Come and discover for yourself The North Devon Maritime Museum in Odun Road, Appledore this summer!
This museum has been delighting its visitors for forty years and yet many local people have yet to sample its well displayed exhibitions. Those who do are often surprised and pleased to find that our local distinctiveness is so well preserved. In the words of one visitor ‘You don’t have to be a boat addict to appreciate it!’
Opening times are from 10:30am to 4:30pm. The museum closes at 5:00pm so come early to give yourselves at least one hour to look around.This year it is open every day from April until the end of October.
Parties are most welcome by appointment at any time.
Over the past two years the museum has even opened for a week between Christmas and New Year.
Exhibits are regularly up-dated and we aim to add one each year. This year photos from the archive have been displayed to show the Instow to Appledore ferry in operation going back to the beginning of the last century, and also photographs of the timber trade in the 19th and 20th centuries.
One of our most popular current exhibits illustrates the ‘Top Secret’ experimental work which was carried out on our coast and estuary during the build-up to the D Day invasion of Europe in 1944. This includes film and photographs of these experiments which involved the first British frogmen, ‘PLUTO’ (pipeline under the ocean) and all types of strange equipment which was needed to get tanks and other vehicles through the ‘water-gap’ between the ships and the shore.
Amphibious Jeeps being tested in River Torridge off Limers Lane, Northam. The large shed is a boatyard where the Boon Brothers were building all types of lifeboats and harbour craft. The double decker bus was their canteen (World War 2 1944)
The museum is run by a dedicated team of local historians, artists, researchers, archivists and all-round enthusiasts to create the much appreciated and award-winning display.
Over 50 volunteers give up their spare time to keep this museum, which depicts all aspects of our local maritime history, open for visitors of all ages.
Museum staff are constantly gleaning new information for its collections. One recent visitor told of his time in Westward Ho! during World War 2 as an army frogman based at Top Camp on Cornborough Road. He had no knowledge of the existence of the naval frogmen in Appledore!
Every year as a result of continuing research a magazine is published with articles written by local enthusiasts with details of information gleaned, new artefacts collected and reports on the development of the museum. A ‘Friends of the Museum’ group receives a copy and have free visits.
The museum’s archives continue to grow as people come and tell us the stories of their lives or local happenings which they have witnessed.