The museum was celebrating its 40th birthday as well as purchasing its building from Torridge District Council.

The 40th birthday of North Devon Maritime Museum. Picture: Sarah GallifentThe 40th birthday of North Devon Maritime Museum. Picture: Sarah Gallifent

The North Devon Maritime Museum had a double celebration on Tuesday, April 11.

Admiral Sir Jonathon Band cut the tape to reopen the museum in Appledore, which was celebrating its 40th birthday and the success purchasing the museum’s home, Odun House, from Torridge District Council.

Sir Band was welcome by the Bideford and District Sea Cadets, who mounted a guard of honour for him.

After the tape was cut the Rector of Appledore gave a short blessing on the museum.

The 40th birthday of North Devon Maritime Museum. Picture: Sarah GallifentThe 40th birthday of North Devon Maritime Museum. Picture: Sarah Gallifent

In his speech, Sir Band said: “Let’s turn to what you have achieved here in Appledore over 40 years of hard graft, initiatives, generosity at key moments and probably a bit of luck here and there.

“From a modest start you have expanded with this building and over the road.

“But you haven’t just created displays, you have reached out into the community, organized events, sponsored a fleet of publications, have your own annual journal and developed an impressive archive.

“And over the years you have received both national and international recognition.

The 40th birthday of North Devon Maritime Museum. Picture: Sarah GallifentThe 40th birthday of North Devon Maritime Museum. Picture: Sarah Gallifent

“So how fitting that you should now own your own home – Odun House, a fact we are celebrating today.”

He was presented with a celebratory, handmade jug made by the renown local potter Harry Juniper.

He was also given a commemorative pack of Dartmoor Ale and an engraved tankard, commissioned by the South Atlantic Medal Association, to commemorate the 35th anniversary of the Falklands conflict this year.

Sir Band then moved into the museum to be shown around by Michael Guegan, chairman of the museum’s management committee, during which he met as many of the volunteers as he could.