Sir Samuel Kelly Lifeboat commemorated with exhibition space in Donaghadee

Sir Samuel Kelly Lifeboat commemorated with exhibition space in Donaghadee

Donaghadee Harbour with a lighthouse and a number of boats.
Donaghadee Harbour. Credit Bernie Brown bbphotographic for Tourism Ireland

National Lottery Grants for Heritage – £10,000 to £250,000

Ards and North Down
Donaghadee Heritage Preservation Company
Donaghadee Heritage has secured £90,000 to bring the story of the lifeboat and the town's history to life.

The Sir Samuel Kelly lifeboat – which is listed on the National Historic Ships Register – is iconic in Donaghadee on account of its heroic history. In 1953, the lifeboat saved the lives of 33 of the 44 survivors from the wreck of the Stranraer to Larne ferry, MV Princess Victoria. 

The two-year project will employ a part-time Heritage Outreach Officer to engage with the local community, clubs and schools, increasing awareness of the rich history and culture of Donaghadee.

The Sir Samuel Kelly Lifeboat is on display on land.
Sir Samuel Kelly Lifeboat.

A space for the community

Plans are being made for a permanent heritage and visitor centre, and our funding will also support the creation of a temporary exhibition room. The space will feature digital and static educational displays that chart the history of the lifeboat.

Volunteers assisting with the exhibition archive and other local and maritime heritage groups will use the building for their activities.

Alan Couser, Chair of Donaghadee Heritage, said: “This heritage project is another step towards the creation of a permanent heritage and visitor centre for Donaghadee. We will use the experience of the next two years to learn what works, to inform the design of the eventual Centre and to build the business case for investment.”

The boat shelter is open to visitors on Thursday evenings 6pm – 8pm and Sunday afternoons 12noon – 4pm. For up-to-date opening times, visit the Samuel Kelly Project Facebook Group

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