Love Fleetwood and the Fylde Coast? Why don’t you visit Fleetwood Museum and see the past come to life! It’s open seasonally from Easter each year. This is a historically important building in its own right. It houses an important collection of history from the fishing industry and from the local area. Unique in local heritage tourism, it’s the only officially accredited museum on the Fylde Coast. Open from Tuesday 4 April – to November 2023. Read on to find out more…
- Events at Fleetwood Museum
- See the Past Come to Life at Fleetwood Museum
- New for 2022 at Fleetwood Museum
- Would you like to Volunteer?
- Uncovering the Museum…
Events at Fleetwood Museum
There’s a busy programme of events throughout the year at Fleetwood Museum. There’s all kinds of things to do, for local adults and children and the many visitors to the Fylde Coast.
Check out the Visit Fylde Coast Events Calendar. Regular events include:
- Coffee mornings in the cafe with the Friends of Fleetwood Museum
- Talks at the Museum
- Guided walks around Fleetwood
- Fundraising book sale in the adjoining Dolls House
- Songs in the Museum
- Monthly children’s Craft Events during school holidays
FREE Half Term Craft Activities
Get crafty in the school holidays! Kids aged 4-11 can enjoy free craft sessions at the Museum.
Tuesdays & Thursdays during school holidays – with two sessions each day – from 11am – 12 noon and 1pm – 2pm.
August 1 & 3, 8 & 10, 15 & 17, 22 & 24, 29 & 31. Bookings can be taken at museum reception or by phoning 876621 Numbers are limited.
For children aged 4-11. Children MUST be accompanied by a responsible adult. Places are limited and must be booked in advance by calling 01253 876621.
Walks, Talks, Music and Cake at Fleetwood Museum
Bring the past to life with the Fleetwood Museum walks and talks. Join your knowledgeable host to find out much more about a particular subject. A voluntary donation of £2 is welcomed for attendance at talks and walks. For further details phone Fleetwood Museum on 01253 876621 or check the website. The Museum Coffee House is open for food and drinks prior to events.
These interesting talks are held on the first Wednesday of the month at 2pm. It’s advisable to arrive early in order to get a seat!
A voluntary donation of £2 is welcomed and free on-street parking available. The museum Coffee House will be open from 10.30am-4.00pm. Talks are held in the 1st floor education room.
- 6 September – ‘Happy 130th birthday to the Harriet’ by John Baker
- 4 October – ‘Going to the Sand – Images of Inshore Fishing in Morecambe Bay & the Lancashire Coast’ by Tessa Bunney
Historical walks take in the sights and sounds of the local area. Enjoy a stroll with your knowledgeable guide, and find out things you never knew! A voluntary donation of £2 is welcomed for attendance at walks, organised in partnership with Wyre Council. Attendance limited to 20 spaces per walk – PLEASE CALL FLEETWOOD MUSEUM on 01253 876621 to book your place. Early booking advised. Please wear flat soled shoes and bring a drink.
- Tues 12 September – ‘Fleetwood’s Memorial Park History’ – FROM MEMORIAL PARK PAVILION 10:30AM
The popular Folk Music in the Museum sessions take place in the upstairs education room on these Fridays at 1pm. Performers and musicians welcomed. A voluntary collection will be held.
September 15th, October 20th
Everyone’s favourite! Fleetwood Museum Coffee Mornings are back! Home made cakes, fresh coffee and a good chat. There will also be a fundraising raffle. Last Monday morning in a month – unless there is a Bank Holiday Monday in which case it reverts to the Wednesday. Up to and including November, from 9.45-10.45am in the cafe on the ground floor.
Now take a look around inside!
- Fleetwood Museum is open from Easter, until the end of November.
- Weekly from Tuesday – Saturday from 10.30am – 4pm.
- Open Bank Holiday Mondays (same times) starting with Easter Monday 10 April 2023
- Closed on Coronation Day Saturday 6 May.
- FREE entry on Tram Sunday 16 July & Heritage Sunday 17 September.
