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Heritage Lottery Grant for Isle of Wight's Classic Boat Museum

Martin Woodward and Mark McNeill with the RNLB Jesse Lumb at the Classic Boat Museum.

David Newble

THE Isle of Wight's Classic Boat Museum in Cowes has won a £10,000 Heritage Lottery Fund grant.

The cash will help the museum explore the key role of the Isle of Wight's aviation and maritime industries during the First World War.

The project will focus on the development of ships and aeroplanes and hull and propeller design for high speed craft.

The many innovative inventions at the time led to the first successful flying boat.

They were the result of close cooperation between the Thorneycroft, Saunders and Sopwith families who lived and worked on the Island living in Cowes and Bembridge.

The project will enable people on the Isle of Wight to come together to preserve the memories and heritage of the people who lived through the First World War.

Volunteers from The Classic Boat Museum, together with students from local schools, will research records and collections from the Island and the mainland. They will collect photographs, newspaper clippings, documents, letters and photos to better understand the local maritime and aviation history.

With help from professionals, the volunteers will be trained in interpreting these archives and in the preparation of exhibition design and displays.

The information gathered will form a new archive and will be shared with the public in an exhibition at the museum to celebrate the armistice in November 2018. The archive will allow the public to discuss, contribute, share and research information about this important time in the history of Europe and the Isle of Wight.

Classic Boat Museum Chairman Mark McNeil, said: "We are thrilled to have received the support of the National Lottery. The Island has an interesting untold story during this important era. We will now be able to tell this story which shows how the Island industries grew and developed as a direct consequence of war. We shall be encouraging new volunteers from schools, associations and the public and our aim is to put on a really good exhibition."

Michelle Roffe, Head of Heritage Lottery Fund South East, said: "We are delighted to support this project, which, thanks to money raised by National Lottery players, will mean that more people will be able to get involved with, protect, and learn about the exciting heritage right on their doorstep."

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