Made by Make: Calderstones Pirate Ship Installation


By Jess Molyneux

Following its successful takeover in Liverpool ONE over the summer, Make Liverpool have collaborated with The Reader to bring a part of the pirate treasure island home to Allerton.

Situated in the heart of Calderstones Park, The Reader’s Storybarn is an imaginative play space which welcomes children to enjoy a storytime adventure and spark a life-long love of reading.

Earlier this year, the Storybarn moved into the former Nike store in the city centre, to create an immersive reading experience inspired by a treasure trove of children’s books.

Now back by popular demand, Calderstones Park has welcomed an old friend into the fold, a huge and much-loved pirate ship decommissioned by the Make Liverpool team.

At the end of November, Make participated in a week-long installation to rebuild the pirate ship for The Reader, a reading charity who have pioneered the concept of shared reading.

The pirate ship was constructed by three joiners, following the guidance of a designer and project managers based at Make.

Liam Kelly, CEO of Make Liverpool, said: “We had to prepare it in here, we had to treat the wood to make sure that it could survive outside because it was originally built to be inside, change some of the materials, do a little bit of a redesign it and then install it.”

Make’s ethos is to incorporate locally sourced materials as well as keep material waste to a minimum, which remained a vital part of constructing this installation.

In order to create the pirate ship, the team also had to level the ground, ensure the space created fitted an accessibility ramp and use damp proof membranes (DPM) materials to prevent the wood retaining water.

The first time the pirate ship was up it was very well received, and the Make team are confident that the response will be the same this time around.


Made by Make: Calderstones Pirate Ship Installation from Make Liverpool on Vimeo.


Liam Kelly said: “It’s just going to be such an immersive thing.

“The Storybarn is already brilliant it’s already an immersive thing, they’ve got a big hot air balloon inside and all these amazing places where they can sit and be read to.

“This is another environment they can pretend to be pirates on.”

Before the children could swash buckle and pretend to be pirates, Liam Kelly took us behind the scenes of the pirate ship installation, to see the ship before its finishing touches.



Machinery graphic