Part of the town’s rich heritage, which may sometimes be forgotten, is to be celebrated throughout the summer.

West Bay had a thriving shipbuilding industry from 1769 to 1879 and was one of the most important shipbuilding centres during the Napoleonic wars.

The team at the West Bay Discovery Centre want to celebrate and highlight this important time in the harbour’s history.

John West, a trustee at West Bay Discovery Centre, said: “Mention West Bay and people tend to think of the harbour, ice creams and perhaps fishing boats. Not so many people associate West Bay with shipbuilding, yet West Bay - or Bridport Harbour - as it was formerly known - had a thriving shipbuilding industry for more than 100 years that built more than 350 vessels.”

This year, it will be 140 years since the shipyard built its last ship, the Lilian in 1879.

To mark this anniversary, the team at West Bay Discovery Centre are inviting people to visit their latest pop-up exhibition and take a trip ‘Down the Slipway’ to the time of shipbuilding in West Bay.

Visitors will be able to learn about the lives of the men involved in the shipbuilding, the tools they might have used and the stories of some of the ships.

Down the Slipway is part of a host of events celebrating Bridport Museum hosting an original JMW Turner watercolour of West Bay this summer.

The exhibition will feature at the discovery centre from Tuesday, June 25 until October 27.

The West Bay Discovery Centre is open every day, except Mondays, from 11am to 4pm and there is no entrance fee.

The centre will also be looking for more volunteers during the summer period when the exhibition is running.

For more information, visit