Morse fun and Shipwrecked at Ilfracombe Museum

Pictured at Friday's Shipwrecked event with the Ilfracombe ship to shore radio display at the museum

Pictured at Friday's Shipwrecked event with the Ilfracombe ship to shore radio display at the museum are Keira and Myah Hill plus Ethan and Joseph Carter. - Credit: Archant

Young visitors learn about the Ilfracombe ship to shore radio, maritime disasters and life savers during half term event.

HALF term visitors to Ilfracombe Museum have been learning more about Morse code and the Ilfracombe ship-to shore radio station.

Once a 24 hour lifeline for shipping in the Bristol Channel, the station’s equipment was moved to the museum after its closure in 1986.

For children taking part in the ‘Shipwrecked’ half term activities on Friday, it was a very real demonstration of maritime disasters and the role of those who kept a watch out for emergency signals from ships.

Thanks to recent funding by the North Devon AONB, visitors can now listen to some of the memories of former Ilfracombe radio operators that were recorded in 2000. They can even hear the last ever broadcast in Morse code from the station.


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The station, housed at what is now the Ariel Music Centre at Mullacott, was involved in relaying messages during major events such as the infamous 1979 Fastnet yacht race that claimed the lives of 18 people.

Visitors can listen to recollections of these events and the daily life at the station through a series of tracks on a bespoke ‘soundbox’ designed for the display by Kingfisher media.

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Friday’s Shipwrecked event also included a visit by members of Ilfracombe lifeboat crew plus craft activities plus stories and songs.

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