Cowes Classic Boat Museum opens new site

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 it’s 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.

The challenge was to find a home for over 50 classic sailing boats, motorboats and lifeboats, where they could be displayed safely to the public.

The Harrison Trust, owner of the Medina Village on the West side of the river, came to the rescue, offering the museum temporary use of the old ship building sheds under the Hammer Head crane.

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 come together to enable the Isle of Wight to tell the rich maritime story of the Island.

During Cowes Classics Week the ‘Boat Shed’ was opened for the first time and 275 competitors from the regatta were invited for a 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 Cowes Classics 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!”

During the year the museum has also been successful in gaining Heritage Lottery Funding for a First World War Heritage exhibition due to open in October 2018. The Museum also became a destination for the Island’s 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 in Cowes, Isle of Wight, was established in 1996 by Maurice Wilmot. Maurice died in 2009 but his fine collection of classic and unique craft and artefacts continues to be cared for by dedicated Trustees and a committed team of volunteers, some who have supported the collection for more than 20 years.

https://www.classicboatmuseum.com

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