Announcement of a Death

Alec Renwick wrote, 31/03/20

Thanks Mick, but going to put a bit more info on the website and pictures too.
Stay safe man.

On Tue, 31 Mar 2020, 12:53 Michael Dawson, <> wrote:

Hi Alec,

Thanks for the notice . It looks like it can be posted to the Website exactly as it is from ‘Dear Member … .
All I need to do is leave out the bit about the change of email address and change the author’s name from ‘the dog watch’ to chockerblock or Alec Renwick and it will look like your email.
Let me know if you think it is a good idea and it could be done in a few minutes.
Keep well


From: Alec Renwick
Sent: 31 March 2020 11:49
Subject: Jerry Dudman

Dear member,

It is with great sadness that we must inform you that our chairman, Jerry Dudman, lost his fight against cancer and passed away yesterday, March 30, in the early hours of the morning. We cannot speak highly enough of Jerry’s ability, knowledge and effectiveness as chairman. He will be sorely missed as a colleague, friend, mentor and expert helmsman.

We understand that a memorial service will be held when government Coronavirus restrictions are removed.

Please note that our new NEMT Email address is to be used for all further communications:

Alec Renwick
for the Trustees

Posted in misinformation | 1 Comment

New Gates

23rd October 2019 Admin Leave a comment

Sola Solve Marine helping us at NEMT with new gates

Celebrating 2019

6th December 2019 Leave a comment

After over fifteen years of planning and hard work from our volunteers and friends for whom NEMT is grateful, Henry Frederick Swan is proven testament to their determination get a good job done.

At the start of North East Maritime Trust back in 2004/5 we needed a ‘project’, HFS fitted the bill. After transportation, two cranes, scaffolding poles as rollers and loads of sweat and some blood, it all started.

It’s worth saying that as volunteers came along most didn’t have the experience in boat building or repair that was needed, so on the job learning was the key. Same applies now, no experience, no worries!

Did we know what we were taking on, well no but would we have changed anything? definitely not.

Nearly fifteen years later on 20th April 2019 at exactly 15.00hrs (as planned) with TV coverage, over 100 guests, brass band and cheers; Henry Frederick Swan sails again.

From this in 2004/5 To this in 2019

Sea trials took place after rigging, added safety features, radio and GPS fittings etc. were completed. This sea trial was to Bridlington and a stop over at Whitby where we were made so welcome by both their RNLI and other historic boats were waiting for our arrival.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is William-Riley.jpg
William Riley welcomes HF Swan at WhitbyWe finally moored up alongside; Old and New.
Royal Diadem 11 showing off at Bridlington

The Bridlington Coble Festival was a welcome addition as usual especially with Royal Diadem11 being transported there by trailer before our arrival. We motored into port on HFS with a moderate sea state on route from Whitby, which was just great and she handled all the conditions so well, which was also very reassuring.

This site has been quiet for the last few months while the Trust sorts out some apparent errors that include the Website mailboxes. For a site that basically holds history, the mailbox is a very important communication tool. The existing but sometimes intermittent mailbox is:

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Sovereign Repairs Continue

Posted on 2nd December 2010

An infestation of beetle grubs was found in the upper forward frames, decking and bow planking of Sovereign.

Fred Crowell was able to remove the infected areas of timber and replace with new, a difficult task involving awkward scarfing of new timbers to old in very confined spaces.

The forward area is now free of grub problems and in sound condition.

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National Historic Ships supports Sovereign

Posted on 2nd November 2010

Repairs to the Sovereign have been given support by the National Historic Ships Committee who have awarded an emergency sustainability grant. This enabled Fred Crowell to start repairs to the seriously deteriorated hull.

Once on Fred’s slipway, it was found that the spikes holding the planking onto the frames were badly corroded. Some had rusted away entirely leaving nothing to hold planks in place other than water pressure and the caulking. Several planks have now been entirely replaced, about 2000 spikes replaced, re-caulking undertaken and a lot of filling carried out, making Sovereign secure below the waterline.

Many thanks to National Historic Ships for contributing.

2 Responses to National Historic Ships supports Sovereign

  1. Jeff burns 5th April 2011 at 3:13 pm Hi Lads.
    It’s Jeff Burns of South Shields a well known friend of David Parker & Fred Crowell, I am currently at work offshore and have just heard that the “Sovereign” has been put back in the water if possible could you email me some photos of this occasion.
  2. Cal Boal 25th November 2011 at 11:11 pm
    I’m researching my family tree and I have traced a long line of Crowells living in south shields who were connected to boat building. Is Fred Crowell from the area
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Favourite Refurbished

Favourite 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.

Fred Crowell

Derek Smith
13th September 2010 at 10:09 pm

Favourite made a fine sight in the intro to “A Journey back to Newcastle” on BBC4 9.30 Sunday 12/09/2010.

Posted in Favourite | Leave a comment

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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Our Facebook Account Has Been Deleted *

20th July 2020

We have learned today that our NEMT Facebook page has been deleted without our consent. The administrator is a former member of NEMT who has repeatedly refused to give up his administration rights. Therefore we currently have no Facebook page. We know this is a valuable way of keeping in touch with our members and so many supporters around the world. Please accept our apologies, but we can assure you that action is being taken. We do hope to re establish our page very soon.

Alec Renwick. NEMT Chairman.

  *a lie, it was not deleted, the Chairman was not looking in the right place.

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The next NEMT Restoration Project to get under way is the Henry Frederick Swan Ex Tynemouth RNLI Lifeboat built 1917.

Read about this important vessel under “Boats”



  1. Hi I was just looking for some information or help about going about trying to save a lifeboat that is in the training yard of a cadets training school in blackpool. This lifeboat was in blackpool in 1886 and was decommisioned in 1930. Its name is the samual fletcher of manchester and has some veary interesting history, i just think it should be brought back to its origional it server this area for over 44 years, cheers
    Liam Lenihan
Posted in Archive | Leave a comment

Events 2010

Forthcoming Events Include:

18th to 20th June – Seahouses Festival, music and cultural events with Rachel Douglas and Favourite in the harbour.

9th July- St Abbs, where we plan to have Rachel Douglas and Favourite on display in the harbour.

10th July – Eyemouth Herring Queen Festival –  Rachel Douglas and Favourite again, this time following the Herring Queen on her journey from St Abbs, then spending the day at a hopefully accessible place in the harbour.

7th to 10th August – Tall Ships Hartlepool. We hope to be positioned at an accessible location to accept visitors to our vessels which are planned to include Royal Diadem II, Peggy, Rachel Douglas and Favourite

11th and 12th September – Heritage Open Days at our workshop in Wapping Street South Shields, including visiting heritage vessels tied up alongside Corporation Quay.

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Rachel Douglas spent the start of the year in Fred Crowell’s boatshed undergoing a spruce-up.

She has been rubbed down and given a full external repaint. Whilst in Fred’s the opportunity was taken to make good a length of suspect rubbing strake, the inwyvers were replaced and a number of other minor repairs undertaken.

She is back in top condition and ready to make appearances up and down the coast during 2010.

Posted in Rachel D | Leave a comment