New Museum Project

The Tamesis Trust

The Tamesis Trust - a charitable company - has now been established to look after the new museum at Beale Park.

To keep updated on developments please visit the museum project website

11th June 2014 - Planning Inspector Grants Permission for Thames Museum

You can read the Inspector's full report here.

News of the appeal is also nicely featured on the BBC website here.

A base for Consuta with workshop facilities and excellent public access

The Consuta Trust and The Thames Boats Trust are proposing to establish a Thames Heritage Boat Museum at Beale Park. We have the full support of the Beale Park Trust for this ambitious project and are now investigating all funding options and potential display exhibits.

The following picture shows a 1:200 scale model of the museum placed on a photo of the area showing the position of the museum at the park

The River Thames Heritage

The museum will exhibit both working and static historic boats, supplemented by a display of boating artefacts, with visitor information about their importance in local and national history. The display will be arranged in the form of a timeline showing a detailed story of early pleasure boating development on the Thames. The aim of the display will be two fold; first to show off some historic Thames boats and various associated artefacts; secondly to inspire and involve the public to learn about this rich period of Thames boating history! We aim to show that this Thames Heritage is of both local and national importance, and encourage visitors to learn more about a neglected and unknown part of river history.

For thousands of years the only way of moving boats and ships had been either muscle or wind power - so through the introduction of self powered boats (ie driven by machinery) the mid 19th century period represents a dramatic change in what could be described as "an industrial revolution on water". This new class of "powered boat" first made use of the steam engine, then later the electric motor, and finally the internal combustion engine.

Boat Builders of the River Thames

The expansion of pleasure boating on the Thames created a demand for new boating businesses to start up, a few of these enterprises developed to become prolific boat building companies. By the late 19th century Britain had become shipbuilders to the world with important contributions from companies such as Thornycroft, Yarrow, Saunders and others who had all started their works on the Thames. A time line displaying these revolutionary changes is shown here.

The Heritage Museum Building

Historic craft which will be housed in the Museum are Consuta, Cygnet, plus additional craft some which have been identified, and could be available on loan. We also have many period items which will be used in displays to contribute to the fascinating story of power boat development on the Thames during the 19th century.

About The Consuta Trust Support

Our own volunteers would have access to Consuta when not in steam, which will ease the task of keeping Consuta clean and tidy at all times. Also the base with workshop facilities will permit any maintenance to be managed at any time in the year.

The Consuta Trust have funded the initial costs of making the planning application. The building plus all the site prep work to complete the project will require substantial funding which we will need to raise; an HLF Grant is an obvious source, but there may be others willing to help. There will be opportunities for volunteer hands to contribute on many of the project tasks, both skilled and non skilled work. This will help to reduce costs, and is encouraged for all Lottery funded grants.

If you have any questions, would like to know more, or would like to help; please do email us

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