Northumberland museum opens doors for free

The Grace Darling museum in Bamburgh and an image of Grace Darling in  stained glass.
The Grace Darling museum in Bamburgh and an image of Grace Darling in stained glass.

BAMBURGH’S RNLI Grace Darling Museum will remove its entry charge from January 2012.

The decision to open its doors for free to visitors was made by the RNLI Heritage Trust to allow access to all who wish to find out more about the iconic rescue and the wider work of the RNLI today.

A year after its redevelopment in 2007, the museum trialled charging visitors before introducing a permanent entry charge.

Since the redevelopment, visitors have generally been happy to pay the admission charge to support the running costs of the museum.

But with families needing to tighten their budgets, the RNLI has chosen to remove the entry fee.

It is hoped that this loss of income will be recouped from donations and shop sales at the museum and other projects being run by the RNLI Heritage Trust at its other sites.

“We are delighted to be going free,” said museum manager Virginia Mayes-Wright.

“We are all worried about our personal finances at the moment.

“Being a free-entry museum will allow our local community to visit again and again with their friends and family without worrying about the cost as well as encouraging tourists to visit whilst in the area.”

The free-entry policy brings the attraction into line with all the other RNLI museums such as the RNLI Henry Blogg Museum in Cromer which are free to enter but encourage donations.

The Grace Darling Museum will still charge for activity days and other events to cover the costs of materials.

For more information about the policy of free admission or if you are interested in volunteering at the museum, contact Virginia on 01668 214910.