- There is a small entrance charge. £3.00 for adults, £2.00 concessions and free admission for children up to 16 years of age. Unfortunately, due to steps and stairs, the museum building is not accessible to people with mobility difficulties.
See the Past Come to Life at Fleetwood Museum
This seaside town has a fascinating past – it was one of the first planned towns in the UK. When you know it’s secrets and where to look you can still see traces of its history all around you. You might already know the names of Sir Peter Hesketh Fleetwood and Decimus Burton. Find out all about the town’s founding father and his renowned architect.
One of Fleetwood’s Earliest Buildings
Find Fleetwood Museum in the oldest building that’s still in use in the town. Built in the mid 1830s and designed by Decimus Burton himself, this impressive place is Grade II listed.
Look inside to find out about its origins as the Customs House. Follow the exhibits up and down the corridors and stairs and see how the building has changed over the years. After a threat of closure, the museum is now independent. It’s funded by the people of Fleetwood through an annual precept. Each room, nook and cranny houses artefacts, photos, and relics from the past. Exhibits bring the industrial heritage of the area to life. Learn about the salt mines, chemical manufacture and the fishing industry.
The aim of Fleetwood Museum is to be a place of outstanding historical significance. Educating the young, reminding the old and inspiring future generations to investigate their heritage. It’s integral to the heart of the community, a place where visitors can come together to learn, engage and belong.
New for 2022 at Fleetwood Museum
A stunning collection of over 40 intricate ship models is just one of many exciting new displays at Fleetwood Museum for this year.
Opening times: Tuesday – Saturday 10.30am – 4pm and Bank Holiday Mondays.
Entry price: just £3.00 for adults, seniors £2.00, children go free.
The museum’s Deep Sea gallery tells the story of Fleetwood’s world-famous fishing trawlers. It’s been extensively refurbished and refreshed with new exhibits. The collection of ship models was owned by Tony Lofthouse, from the Lofthouse family who own Fisherman’s Friend. When Tony sadly passed away in 2018, his wife Doreen donated the collection to the museum. 12 of the models were displayed in 2021. But now you can see the whole collection for the first time.
Ben Whittaker is Museum Manager at Fleetwood Museum. He said: “The Lofthouse collection of ship models is of national significance and we’re delighted to make them accessible to visitors. Tony and now Doreen Lofthouse have both sadly passed away – but the models are a fitting tribute to their love of Fleetwood and the town’s trawler history. Many of the models depict trawlers which had links to Fleetwood. They’re still remembered by retired trawlermen, including some of our own volunteers.”
Artefacts and Artwork
Other new aspects of the Deep Sea gallery include a wall of artworks and photographs that depict Fleetwood trawlers at sea. Along with artefacts from the now scrapped Fleetwood trawler Jacinta.
Zara Robinson is Collections and Interpretation Assistant at Fleetwood Museum. She said: “We’ve selected a range of oil paintings, sketches and photographs by local artists including Keith Sutton, Tom Roskell and Phil Dell. They dramatically illustrate the harsh and challenging conditions faced by Fleetwood trawlermen working in the Icelandic fishing grounds. Being a trawlerman was one of the most dangerous occupations you could have.
“We’re also displaying lots of material from the Fleetwood trawler Jacinta. It’s part of our long-term plan to use the Jacinta collection as a case study for the Fleetwood trawler story. There’s specialist navigation and fish-finding equipment from the wheelhouse on display for the first time. This includes the ‘Box of Lies’ – the name often given by trawler crews to the VHF radio. Skippers would often mislead other vessels over the radio about where there was or wasn’t good fishing. Competition between different vessels and firms could be fierce!”
Visit the Boathall
There’s more equipment from the Jacinta wheelhouse in the museum Boathall to the rear of the Museum. There, you can also view Harriet (below) – the 1893 fishing vessel. It’s part of the National Historic Fleet, which ranks Harriet alongside other famous vessels such as Cutty Sark, as being of national significance.
