Lifeboat museum set to open its doors

Professor Sir Lewis Ritchie with Conrad Ritchie and John Wallace stand next to the Julia Park Barry of Glasgow
Professor Sir Lewis Ritchie with Conrad Ritchie and John Wallace stand next to the Julia Park Barry of Glasgow

The new Julia Park Barry Building was officially opened at a special ceremony on Friday, June 28.

The building, located inside the grounds of the Peterhead Prison Museum, was opened by Professor Sir Lewis Ritchie.

It is a new lifeboat museum dedicated to the former RNLB Julia Park Barry of Glasgow that served in Peterhead from 1939 to 1969.

During its service the boat and its crew saved 496 lives.

Speaking to the Buchanie at the event Conrad Ritchie, Managing Director of Score International Limited, said: “It feels really good to open the building today, I’m really pleased with the end result.

“It’s looking fantastic and it will be a big draw for the town.

“On behalf of the business and my family this was the right thing to do and it has taken us four years to get where we are today, and work has been carried out on the boat for the last six months.”

He added: “It is important that we preserve the history of this boat. It was in service in the local area for 30 years and saved hundreds of lives thanks to its dedicated and selfless crew.”

Professor Sir Lewis Ritchie said: “I am overwhelmed and wholly gratified at the commitment and effort taken to get the vessel from such a poor state back to almost its original state again.

“It is amazing and I hope it will give people great pleasure.

“The boat reflects the good in society and the work that people have done to help others, and I hope this message will manifest in people across the world.”

He added: “It is a great priviledge to donate the boat and it’s amazing to see it here and it is a tribute worthy of the boat’s service and its crew.”

Following the official opening ceremony the new lifeboat museum will open to the public for the first time on Monday, July 24 at 10am to coincide with the start of Scottish Week.

Visitors to the prison museum will gain access to the addition as part of the tour.

Those wishing to visit the Julia Park Barry Building only will be able to gain access via the prison museum admissions area for £5. Entry will be free for children under six years and seniors.