The Boat Shed is opening for the 2023 season with a brand-new artefact, the Fresnel Lens from St Catherine’s Lighthouse. Housed at the Museum’s Boat Shed site (off Thetis Road in Cowes) the lens is on show for the first time since it was removed from the lighthouse in autumn 2021 after over 100 years of service.
The lens arrived in the museum in twenty sections. The team of volunteers were faced with putting together the pieces like a giant and rather delicate jigsaw. The team designed and commissioned the secure steel base on which it stands. The puzzle has been completed and the lens is now in position ready for visitors to explore courtesy of Trinity House.
Victoria Preston Deputy Chair, of the Classic Boat Museum says “We’re really excited to invite visitors to see this amazing piece of Island heritage and learn about both the historic and scientific history of the lens. Our team of volunteers have worked tirelessly to get the lens ready for display, rebuilding the sections and making it safe and secure for display. It’s great to have a new piece of the Islands Maritime history to join our collection of over 90 boats and thousands of maritime artefacts.”
The Boat Shed in Cowes will be open Tuesdays and Fridays. The Classic Boat Museum Gallery in East Cowes is now open on Tuesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Tickets are £9 for entry to both sites and accompanied children visit for free.