The Holy Island of Lindisfarne Community Development Trust

our community matters
The Old Lifeboat House
The Old Lifeboat House nests on the western shore of the island, between St. Mary's Church and opposite St. Cuthbert's Island.

The Old Lifeboat House
The lifeboat house was built in 1884 (at a cost of £285) and between 1909 and 1925 housed the "Lizzie Porter" lifeboat. The building is the only one remaining of the 5 different stations built on the island between 1839 and 1968. Very strong family links still exist with those who served on the lifeboats in previous generations and amongst these families exists a wealth of lifeboat heritage information that would form part of the exhibition; this includes people who actually served on the boats. Much research into the history of the Holy Island lifeboats has been undertaken, notably in the book "Holy Island Lifeboats" by Chandler (1996). A total of 119 rescues took place from the island and 345 lives were saved.
The Development Trust plans to transform the building into a small museum to tell the story of the lifeboats on the Holy Island of Lindisfarne. Planning permission has been secured to allow for repair work on the structure of the building and to undertake a refurbishment of the interior to enable it to house information panels and artefacts. This would include overhauling the roof structure, repairing external stonework, adding a new floor, doors and windows, and creating disabled access; our architect and quantity surveyor will manage the building work. Interpretative material will be created with assistance from volunteers in our community history archive. The volunteers will research, collate and prioritise information about the lifeboats, with assistance from professional designers.
Once the repair and refurbishment programme is complete the Trust's volunteers will be trained to man the museum. Our intention is to keep the building low key and sympathetic to the island's other cultural, natural and spiritual heritage. Holy Island already attracts many thousands of visitors each year, and it is our intention to allow people to stumble across the building as part of their explorations around the island rather than create a heavily marketed facility. Further, we aim to encourage community groups to use the museum as a resource for their activities whilst on the island. Future sustainability and running costs will be achieved through asking for donations from visitors and community groups who use the building.