Maritime charity Sailors’ Society brought the beach to the Southampton suburbs yesterday (25 July) to celebrate the end of the school year.
The charity transformed its Woolston office into a seaside complete with sand, refreshments from its own BySea charity brand, face painting and a pop-up charity shop.
Sailors’ Society was joined by National Maritime Museum’s (NMM) Maritime Memories Machine, which is travelling up and down the country to collect people’s memories of the sea.
Sailors’ Society’s CEO, Stuart Rivers, showed the Maritime Memories Machine an original piece of wood and metal from Nelson’s HMS Victory.
Stuart said, “Sailors’ Society is approaching its 200th anniversary in March and we are uncovering some amazing stories from the charity’s history.”
The charity was given the Victory wood in 1905 by the Lords of the Admiralty to coincide with the centenary of Nelson’s death. The metal was made into medals, with the wood being made into plaques and busts of Nelson, which were then sold to raise money for the charity.
The wood was just one of the many stories shared with the Maritime Memories Machine team by members of the public.
Stuart added, “More than 150 people from the local community came to enjoy the sunshine with us – it was great to see so many people get involved with the beach day and share their memories.”
Those who have shared their memories of the sea will be able to see them on an interactive display at the NMM’s new Sea Things gallery, which will open next year.
The Maritime Memories Machine will be at Southampton’s Sea City Museum tomorrow (26 July) and at Sarisbury Green Community Centre on Friday (28 July).