Housing one of Poole's historic lifeboats, Thomas Kirk Wright, the old boathouse and souvenir shop at Fisherman's Dock at the end of Poole Quay offers the public a close-up view of the lifeboat and the history that surrounds it.
The shop in the Old Boathouse sells RNLI memorabilia, cards, gifts, clothing and nautical-themed items. Proceeds from the gift shop itself will go directly to the RNLI in order to save lives at sea.
The museum and shop is open daily between April and early December (subject to availability of volunteer staff) 10am–4pm.
Entry to the museum and shop is free.
Poole Old Lifeboat Museum and Shop are located at the eastern end of Poole Quay alongside Fisherman's Dock.
Poole Old Lifeboat Museum and Shop
Telephone: 01202 666046
The Thomas Kirk Wright (1939–62) was one of the 'Dunkirk Little Ships'. On 28 May 1940 she sailed from Poole to Ramsgate to join the rescue flotilla, and was the first of 19 lifeboats to reach Dunkirk on 30 May 1940.
She made 3 trips in total, rescuing members of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) from the beaches, but on the final voyage she came under fire from German troops and was badly shot up although no one aboard was hit. She managed to get back on one engine, and was then repaired and returned to service at Poole.
Brian Traves, a volunteer at Poole Old Lifeboat Museum with his wife Marge, registered the Thomas Kirk Wright with the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships, and she was presented with a brass plaque. You may like to visit the Association's website to view the entry for the Thomas Kirk Wright.
You can also read more about the Thomas Kirk Wright and her Dunkirk exploits by visiting our Dunkirk Spirit page.
The old lifeboat station was established at Fisherman's Dock in 1882 (click image to enlarge). Previously the lifeboat station was situated at Sandbanks from 1865 to 1882. It moved to its current position on Poole Quay, adjacent to Poole Bridge, in 1989. The Old Boathouse became a museum in 1974.
There is also an RNLI shop in the reception of the RNLI College in Poole. This sells RNLI gifts, cards and clothing.
The opening hours are: Weekdays 9am–5pm
West Quay Road
Telephone: 01202 663091
If you can't get to one of our RNLI shops then don't forget you can shop online.
And another easy way to give – at no cost to you – is to shop online with Give as you Live, and the retailer will make a donation of up to 5% of your purchase price to the RNLI. It costs you absolutely nothing.
Here's the brilliant bit: Once you've installed the Give as you Live programme, your computer will remember that you've signed up to the scheme every time you visit a partner website. Give as you Live does all the admin, while the retailers (including Tesco, iTunes, Domino's Pizza, hotels.com and Dixons) do all the giving.
If you're a regular online shopper, you could raise hundreds of pounds for the RNLI every year.
So start giving with Give as you Live.