August 2010

note to admin – put the photos back in

Welcome to our August newsletter which is packed with NEMT’s latest information. Also please check the new headings of Soundings which looks at current and Waypoints for future developments.

It is always a pleasure to write about the progress and hard work made by our band of Friends and supporters who are so important to NEMT, without you, we would not exist.

Soundings – Boomerang Boat Museum

NEMT is proud to be associated with Australia and Norway, aiPotu and the unusual sight and shape of the boomerang boat which is now on show at Wapping Street. The Boomerang Boat was made at the 16th biennale of Sydney 2008 by artist duo aiPotu and consisting of the two Norwegian artists Andreas Siqueland and Anders Kjellesvik, who restored the boat and searched for a suitable home in Scotland, Wales and England including the Newcastle area. South Shields became a natural point of departure for them. Going by coast, a series of possibilities were investigated. But they just kept on coming back to North East Maritime Trust, a place ‘where we just love old boats’ and did not need much time before the Trust decided to take on the responsibility of creating a new home for the stranded vessel.

For more information about aiPotu, please visit

While the boat is definitely very unusual, it has a more serious, relevant history and build using traditional skills now in decline, even down-under.

Off to Hartlepool’s Tall Ships Festival, 6thAugust.

RD II has successfully undergone full restoration over the last year and looks wonderful in her traditional colours.

This Heritage Lottery funded project was also supported by International Paints with open days and public donations also helping to raise the crucial finance required. We wish to express thanks to everyone concerned.

A booklet outlining RD II’s full history and restoration is also available, just ask.

Funding for the trip to Hartlepool was provided by the Community Area Forum South Tyneside.

Shown from right to left; Rachel Douglas, Favourite and Royal Diadem II on their way to Hartlepool.

The North Shields Lowlights and Highlights are clearly shown almost in line and just above Royal Diadem II.

Tide and weather conditions created a very ‘interesting’ trip with a reasonable swell proving the value of well made traditional boats.

NEMT vessels were the only traditional working boats to represent Tyneside and Northumberland at this festival.

Royal Diadem II looking her best (Click on image to enlarge)

The festival was a great showcase for NEMT and we made full use of our position which was located at the marina near shops, cafes and a pub too. It is estimated that over five hundred people came along to admire our boats, ask questions and make donations. Royal Diadem created a great deal of interest with everyone including fishermen young and old, who gave us the benefit of their memories and history of local fishing traditions.

Our outward and return journey were each completed in about four hours with rather unsettled conditions to contend with. Rain and a big swell helped the tall ships away and us too, but that was no problem for our hardy sailors who took it all in their stride, after finding the end of rope!

Many thanks go to our Chairman Mr Peter Weightman and friends, for the inclusion of our associate boats

Favourite and Rachel Douglas at the festival (Click on image to enlarge) .


Education for young and not so young is a very important part of what we are doing at NEMT.

To take this forward, Tim West has approached over seventy local schools leaving booklets which give an overview of North East Maritime heritage and lifestyles. It also explains what we are about while emphasising the Royal Diadem11 and Henry Frederick Swan restoration projects.

Lifeboat ‘Henry Frederick Swan’ is about to take centre stage in our restoration program. This National Historic Ships registered vessel, which is included in the Historic Fleet Register number 2047 is important to our local maritime history. She is also recognised as the longest serving UK registered lifeboat and was one of the first self righting, sailing, pulling (rowing) and motor driven lifeboats of her time when put into service in 1917.

Work started before our current restoration projects and included the careful cataloguing, photographing and removal of hundreds of items, engine, fabric floatation boxes and fittings etc.

Internal and external cleaning of the hull which also included the removal of nearly 100 years worth of paint and grime was also essential, to allow Fred Crowell access for the preparation of a full condition survey. This has now been completed, ready for a costing survey to start in August.

Friends are central to NEMT’s success and very important to our healthy future. Progress, a busy workload and change of administration have all helped to delay our request for membership renewals this year. Therefore, we are changing the membership renewal date for Friends to the 1st October each year. This will be pro-rota for new members who join NEMT throughout the following year. The new ‘Friends’ secretary will be writing to all members in the near future.

For example, someone who joins NEMT Friends in April will pay just £5.00 until 1st October when the full £10 annual fee will apply.

We hope this new and simplified membership will help to streamline the membership scheme.

Also note that all Friends benefit from unrestricted access to events (with consideration to any health and safety issues being paramount) Learning to work with wood, special low cost workshop facilities (with agreement from NEMT board members) Newsletter, sail training and availability of certain craft, with agreement. You can also be confident that NEMT is promoting and maintaining the Northeast’s valuable maritime heritage, because “We Just Love Old Boats”

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