Lowestoft museum’s legacy to stalwart supporter
06:30 19 May 2014
A lasting legacy to the memory of a popular president and stalwart supporter has been unveiled at the museum where he had served for many years.
An education facility at Lowestoft Maritime Museum has been relaunched and dedicated to its former chairman, Peter Parker, who died in December.
After many years of association with the Sparrow’s Nest museum, the tireless efforts of Mr Parker were honoured at a ceremony to mark the dedication and re-naming of the Peter Parker room.
More than 40 of the museum’s volunteers and members of Peter’s family attended the ceremony and chairman Colin Dixon said: “I succeeded Peter as chairman. He will be a very hard act to follow, but I know the trustees and the committee will do everything in their power to carry on Peter’s work, to maintain and pass on to future generations the Lowestoft Maritime Museum as a lasting legacy to his memory.”
Mr Parker, who worked at and later owned Newson’s boatyard at Lake Lothing up until the mid 1980s, began his involvement with Lowestoft Maritime Museum in the early 1980s and was an active society member.
He became chairman in 1993 and, under his stewardship, he steered the museum from strength to strength.
And, alongside his wife Myrtle, he worked tirelessly to secure the Heritage Lottery funding which led to the transformation of the building and its collections in 2010 into the first class modern facility it is today.
Mr Dixon said: “As chairman of the Maritime Museum, Peter attended many meetings over the years and met all kinds of people connected with running museums of all sizes. It was at those meetings, listening to others, that I am sure he came up with the idea that he wanted to transform the Lowestoft Maritime Museum into the best museum of its kind in this part of the country and with the ultimate aim of keeping alive the maritime heritage of the town. Peter was well-known and well respected in the museum world. This is a lasting legacy of what Peter set out to achieve as both Peter and Myrtle worked tirelessly to get the money from Heritage Lottery.”
In 2012, Lowestoft Maritime Museum was named as Suffolk Museum of the Year. Highly respected by the maritime community and all who knew him, Mr Dixon and the museum’s committee, which includes Peter’s daughter Carol, continue to work hard to ensure Mr Parker’s valuable work continues.
Admitting the Parker family were “really proud” with the newly-dedicated room in honour of her husband, Mrs Parker said: “Its a great honour to have. He worked for that.”
In 2007, the museum was successful in their grant application – with £345,000 awarded to transform the facility.
And highlighting the long process it had taken to turn this into reality, Mrs Parker said: “It took, six or seven years but Peter never gave up. It was his idea to have an educational, hi-tech modern facility.
“Now we have this educational facility for nursery children and primary schools and we are trying to promote this within the schools.”
Lowestoft Maritime Museum is now open for the season, daily from 10am to 5pm, with last admissions at 4pm.
■For more information, visit www.lowestoftmaritimemuseum.org.uk or call 01502 561963.