“After two years of hard work from all involved our goal of being able to show off the museums collection of yachts and boats in such a historic and eclectic setting has been reached, there is still much work to do so I hope you will all spread the word… the classic boat museum is back…so please come into our shed!”. – Mark McNeill, Chairman of the Museum
It has been a very busy year for the Classic Boat Museum in Cowes. Two and a half years ago the museum faced its biggest challenge since it was founded by Maurice Wilmot in 1996 when it was given notice to vacate its premises at the Albany Building East Cowes. The gallery of smaller artifacts in the Columbine Building East Cowes was also under threat but luckily until now it has been able to remain open and is keeping the dream alive. The big challenge was to find a home for over 50 classic sailing, motor and lifeboats where they could be displayed safely to the public. Yes, a big shed was needed, but where?
The Harrison Trust, owner of the Medina Village on the West side of the river, came to rescue offering the museum temporary use of the old ship building sheds under the Hammer Head crane – it was a perfect solution but, of course, there was a problem?
The sheds were not water tight and a lot of work was required to bring them up to the standard which would allow the public to safely visit.
Over the last 24 months a team of volunteers, supporting companies and the Council have all come together to enable the Isle of Wight to once again provide an amazing visitors attraction to tell the wonderful maritime story of the Island.
During Cowes Classic week the ‘Boat Shed’ as it will always now be known was opened for the first time and 275 competitors from the Classic Week were invited for a special party and prize giving to mark the occasion.
Mark McNeill, Chairman of the Museum commented, ” It has been a great evening for the museum and we are so pleased that Classic Week competitors were able to come along for their daily prize giving and combine it with a bit of a party! Many thanks to all the museums helpers, contributors and supporters, the Royal London Yacht Club, and, of course, a big thank you to Kevin George and Red Funnel for making the evening such a success.
After two years of hard work from all involved our goal of being able to show off the museum’s collection of yachts and boats in such a historic and eclectic setting has been reached, there is still much work to do so I hope you will all spread the word… the classic boat museum is back…so please come into our shed!”
Other ongoing museum projects and news
During the year the Museum has also been successful in gaining Lottery Funding for a First World War Heritage exhibition due to open in October 2018. The Museum also became a destination for the Islands Hidden Heroes event which is still ongoing, and the display can still be seen at the Museum gallery in East Cowes
The Classic Boat Museum
The Classic Boat Museum in Cowes, Isle of Wight was established in 1996 by Maurice Wilmot.
Maurice died in 2009 but the Museum and Gallery continue to go from strength to strength. The fine collection of classic and unique craft and artefacts reflects the on-going care and dedication of the Trustees and of the committed team of volunteers over 22 years.
The aim is to increase awareness of maritime craft and showing their historic development and how this relates to the development of the Island and its marine heritage.
The Museum exhibits restored boats and associated artefacts, with records of the part played in their construction and design by companies and people of the Isle of Wight.
The museum has over 50 yachts and boats plus photographic and printed archives and is currently developing a new exhibition site in West Cowes, which was opened to the public in July 2018, to add to the successful gallery in East Cowes.
Heritage Lottery Fund and support for First World War heritage
- Thanks to National Lottery players, we invest money to help people across the UK explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about – from the archaeology under our feet to the historic parks and buildings we love, from precious memories and collections to rare wildlife. www.hlf.org.uk. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and use #HLF supported.
- To date, £82million in HLF grants has been awarded to projects across the UK so they can mark the Centenary and explore all aspects of First World War heritage that matters to them. Through its First World War: then and now programme, HLF is making at least £1million available per year for six years until 2019. It is providing grants between £3,000 and £10,000 enabling communities and groups right across the UK to explore, conserve and share their First World War heritage and deepen their understanding of the impact of the conflict. To find out how to apply for funding visit www.hlf.org.uk/thenandnow. If a group needs a grant of more than £10,000 for a First World War project, it can apply to HLF through its open programmes www.hlf.org.uk/firstworldwar
- To join the conversation on social media please use #understandingww1
For further information, images and interviews please contact:
Mark Mc Neill, Chairman, Classic Boat Museum
Por: Max Gorissen – Editor SailBrasil.com.br, SailBrasil Magazine, SailBrasil News e Membro do YJA – Yachting Journalist´s Association – UK