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We are currently based in a small rented shop and need a safe permanant home for our archives and exhibitions. Please help us raise the £10,000 we need by donating with a cheque or online at Localgiving.com. Anyone who can donate £100 or more can have their name, or the name of a friend or loved one, engraved on a 'Roll of Honour' board that will be displayed in the new Centre and our website for posterity.


R Guthrie (Broadland Properties), Lord J Beauclerk, Sir Alan & Lady Ayckbourn, W. Boyes & Co Ltd, Scarborough Lions Club, F G Normandale, M & M Robinson, E Harland, J Wray, N Bogie, E Mewse, P O'Toole, M Vesey, J M Johnson, Bridlington Probus, P Rawling, T & R Rowley, IQ Chartered Accountants, R Edwards, D & M Raine, J Spencer, A Roberts, Viscount A Hargreaves, P & J Collette, E Liversedge, D & J Normandale, Staintondale History Society, P& J Barton, J & J Founds, Cllr C Challon, D Stubbs, J Pickup, D & S Barker, A Roberts, Scarborough Campus Business Degree students, Mick & Mary Fox, C Moon, J Hobson, M Newsome, H Challen, Scarborough Merchant Navy Association, Scarborough Mayoress's fund, The Albert Strange Association, L Burnett, Scalby Wives group, A & T Donaldson, Merchant Navy Association, P & D Simpson, G Smith.

Also in memory of: P.J.H Slessor, Stanley Clarke (RN), Fred & Betty Lancaster, Richard Fox, Colin Montague Hayward.

Click here to look at our Autumn SPECIAL EDITION 2015
Click here to look at Summer 2015
Click here to look at March 2015
Click here to look at December 2014
Click here to look at September 2014
Click here to look at June 2014
Click here to look at March 2014
Click here to look at December 2013
Click here to look at September 2013
Click here to look at June 2013
Click here to look at March 2013


What a great introduction to Scarborough. Great displays and very knowledgeable staff. Got a lot of information about Scarborough. Just a pity that this place is not located in a more prominent location on the shorefront with more passing visitors. Well done guys! A great asset to Scarborough.

We called in on Sunday morning and were greeted by two very helpful volunteers. They shared lots of fascinating information and we enjoyed seeing interesting items on display.

My ancestors come from Scarborough and it was great to see them mentioned in here and actually meet someone who was related to my grandmother and great grandfather. When we arrived home some more copies of photographs had been forwarded to us, also found out where my great grandfathers grave was and went to see it. The information in the museum is very interesting. The history of Scarborough is fascinating. Would definitely recommend a visit to anyone.

Surprised to find that it occupied only one room but, nevertheless, we found the exhibits fascinating. It is a shame that its potential isn't realised and funding is not made available to move to larger more suitable premises where stored items can be displayed.

How so much information can be contained into a reasonably small place astounds me! Absolutely fabulous visit shame that it's one of those places you must know is there or you may miss the opportunity to visit as it is somewhat out of the way. Staff friendly and lovely and as a friend of the late John Rushton whom I know had a lot to do with the establishment I can only say his and everybody else’s efforts in the team has paid off! Also no charge to visit just a pleasant request for donations, well done! Had a great time. Friendly welcome and a really interesting place to visit. Not only for maritime 'buffs'. Stop by when you’re in town, you won't regret it.

This is a great place full of interesting information. Learned a lot about the area here. There is so much history in Scarborough and this is a great place to learn a bunch of it. Very well done.

We are always looking for friendly volunteers who can spare a few hours a week to help with filing, scanning, fundraising, accounts, research, putting together exhibitions or greeting the public. Please call Lindy Rowley for a chat on 01723 369361, pop in or email us.

2013 NEWS:

We celebrated our 4th year in 36 Eastborough. Thanks go to all our volunteers and supporters who have helped us along the way.

Lindy and Tom Rowley gave a talk to pupils at St Peter’s School and received some wonderful letters of thanks in return. Lindy and Tom Rowley gave a talk to pupils at Cayton School and were so well liked that the children wrote to the local paper asking for a bigger Maritime Centre for school children to visit. The Scarborough News published an excellent 2-page article on the issue. Children at Bramcote School put on an end of year play about the Titanic and were very pleased to borrow artefacts and informationpanels from us. The school wants to link up again for the centenary of the bombardment in 2014. SMHC chairman, Mark Vesey, gave maritime history talks to the Scalby Village Trust and to the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust in Flamborough.

