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Educational projects - Scarborough maritime centre

A treasure chest of maritime objects can be loaned out to primary schools for educational purposes for use with children age 4 to 8. The treasure chest is in the shape of a wooden fish box and contains a scale model trawler net, fishermen and womens' clothing, a model coble boat and trawler, a model fish, lifebelt, ship's wheel, compass and many historic photographs. A set of maritime word 'flashcards' and a simple wordsearch game is included along with a teacher's guide book and CD. Please contact the Museum's Trust on 01723 384503 for more details.
SMHC volunteers are also available to come into your school and deliver a talk on Scarborough's fishing history, call 01723 369361 or email scarboroughmaritime@yahoo.com

CLICK HERE FOR: List of articles and resources available at SMHC
CLICK HERE FOR: List of books available at SMHC
CLICK HERE FOR: List of maritime books available at Scarborough Library

OUR HERITAGE A poem by Rachel J Jenkinson

Born and bred to go to sea, no other way we knew.
To fish the seas our fathers fished, and in this wisdom grew.
From father to son knowledge was passed, of wrecks and peaks below
How near, how close to shoot and haul and where we dare not go

Our fathers fished and worked hard no handouts did they need
Just a boat, will, heart so stout they knew they would succeed
To sail upon our waters to hunt to find to catch
No other way was chosen, no other life could match.

When the sea was greedy, shipmates we lost to her call.
When such tragedy happened our community then stood tall
We'd search the sea, our hearts would break for their kinsfolk on the shore
Return to port with heavy hearts we knew we could do no more

Days would pass, the sun would shine reflecting on the sea
Like a million sparkling diamonds, its beauty for you and me.
Gone was the black mood of the sea as the boats set sail again
This is our life, this is our way, from which we will not refrain

This is our home land of hope with her bountiful sea
A heritage from God for you and for me.
Take it with pride and give it your care
For with love and compassion it will always be there.


In 2006 the SMHC committee was formed to find a home for two donated lifetime collections of over 50,000 maritime photographs, log books, certificates, harbour records and memorabilia.

In Scarborough during the 18th and 19th Century over 400 boats and ships were built on the sands of the South bay that travelled across the globe. In 2009 the last boat yard in the town closed down ending centuries of tradition. However, in that same year the SMHC opened in an empty shop near the harbour as a public archive and exhibition area. The centre was opened by the mayor of Scarborough Cllr. Bill Chatt and is run by volunteers who staff the Centre 5 days a week. The Centre itself has welcomed over 6000 visitors in the past 2 years.

A small archive team are digitising all the photographs and records whilst other volunteers are cataloguing the 700 plus books and files donated that give information on local and maritime history. The SMHC website was setup and regularly receives over 5000 viewings per week. In 2011 it was voted best family history website by the BBC “Who do you think you are?” magazine.

The SMHC volunteers have done over 30 talks to local community groups and schools and regularly put on exhibitions at the Seafest Festival and for the National Heritage Open Days. An educational outreach group created a treasure box of maritime artefacts that is loaned out to schools and volunteers helped with an intergenerational project bringing together a group of Scarborough teenagers with some old fishermen. They all shared their stories and created a film and eight pull up information panels about fishing during World War II.

In 2010 a maritime heritage guided tour leaflet was created and volunteers put on maritime puppet shows for the Coastival festival weekend along with demonstrations of maritime knot tying and net mending. In 2011 the SMHC became a registered charity and took part in the preparation of the Fears Foes and Faeries exhibition being hosted by the SMT.

Volunteers have put in over 10,000 hours of time and created public exhibitions about Ganseys, Tunny and Herring fishing, the RNLI, our connections to the Titanic, the Science of Boats, Pirates and Smugglers and the 1914 Bombardment. The volunteers respond to regular requests for help and information from people researching their own family history and in 2010 & 2011 the SMHC was awarded the ‘Mayor’s Big Thank You for Artistic and Cultural contribution to the town.