Grant success sheds new light on WW1 in Withernsea

A lighthouse is the latest museum to see the benefits of Arts Council England funding made available through the Joining Up The Humberside Museums (JUTHM) partnership. Thanks to the £6,000 grant Withernsea Lighthouse Museum now has a new permanent World War One exhibition and its first schools’ resource pack, both of which show how the war impacted on the Holderness area and reveal new information in the process.

“We’ve found out things no-one knew about such as the training camp two miles outside Withernsea which JRR Tolkien would have used when he was sent to Roos to recuperate after contracting trench foot – if it hadn’t been for that he would have been with the rest of his troop when they were wiped out at the Front and The Lord of The Rings would never have been written. Without the grant we couldn’t have achieved any of this and we hope the exhibition will continue to develop as people donate more items and information,” says Anthony Simpson, lighthouse manager.

Withernsea Lighthouse Museum has used the grant to improve how it tells the local community and schools about the culture and heritage of the area, and the contribution made by local people to WW1 – increased visitor numbers are already being reported. The long-term aim is that the new exhibition and education package will encourage visitors and students to create an ongoing archive of the region’s involvement in WW1. By engaging with primary and secondary schools in this way the museum also hopes to create more interest about museums among a new generation.

Withernsea’s First World War stories complement those being told at other WW1 exhibitions initiated by JUTHM with Arts Council England funding at local authority museums and attractions throughout the Humber region – together they tell the full story of how the Great War affected the whole region the idea being that each site offers a different learning opportunity. Others include:

  • When War Hit Home at Ferens Art Gallery (until 4 January 2015), which explores the effects of the First World War on Hull and its people;
  • For King and Country at North Lincolnshire Museum (until 14 June 2015), which focuses on the experiences of local people both on the Front Line and back home in Britain;
  • *In Memoriam: Reflections on War at Beverley Art Gallery (until 22 November) , which explores the theme of memory and conflict featuring objects from the Museum collections;
  • Goole and the Great War at Goole Museum (until 25 November), which looks at the role of Goole as a port during the First World War and its effects on life in the town.

For more information about World War I themed exhibitions and displays across the Humber region, please visit

For more information about Withernsea Lighthouse Museum, Hull Road, Withernsea, East Yorkshire

HU19 2DY, email, call 01964 614834 or visit  Withernsea Lighthouse Museum is open to schools and groups by arrangement all year round. As well as the new WW1 exhibition, Withernsea Lighthouse Museum is known for its RNLI and coastguard memorabilia, and memorial to actress Kay Kendall, who was born in the town – not forgetting the 144 steps up to the top of the old lighthouse. Opening hours for the general public are Easter to October Saturday 1.00pm-5.00pm, and June to mid-September Monday-Friday 11am to 5.00pm, Saturday 1.00pm-5.00pm and Sunday 12 noon to 4.00pm.

Joining Up the Humber Museums is a partnership group of 18 local authority-operated visitor attractions around the region. Funded by Arts Council England, it brings together three museum services across the Humber region, Hull Museums, East Riding Museum Service and North Lincolnshire Museum Service.


Notes to editors:

Joining Up the Humber Museums (JUTHM) is supported by a £1 million grant from Arts Council England. The initiative runs until 2015, and will support commemorations of the centenary of the First World War in the Humber region. The money will be used to improve galleries and facilities across the three council's services in preparation for exhibitions in 2014 and beyond, including the opening up of Georgian Houses, part of Wilberforce House inHull.

There will also be funding made available to engage with a number of additional partners from the region who wish to engage with WWI centenary projects, including opportunities for volunteering, education and other outreach projects.

For further media information or photographs, please contact:

Jay Commins

Pyper York Limited

Tel:         01904 500698