Museum offers insight into shipping history of Norfolk

Visitors to a North Norfolk museum are set to get an insight into the shipping history of the district.

Mundesley Maritime Museum opened its doors for the 2011 season on Monday, with the theme of this year's exhibition being Royal Naval ships which were lost off the Norfolk coast during the second world war.

Museum curator Christopher West said: 'It has been fascinating to learn about the ships and their history.'

Included in the exhibition are the histories of various ships, including SS Mamari, a British ocean liner initially operated by the White Star Line, used both as a passenger liner and a cargo ship as well as serving as a 'dummy' warship. She was attacked by German aircraft off the coast near Cromer in 1941 and then torpedoed by German E-Boats and sank.

The exhibition also looks at HMS Umpire (N82), a Royal Navy U-class submarine built at Chatham Dockyard and sunk in an accident just off Blakeney, nine days after commissioning on July 19, 1941, with the loss of 22 men.

The wreck lies on its starboard side and is partly broken up and is designated as a protected place under the Protection of Military Remains Act 1986.

The exhibition also features pictures of those who lost their lives at sea, including 27-year-old Michael Lee, a Mundesley man who was on board the Boston Pionair which was lost off the coast near Scarborough in February 1965.

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And it has pictures of the gravestones in both Happisburgh and Mundesley of those whose lives were claimed by the sea during world war two.

As well as having a themed exhibition, the museum also charts the general history of the village and coastguard and houses the Mundesley coastguard lookout.

l The museum will stay open until September 30 from 11am-1pm and 2pm-4pm daily, except Saturdays when it will be closed.