The Beacon, which is in Whitehaven and has the museum housed within the Beacon and Resource Centre, has been a fully registered museum since 1997. This status has recently been reconfirmed. In the 1980s the Museum Registration Scheme was launched by the then Museum and Galleries Commission with the aim of setting minimum standards for museums nationally. However, since then the scheme was handed over to Resource (the Council for Museums, Archives and Libraries). It is now their responsibility to maintain standards as part of developing capacity and promoting innovation and change.
When visiting the Beacon it is recommended that you start your journey from the top of the Beacon. This is where the Met Office Weather Gallery is located. From here you will experience stunning views across the harbour and the Solway Firth to the Isle of Man and Scotland. This Gallery allows you to try your hand at being a TV Weather Forecaster, study the Met Office information and you even get to use the interactive computers and satellite links.
At The Beacon you will find Whitehaven’s links with George Washington, John Paul Jones – who led the last raid on mainland Britain – ordinary sailors lives, sugar, rum and slave trades and the business of smuggling, as well as a look back at the social heritage of the area including coal and iron ore mining, poetry and shipbuilding connections right through to tourism today. In The Beacon’s cinema you can watch original 1920’s and 1930’s footage of Whitehaven.