The 1886 Bedford Lifeboat

We are happy to say that the full restoration of this historic pulling lifeboat is now complete and she was safely put into safe storage until a permanent location is found for public viewing.

The lifeboat was bought by the Trust at auction in 2017 by the late – Jerry Dudman, with help and support from South Tyneside Council, The Port of Tyne, South Shields VLB, and other interested parties. The restoration has taken 4 years of hard work and dedication by all concerned including members Stan Grey, Alan Bolam, Dave Herron, and Dave ‘the brush’ to name just a few, for who we are very grateful. The result of all that planning, organisation, materials, and craftsmanship is now evident in this incredible example of South Shields boat building. We believe she is the only complete example in the world of an evolution in lifeboat design which includes her wooden wheel carriage, oars, and life-saving equipment.

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A Catch-up

Catching up on the many moves we have made recently, well since early May this year as follows;

Our regular annual visit to Blyth RNYC Marina and Blyth Tall Ship (BTS) took place in June and was a great success as usual. BTS had completed a round Britain trip ending at Blyth which was our call to visit her coming back to her home port. The sailing on our Lifeboat Henry Frederick Swan (HFS) was particularly exciting in perfect weather conditions with an F5 to F7 westerly.

Blyth Tall Ship Coming Home

We also did a rescue of sorts when a fishing Coble (you may recognise) had lost all engine power, but we were there to throw a line and tow her from Blyth back to the Tyne. A first for HFS in over 75 years. All in all a great weekend was had by all concerned.

Our weekend Coble sailings from Wapping Street have been very successful again this year but without the Covid restrictions imposed over the last couple of years. Peggy, Royal Diadem, and Irene Patricia as safety boat have been used regularly. Want to take part? well, join our membership to be made welcome; but we do insist on your being up to the hard work physically and completing a medication questionnaire, if appropriate.

Newcastle Historic Harbour Days

In conjunction with Newcastle NE1, NEMT held its historic boats event on the 23rd and 24th of July. The event went very well as usual with Northumbrian and sea shanty music by the Aukland Shanty Singers and BTS Singers and the very individual and entertaining Mowdies. Despite a lack of previously agreed publicity, we were happy to host the event for everyone’s entertainment.

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Classic Boat

We are grateful to Classic Boat Magazine which has printed a double centre page special (4 in total) in recognition of what we are doing and exciting future plans for this organisation. More information to follow when appropriate.

Don’t forget that your important donations are always gratefully accepted, see the link.

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