In memory of John Rushton MBE John Rushton, historian, researcher,archivist, founding member andsupporter of the SMHC sadly passedaway in June. Without his enthusiasm,commitment and friendship we would not be where we are today. A plaque was unveiled inhis honour at the Centre. Our sympathies go out to his family & friends. Donations collected at the funeral were given to the SMHC. CLICK HERE to read his obituary.

An impressive ‘Armada’ of model boats was the centrepiece of 2013's Seafest exhibition held on the West Pier in July. Thanks go to all the volunteers who helped out and to those supporters who loaned their precious models.

The SMHC and the Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) ran a 10 evening Maritime History Course. Topics included: the history and development of the harbour; shipwrecks and shipbuilding; tunny and herring fishing;1914 bombardment; the Titanic; yachting; maritime superstitions and folklore.

Thanks go to the ‘Bridbeat Singers’ for entertaining us and helping to raise funds while we enjoyed a delicious fish and chip supper at Restaurant 55.

Pens and keyrings are now available in the SMHC for just £1 each. All purchases go towards helping keep the Centre running.

Thanks go to R. Woodwall, from Leigh-on-sea in Essex, who donated an aluminium crest from HMS Scarborough. She was a Hastings-class sloop built in 1930 by the Swann Hunter shipyard in Tyne and Wear and saw active service during WW2, especially as a convoy escort in the North Atlantic. She was a 1045 ton vessel, 250 feet in length and 34 feet beam and was sold to the British Iron and Steel Company, BISCO, for scrap in 1949.The donated model ship in a bottle (above right) is of the Olivebank. She was a four-masted steel barque built in 1892 by Mackie & Thompson, Glasgow. Her dimensions were: 326'×43’×24' and tonnage: 2647 NRT and 2824 GRT. She carried cargo such as coal and guano to as far away as Auckland in New Zealand.In September 1939 she struck a mine in the North Sea and sank on a voyage from Barry Docks to Mariehamn. Fourteen men lost theirlives including Captain Carl Granith. Seven others who had climbed the rigging were rescued after 48 hours by the Danish fishing cutter Talona of Esbjerg. Thanks also go to those who donated maritime photographs, chartsand certificates, books and a pair of Dan buoy marker lights.

2012 NEWS:

SMHC chairman, Mark Vesey, attended a maritime regeneration conference in Cardiff in October. 300 delegates attended from 7 countries to talk about regeneration of waterfront areas through maritime heritage. Huw Lewis, Welsh Minister for Heritage and Regeneration, opened the conference saying, "Wales is proud of its maritime heritage that has shaped the economy and culture". Speakers from America, Northern Ireland, Croatia, Netherlands, Finland, Australia, South Africa and Spain all gave examples of how they regenerated their towns and communities by using their maritime heritage. Delegates visited the new "World of Boats" maritime Centre on Cardiff Bay waterfront that is helping to bring in new tourists and educate schoolchildren about the past history of the area.

The SMHC had a busy multimedia week in October starting with an article on the future of the Maritime Centre that was reported on the Guardian North newspaper website. On 9th October BBC Radio York interviewed our chairman and John Munroe, a University lecturer, about the University of Hull's feasibility study for a large visitor Centre on the West Pier. On Saturday 7th October SMHC volunteers met with a BBC documentary team to help them research and start filming a pilot programme about the centenary of the 1914 bombardment of Scarborough.

On 26th and 27th October the SMHC held a fundraising Fish & Ships supper in partnership with the Rainbow Centre on Castle Road. We would like to thank all those who came along to support us including the Old Town Skiffle band and Arif the magician. We received a note of thanks from Jim Lawson, "Just to tell you how much Doreen and I enjoyed the 'do' last night. It was a lovely evening & credit to yourself and friends who organised it all. The fish and chips were excellent and the service from a small hardworking band of young waitresses was very good. We enjoyed the entertainment from a homespun talented band and a good solo from a young girl. A very enjoyable evening out for us both. We appreciate all your hard work and effort on behalf of the SMHC and shall support whenever needed."