See this huge boat moored on dry land inside the shed. Find out how the boat sailed dangerous waters to feed local people – and the fishermen who braved the voyage.
The museum is currently fundraising for ambitious plans to extend the Boathall and begin an exciting project that would see the local community actively involved in conserving historic vessels at the Fleetwood site.
Visit The Coffee House for a drink and a bite to eat. It’s open to the public without paying the museum entry fee. The adjoining Book Shop is open Tuesday – Saturday 10.30 – 3.30pm. Browse through hundreds of books, priced at only 50p each.
Would you like to Volunteer?
A full time manager and part time collections assistant operate the museum, along with a team of 60 passionate volunteers. They work in areas from the café, galleries and gardening to historical research. Volunteers give their time to help at the museum. The Museum is always looking for new volunteers to help in various areas of the museum during the open season. Are you an ex-trawlerman? Would you like to act as a guide in the deep-sea gallery?
They produce the exhibits, man the building, serve in the cafe, operate the gift shop. Volunteers do literally everything to keep the place open for visitors. No previous experience is needed – training is offered to support the volunteer’s role and social occasions to enhance it. All you need is an interest in the history of Fleetwood and a friendly attitude.
There’s a task for everyone and all kinds of skills are needed. From practical, hands-on building skills to creative people to put sets together. People who like doing paperwork to those with good people skills. Not only is it rewarding, but you’ll make lots of new friends. Could you volunteer for a minimum of 3 hours a week? Please ring 01253 876621 or email firstname.lastname@example.org – and please mention that you saw it on Visit Fylde Coast! For more information please visit their website
Shop & Cafe
Just through the main doors and on your left you’ll find the gift shop and coffee shop. And you don’t have to pay the museum entry charge to use either of them. Why don’t you pop in, browse around and have a brew and a bite to eat?
Find numerous local interest books on sale in the shop within the reception area. Plus Fleetwood postcards, children’s pocket money toys and unusual gifts. Why not pop in to look round? Take away a memento of the town – you’ll find some interesting products on sale including an interesting range of local history guides. Sir Peter’s Coffee House is an exceptionally good coffee shop, pop in for a brew and a bite to eat!
Second Hand Book Sale
Don’t forget to visit the second-hand bookshop in the Dolls House next to the museum. It’s open Tuesday to Saturday from 10.30am – 3.30pm. Plus Bank Holiday Mondays (same times)
Choose from hundreds of books on all kinds of subjects, fiction and non-fiction, priced at 50p each. Children’s books are only 10p each. Looking for a specific book? Leave your details and the volunteers will look out for it.
Got books to donate? Please drop off any unwanted books which can be sold to raise funds for the Museum.
Uncovering the Museum…
Great news for the start of the new 2021 season, when the restored frontage was finally revealed at Fleetwood Museum!
It started as a simple redecoration project at the end of 2018… and quickly become an exciting project to reveal the original splendor of Fleetwood’s former Custom House.
If you passed Fleetwood Museum during the works, you’ll probably have noticed the scaffolding and changing patchwork appearance to the front of the building. Fleetwood Museum Trust took over the running of the site from Lancashire County Council in April 2018, and later that year started work to redecorate the front. But large areas of waterproof coatings started to come off, revealing years of trapped water and extensive cracking.
The trust carried out extensive tests working with Wyre’s conservation officer and specialists in historic roofing and stonework. Under ten layers of paint coatings, the original historic render could be glimpsed, as first applied in 1837. And all the window surrounds, entrance columns and high-level parapets are in the familiar stone of the nearby North Euston Hotel.
Conservation specialists carefully removed the modern paint coatings to reveal the original render. This was then surveyed to identify numerous areas requiring repair. After these repairs, the final stage was to apply a conservation grade system of paint coatings. This system, ideal for coastal locations, provides a water-repellent layer whilst also allowing the building to breath, without hiding original features.
