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Fleetwood Museum

Fisherman's Friend Exhibition at Fleetwood Museum

Fisherman's Friend Exhibition at Fleetwood Museum

Do you love Fleetwood and the Fylde Coast? Why don’t you visit Fleetwood Museum and see the past come to life! It’s a historically important building in its own right. It houses an important collection of history from the fishing industry and from the local area.

The Museum is the only officially accredited one on the Fylde Coast, and has a unique position within local heritage tourism. Catch it before it closes for winter on 30 November. Open Tuesday to Saturday, from 10.30am – 4pm.

Fleetwood Museum Hosts Fisherman’s Friend Exhibition in 2020

In Spring 2020 a special temporary exhibition at Fleetwood Museum will tell the fascinating story of Fisherman’s Friend. And the museum is keen for anyone with Fisherman’s Friend memorabilia or a connection to the iconic lozenge to get in touch.

In 1865, Fleetwood pharmacist James Lofthouse created his own menthol and eucalyptus liquid for local fishermen to take at sea, giving relief in the harsh and freezing conditions of the north Atlantic. Later made in lozenge form, what came to be known as ‘Fisherman’s Friend’ had been born. Originally sold in the local Lofthouse Chemist shop in Fleetwood, Fisherman’s Friend now produces over 5 billion lozenges annually in the Fleetwood factory. They’re sold in over 100 countries around the world.

Fishermans Friend, made in Fleetwood
Fishermans Friend, made in Fleetwood

An Inspiring Story

This new exhibition tells the inspiring story of Fisherman’s Friend. It explores the original idea and creation of the product in 1865, charting the development and growth of this proud Fleetwood business.

Ben Whittaker, Museum Manager, Fleetwood Museum, comments: “We are really excited to be working with Lofthouse of Fleetwood Limited to create this exhibition. Fisherman’s Friend is a real success story for the town of Fleetwood which we want to celebrate. They have a fascinating history – we will tell the story of how James Lofthouse developed the product in response to a demand from local fishermen. Also how Doreen Lofthouse was instrumental in developing Fisherman’s Friend to the product we know today. Visitors to the exhibition will also be surprised to know how popular Fisherman’s Friend is around the world – with some exotic flavours only available overseas.”

Memorabilia and Memories

The exhibition will feature objects charting the history of Fisherman’s Friend and examples of Fisherman’s Friend memorabilia from over the years. It will also reveal some fascinating secrets such as the story behind the famous fishing boat logo.

Duncan Lofthouse, Managing Director at Lofthouse of Fleetwood Limited, comments: “Over 150 years since James Lofthouse produced our first lozenge, Fisherman’s Friend is still a family-owned business. Fleetwood has always been – and always will be – at the heart of our story. That’s why we are delighted to be supporting Fleetwood Museum’s local exhibition that goes back to our roots and highlights historical milestones.”

Fleetwood Museum is keen to hear from anyone who may have a piece of Fisherman’s Friend memorabilia they would be willing to loan or donate for the exhibition. Share your stories or memories related to Fisherman’s Friend that could potentially feature in the display. To share a story or offer an object contact info@fleetwoodmuseum.co.uk or 01253876621. Please mention you saw it on Visit Fylde Coast!

Things to Do at Fleetwood Museum

Looking for a trip out for your children or grandchildren?

Decimus Burton, architect of Fleetwood. Bust on display at Fleetwood Museum
Decimus Burton, architect of Fleetwood. Bust on display at Fleetwood Museum

Look no further than Fleetwood Museum. Of course you can see amazing objects and displays about Fleetwood history. Visit the new temporary exhibition ‘Collecting Fleetwood’, meet Decimus Burton, architect of Fleetwood (above) and see the stunning new artwork of the promenade by Keith Sutton (below).

Plus FREE craft sessions for 4-11 year olds during school holidays.

For more information visit their website

Jacinta Exhibit on Display at Fleetwood Museum

Visitors to the museum can see this artwork from Jacinta, now on display at the museum. It was painted by local artist Keith Sutton in 1969 and shows part of Fleetwood promenade.

