AFTER 11 years as the man at the helm of the National Maritime Museum Cornwall in Falmouth, Jonathan Griffin has decided the time is right to stand down and hand over control to someone new with fresh ideas.

“There comes a time when things like age, grandchildren, ideas and energy catch up with you and you think ‘actually, have I been doing this long enough and is it time to hand over?’” he said.

“It’s also a good time in the museum’s cycle – financially we are in a better place than we were a few years ago.

“I wanted to hand over when it was calm seas and a potentially prosperous voyage ahead and that time is now.

“It (the museum) has moved from being a baby to a toddler and it is now here to stay and I hope it’s now part of Falmouth and part of Cornwall and is no longer seen as something imposed by those across the Tamar.

“It is making a contribution to Falmouth and to Cornwall.”

Mr Griffin, who retires in September, first set foot inside the museum when on holiday in the area and the attraction was in its infancy and offering free entry. Little did he know then, that nine months later he would be relocating from London and taking over as its director.

Now, as retirement beckons, he has no plans to move back to the big city.

“Having moved to Cornwall where else would I work and where else would I want to work?” he said.

“Although it’s retirement formally, I’m still going to be involved in history and heritage in a number of ways – it is unclear at the moment in what way, but ideas are forming. I will still be involved in that industry rather than running this particular ship.”

The museum’s trustees are currently on the search for Mr Griffin’s replacement – the job has been advertised and several application forms have already been sent.

It is hoped the new director will be in place by September, but Mr Griffin has agreed to stay on for a hand-over period if necessary.

“I certainly will not cut my ties with this place,” said Mr Griffin.

“I will leave a bunch of ideas with the new-comer, but if they ignore them, that’s fine. I’m continuing to have ideas, but have I got the energy?

“I’m sure there’s an enormous amount more that can be done, but at least we have set it on a path.

“It is going to be a wrench to leave this place, the staff and the volunteers. No-one is indispensible, they are a good bunch and they will more than survive.”