The Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade Watch House Museum contains a unique collection of artefacts that recreate the dramatic history of the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade and their involvement in heroic coastal rescues from the past 155 years.
A Gem of National significance, the TVLB were the first ever Volunteer Life Brigade of its kind to be formed in 1864, and today the TVLB still use the watch house as an operational base as a declared coastal search and rescue facility to the emergency services. A treasure trove of objects since reopening after major restoration works in 2014, funded by a partnership with North Tyneside Council and a major grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Brigade Watch House provides visitors with a beautiful and sympathetically restored setting in which to enjoy the atmosphere of this historic building and its artefacts.
Key exhibits include early examples of photography, documents, paintings and artefacts relating to the formation and operations of the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade (TVLB). The museum also houses a working ¾ size version of Breeches Buoy rescue equipment (the TVLB are famous for utilising this equipment in ship to shore rescues in the past). The museum contains a wonderful selection of other unusual items recovered from local shipwrecks including ships’ bells, figureheads and much more.From the top of the South tower, there is a reward of near 360 degree breath-taking panoramic views of the entrance to the river Tyne, the North and South Piers, the Black Middens rocks at low tide, across to S.Shields, upriver to the Fish Quay and Low Lights, as well as clear views of the Collingwood Monument and The Tynemouth Castle and Priory.