Two researchers visited the Centre in November. Dr. Zoe Kinsley is a senior lecturer in English Literature at the Liverpool Hope University. Her studies looked at the travel journals of a woman called Dorothy Richardson who visited Scarborough, Filey and Bridlington in 1801. Her journals contain detailed descriptions of the town and the people she met. We hope to run a project in 2013 that will open up these journals to the community. Dr Adriana Jose-Romero is an anthropologist and lecturer in tourism at the University in Seville. She interviewed SMHC volunteers about their work and the heritage that is being passed on. In Spain, volunteering is almost unheard of so she was very impressed with our achievements.

A year-long study has been presented to the Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre by the University of Hull's Business Management Centre. The 70-page report was prepared by an honours graduate, Mario Bartz, and took one year to complete. The report was presented by John Munroe and Paul Cross from the University's Business Management Centre. The report looked into the feasibility of establishing an economically viable high quality visitor destination for families that would be open to the public 5 days a week and would also display and preserve all aspects of the town's maritime heritage. The study looked at the micro and macro environmental situations with regard to internal and external strengths and weaknesses. The track record of the maritime Centre's work was examined along with the various options for funding and partnership working. The study concluded that a large-scale Centre will be hard to establish immediately but should not be out of reach in the medium to long-term. The study finds that there is a good case for such a Centre in Scarborough and that the SMHC as an organisation and Scarborough as a market and heritage area does present a feasible case to support it. The study proposes that a four-year time scale be used to develop the SMHC visitor Centre in partnership with other organisations and the local authority and suggests that it could be up and running by 2016.

One of our supporters, Alan Richmond of Castlegate, Scarborough, was thrilled when the Lord Lieutenant of North Yorkshire asked if his Traditional Sailing Coble the Gratitude might be present at Her Majesty the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Pageant on the River Thames. A full re-fit and paint-up was required but the transport logistics proved to be the most problematic. They were overcome thanks to Mr. Andrew Pindar, of GAC Pindar International, a company that specialises in transporting Yachts for the Extreme Sailing Series. The Gratitude arrived by trailer at the Greenwich Yacht Club, where it was launched, and then sailed up the river to the West India Dock for scrutineering. The boat then had to spend the night before the Pageant on a mid-river mooring at Putney to conform with strict security requirements. Alan said, "The atmosphere was fantastic, with hundreds of boats milling around in a blur of movement, colour and noise. We nipped in very close to the Royal Barge, and received a special wave from the Queen, and the Royal Family, when we dipped our Ensign in salute. The riverside crowd was estimated at 1.25 million, and the cheering that we received in passing was astonishing. The interest in the Gratitude displayed by the non-boating fraternity was enormous, and most unexpected. It was a very great privilege to be able to honour, entertain, and congratulate Her Majesty the Queen on this unique day in British History". The Gratitude formed part of the SMHC exhibition at Seafest 2010.

The SMHC and some of its volunteers collected awards at the Borough's Big Thank You ceremony at the Spa on 26th April. Jim Spencer, Linda Auckland, Cassie Pelucci, Michael Young, Austen Sleightholme, Lindy Rowley, Mohammed Yogi and Mark Vesey all received certificates in the heritage and environment category whilst the SMHC was awarded the Max Payne MBE Outstanding Achievement Award.

The Harbour Girl, a novel by Val Wood, went on sale in March. Inspiration for the story was drawn from her childhood memories of holidays in Scarborough. She made good use of the Maritime Heritage Centre's website, which she praised in the novels acknowledgements. Val took part in the Scarborough Literature Festival and said she had to mention the great storm of 1880 in which many ships and lives were lost and which she incorporated into the story. The Harbour Girl is about a young woman who spends her days watching the harbour girls and then falls in love with a stranger from Hull.

CONGRATULATIONS and thanks go to our secretary, Faith Young, who ran the Jane Tomlinson Leeds half marathon in aid of the SMHC. She completed the 13.1 mile course in 2 hours 12 minutes.

We are pleased to announce that a respected firm of lawyers, Pinkney Grunwells, has generously agreed to help any SMHC supporter by giving a 10% discount on the cost of drawing up a new will or adjusting an old one. None of us want to think about passing away but we hope that you understand the importance of drawing up a will and possibly donating a percentage or fixed amount to the SMHC. Donating money in this way will help guarentee the future of the unique and extremely valuable heritage that we have built up and to save it for future generations to learn from. To contact Pinkney Grunwells call 01723 352125, visit their office at 64 Westborough, near Sainsbury's entrance in Falsgrave, or email: solicitor@pinkneygrunwells.co.uk. Thank you.

