Historic Yarmouth fishing vessel set for boost after generous grant

The vessel takes pride of place in the Time and Tide Herring Fair. Picture: NICK BUTCHER

The vessel takes pride of place in the Time and Tide Herring Fair. Picture: NICK BUTCHER - Credit: Archant © 2008

An historic and familiar fishing boat is set to benefit from a funding boost handed to a Great Yarmouth museum.

The Time and Tide Museum sign.Picture: James Bass

The Time and Tide Museum sign.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2014

The resort's Time and Tide Museum has been awarded £90,500 to boost access to its collections and pay for specialist conservation involving volunteers.

Since the attraction opened in 2004 The Coronation YH671 has been its centrepiece, greeting visitors to its cobbled courtyard.

But little is known about the Clinker-built shrimper, the product of the boon in seaside holidays during the Victorian era when fishermen aimed to get home to boil their catch in time to sell to visitors out for their evening walk.

Museum officials say vessels like The Coronation have been the subject of comparatively little research, and that the enhancement of digital records as well as improved interpretation will be key components of the Sea History Differently project.

The money will also fund a range of touring displays culminating in an exhibition next summer bringing fine art by the likes of Turner, Constable and Cotman to a local audience.

The collection of historic boats at Time and Tide is said to be a major part of the maritime collections on the East Coast telling unique tales about the former fishing and maritime industries that supported the coastline.

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The Coronation YH671, made in Great Yarmouth in 1902 by Beeching & Bros, is one of three boats on permanent display at the museum.

Curator Johanna O'Donoghue, said: 'It is really exciting to announce that we have received the funding in Great Yarmouth for this innovative maritime project.

'Maritime heritage is an integral part of the history of the town and this project will focus on restoring and celebrating some of the key collections that the Time and Tide Museum holds. It will be a delight to work on restoring some of the wonderful vessels that the museum holds as well as research their local connections, finding out the incredible stories of people who sailed boats off the beach and quay side in Great Yarmouth.'

Norfolk County Council's Chairman of Communities, Margaret Dewsbury said: 'Since it opened in 2004, Time and Tide Museum has been very successful in engaging both local communities and visitors to Great Yarmouth and the surrounding area. This significant investment from Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund and the Museums Association builds on this important work, enabling the conservation of important elements of the town's historic fishing industry and presenting and interpreting this to visitors. It's wonderful that a whole new generation of volunteers will learn new skills while finding out more about their town's heritage.

'At the same time the touring exhibitions programme will enable visitors to museums up and down the East coast to come away with a greater understanding of this region's proud maritime past.'