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Student Display Captures the Art of Boatbuilding

20 February 2007

BU student demonstrates the art of boat building A collaboration between the St Barbe Museum in Lymington, Hampshire, and BU’s School of Conservation Sciences celebrates the town’s notable boat builders over the years.

Through their display, The Art of Boat Building in Lymington, postgraduate students from the University’s MA in Museum Studies incorporate previously unseen boatbuilding tools from St Barbe’s collection.

The ephemera and images of the most elegant sailing vessels built in the town - from cutters to schooners – feature in the display which is designed and constructed by the students. .

With a major focus on local social history, the display highlights the most famous boat builders in Lymington, such as Dan Bran and Thomas Inman.

The town’s long tradition of boat building has been brought to life using recent correspondence with Dan Bran’s great niece, Olive Sprack, and interviews with boat builders, John Claridge and Albert Doe.

Curator Steve Marshall said: “We are delighted to welcome back the Bournemouth University students for a third year.

“The museum benefits again, this time from a refreshed display on local boat builders, and the students gain practical experience of developing a museum display.

“The excellent results are a testament to all the creative ideas and hard work which have gone into planning and producing the display”.

Student Carrie Gardner added: “We have found the history of Lymington boat building fascinating and hope that we have reflected this in our refurbished display.

“We have been able to employ all the skills that we have learnt on the course and more!”

For visitors or researchers with an interest in boat building the students have created a website with further information about the boats, the characters, and processes of boat building in Lymington.

More family activities can be found on the website, along with an interview with modern day Lymington boat builder John Claridge.

A link will soon be found at

Event Details

Where: St Barbe Museum, Lymington
When: Opens on Friday, 27 April 2007. The gallery is open Monday – Saturday, 10.00am – 4.00pm
Price: £4, concessions £3, child: £2, family £10
Further Information: Steve Marshall, Curator. Tel: 01590 676969. Fax: 01590 679997. Email or visit the website at

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