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The Zetland is the oldest surviving lifeboat in the world and is listed within the National Historic Ship Register as part of the Nations Historic Fleet and was built in 1802. She saw 78 years of service and saved over 500 lives from the treacherous Redcar coast.
The Museum has existed in its present form since 1980. From this meeting a group of dedicated volunteers formed the ‘Friends of the Zetland’.Over thirty years later the museum continues, staffed on a voluntary basis by volunteers and with some of the original ‘Friends of the Zetland’ still active. The museum building itself is a Grade II listed structure. It was originally erected in 1877 to house the lifeboat Emma with her Coxswain and family, and has several rooms open to the public on two floors.
With free admission, it is well worth a visit to view the many artefacts within the museum representing local heritage and maritime history. The ground floor houses Zetland herself, together with her famous call-out drum, and there is also several displays, including one showing lifeboats through their different eras of development. Upstairs in the Laurie Picknett Gallery is an extensive collection of photographs, postcards and memorabilia relating to Redcar and its characters, dating back to the 1800’s.