The National Motorboat Museum
Wat Tyler Country Park, Pitsea Hall Lane, Pitsea, near Basildon, Essex SS16 4UH
The Motorboat Museum (originally known as The National Motorboat Museum) opened in 1987 and is wholly owned by Basildon District Council. The original collecting policy was an open one; the Museum collected all motorboating artefacts. However the policy was changed several years ago to take into account the collecting policy of other museums e.g. navy and military collections.
The Museum now concentrates on sports and leisure which makes it unique in this country.
The Museum was granted full Registration in 2002 by Resource (the Council for Museum, Archives & Libraries). Today we have over 30 motorboats on display dating from 1873 to present day, offshore designs.
The Motorboat Museum is based within Wat Tyler Country Park, in Pitsea. The 125 acre park is situated beside a tidal creek in the Thames marshes. The park has a very high usage, with over 240,000 visitors a year coming to enjoy the wonderful views of open countryside, peaceful walks, excellent bird watching and the amenities. These include a state of the art Adventure Play Area, miniature railway, cafe and retail craft units and the Museum, of course. Basildon Council's Countryside Services also have a successful Environmental Education Section operating from Wat Tyler and two other centres in the district. It offers curriculum-based teaching and informal courses to schools, groups and adults throughout the year, including at the Museum.
The variety of interests catered for at Wat Tyler Country Park means that the Motorboat Museum gets visitors who might not normally visit a collection of powerboats. Schools too, have a unique opportunity to engage their students in a range of subject areas that can be interpreted through the collection.