Events at The National Maritime Museum Cornwall

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    NMMC, Falmouth

    Kurt Jackson: RNLI Cornwall

    The RNLI is the focus of this exhibition by internationally renowned contemporary artist Kurt Jackson.

    RNLI Cornwall documents the important role of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution in Cornwall and celebrates their vital work within the coastal community.

    Jackson’s RNLI Cornwall paintings vary in scale from postcard sized pieces up to massive canvasses measured in metres that capture the charity’s iconic blue and orange lifeboats nestled into Cornish harbours and breaking through mountainous waves. Closer to shore are paintings featuring lifeguards at the centre of Cornish beach life at locations including Sennen, Gwithian, Porthtowan and Trebarwith.

    RNLI Cornwall also features a selection of paintings created inside Mousehole’s old Penlee Lifeboat Station where Jackson was given special access to capture it as it was left following the tragic disaster that resulted in the loss of 16 souls. A poignant tribute to the sacrifice made by the RNLI’s brave volunteer crews.

    We’re delighted to bring this exhibition to the Museum as part of the RNLI’s bicentenary. Forming in 1824, the charity is celebrating the amazing milestone of 200 years, during which time it has saved more than 144,000 lives.

    Running from Friday 15 March to Sunday 3 November
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    NMMC, Falmouth

    The Cornish Caretakers and the Chest of Cornishness

    This Easter, join the Cornish Caretakers for a hilarious and informative show as they bring to life six Cornish men and women from history who changed the world. We also have Cornwall-themed Make & Take workshops and a Museum trail exploring the stories of the county’s heroes.

    The Cornish Caretakers and the Chest of Cornishness

    The Cornish Caretakers feature the slightly spikey Ms Trevaskis Trelawney Tremayne and the slightly hapless Mr Rodda Rowe Rescorla. Together, in their own unique way, it’s their job to look after and promote the history of Cornwall to children and their families.

    The Cornish Caretakers and the Chest of Cornishness runs three times a day (11am, 1pm, and 3pm) from Saturday 30 March to Sunday 14 April and stars Ed Rowe (Cornwall’s Kernow King!), Jenny Beare, and Dan Richards (from Near-ta Theatre’s Christmas Time).

    Cornish Crest Clay Creations

    12.30pm to 3.30pm (last entry 3.15pm)

    Tying in with the theme of the show, our special Easter craft workshops will give you the chance to have fun with clay and make your very own Cornish crest to take home and decorate.

    Let young imaginations run wild by designing a unique family crest, or have a go at moulding a proper Cornish crest in the traditional style. Little hands can alternatively make a simple clay pasty or a Cornish chough.

    The Trail of Cornish Heroes

    Follow our trail map of the county and hunt for Cornish heroes from history. You’ll find out where they came from and uncover their fascinating stories along the way. Keep your eyes peeled for their faces hidden around the Museum, and verify yourself as a Cornish hero by completing the challenge. Chons Da! (Cornish for ‘Good Luck’).

    Saturday 30 March to Sunday 14 April
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    NMMC, Falmouth

    Rock Pool Explorers

    This spring half term, dive with us into The Rock Pool Project’s mobile rock pool and discover the curious creatures found on our Cornish coast, get creative in Make & Take and join the Museum trail to help us find all the hidden rock pool creatures.

    What curious creatures will you find with The Rock Pool Project in their mobile rock pool? Each day there will be a chance to learn and uncover more about the sea life in our Cornish waters, including the best ways to explore rock pools and identify the creatures you discover. The mobile rock pool will be manned by the team from The Rock Pool Project – drop-in anytime to see them.

    What else is here?

    Explore 15 galleries over five floors, jump aboard boats, climb the 100-foot Lookout Tower, meet boat builders in the Boatbuilding Workshop, go underwater in the Tidal Zone, uncover ocean adventures and survival stories and sail miniature boats on the waterfront Boat Pool. Plus, let imaginations run wild in the Skull Island Play Zone and discover our latest major exhibition Pirates.

    Saturday 25 May – Sunday 2 June
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    NMMC, Falmouth

    Small Boats, Big Stories

    From 19th April 2024

    Small Boats, Big Stories is a new permanent installation that highlights the important role that small boats play in shaping the world we live in. The museum, home to the National Small Boat Collection, will display eleven small boats as part of the exhibition, bringing together noteworthy boats from Cornish, UK and global history.

    Highlights from the exhibition include the display of several small boats that tell compelling maritime stories. This includes the smallest ever boat to cross the Atlantic (measuring in at just 5 ft 4”), an Olympic Gold Medal-winning boat used by Sir Ben Ainslie and the Ednamair, a small dinghy which saved the lives of the Robertson family in 1972 after they became shipwrecked for more than a month in the Pacific Ocean, following a killer whale attack.

    The exhibition will also platform small boats that are shaping contemporary history. In what is believed to be the first ever display of a boat of this kind by a UK museum, NMMC will present a small Zodiac dinghy, recently acquired for the National Small Boat Collection directly from UK Border Force. The inflatable boat was intercepted by a passing tanker in the English Channel in November 2018, with its five occupants later brought to Falmouth. The Zodiac will be exhibited alongside several lifejackets, also acquired from UK Border Force, as a symbol of one of the most significant and socially relevant issues of our times.

    Together, the boats paint a rich picture of how small boats can not only play a pivotal role in fishing, transport, sport, science and migration but also tell some of the most powerful stories of our times.

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