TITANIC EXHIBITION - Edward Harland was born in Scarborough along with James Moody, 6th Officer. SMHC volunteers attended the unveiling of a blue plaque by the Friends of HMS Conway on April 15th. The plaque is on the house in Granville Road where James Paul Moody was born. James was the 6th officer on the Titanic and helped save many women and children from drowning but he did not survive to tell the tale. James attended the training ship HMS Conway from the age of 14 and later attended King Edward VII Nautical School in London where he passed his Masters Examination in April 1911 Click here for Titanic archives

BOMBARDMENT EXHIBITION - Scarborough's MP, Robert Goodwill, opened our bombardment exhibition on December 16th 2011, 97 years since the attack. A prominent feature of the exhibition was a 1 metre square photographic map of the town showing all the buildings and roads hit by the 500 or so German shells that were fired. An explanation looked at the reasons behind the attack and the resulting outrage across the UK after civilian women and children were killed.

ART GALLERY EXHIBITION - On March 24th 2012 Scarborough Art Gallery opened a new exhibition entitled 'Fears, Foes and Faeries'. The exhibition was put together with the help of SMHC volunteers who carried out oral history recordings of local fishermen and women about their superstitions. Quite a few objects have been loaned from the SMHC collection and our supporters. Please go along and enjoy this exciting new look at old customs, practices and superstitions in by-gone days.

ACTIVITY REPORT - MARCH 2012: Over 3000 people visited an art exhibition held in the old boatyard on Sandside in December. The SMHC were invited to take part and displayed a selection of 14 oil and watercolour paintings by local fishermen and national artists all showing maritime scenes from the East Coast. Despite the cold weather the public response was fantastic. Thanks go to the organisers for letting us take part in this new and exciting initiative.

PATRONS - The Earl of Burford, Lady Caroline ffrench Blake and Lord John Beauclerk have all agreed to become our patrons. They became involved with the Centre through researching their family history. In 1861 a Lord Charles Beauclerk was involved in rescuing drowning men during the wreck of the ship 'Coupland'. The present-day family found lots of information about their ancestor on our website and visited us whilst in Scarborough for a commemoration about the loss of lives in that storm. We are most grateful for their support.

THANKS - Thanks go to all those who have continued to donate artefacts, maps, pictures, books and financial support in the past few months. Thanks also go to all the volunteers who have given talks to local community groups over the winter period.

SADNESS - It is with great sadness that we have to announce the loss of one of our volunteers Peter Slessor. Peter was a tall man with a deep Scottish accent and a huge repertoire of humorous anecdotes. He was brought up in Fraserborough and educated in Edinburgh. As a young man he went to sea on a trawler and he never forgot his roots. He was able to make, from memory, fabulous pencil drawings of trawlers at sea. He spent most of his life working for the United Nations Development Agency promoting trade around the world. He retired to Scarborough a few years ago and became active in many groups bringing his warm, compassionate nature to bear. Peter was one of life's great characters and we will always remember him fondly with his flat cap, pipe and glass of red wine in hand.

CHARITY STATUS - NOVEMBER 2011 - After a lot of hard work by our secretary, Faith Young, the SMHC has now been granted charitable status which opens up a whole new raft of funding opportunities and of course the chance to get some tax back from the government! Our charity registration number is 1144532. For any donations given we can now claim back the 20% tax taken by the government on your money using the Giftaid scheme.

EDUCATION OUTREACH - After 6 months of hard work and preparation our education outreach "Fish Box" has been delivered to the Scarborough Museums' Trust. They will now promote the box to schools throughout the borough. Moments after its arrival it was booked out to St Peter's School in Northstead. SMHC volunteers accompanied the box that is full of educational material based on our maritime fishing heritage. Austen Sleightholme did the joinery work, Tony East produced a scale model trawler net and Nykhol Grant did the design work on the teachers' information pack. The box also contains fishermen and women's' clothing, a model coble and trawler plus photographs and "flashcards" for use by children ages 4 to 8.

