Merseyside Maritime Museum is one of the jewels in the crown of the Liverpool waterfront.

And the free Albert Dock attraction is packed with more than 1,000 fascinating and historic objects connected with Liverpool鈥檚 important maritime history, while there are thousands more in its stores and archives.

So where do you start?

Deputy director Ian Murphy has picked 11 things you shouldn鈥檛 miss as you make your way around the museum.

William Kelly child migrant trunk

William Kelly child migrant trunk
William Kelly child migrant trunk

This Liverpool Sheltering Homes trunk belonged to William Kelly, who was one of more than 100,000 children sent around the world as child migrants.

While the intention was to give them a better life, in reality many migrants suffered enormous cruelty and harrowing abuse.

The trunk brings home the vulnerability of these small children who where sent into the unknown as part of a policy that is difficult to understand today.

It鈥檚 part of our On Their Own exhibition but will be on permanent display.

See it in the ground floor reception.

Fido the Lion

Fido the lion
Fido the lion

Fido was a cuddly lion (not a dog!) who travelled with eight-year-old Nancy Mildon across the Atlantic Ocean on board Cunard鈥檚 Alaunia during World War I.

I chose Fido because you wouldn鈥檛 necessarily expect to find a cuddly toy in an exhibition about WWI, and he shows how the lives of children are often caught up in war.

When Liverpool seafarers ?men, women and children ?travelled the Atlantic, they were crossing a front line that is often forgotten about when we look at that particular conflict.

See it on the first floor.

Mackworth Fog Buoy

Mackworth fog buoy
Mackworth fog buoy

This unusual object is a buoy that was designed to alert ships travelling in convoy to the presence of other vessels in thick fog during World War II.

It would have been towed behind a ship, sending up a plume of water that would have been visible to other vessels in the convoy without making a noise that could have alerted U-boats.

The ingenuity of the device shows that it鈥檚 often simple solutions that can save lives from the dangers of the sea in peacetime and wartime.

See it on the first floor.

Seaman鈥檚 sleeveless sheepskin jacket

Seaman's sleeveless sheepskin coat
Seaman's sleeveless sheepskin coat

This sheepskin jacket belonged to 16-year-old Liverpool seafarer George M Bryson, who served on board the Royal Navy鈥檚 Arctic convoys during World War II.

The convoys carried vital supplies to ports in the Soviet Union in extreme weather conditions and through ferocious enemy attacks.

The jacket is a reminder of the terrible conditions these sailors faced ?an achievement finally recognised with the award of the Arctic Star in 2012.

See it on the first floor.

Mauretania glass panels

Mauretania (II) glass panels
Mauretania (II) glass panels

These beautiful glass panels would have decorated the cabin class dining room of the Birkenhead-built Mauretania (II).

The Art Deco panels depict signs of the zodiac with reference to significant dates in the history of the two Cunard ships to bear the name Mauretania.

For me, the panels highlight the style and glamour of the ocean liners that made Liverpool the great transatlantic passenger port.

See them on the first floor.

MV Derbyshire demonstration model

MV Derbyshire demonstration model.
MV Derbyshire demonstration model.

The Liverpool-registered MV Derbyshire sank in 1980 with the loss of all 44 people on board.

The Derbyshire Families Association campaigned for 20 years for a full enquiry into the loss of the ship and this model, made by Phil Hayden, was used during their campaign.

The story of the Derbyshire highlights the dangers that seafarers still face today, and the Association鈥檚 ongoing work to improve safety on modern vessels.

See it on the first floor.

P&O Winter in the East travel poster

P&O Winter in the East travel poster
P&O Winter in the East travel poster

This is colourful poster from the Museum鈥檚 collection.

It was designed by artist Dorothy Newsome who travelled across India in the 1920s and produced posters that were unusual in depicting overseas locations rather than ships and technology.

The poster is a window into a time when greater access to travel was opening new horizons to people.

See it on the second floor.

In the Mersey by Max Sinclair 1889

In The Mersey by Max Sinclair, 1889
In The Mersey by Max Sinclair, 1889

We don鈥檛 know a great deal about Max Sinclair, the artist that painted this stunning view of shipping on the River Mersey in 1889.

He painted some views of the coasts of Scotland and Wales and the docklands of Liverpool and London, but other information is scarce.

By creating In the Mersey, however, he left behind one of the most immediate and dynamic depictions of the bustling River Mersey of Victorian times.

The big ship at the dock is the City of New York which later had a near collision with Titanic at Southampton.

See it on the second floor.

Titanic/Olympic builder鈥檚 model

Titanic/Olympic builder's model
Titanic/Olympic builder's model

The model of Olympic/Titanic is one of the star items in the Museum鈥檚 collections and is over a century old.

This is Harland and Wolff鈥檚 original builder鈥檚 models ?designed to show the world White Star Line鈥檚 giant luxury liners.

The model has an incredible history in its own right, having changed and developed over time to depict Olympic, Titanic and Britannic, and toured the country.

There are photographs of it hanging off the back of a removal wagon in the 1930s.

See it on the second floor.

Blaco portable cabin model c.1920-30

Blaco portable cabin model
Blaco portable cabin model

This is a model that is unlike any of the others at the museum. It was used by salesmen to demonstrate the cabins available on Cunard liners to prospective customers.

It鈥檚 a reminder that passenger travel was a commercial activity in Liverpool and that companies developed ingenious and innovative ways to secure business.

The model was made by Liverpool firm FC Blackwell & Co Ltd.

See it in the basement gallery.

A Race to the Gold Diggings game c.1860

A Race to the Gold Diggings game
A Race to the Gold Diggings game

When the first Australian gold licenses were granted in 1851, the subsequent gold rush drew huge numbers of people to the country and tripled the population.

Liverpool ships carried their fair share of hopeful prospectors trying to make their fortune. You could buy gold-digging equipment at the dock or from local suppliers, including a prefab house.

This board game allowed children to take part in the mania, overcoming all kinds of difficulties to strike it rich (although players left from Plymouth!)

See it in the basement gallery.

Merseyside Maritime Museum is open daily from 10am to 5pm and is free.