Keith Sutton painting, collected from Jacinta fishing boat, on display at Fleetwood Museum
Keith Sutton painting, collected from Jacinta fishing boat, on display at Fleetwood Museum

The painting has a real wow factor because of its size – it’s nearly 2m high and 3m wide! Why don’t you take a photo of yourself in front of the artwork and share it with the museums Twitter and Facebook pages. Don’t forget to #Sutton Selfie!

Ben Whittaker from Fleetwood Museum with the Keith Sutton painting
Ben Whittaker from Fleetwood Museum with the Keith Sutton painting

Sadly, the well-loved fishing vessel ‘Jacinta‘ is soon to be scrapped in it’s final resting place at Fleetwood dock. If you’ve been to one of the open days on the fishing boat you’ll have seen the impressive collection of artworks and artefacts that were inside the floating museum.

Fleetwood Museum has retrieved as many of the contents and fixtures from the boat as they can, to preserve local heritage for the town for the future.

Don’t be put off by the Building Work!

The exterior of Fleetwood Museum is undergoing what you can only call a transformation.

A ‘simple’ redecoration project began at the end of summer 2018 but rapidly became a much bigger job!

The original splendor of Fleetwood’s former Custom House is being revealed as layers of paintwork and waterproof coatings have been stripped off the facade. As the coating started to come off, extensive cracking and water trapped over the years became apparent.

Renovation of the exterior of Fleetwood Museum gets underway. Feb 2019
Renovation of the exterior of Fleetwood Museum gets underway. Feb 2019

What could have been a nightmare is now a remarkable opportunity to return the building to its original Georgian era appearance as the original historic render, first applied in 1837, has been exposed.

Plus, all the window surrounds, entrance columns and high-level parapets are in the familiar stone of the nearby North Euston Hotel.

Discoveries have also been made during the redecoration to reveal that the old Customs House is one of the most important coastal buildings in the country.

Good progress being made with the renovation of the exterior of Fleetwood Museum. July 2019
Good progress being made with the renovation of the exterior of Fleetwood Museum. July 2019

Events at Fleetwood Museum

There’s a busy programme of events throughout the year at Fleetwood Museum. There’s all kinds of things to do, for local adults and children and the many visitors to the Fylde Coast. Find full details here of what’s on at Fleetwood Museum

Regular events include:

  • Coffee mornings in the cafe with the Friends of Fleetwood Museum
  • Talks at the Museum
  • Guided walks around Fleetwood
  • Fundraising book sale in the adjoining Dolls House
  • Songs in the Museum
  • Monthly children’s Craft Events during school holidays

Just  get in touch – phone 01253 876621 or email info@fleetwoodmuseum.co.uk – and please mention you saw it on Visit Fylde Coast!

Opening Times

16 April until 30 November 2019

Tuesday to Saturday 10.30am – 4pm, Plus Bank Holiday Weekends

During the winter months Fleetwood Museum still welcomes visiting groups. It’s a perfect time to bring a large party of people and have the place to yourselves! Why not book a visit for this winter?

Just  get in touch – phone 01253 876621 or email info@fleetwoodmuseum.co.uk – and please mention you saw it on Visit Fylde Coast!

‘Collecting Fleetwood’

16th April to 30th November 2019

Is a new temporary exhibition, open until the end of the season. It showcases some of the amazing material donated to Fleetwood Museum in 2018-19, the first year as an independent museum.

See stunning ship models and artworks by Keith Sutton and JW Green. Fascinating objects covering many aspects of Fleetwood history, and amazing colour footage of Fleetwood from the 1950s. This exhibition will offer you an insight into Fleetwood’s rich history.

Let the Museum know what you think they should be collecting, and also what you collect yourself!

The Lofthouse Collection

A new ‘fleet’ of beautifully crafted scale model trawlers from the Lofthouse Collection is now on display at Fleetwood Museum.

These stunning trawler models were commissioned by the Lofthouse family – famous makers of the Fisherman’s Friend. They’re on display for the first time.

This is the model of FD175 Luneda – one of the models in the display.

