From the 14th – 28th of October the Harry Stedman and Cunard Yanks Exhibition is on display at The Shipping Forecast. It’s a small exhibition held upstairs from the bar, made up of a collection of old photographs of Harry Stedman and his friends in the 50’s and 60’s.
Hosted by the Harry Stedman clothing brand and presented by Next Stop New York the exhibition aims to celebrate the lives of the young merchant seaman and how they had a huge hand in creating the culture we see in Liverpool today.
The photographs, made up of Harry’s own collection and images from photographer, filmmaker and original Cunard Yank, Billy Harrison, depict a life of young men travelling around the globe, in particular in New York, in the 50’s and 60’s. The men explore new fashions and styles, music and slang, all of which, when brought back to the war-weathered Liverpool changed the city forever. They influenced how people began to dress, inspired by New York dockworkers variations of work-wear and expanded the music scene through bringing back collections of rare vinyls only released in the states. This impact on the sound of the streets of Liverpool has led to the Cunard Yanks being given the credit of helping to form the ‘Mersey Beat’ sound which went on to inspire Liverpool’s own Beatles.
It’s incredibly interesting to see the photographs and to be able to witness life in another time, from the boys wearing old varsity jackets sat outside American cafes, to relaxing on the gigantic military cruise ships or in fact seeing how similar it is to our own lives through images of the boys just messing around trying on hats. The exhibition has a very relaxed atmosphere and feels as though you’re simply looking through the pages of a family members old photo album. Ryan Lee, Head of PR and Marketing at Harry Stedman, is currently running the exhibition and is very friendly and up to talk to anyone about the brand, the life of Harry Stedman and his friends or the Next Stop New York project – the project that is presenting the exhibition and investigating the huge impact African American music had on the city of Liverpool and its people, and how it continues to do so today.
The exhibition is a must see as it promises the perfect afternoon of learning about the history of Liverpool and an interesting group of boys that shaped it into the vivacious and colourful city it is today, which can be followed by a couple drinks downstairs in the Shipping Forecast.
The exhibition is open from around 12-4 pm daily. On the 22nd the partners of the Harry Stedman clothing line will also be holding an Open Archiving day for members of the local community to bring their own pieces of Liverpool’s seafaring history.
For more information, please visit the exhibition’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/events/250579368670257/