Delight at museum award

Fleetwood Museum  volunteers celebrate the facilty's recognition in the Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Scheme. From left: Fred Riley, Rodney Sowden, Tony Quinn, William Richardson, Joe Bromilow, Mick Rogers, Linda Riley and Marge Anderton.
Fleetwood Museum volunteers celebrate the facilty's recognition in the Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Scheme. From left: Fred Riley, Rodney Sowden, Tony Quinn, William Richardson, Joe Bromilow, Mick Rogers, Linda Riley and Marge Anderton.

FLEETWOOD Museum has won recognition in an annual awards scheme.

The popular facility, on Queens Terrace, has won accreditation under the Visitor Attraction Quality Assurance Scheme (VAQAS), run by tourist board VisitEngland.

The feedback stated: “This excellent town museum demonstrates how much can be achieved when local volunteers provide the staffing and a museum professional provides the general direction. It gives Fleetwood a real focus point and collective memory – but also a very good sales point for local history material and an added bonus of a coffee shop too!

“The exhibitions on Fleetwood history are a great credit to all those who contributed to the gathering of material, display and overall management.”

The museum, housed in the town’s old custom house designed by Decimus Burton, receives enough funding from Lancashire County Council to pay for Lynn Asghar, who is the museum manager, and building costs such as gas and electric.

It is run with the help of a team of 50 volunteers and operates each week from Tuesday to Saturday, 11am to 4pm, from April through to the beginning of November.

Mrs Asghar said she was delighted with the award and was immensely proud of all the volunteers who help to keep the museum open.

She told the Weekly News: “They are all very friendly, helpful people and it is down to them that we have this award.

“I think it is important we have this kind of recognition. It helps to put the museum and the town on the map.”

The museum tells the story of Fleetwood in words and artefacts.

It includes displays on Fleetwood’s former deep sea fishing industry, the RNLI, the Royal Naval Patrol Service and the former ICI factory in Thornton, where many Fleetwood people were once employed.

There is also a gallery showing old photographs of Fleetwood. The town’s shipbuilding past is including, and the museum is home to Victorian fishing vessel Harriet, which was built in Fleetwood.

This year the museum has played host to approximately 1,600 school children who visited from all over Lancashire and parts of Yorkshire, and it also hosts holiday craft events for local youngsters. The museum was under threat of the axe in 2006, but Fleetwood Museum Trust was formed to help run it voluntarily and a £30,000 package of sponsorship by Paymaster, over three years, helped save it.