FD175 Luneda model trawler from the Lofthouse Collection on display at Fleetwood Museum
FD175 Luneda model trawler from the Lofthouse Collection on display at Fleetwood Museum

See the Past Come to Life at Fleetwood Museum

This seaside town has a fascinating past – it was one of the first planned towns in the UK. When you know it’s secrets and where to look you can still see traces of its history all around you. You might already know the names of Sir Peter Hesketh Fleetwood and Decimus Burton. Find out all about the town’s founding father and his renowned architect.

Sir Peter Hesketh Fleetwood
Sir Peter Hesketh Fleetwood

One of Fleetwood’s Earliest Buildings

The Museum building itself is one of the earliest buildings in the town. Come and look round inside to find out about its origins as the Customs House. Follow the exhibits up and down the corridors and stairs and see how the building has changed over the years. After being threatened with closure, the museum is now independent and funded by the people of Fleetwood through an annual precept.

The aim of Fleetwood Museum is to be a place of outstanding historical significance. Educating the young, reminding the old & inspiring future generations to investigate their heritage. It’s integral to the heart of the community, a place where visitors can come together to learn, engage and belong. 

Much more about the history of Fleetwood Museum here

Find all kinds of interesting things inside Fleetwood Museum...
Find all kinds of interesting things inside Fleetwood Museum…

Fishing, Chemicals and Salt

Each room, nook and cranny houses artefacts, photos, and relics from the past. Exhibits bring the industrial heritage of the area to life. Learn about the salt mines and chemical manufacture. Plus of course the fishing industry on which the town was built.

Displays about fishing and local industry
Displays about fishing and local industry

Don’t forget to see Harriet

Visit the huge boatshed to the rear of the main building. Inside is housed the Harriet, Fleetwood’s last remaining fishing smack.

Harriet Fishing Smack on display at Fleetwood Museum
Harriet Fishing Smack on display at Fleetwood Museum

The boat is literally moored on dry land inside the shed – from the floor it looks huge! Find out how the boat sailed dangerous waters to feed local people – and the fishermen who braved the voyage.

Find out about Harriet Fishing Smack

Just  get in touch – phone 01253 876621 or email info@fleetwoodmuseum.co.uk – and please mention you saw it on Visit Fylde Coast!

Fleetwood Museum Shop

No trip to a museum is complete without a visit to its shop. Take away a memento of the town – you’ll find some interesting products on sale including an interesting range of local history guides.

Gift shop at Fleetwood Museum

Sir Peter’s Coffee House

Fleetwood Museum also has an exceptionally good coffee shop too. Just through the main doors and on your left you’ll find the gift shop and coffee shop. And you don’t have to pay the museum entry charge to use either of them. Why don’t you pop in and have a brew and a bite to eat?

Sir Peter's Coffee House
Sir Peter’s Coffee House

School Visits

The world is changing ever more rapidly and Fleetwood Museum offers and ideal window into the past for today’s young people.

School visits to Fleetwood Museum are hands on and involve active participation and object handling. There’s a variety of different sessions to choose from. Your school could make several visits!

Due to the historic layout of this listed building, access to some areas is difficult. Please get in touch before your visit so your time can be as enjoyable as possible. Assistance dogs are welcome.

Just  get in touch – phone 01253 876621 or email info@fleetwoodmuseum.co.uk – and please mention you saw it on Visit Fylde Coast!

Volunteers Wanted

Fleetwood Museum is opened and operated by an amazing team of more than 50 volunteers and one member of staff.

Volunteers needed to help out at the Museum. Could it be you?
Volunteers needed to help out at the Museum. Could it be you?

They produce the exhibits, man the building, serve in the cafe, operate the gift shop. Volunteers do literally everything to keep the place open for visitors.

There’s a task for everyone and all kinds of skills are needed. From practical, hands-on building skills to creative people to put sets together. People who like doing paperwork to those with good people skills.

Why don’t you get involved? Not only is it rewarding, but you’ll make lots of new friends.

Just  get in touch – phone 01253 876621 or email info@fleetwoodmuseum.co.uk – and please mention you saw it on Visit Fylde Coast!

While you’re here…

Have a look at the Visit Fylde Coast website homepage for more of the latest updates.

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