Time And Tide Coast Exhibition Looks At Life On Norfolk's Shores

by Paul Dance | 13 February 2006
colour photo of three brown seahorses against a beige background

All the 150 natural history exhibits were found in local waters. Courtesy Time and Tide Museum

Coast is the fourth in a series of six temporary exhibitions that have already brought 25,000 visitors through the doors of Time and Tide Museum in Great Yarmouth.

Following on from the BBC series of the same name, the exhibition runs until July 2 2006 and focuses on the special characteristics of the Norfolk coastline.

colour photo of waves crashing against some posts sticking out of the sand

Time and Tide tells the story of Great Yarmouth's seaside. Courtesy Time and Tide Museum © Jenny Thompson

All of the 150 natural history exhibits were found in local waters, including the head of a hammer-head shark, caught in 1829.

Also included is a collection of fossils and panels devoted to local people's experiences of the Norfolk coast.

With creatures like the stuffed two-metre porbeagle shark, often found off the British coast, and a sturgeon, more normally associated with the Russian Black Sea, local experience of the coastline is not what you might expect.

cartoon showing ladies collecting seaweed on the beach

Many of the exhibits reflect people's experiences of the Norfolk coast. Courtesy Time and Tide Museum © Brian Adcock

Museum curator, Tony Irwin said: “It will be the first time to view most of these exhibits for 20 years and some have never been on display.”

The exhibtion is backed up by a range of free family events every Sunday from noon. These include minibus safaris, fossil hunting and storytelling. There are also adult talks on Wednesdays covering all aspects of coastal life from seabirds to archaeology and fossil hunting.

Maritime development officer James Steward said: “This is our biggest temporary exhibition to date and it accords with our aim to establish Time and Tide as a centre of excellence in maritime heritage.”

colour photo of a brown turtle against a beige background

Everything from two-metre long sharks to smaller turtles have been found off Norfolk's coastline. Courtesy Time and Tide Museum

Time and Tide Museum has been developed out of a former herring-curing factory, and tells the story of the town, focusing on its important fishing industry.

The story goes back to Anglo-Saxon times and covers all aspects of Great Yarmouth from then to the present day, including the fishing and holiday industries, wreck and rescue operations and both world wars.

It opened in 2004 with funding from various agencies including £2.5 million from the lottery heritage fund. Last year, after its first year of opening, the museum was nominated for the Gulbenkian award for museum of the year.

Shows the Renaissance in the Regions logo.

Paul Dance is the 24 Hour Museum Renaissance Student Writer in the East of England region. Renaissance is the groundbreaking initiative to transform England's regional museums, led by MLA, the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council.

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