Talk – 27 July


“Maritime Heritage

of NE England

A talk by local historian Tony Barrow


Light Refreshments

1900 Hours – Wednesday 27th July

at the North East Maritime Trust Workshops

2/3 Wapping Street, South Shields NE33 1LQ

Tickets £5 each (limited numbers)


Arthur Hamilton Mobile: 07914047263
The Maritime Trust 0191 4478814

Registered Charity Number 1117855 Company Number 5562737


Extracts from News Letter – June 16

It is quite fitting to have the Royal Diadem II (the first boat we restored) to be the first boat in our new facility, which was previously Fred Crowell’s boat yard.

HFSrudderfitting1The new rudder has had a trial fit to check the alignment of the pintle (rudder stock)

Joanpainted1Restoration of the foy boat is nearing completion. After having knees, thwarts and seating made and fitted she is now getting a full paint job.

150 years of the SSVLB

09:00 Friday 20 May 2016, Vicky Newman of the Gazette wrote:

An exhibition tracking the 150-year history of a life-saving group will be unveiled this weekend.

Always Ready, an exhibition marking the anniversary of the South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade (SSVLB), goes on display on Saturday at South Shields Museum & Art Gallery, in Ocean Road, where it will remain until September 17.
The brigade was formed in 1866, following a wreck that took 32 lives on the treacherous Black Middens.

HFS Leaflet: Front and Back

The Henry Frederick Swan was purchased by the North East Maritime Trust in 2005, as a long term restoration project, with the objective of bringing her back to her original Royal National Lifeboat Institution operational condition.

Following a condition survey, the 89 year old boat was found to be structurally sound, but with a number of problems of rotting timbers and rusted metal work. All fittings and engine were removed and she was stripped down to the bare wood.

Rest2A restoration plan was compiled and work began on the restoration in 2006. Rotten hull planking has been replaced, the fore and aft end boxes have been restored and new stem and stern posts and rudder made.


All original metal fittings, including the steering gear have been refurbished and where this was not possible, new fittings manufactured in the workshops, such as the drop keel and housing. The diesel engine has been completely stripped down, reconditioned and rebuilt. New sails have been manufactured by a specialist sail maker. The aim is to complete the restoration and get the Henry Frederick Swan back into the water in 2017, a 100 years after she was first launched.

HFS Leaflet: Centrefold

The Henry Frederick Swan was purchased by the North East Maritime Trust in 2005, as a long term restoration project, with the objective of bringing her back to her original Royal National Lifeboat Institution operational condition.She has a length of 40ft, a width of 10ft 6ins, and weighs lOtons 18cwt.

cf1As a lifeboat, she was originally powered by a single 40hp 4-cylinder Tylor model C2 petrol engine that gave her a speed of 7.5 knots and a radius of action of 52 nautical miles at full speed. In addition to her crew of nine, she could carry more than sixty survivors. As a back-up to the single engine, auxiliary sails and 10 oars were carried.
Built by S.E, Saunders of Cowes, on the Isle of Wight, between 1915 and 1917, at a cost of £6901, she was funded by a legacy from Mrs. Lowe of Bath, in memory of her late husband, Henry Frederick Swan, Chairman of the Tynemouth Branch of the RNLI.

cf2cf3The lifeboat spent her entire operational career at Tynemouth, serving on two occasions, first between February 1918 and October 1939, then, following the destruction of the new 41ft  Watson class motor lifeboat John Pyemont and boathouse during an air raid in April 1941, she returned serving till November 1947. During the 25 years as Tynemouth’s lifeboat, she launched on service on 32 occasions and saved 8 lives.
cf4In 1948, she was sold to the 3rd Tyne Sea Scouts, and in August 1950, she sailed to Gothenburg., with a crew of nineteen onboard. The boat left the Tyne and crossed the North Sea in two days reaching speeds of 7 knots under sail and power.
In June 1956, she was purchased by the 1st Alnmouth and Lesbury Sea Scouts, and in 1963, she was bought by the Hylton Red House Nautical School, and based at Sunderland and renamed Wearsider.

cf5In 1972, she was sold into private ownership, renamed Survival, and
based at Lemington. During the 1980’s and 1990’s she became semiderelict, stuck in the tidal mud under the New Scotswood Bridge, before being refloated and stored at Lemington Gut, until she she was purchased by the Trust and taken to the workshop in South Shields.

NEMT & NFHT Boat Details

Home page in

Name Built Reg Number Register
Favourite 1947 1050 National Historic Ships
Henry Frederick Swan 1917 2047 National Historic Ships
Rachel Douglas 1947 2296 National Historic Ships
Peggy 1924 2976 National Maritime Museum
Irene Patricia 1974 3006 National Maritime Museum
Golden Gleam 1948 2977 National Maritime Museum
Joan c.1920 2899 National Maritime Museum
Royal Diadem ll 1948 2327 National Maritime Museum
Spring Tide 1966 3004 National Maritime Museum
Orcadian 1908 3075 National Maritime Museum
Tyne 1833 1485 National Maritime Museum
Orcadian is a recent entry and is on our ‘associated with’ list

Detailed information on boats on the National Historic Ships Register at Greenwich can be accessed on
Similarly – detailed information on all boats on the National Museum Small Boat Register can be accessed on


Historic Wooden Boat Restoration