Museum of Liverpool: From There to Here: The Hidden History of People with Learning Difficulties in Merseyside

unnamed-12 May – 13 July 2014

The Museum of Liverpool’s newest exhibition explores how people with learning difficulties have been excluded from history.

From There to Here: The hidden history of People with Learning Difficulties in Merseyside is part of a two-year project called People Like Us, which has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund. The exhibition seeks to recognise the changing family, social and cultural history of people with learning difficulties in Merseyside over the past 100 years.

Developed by performing and creative arts company Wicked Fish in partnership with the Museum of Liverpool, the exhibition also highlights the lives of people who were segregated from society during their own lifetimes, using information found in historic public records.

Using ‘my first day at school’ as the starting point of the project, participants from Wicked Fish and Moving On With Life and Learning (MOWLL), an organisation dedicated to promoting social inclusion for people with learning difficulties, were able to include their own stories to ensure that they leave their mark on history.

The exhibition also features personal stories from participants, oral history interviews and highlights of the radio shows, along with a selection of specially commissioned artwork inspired by those involved in the project.

Visitors to the exhibition can also experience short performances presented by actors from Wicked Fish, inspired by the lives of people with learning difficulties from Merseyside, whose stories have been uncovered by the company.

Many of the people featured in the exhibition from the late 19th and early 20th century attended local schools and institutions in Liverpool such as Chatham Place, Fontenoy Street and Orwell Road. The Royal Albert Institution for the Care, Training and Education of Idiots and Imbeciles in Lancaster served the seven northern English counties. Accommodating more than 1000 patients by the late 1960s, it finally closed in 1996.