Award for maritime centre

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Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre volunteers have been given a Queen’s award for voluntary service.

Since 2004 the centre, in Eastborough, has welcomed more than 100 volunteers of all ages and backgrounds.

They gain new skills and confidence whilst strengthening the local community and educating the public.

The centre was nominated by the council’s civic officer, Irene Webster, and received letters of support from the Civic Society, South Bay Traders, Lady Caroline Ffrench Blake, ward councillor Janet Jefferson, and Erika Rushton, director of the Beautiful Ideas Company in Liverpool.

Martin Johnson, president of Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre, said “I am thoroughly delighted at this award as the volunteers have worked so hard over many years to achieve a brilliant resource and visitor attraction for the town.”

Lindy Rowley, co-founder, vice chair and volunteer co-ordinator, said “It was such an honour to go to Buckingham Palace and accept this award on behalf of all the volunteers who have helped us over the years.”

Mark Vesey, chairman, said “This award shows how important Scarborough’s heritage is and is testament to what a community can do if it pulls together. This really is the icing on the cake for the centre.”

The Scarborough Maritime Heritage Centre started in 2004 when a few local people began to realise how much of the town’s maritime history was disappearing.

A group was formed and they put out an appeal for help that brought other volunteers in.

The centre opened an exhibition area in a rented shop in 2009 and became a registered charity in 2011.

They purchased and moved into new premises at the start of this year.

Maritime centre volunteers range in age from twenty to eighty years old and help with archives, producing exhibitions, website, newsletters and social media, greeting the public, helping with family and local history enquiries, fundraising, accounts and talks.