A long-awaited National museum will be opening on Friday displaying the history of surfing.

THE Museum of British Surfing in Braunton will be opening its doors for the first time on Good Friday with its inaugural exhibition, ‘The Art of Surf’.

It is the culmination of three years of hard work planning, fund-raising and designing for Pete Robinson, the founder and director.

The opening exhibition running until December 24 will display 200 years’ worth of art in surfing.

Mr Robinson said: “Explorers and early travellers drew surfers; surfers decorated their boards – especially in the sixties and seventies; advertisers plundered surfing imagery right the way back to the early 1900s, and today there’s a flourishing British surfing art scene.”

A timeline of boards from wooden 1950s styles onwards line the walls, and a collection of photography and artwork including photographs of stand up surfers in World War II and a wallpaper-sized enlargement of a sketch from the 1800s.

There is also a collection of surfing memorabilia, and colourful boards telling the history of surfing in North Devon.

Mr Robinson said: “We have had interest from across the world; everyone is excited about the surfing culture and the discoveries into the history of surfing we have been making.

“People don’t quite understand the scale of this, that this is a national museum, not just a small exhibition in North Devon.”

The Museum of British Surfing is believed to have the largest and most historically significant collection in Europe. It is, situated in the Caen Street car park and will be open daily from 11am-6pm.