Fleetwood Museum reopens with impressive new exhibits
There are some intriguing new displays on show at Fleetwood Museum which reopened yesterday after months of closure.
The facility, on Queens Terrace, has enlarged and updated its exhibition on Fisherman's Friends, given extra poignancy by the death earlier this year of Doreen Lofthouse, who helped turn the lozenge firm into a global brand.
Another display focuses on Fleetwood women, not only those who are well known but ordinary women who have done some remarkable things for the community.
And unusually, this display can continue to grow as more local women are suggested as possible subjects for the display.
Museum manager Ben Whittaker said: "It is wonderful to be able to open again and allow local people and visitors find out more about our remarkable town.
"Fleetwood has a really fascinating history and our displays are aimed at highlighting that."
Another unusual feature about the musuem is that every single council tax payer in Fleetwood contributes to it.
Thanks to an arrangement with Fleetwood Town Council, a small extra precept on residents' council tax bills is enough to deiver £66,000 a year, without which the facility would struggle to stay open.
The arrangement saved the museum after Lancashire County Council ran into funding difficulties six years ago and reluctantly had to close previously county-run museums.
Ben said: "We raise small amounts through entry fees and our shop and cafe but they would not cover our running costs.
"We are grateful to the residents and that gives us the commitment to offer the best displays we can for the town, as well as visitors."
"We have Covid-19 secure systems in place to ensure a safe visit and environment – this includes wearing of face masks, and groups no larger then six."
Additionally there some new displays in the museum's deep sea gallery which include material from the recently scrapped Jacinta vessel.
Part of the museum houses two historic Fleetwood fishing vessels, Harriet and Judy, and there is a new display about Harriet, as well as an incredible film that brings to life both of these vessels.
But the biggest new exhibition for 2021 is called ‘This Lass Can: Stories of Fleetwood Women’ – and explores the stories of Fleetwood women past and present.
From the rich and famous, like pioneering boxer Jane Couch, to many unsung heroines in the community, it celebrates women from the town.
Zara Robinson, collections and interpretation assistant at the museum, undertook much of the research for the exhibition and said: "We also explore how life for women has changed in the town over the years, in areas such as school, work and leisure time.
“We were bowled over by the amount of people who got in touch with stories, and also to nominate someone to go in the our wonderful women section of the display.
"We still want people to get in touch – if you want to nominate a friend, relative or co-worker, someone who has made an important but behind the scenes contribution to our community, then please get in touch with the museum or fill out a form when you visit the exhibition”.
Fleetwood Museum is open from now until November 27, from Tuesdays to Saturdays at 10:30am to 4pm, with admission price £3 for adults, £2 for concessions and children can get in free.
More volunteers are needed to work in the café; they can contact the museum at (01253) 876621 or [email protected] if interested.