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Coastal Collections - Grace Darling Museum RNLI

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Grace Darling Rescue Lifeboat paintingWe asked some of our coastal members for some insights into how they’ve been preparing for the summer influx of visitors. And to share with us their favourite or most unusual exhibits on display this summer. The response has been fantastic, and demonstrates what’s good about our museums and cultural heritage – the sheer knowledge combined with inspiring, new and innovative ways of engaging, will provide millions of great experiences throughout the summer.


We visit the beautiful northeast coast and the RNLI' s (9.) Grace Darling Museum in Bamburgh, Northumberland where this year they are celebrating the 175th Anniversary since a famous dramatic rescue.

How have you prepared for your summer visitors?

This year is the 175th anniversary of the rescue by Grace Darling and her father William of nine survivors from the wreck of the SS Forfarshire. We are working on our anniversary celebrations including a temporary exhibition called Inspied by Grace, and a day of celebrations at Seahouses Lifeboat Station on 7th September. The event will include a historic row to the Farne Islands, a trail and a chance to join in a row to the Farnes without getting your feet wet.   

What unique object(s) of key interest or curiosity do you have on show for your visitors this summer?

The highlight of our collection is the boat used by Grace and William Darling in the rescue. Now called the Grace Darling, it is over 175 years old. Our visitors are always amazed by it's size. It is very large for one person to handle, as Grace had to, and also very small to take the number of survivors rescued, and face a terrible storm on such a dangerous part of the coast.



We would like to thank all participating museums for sharing their practice and collection insights. This is a celebration of your hard work and dedication to creating inspiring collections for visitors in an ever-changing environment. Collections managers, often the unsung heroes of the museum world; here’s to a glorious summertime.

Participating Coastal Collections are: 1) Torquay Museum  2) National Maritime Museum of Cornwall  3) Penlee House & Art Gallery  4) Tenby Museum  5) Pembrokeshire’s Scolton Manor  6) Barmouth Sailors Institute and Ty Cwyn  7) The Beacon  8) Scottish Fisheries Museum  9) Grace Darling Museum  10) Scarborough Museums Trust  11) Cromer Museum and Lynn Museum  12) Time & Tide Museum of Great Yarmouth 13) Southend Museum.


If you’d like to participate in future user features, please get in touch – we’d love to hear from you.