THE Gallery is accessed from Columbine Road and has a small shop and cafe area, where film of classic or historic yachting is often shown.

Non-fiction books by local authors and a range of used 'maritime' books are also on display.




























Remarkable maritime history

THE Gallery is in what was the Columbine Building, an amazing example of British industrial architecture itself.

In the Main Gallery you will find the Thornycroft displays, featuring photographs and models related to three generations of that remarkable family.

There are also a number of Robin Board's tiny, detailed models of traditional working boats as well as models and photographs of hovercraft built on the site, including the SRN4.

The Sir Maurice Laing display includes half-models of Bathsheba, Vashti, Loujaine and Clarion of Wight.

The Marion 'Joe' Carstairs display includes many of the trophies won by this extraordinary woman. Known for her eccentric lifestyle, she usually dressed as a man, had tattooed arms and loved machines, adventure and speed.

There is also a 'Great Liners' display, models of racing powerboats, the Trinity House Needles lighthouse, pilot launch and ship in a (lighthouse) lamp bulb as well as George Dexter's large model of the Princess Flying Boat, again built on site.

The Cowes Room

Here you will find displays focussed on the work of renowned local boat designer and personality, Uffa Fox, as well as a replica of Frank Beken's famous maritime camera that was used in the 1890's aboard Rosabelle, which can be seen in the nearby Museum.

The Ellen Macarther Trust display includes a model of her trimaran, B & Q in which she sailed around the world in 71 days.

There is also a Sir Francis Chichester display, including a model of Gypsy Moth IV, in which he circumnavigated the globe, becoming the first person to sail single-handed around the world by the clipper route.

Photograph on display includes of some of the 'Big Class' yachts and America's Cup contenders, and there is also a large model of a J-class

Photographic collections

THE Gallery holds several important photographic collections:

Thornycroft Collection
Company and family photos 1900 onwards

Uffa Fox Collection International 14’s, International Canoes, Sea Scouts and much more

Edmonds Collection Boats from pre First World War to the 1950’s, named and dated. Many from the East Coast of England

Salters of Oxford Collection Photographs of Salters' boats from the 1900’s

Carstairs Collection 'Joe' Carstairs powerboat racing in the 1920’s

Kirk Collection
The Museum has recently acquired a large and as yet uncatalogued collection of the original glass plates by this noted Victorian photographer. As well as photographs of the large yachts of the rich and privileged, the Collection includes pictures of the Naval cadets at Osborne and the aristocracy of Europe at their house parties in Cowes.