Grace Darling & the Fine Art of Saving Lives At Sea

Wednesday 6 March 2024 at 2.00 pm at the Lowther Pavilion.  Guests may attend the lecture – £10 pp (pay on door)

The lecture notes leaflet can be downloaded/printed here


An exhibition, The RNLI – 200 Years of Saving Lives at Sea, is  on show until 17 March 2024 at the Lytham Heritage Centre 

Lecturer: James Taylor

James last visited us in July 2017 when he gave a talk on Brilliant British Humour in the Forgotten Art of the Picture Postcard 1909–1939

James Taylor studied at the Universities of St Andrews and Manchester, and is a former curator of paintings, drawings and prints, and co-ordinator of various exhibitions and galleries, at the National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, also lecturer and ships’ historian on board cruise ships. Publications include illustrated histories of Marine Painting (1995) and yachting art Yachts on Canvas (1998), The Voyage of the Beagle: Darwin’s extraordinary adventure aboard FitzRoy’s famous survey ship (2008), Careless Talk Costs Lives: Fougasse and the Art of Public Information (2010) and Your Country Needs You: the Secret History of the Propaganda Poster (2013), Dazzle: Disguise and Disruption in War and Art (2016) and Picturing the Pacific: Sir Joseph Banks and the Shipboard Artists of Cook and Flinders (2018). He completed his PhD at the University of Sussex in 2015 on the voyager artist William Westall (1781-1850) who sailed with Commander Matthew Flinders aboard HMS ‘Investigator’ (1801-1803) the first ship to circumnavigate Australia.


The Lecture

Grace Darling’s daring rescue of steamship passengers off the Northumberland coast in 1838 brought her international fame. We will discover more about her bravery and short life (she died aged 26) and the artistic contribution that has helped to keep her in the public eye. Grace became the ‘poster girl’ of the Royal National Lifeboat Institution and was the first woman awarded their medal for gallantry. This talk coincides with the commemorations to mark the 200th anniversary of the founding of the RNLI in 1824.


Caption: Grace Darling rowing out to sea, to save sailors from a shipwreck, in a furious storm. Colour wood engraving by E. Evans after C.J. Staniland. (Wikimedia Commons)