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 nemaritimetrust.co.uk/boats.

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 nationalhistoricships.org.uk
Similarly – detailed information on all boats on the National Museum Small Boat Register can be accessed on nmmc.co.uk


Fred’s Shed

Has anyone has a picture of the shed without a boat in it?

Pleased to be able to confirm that NEMT has signed the lease for the boatyard next door (that used to be the premises of Fred Crowell, who has retired).
Once we get essential repairs done, it promises to be great asset, allowing us to bring boats up the slipway into the yard and increasing our capacity for workspace and restoration projects.

Dates for 2016

Photo – SSVLB

April 2: Re-enactment of a rescue by breeches buoy at the south pier near the South Shields Voluntary Life Brigade. This will involve one of our fishing vessels acting as a wrecked ship from which the rescue will be carried-out. Visit SSVLB website.


May – July Talks by Tony Barrow and Kelso Yuill.
August Bank Holiday Newcastle Old Boats gathering at the NE1 pontoon.
September Boatyard Bistro
September Heritage Open Days 8 – 11th

Tall Ships 2010

Rachel Douglas BK 231 in the lead followed by the recently restored coble “Royal DiademII” and “Favourite BK II”.  All three berthed in Hartlepool Marina, centre of the hub of celebrations for 2010 Tall Ships. The reception was tremendous with over whelming interest and enthusiasm  throughout our stay of four nights.

Sincere thanks goes to all our visitors for their interest and generosity and to Adam and Allen Henderson at Hartlepool Marina for being so accommodating and helpful.

Thanks also to the South Tyneside Community Area Forum for providing funds to cover the costs of taking the boats along so we could demonstrate and talk to so many of the public.

Click on following images to enlarge..

Favourite Refurbished


Fred Crowell fitting the Nameplate

DSC_0046_edited-1-680x1024Favourite has been in Fred Crowell’s boat shed for attention to a few defects and is back in prime condition, being launched again on 10th May. She has had attention to hull caulking, a damaged deck beam, a little new decking and repairs to her stem. Before leaving the slip a full external repaint was undertaken. A last little detail improvement has been the making and fitting of new nameboards by Fred. These followed the style of the boat’s builder, Walter Reekie.