Lowestoft Maritime Museum
Lowestoft and East Suffolk Maritime Society is a registered charity and established Lowestoft Maritime Museum in 1968. It is maintained and manned by its members on a voluntary basis and is grant aided by Waveney District Council. His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh opened a major extension 1978 and just two years later a further extension was added.
The museum stands in an idyllic position below the ‘Highlight’, Lowestoft’s landmark lighthouse that can trace its origins back to Samuel Pepys and the brotherhood of Trinity House. The entrance to the museum is through what used to be the park keeper’s cottage in the grounds of ‘Sparrows Nest’, a property taken over by the Royal Navy for the duration of WW2 and then known as HMS Europa. Aerial photograph by courtesy of Michael Page, www.norfolkskyview.flyer.co.uk .
This year marks the completion of another major new extension, forty years of commitment and a fine project convinced the Heritage Lottery Fund to support the Museum’s new building plans. A just reward, it recognises the hard work of those who have put so much into building this fine collection over four decades.
Part of the new building will house Sir Christopher Cockerell’s design workshop. It will display his original machine tools, lathe, mill, surface grinder etc., and his hand tools, some dating from his time as a Student Engineer in 1933. The museum has had a long association with Lord Somerleyton whose father was instrumental in bringing the Hovercraft invention to the attention of Lord Louis Mountbatten and the resulting commercial exploitation. A working reproduction of the original Prototype Model Hovercraft will be part of the exhibit.
Lord Somerleyton was Chairman of the Governors of Lowestoft College for many years, see Lowestoft College page, and is Chairman of the group working to establish the Hovercraft Celebratory Column landmark at Somerleyton. To view the museum website please click on this link:- www.lowestoftmaritimemuseum.org.uk .
An excellent list of almost 300 UK Maritime Museums compiled by Dr Martin Evans and Dr Janet West can be found at http://people.pwf.cam.ac.uk/mhe1000/marmus.htm .