Surf's up for British Surfing Museum as planning permission is granted in Devon

By Culture24 Staff | 28 July 2009
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a photo of some brightly coloured surfboards

(Above) A selection of surfboards from An Art of British Surfing. Picture © Museum of British Surfing

After six years of hard work, plans to open the first museum in Europe dedicated to surfing have won planning permission from North Devon District Council.

The proposed location for the Museum of British Surfing is the old Saltrock factory building on the Vellator Industrial Estate, in Braunton, and founders are hopeful that with enough financial support the venue could be up and running by 2010.

"Money is obviously tight everywhere, but several companies and individuals have already offered their help," said founder Peter Robinson. "It's important the surfing community gets behind us now to help create an exciting and fun venue we can all be proud of.

"We're looking for investors and founding partners – no amount is too small – but we urgently need to raise money for the charity to complete the project."

Braunton folk will be given a taste of what is to come when the Surfing Museum's travelling exhibition, An Art History of British Surfing, roles into town in late August.

British surfing history can be traced back to the time of Captain James Cook, whose crew tried Hawaiian surfboards in 1779. First recorded instances of surfing on English beaches date back to the 1800s.

"The museum is important as the history of British surfing is so incredibly rich and not many people know about it," added Robinson. "The travelling exhibtion has been so successful, not only from the number of people who have visited it but also because people have spent a good amount of time taking in the exhibition."

Almost 200,000 people have visited the travelling exhibition during the past six years. The Museum of British Surfing is a charity established to run the project and includes Surfers Against Sewage founder Chris Hines MBE on its board of trustees.

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