Dear visitors to our site, due to the Covid 19 situation and the vulnerability of our volunteer staff we regrettably have to inform you that until a future unknown date we will remain closed.

Our site is being developed, please visit regularly to keep up to date

For accommodation in the area please refer to 



Here are some of our volunteers with the recently unveiled Memorial to all those who served at RNLI Station Seaham between its opening in 1870 and its closing in 1979.

We are always keen to hear from possible volunteers, if you have an interest in local heritage, enjoy meeting visitors and can devote a few hours a month we would be pleased to hear from you. You could come to the Heritage Centre during opening hours Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday between 10 a.m. (11 a.m. in Winter) and 3 p.m. to allow us to meet each other. You may alternatively prefer to contact us in the first instance by email via



We are pleased to say that the the day was a great success and the weather was kind and thanks must go to:

Sunderland Maritime Heritage for their attendance and Jack Crawford presentations with the model of HMS Venerable and opportunities to try a number of shipyard trades.

Children of all ages enjoyed the Victorian/Edwardian games brought along by Helen Barker and her team from Beamish. One EDHG member spent most of the day enjoying stilt walking while others thought discretion was better to avoid injury to their aged limbs.

Murton Colliery Band played a very enjoyable selection of music in two sessions it is a great pity they could not perform more regularly at the Marina.

David Hastings from the RNLI fundraising team was as in previous years and confused the many visitors with his seemingly impossible to solve puzzles. Solutions where however available for a donation. Stormy Sam the RNLI mascot also made an appearance much to the amusement of children and a number of adults although his actions were frowned upon when he tried to eat Allan Brooks icecream.

The main attraction was of course Seaham RNLB George Elmy which was moved out of the boathouse for all to have a closer look.

The EDHG look forward to having another event for the benefit of the RNLI in 2018

Seaham RNLB George Elmy and the East Durham Heritage & Lifeboat Centre

Please see our Hot News page for the latest developments.

If you have an interest in local history and heritage and have time on your hands, perhaps 2, 3 or 4 hours a week, we'd like to hear from you, we are seeking enthusiastic volunteers to help to staff the East Durham Heritage & Lifeboat Centre which is open from Thursday to Sunday within the Seaham Harbour Marina.

Tommy, Eleven 0 One, Ray Lonsdale's iconic figure on Terrace Green, Seaham. SR7 7EZ


The restored George Elmy lifeboat returning to her home station, Seaham Harbour on the 23rd of June 2013

Welcome to the official website of the

East Durham Heritage Group

and the

East Durham Heritage & Lifeboat Centre

home of the historic George Elmy lifeboat

Honorary President: Sir Thomas Allen CBE

Registered Charity 1134970

We look forward to welcoming all visitors to the Heritage Centre to enjoy our heritage and lifeboat related displays.

Our opening times are:

There is no charge for entry to the East Durham Heritage & Lifeboat Centre

 April to October:

Monday           Open by  prior appointment for visits by school and other groups

Tuesday          Open by prior appointment for visits by school and other groups

 Wednesday    Open by prior appointment for visits by school and other groups

Thursday         10 a.m - 3 p.m

Friday               10 a.m - 3 p.m

Saturday          10 a.m - 3 p.m

Sunday             10 a.m - 3 p.m

 November to March

as April to October

as April to October

as April to October

Thursday        11 a.m - 3 p.m

Friday              11 a.m - 3 p.m

Saturday         11 a.m - 3 p.m

Sunday            11 a.m - 3 p.m

While we endeavour to adhere to the opening hours listed above we are subject to the availability of our unpaid volunteers and on occasions we may be unable to open and apologise for this.

 After your visit perhaps you would care to review us on Tripadvisor


The group are keen to recruit enthusiastic, heritage minded volunteers to help run the Heritage & Lifeboat Centre and perhaps extend the days on which we are open; if you can commit to a few hours a week then please come along during opening hours or contact our Chairman, Geordie Maitland. 

Contact details:

East Durham Heritage & Lifeboat Centre
Seaham Harbour Marina
Co. Durham

Telephone: 0191 581 8904



From the A1(M) Travelling from the north or south exit the motorway at the A690 Durham and Sunderland junction and travel towards Sunderland before turning to head south on the A19. Travel south and exit the A19 on the slip road heading for the A182 and turn left towards Seaham,  follow the A182 to the coast, you will pass ASDA Supermarket on the left, at the next roundabout with Barclay's Bank on the left turn right to enter the Marina.

From the A19 southbound:  follow instructions as above to the A182

From the A19 Northbound: leave the A19 northbound at the A182 junction for Seaham immediately after the Hawthorn Services. At the top of the slip round turn right over the A19 towards Seaham and proceed past ASDA on the left to the next roundabout with Barclay's Bank on the left and turn right to the Marina.

Map of directions

The East Durham Heritage & Lifeboat Centre is managed by the East Durham Heritage Group which is made up of enthusiastic volunteers and includes a Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary

Chairman:      George Maitland
Treasurer:       Helen Ritchie
Secretary:        Ernie Cooper

Helen Ritchie    Carol Hindmarch     Joyce Maitland         Linda Yare     Angela Ferguson    Laura Gippert
  George Maitland   Brian Scollen     Brian Slee   Allan Brooks    David Ritchie    Don Thomson   Dave Wallace,   Joe Salt,  
Johnny Walker,   Bill Coates,  Ernie Cooper   

Dawn over Seaham Harbour and the Durham Heritage Coast, photograph courtesy of George Mullan