FUNDING NEWS - Good news as we have now secured the rent for 2011-2012 mainly by a grant from the "Two Communities Fund" and a £1000 donation by local supporter Maureen Robinson. We are also applying for funding from the Voice Your Choice project and continue to progress with our HLF bid. Letters of support for this have been received from the leader of Scarborough council, Tom Fox, and the cabinet member for tourism & culture, David Jeffels, for our Heritage Lottery Fund bid to create some maritime heritage information boards around the harbour.

FISH & SHIPS FUNDRAISER - To celebrate our 2nd anniversary we took part in a 'fish and ships' fundraising supper at Restaurant 55 on Eastborough. Pam Barton organized the event and the funds were shared between the SMHC and the Rainbow Centre, which works with people in difficulty. The event took place over 2 nights with live music, poetry, sea shanties and comedy.

ACTIVITY REPORT NOVEMBER 2011 - Six volunteers attended training events put on by the Museums' Trust in connection with the "Fears, Foes and Faeries" exhibition opening at the art gallery in March 2012. The volunteers have been carrying out oral history recordings of local fishermen and women about their superstitions. University of Hull IT students will form these into interactive displays and a professional designer will bring the whole exhibition to life along with artifacts from the museum's collection.

NATIONAL MARITIME CONFERENCE - SMHC chairman, Mark Vesey, attended the 4th National Maritime Heritage Forum in Chatham Dockyard. The topic for the conference was the regeneration of coastal towns and communities through maritime heritage. A study by the Association of Independent Museums, AIM, found that maritime heritage contributes over £100 million to the UK economy, bringing in 8 million visitors a year and employing 2300 people. 5000 volunteers contribute 'in kind' hours equating to a value of over half a million pounds.

THANKS - Letters of thanks and praise have come from people who have made family or local history enquires at our Centre. John Middleditch received information about Margaret Bendelow and Pete Maslen on the Brilliant Star. He said "Many thanks. I was very impressed with the quick, efficient and kind response by the Maritime Centre". Ted & Jenny Woodall sent a postcard from Wales expressing thanks for our help with their family tree saying "You are doing a great job, good luck". Suzanne Middleton (nee Deane) and members of her family visited the SMHC as she is a descendant of John Deane. He was probably the best-known Scarborough mariner and hero of the 18th century. See the John Deane website for his story or a recent article in the Evening News.

SMHC'S BIG CATCH - Despite the damp weather visitors poured in to see the giant life-size tunny fish strung up in the exhibition tent at this year's Seafest event. The biggest tunny fish ever caught in UK waters weighed 851 lbs, was over 8 feet long and was landed in Scarborough. Members of the public, including the mayor and mayoress of Scarborough, enjoyed posing with the model and genuine tunny rod in hand. The fish were caught as big game sport by the rich and famous during the 1930s to 1950s after which the tunny disappeared along with the herrings they fed on. The tunny fish exhibition was complemented by the story of huge herring catches as Scarborough was once the fifth largest herring port in the country. Visitors also enjoyed the Titanic exhibition and a host of other maritime artefacts and information. Thanks go to all the volunteers who gave up their valued weekend to help with the exhibition.

CAN YOU HELP? - The SMHC is starting a research project to look into the history of the old buildings along Sandside and the harbour. If you have any photographs, maps, deeds or information or would be interested in helping then please contact us asap.

ACTIVITY REPORT SEPTEMBER 2011 - SMHC volunteer, John Rushton, gave talks to the Scarborough branch of the Merchant Navy Association and the Fylingdales local history society. He also led a guided walk around the harbour and old town area for the Scarborough Forum for Tourism. SMHC vice-chair, Lindy Rowley, gave a talk to the Burniston & Cloughton W.I..

WORK EXPERIENCE - Schoolboy, Dean Longshaw, spent a week working at our Centre learning how volunteers digitize the archives, prepare exhibitions and greet visitors to the Centre. He also carried out some data analysis creating a spread sheet using our guest book to discover where most of our visitors come from. Most visitors came from: - Scarborough, Sheffield, Leeds, Nottingham, Hull, York, Doncaster, Manchester and London. International visitors came from: - Australia, Canada, Norway, South Africa, Europe, Malaysia and Mauritius.

