The RNLI Museum & Shop


Housed in the 1898 RNLI William Terris Memorial Boathouse, King Edwards Parade, at the western end of Eastbourne Seafront.

The Lifeboat Museum and Souvenir Shop 2019 Opening Times :-
1st January – 2nd March 10am until 3pm.
3rd March – 23rd March 10am until 4pm.
24th March – 26th October 10am until 5pm.
27th October – 23rd December 10am until 4pm.
24th December – end February 2020 10am until 3pm
The shop and museum will be closed on 25th & 31st Dec

In the event of bad weather and/or volunteer availability the above times may vary.

The boathouse was built from public donations collected by the Daily Telegraph, to commemorate the life of the well known actor, William Terriss, who was assassinated outside the Adelphi Theatre in 1897.

The museum, completely refurbished in November 2011, houses collections and displays showing the history of the Eastbourne lifeboats since 1822, when the first lifeboat came on the scene at Eastbourne.
It was given by the well known local eccentric John “Mad Jack” Fuller.
The lifeboat variously known as “Samaritan” or “The Rose” served until 1863.
Various lifeboats served in this boathouse until 1924, when the retiring lifeboat “James Stevens No 6″  was placed within as an exhibition piece. In 1936 it was sold to a local fishing family and became a beach pleasure boat.
In 1937 the boathouse became the first RNLI museum in the country. After the war a souvenir shop was incorporated which has now become one of the top performing outlets selling gifts and souvenirs in support of the RNLI.
Whilst in the museum read about “The “New Brunswick” service in 1833 when due to storms, the lifeboat had to be towed by relays of horses to Birling Gap, some 8 miles away, before it could be launched.
The” Jane Holland” at Dunkirk. The rescue of the lighthouse keeper in 1966.
The Medal service to “Paperchase” in 2002 and many other services right through to today.
MEDAL RECORD: Ten medals – one Gold, four Silver & five Bronze, the last was voted in 2003

The RNLI shop is fitted out to the RNLI’s latest design. The shop boasts a wide selection of goods and gifts including toys, models, stationary, clothing (with RNLI Eastbourne logo), games badges, books, postcards and keyrings. We also have lapel badges with the RNLI logo and Eastbourne.
It is staffed by a team of dedicated volunteers who are pleased to welcome you.
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All proceeds go towards running the organisation