Heritage Open Day – National Maritime Museum

Watching breakfast TV one morning, Martin Lewis the money saving expert, mentioned the Heritage Open Days. I checked on-line to find that the National Maritime Museum were offering a ‘behind the scenes’ look at things in the stores. A quick email and we were booked in, we even had a free car park pass.

The tour started in the boat store, a collection of close to a hundred boats on rack in various conditions. Father’s Day was a tiny ‘boat’ that, at the time, had the record for the smallest boat to cross the Atlantic in 1993.


There was also an Angolan boat from Lobito Bay, made from a light wood in a boat shape rather than a raft.

There was also a ‘Mirror Dingy’, number ‘1’ of the Mirror Dinghies. So many boats with so many stories. We then moved into the workshop area. There were a couple of boats being restored, not something they normally do but these were both special cases. We then headed past Falmouth Marine School’s workshop and upstairs to the various store rooms. The first room was where all the ‘loose bits’ from the museum exhibits were stored when the boats weren’t on display. We were also shown the room full of boat plans and another of paintings and prints.

We were also shown some books of various historic value, like a book of sail plans from a local sail maker.

We were then taken up another flight to the attic room, where there were a lot of small boat related items. Anything from cannon balls to a locked customs box that had no keys but did have contents. Whatever the contents were, we are yet to find out, they are saving that for the Antiques Road show when it visits on Thursday 13th September.