Museum News 

The New Season

The Museum opened for the season on Monday, 29th March. As in previous years this will be from Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 noon and from 1.30 p.m. to 4.30 p.m. Admission prices will remain as last year, £1 for adults and 10p for children. We are often asked how we manage to keep the prices down. (The average admission price to museums over the country as a whole is £2.74). The answer is that virtually all the work and staffing in the Museum is done by our Trustees and corps of 39 volunteers.

Picture of Cannon

Over the winter months our helpers have been busy, cleaning, re-hanging pictures, re-arranging displays and putting up fresh labels. The main exhibition is being mounted by the Lyonesse Quilters’ Guild. Regular visitors will notice that the material on our lifeboats has been completely re-arranged. New accessions on display include Lady Sophia Towers’ book of water colours, the G.P.O./B.T. telephone kiosk presented to the Museum by the Airport Committee and moved into the Museum with great skill by the Fire Brigade and finally one of the Signal Cannons from the S.S. Schiller.

The German mail steamer, the Schiller, was lost on the Retarrier Ledges on 8th May, 1875, with the loss of 335 lives. She was bound for Hamburg from New York and, as well as mail and passengers, carried 300,000 dollars in specie. In thick fog she hit the Retarrier Ledges. The four signal guns were fired, until the powder became wet, when rockets were used. Only one canon report was heard on St. Mary’s and it was assumed to be a signal to say that the Schiller had passed the Bishop Light. The Trustees are pleased to have been able to acquire the gun by purchase. Next year will be the 125th anniversary of the sinking and there is likely to be a flood of books and articles to commemorate the sad occasion. The shelter on Porthcressa beach was completed with money given by the German Embassy to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the disaster. Scillonians worked hard at rescuing the living and burying the dead. The Kaiser presented one hundred gold watches to Scillonians who had helped and in the First World War gave orders to his fleet that the islands were not to be attacked, as a reward for the brave efforts of the islanders.

For more stories
Link to Homepage
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