FUNDING NEWS SEPTEMBER 2011 - SMHC volunteers are still working on the application process for charitable status registration and a new Heritage Lottery Fund bid. Our aim is to create some maritime heritage information boards around the harbour along with a leaflet and guide book for tourists. SMHC will be working closely with local groups, the council and some schools to achieve this project.

SMHC WEBSITE voted 'Best overall' for fishing family history research in BBC TV's 'Who do you think you are magazine' - March 2011.

BIG THANK YOU AWARD - For the second year running the SMHC and several of its volunteers won the mayor's Big Thank You Award for Artistic and cultural contributions to the town.

ACTIVITY REPORT FEBRUARY 2011 - SMHC volunteers put on four puppet shows to packed audiences over the Coastival festival weekend. Children from the Friarage School made the puppets which represented different historical characters from Scarborough's past.

CORONIA - Scarborough's "Coronia" has been saved from receivership by local MP Robert Goodwill who purchased the boat. We look forward to seeing her on the move again this summer.

HLF - SMHC committee members had a very productive meeting at the Heritage Lottery Fund office in Leeds. HLF staff said we have a valuable collection and a worthy project. They have encouraged us to apply for a 50,000 pounds grant to continue the project for the next few years and gain more project experience before applying for the up to 1 million pounds bid.

WEBSITE - Our website continues to get over 4000 visitors a week with more articles and improvements being added all the time.

GANSEYS - SMHC volunteers created a decorative maritime panel with gansey patterns, rope and knot work on. The panel went on display at the Woodend Creative Industries Centre and forms part of an exhibition now on a tour of quilting and sewing groups around the UK.

FAMILY HISTORY - During the past year we have had over 100 requests for information, by email or in person, from people researching their family history or a maritime connection. Our archive team have indexed over 2000 files of local topic information and they have been entered on a searchable database for easy access. Over 20,000 maritime photographs have now been catalogued and sorted into boat registration order. The huge task of digitising them all has just begun.

FIRST BIRTHDAY A GREAT SUCCESS - On Saturday 13th November 2010 the SMHC celebrated its first birthday with wine, cake and merriment. SMHC chairman, Martin Johnson, proposed a vote of thanks to all the volunteers and supporters who have made it possible. Vice chair, Lindy Rowley, cut the cake and many visitors enjoyed a pleasant couple of hours celebrating our great success. Nearly 1000 people have signed the guest book during the year and for every one that signs another does not meaning we have had at least 2000 visitors. Not bad for a heritage Centre that can only take 6 people at a time! Our thanks go out to everyone who has supported the project over the last year and we all look forward to a bright future in 2011. "It was a nice evening and I much appreciate both your having laid on such a lovely spread, and for starting such a splendid little archive that has given me" and hundreds of others so much pleasure. Thank you, Eden Blyth.

ARK ROYAL TO BE SOLD - The newspaper "Portsmouth Today" reported on the 21st of October that the HMS Ark Royal is more likely to be sold as scrap than as a ship. They say that the navy's flagship of the fleet will soon be decommissioned after the government announcement. The Ministry of Defence expects the 32-year-old ship will attract more attention from breakers yards than from foreign navies or commercial companies, given its age. A source is quoted as saying: 'As with all ships deemed to be surplus to requirements, HMS Ark Royal will be put up for tender to see what interest there is. 'We don't know what interest might be out there but it looks likely it will come from recyclers.' The navy's second carrier, HMS Illustrious, is also under threat following the defence review. The Queen will still be visiting the Ark Royal to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the commissioning of the fleet flagship. Anyone fancy a floating maritime heritage centre?

FUNDING NEWS 2010 - SMHC volunteer, Mohammed Yogi, raised over seventy pounds for the Centre by walking nearly 80 miles along the coast to coast path. SMHC volunteers have given talks to staff at Whitby Seafoods, the Friends of Scarborough Library and the Hunmanby History Society raising a total of three hundred and forty pounds. Colin Coupland, Max Payne and Tony East are all donating the profits from the sale of their publications to the SMHC.

36 Eastborough, Scarborough, YO11 1NJ. Tel 01723 369361.

Email: scarboroughmaritime@yahoo.com

SMHC is a company limited by guarantee under the Companies Act 1985 &1989 and a registered charity number 1144532