Heritage Open Days – 2016

workshopdoorInformal guided tours of Fishermen’s Workshops and the restoration of wooden historic vessels. A great opportunity to see maritime heritage items on display.

Opening Times

  • Thursday 8 September: 1000-1530
  • Friday 9 September: 1000-1530
  • Saturday 10 September: 1000-1530
  • Sunday 11 September: 1000-1530

Booking Details

No booking required


By Ferry from North Shields, Turn left at the main road after leaving the ferry landing. Pass the Alum House pub on your left. Take a left at the next roundabout and cut through the housing, keeping the river on your left. In a couple of minutes you will reach “Comical Corner” (by the Sea Cadet Headquarters) and we are 50yards on the left.

Boat Curves

Vicki Newman – Shields Gazette – Saturday 13 August 2016
boatcurvesAn exhibition inspired by the region’s shipbuilding heritage has gone on display at a South Tyneside gallery. A display of drawings, sculpture and video about the traditions of boat design and building has opened at the Customs House.

North East artist Stephen Livingstone has joined with film-maker Cat Hardwick for the Boat Curves exhibition, which is at the venue’s Port of Tyne Gallery until September 22. Stephen worked with traditional wooden boat builders from the South Shields-based North East Maritime Trust to create a striking hull template, a huge three-dimensional template for an ocean-going vessel which forms the heart of the exhibition, at the town’s Mill Dam venue.

Continue reading Boat Curves

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.