The Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade is the world's first voluntary shore based coastal rescue service and was founded in 1864. Since reopening after major restoration works in 2014, funded by a partnership with North Tyneside Council and a major grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Brigade Watch House provides visitors with a beautiful and sympathetically restored setting in which to enjoy the atmosphere of this historic building and its artefacts. Key exhibits include early examples of photography, documents, paintings and artefacts relating to the formation and operations of the Tynemouth Volunteer Life Brigade (TVLB). The museum also houses a working ¾ size version of Breeches Buoy rescue equipment (the TVLB are famous for utilising this equipment in ship to shore rescues in the past). The museum contains a wonderful selection of other unusual items recovered from local shipwrecks including ships’ bells, figureheads and much more. From the top of the South tower, there is a reward of near 360 degree breath-taking panoramic views of the entrance to the river Tyne, the North and South Piers, the Black Middens rocks at low tide, across to South Shields, upriver to the Fish Quay and Low Lights, as well as clear views of the Collingwood Monument and The Tynemouth Castle and Priory. Entry is free. Donations are welcome.