“It’s been a long journey to get here, but we were determined to do things in the right way. We have undertaken vital repairs to the front and made it watertight. But the project has done much more. It’s allowed us to reveal many original features that have been hidden for decades and return the building to its original Georgian era elegance. We’re delighted with the finished appearance.”Keith Porter, chairman of the trust
…and new Plans!
Ambitious plans are being developed to finally finish the extension started in the mid-1990s. It includes rehousing the nationally important historic boats ‘Harriet’ and ‘Judy’ in improved conditions and providing exciting new galleries about Fleetwood and the Fylde coast. The museum currently has only 10% of its collection on display. The planned extension will allow even more objects to be displayed that celebrate and explore life in the area.
‘This Lass Can’
This exhibition ‘This Lass Can’ features Fleetwood Women who’ve made an impact in the town over the years. Many thanks to the ‘Friends of Fleetwood Museum’ group who sponsored this exhibition. From fishwives to mayors, businesswomen to sporting legends. Their lives, stories, struggles and triumphs. Celebrating our wonderful women!
‘Take a Deep Breath’ Exhibition
The 2020 exhibition is ‘ Take A Deep Breath‘. It’s the story of the world famous lozenge, Fisherman’s Friend. It’s still on display, due to the very short season in 2020. Sponsored by Lofthouse of Fleetwood, it features the only bottle of James Lofthouse’s original linctus still in existence!
Fisherman’s Friend Exhibition
In 1865, Fleetwood pharmacist James Lofthouse created his own menthol and eucalyptus liquid for local fishermen to take at sea. It gave them relief in the harsh and freezing conditions of the north Atlantic. Later made into lozenge form, the ‘Fisherman’s Friend’ was born. Originally sold in the local Lofthouse Chemist shop in Fleetwood, Fisherman’s Friend now produces over 5 billion lozenges annually in the Fleetwood factory.
Did you know? Fisherman’s Friend are on sale in over 100 countries around the world?
An Inspiring Story
This exhibition tells the inspiring story of Fisherman’s Friend. It explores the original idea and creation of the product in 1865, charting the development and growth of this proud Fleetwood business.
Ben Whittaker is the Museum Manager. He says: “We’re really excited to work with Lofthouse of Fleetwood Limited to create this exhibition. Fisherman’s Friend is a real success story for the town of Fleetwood which we want to celebrate. They have a fascinating history – we will tell the story of how James Lofthouse developed the product in response to a demand from local fishermen. Also how Doreen Lofthouse was instrumental in developing Fisherman’s Friend to the product we know today. You might also be surprised to know how popular Fisherman’s Friend is around the world. There are some very exotic flavours, only available overseas.”
Memorabilia and Memories
The exhibition features objects charting the history of Fisherman’s Friend and examples of Fisherman’s Friend memorabilia from over the years. It also reveals some fascinating secrets such as the story behind the famous fishing boat logo.
Duncan Lofthouse, Managing Director at Lofthouse of Fleetwood Limited, comments: “Over 150 years since James Lofthouse produced our first lozenge, Fisherman’s Friend is still a family-owned business. Fleetwood has always been – and always will be – at the heart of our story. We’re delighted to support Fleetwood Museum’s local exhibition that goes back to our roots, highlighting historical milestones.”
Fleetwood Museum is keen to hear from anyone who may have a piece of Fisherman’s Friend memorabilia they would be willing to loan or donate for the exhibition. Share your stories or memories related to Fisherman’s Friend that could potentially feature in the display. To share a story or offer an object contact email@example.com or 01253876621. Please mention you saw it on Visit Fylde Coast!
The world is changing ever more rapidly and Fleetwood Museum offers and ideal window into the past for today’s young people. School visits to Fleetwood Museum are hands on and involve active participation and object handling. There’s a variety of different sessions to choose from. Your school could make several visits!
Due to the historic layout of this listed building, access to some areas is difficult. Please get in touch before your visit so your time can be as enjoyable as possible. Assistance dogs are welcome.
Just get in touch – phone 01253 876621 or email firstname.lastname@example.org – and please mention you saw it on Visit Fylde Coast!