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Maritime Museum exhibition explores life of Lancaster-built trade and whaling ship

A new exhibition celebrating the long and eventful service of a 19th century ship built in Lancaster is now on display at the Maritime Museum on St George’s Quay.

The Voyages of Abram showcases the history of the ship from being built in Lancaster in 1805 to its icy demise off the north west coast of Greenland in 1862. The exhibition has been produced in partnership with the Regional Heritage Centre at Lancaster University.

Launched in Lancaster in 1806, Abram was named after Abram Chalwill Hill, a merchant and planter in the Virgin Islands. Abram had sailed from the port to the West Indies 21 times up to 1818.

In 1818 the ship was converted to a whaler, sailing from Hull and Kirkcaldy for 44 years. During this time, the ship survived being trapped over winter in the Arctic ice, and took part in the search for the lost explorer Sir John Franklin. The Abram was crushed by the ice in Melville Bay in 1862.

County Councillor Peter Buckley, Lancashire County Council’s cabinet member for community and cultural services, said: “I’m sure that this will be a fascinating exhibition, whether you are interested in maritime history or not.

“It highlights Lancaster’s special relationship with the British and Danish Virgin Islands during and after the Napoleonic Wars. It also tells the story of this impressive ship, including its service in the arctic over the winter of 1835 to 1836 and later becoming involved in the search for Sir John Franklin and his missing ships and crew.”

The exhibition will run until Sunday 9 September.

Museum opening times until 31 October are 10.00am to 4pm. Admission is £3 for adults and £2 for concessions.

Local residents and accompanied children go free.

For more information, email lancastermaritimemuseum@lancashire.gov.uk or call 01524 382264.

Alternatively, visit www.lancashire.gov.uk/museums

Lancaster Maritime Museum is managed by Lancashire County Council, on behalf of Lancaster City Council.

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