Whilst iron objects rust and lose the features, pottery survives remarkably well, and the exhibition shows a collection of such examples.
Salvaging, as shown by two watercolours from 1800s by FJ Ford, was a popular activity on Southend beaches. Often the owners of the boats would employ people to salvage the remains of their shops for them. Otherwise according to the law, the recovered wreck material had to be reported back to the Receiver of Wreck official body who would look for the original owner. If not located within one year, the items became the property of the Crown.
Convoy off Southend Pier, a painting by N Sotheby Pitcher, painted from the end of the Pier, shows the intense activity in the Estuary during the WWII. The naval boats shot barrage balloons aimed to disrupt the enemy aircrafts’ route to London by forcing them to fly higher.
The objects on display also include the Jumo 211 engine, probably from a Heinkel German bomber shot down during the WWII.
Open until 6 October.
Southend Museum / Victoria Avenue, Southend, website