Poole’s Old Lifeboat Station Museum reopens to visitors after full refurbishment

Lifeboats News Release

If you’re looking for something to do over the Easter break, why not make the RNLI part of your Easter plans? From Captain's Ward cork lifejacket to Poole 's first motorised lifeboat, you can discover many historical curiosities in the newly refurbished Poole Old Lifeboat Station Museum.

The Poole Old Lifeboat Station Museum

RNLI/Nathan Williams

Poole Old Lifeboat Museum. RNLB Thomas Kirk Wright

Our volunteers are ready to welcome visitors and share the town's history of saving lives at sea.

Situated on the eastern end of Poole Quay, next to Fisherman's Dock, the museum holds a significant place in the RNLI lifesaving history in Poole. It is housed in the same boathouse that was home to lifeboat crews for almost a century, from 1882 – 1974. The redevelopment, which has brought the museum up to date, includes a lovely gift shop and brand new displays of crew bravery.

The Poole Old Lifeboat Station Museum presents the history of its lifeboat crews with artefacts, images, historical text, crew kit, and oral histories from our knowlegeble volunteers. The central piece is theThomas Kirk Wright, one of Poole's historic lifeboats, that dates back to 1939 and was the first 'Little Ship' in the rescue flotilla at Dunkirk during World War II.

The thirty-two-foot-long surf class lifeboat was operational at the station from 1939 to 1962 and, in 1940, was part of the Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of Allied soldiers during World War II from the beaches and harbour of Dunkirk. She made three trips during this time until she came under fire. The Thomas Kirk Wright saved 15 lives in her RNLI service and countless more at Dunkirk.

Poole Old Lifeboat Station Museum also offers activities that people of all ages can enjoy. Visitors can capture a lasting memory and learn about launching on a rescue by trying on kits from the days of the Thomas Kirk Wright and the modern RNLI crew. There are also gifts available from the newly-fitted shop that sells a range of nautical-themed items - RNLI memorabilia, cards, gifts, tasty treats, clothing and much more.

The Poole Old Lifeboat Station Museum is free to enjoy, and is open daily between 10.30am and 4pm.

Dave Corke, RNLI Volunteer Museum Manager, said:

The Poole Old Lifeboat Station Museum proudly celebrates Poole's history of saving lives at sea. This refurbishment has helped re-create a more exciting experience for visitors and makes it an important cultural landmark for our city and community. Our Heritage team and volunteers have worked hard to research, design and fit all items to reproduce the authentic feel of the lifeboat's past, and with the Thomas Kirk Wright as the main attraction, it is a unique experience for anyone interested in learning more about our local history.

I'm looking forward to seeing visitors from all around the country enjoying all that the museum has to offer, and if they would like to continue their exploration, there's plenty more to see and do at the RNLI College.'

Notes to editors

· Photos of the museum are at:

https://source.rnli.org.uk/share/2492FC2D-E519-4114-8CE8793974AB7031/

https://source.rnli.org.uk/share/55F48E33-9531-413C-BBA29856567CC708/

· Photos of the Thomas Kirk Wright lifeboat are at: https://source.rnli.org.uk/share/4F97541D-E340-4D3B-A1247A84E4CB2C23/

https://source.rnli.org.uk/share/5D07D32E-D72E-4DBB-A1D64FB1504AC45E/

· A photo of the RNLI gift shop is at:

https://source.rnli.org.uk/share/2A6904EF-C4E9-4792-8EE49CF00EBDE03B/

RNLI media contacts

For more information, please contact Julie Rainey, RNLI South East Regional Media Officer, on 07827 358256 or email [email protected] or Paul Dunt, RNLI South East Regional Media Officer, on 0778 5296252 or email [email protected] Alternatively, please call the RNLI Press Office on 01202 336 789 or email [email protected].

RNLI online

For more information, please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the RNLI News Centre.

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates over 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and, in a normal year, more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Thomas Kirk Wright Lifeboat in the Poole Old Lifeboat Museum

RNLI/Nathan Williams

Poole Old Lifeboat Museum. RNLB Thomas Kirk Wright.

Key facts about the RNLI

The RNLI charity saves lives at sea. Its volunteers provide a 24-hour search and rescue service around the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland coasts. The RNLI operates 238 lifeboat stations in the UK and Ireland and more than 240 lifeguard units on beaches around the UK and Channel Islands. The RNLI is independent of Coastguard and government and depends on voluntary donations and legacies to maintain its rescue service. Since the RNLI was founded in 1824, its lifeboat crews and lifeguards have saved over 142,700 lives.

Learn more about the RNLI

For more information please visit the RNLI website or Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. News releases, videos and photos are available on the News Centre.

Contacting the RNLI - public enquiries

Members of the public may contact the RNLI on 0300 300 9990 (UK) or 1800 991802 (Ireland) or by email.

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