | 1.30-3pm

Williamson Art Gallery

Poetry and Prose event in conjunction with the Six Vessels Exhibition. The short free event will look at the lives behind those who built and worked the vessels.

No booking required. Gallery fully accessible. Café open for refreshments.


A Community Made of Iron

We're building a digital archive to share the social history and experiences of workers, families and communities linked to Wirral’s shipbuilding and maritime heritage. We want to hear from anyone who would be prepared to share their stories, photographs or artefacts which will help us capture life in and around the shipyard - or you can nominate a friend or relative.

Please get in touch to be part of A Community Made of Iron