Lifeboat restoration bid gets funding boost

A project to restore a former Berwick lifeboat has received a funding boost thanks to the efforts of local students at their summer fair.

Friday, 1st April 2016, 10:46 am
Updated Saturday, 2nd April 2016, 04:45 am
Berwick Academy has raised over £1,000 for the restoration of the J&W

J & W Berwick Lifeboat project trust approached Berwick Academy to see if any students would be interested in helping to restore the old lifeboat.

Former boat builder Bill Todd and project co-ordinator Tim Kirton were impressed with the enthusiasm and hard work of the working party as they beavered away on the J & W.

Tim Kirton and fellow trustee Bernard Shaw went to Berwick Academy recently to collect a cheque for £1,190 from head boy Cameron Tindle, head girl Hannah Bagley and head teacher Alexis Widdowson.

Bernard said: “On behalf of us all involved with the restoration I would like to thank the Academy for the generous sum of £1,190 raised by the Academy students at their summer fair. It is an amazing amount and the students should be extremely proud of their efforts.

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“We have also had timber for new deck beams and carlings donated by Allan Brothers Joinery and overalls and dust masks donated by General Mills, to both of whom we are grateful.”

“Restoring the J & W is a challenging undertaking requiring time, dedication, knowledge, human resources and money. Progress has been gradual rather than rapid but we are getting there and the help of the Academy and its students and staff is greatly valued and enormously appreciated.

“We have already had one week of work placement from the hard-working Academy students and we are looking forward to another work experience week with them this July.”

The J & W is a Watson class lifeboat built for the RNLI in 1929. Only two of its kind still survive today - the J & W will be the only survivor restored to the original RNLI design.

J & W saved 79 lives in 66 service launches over 28 years, her two most gallant rescues being at Portpatrick in 1932 in saving the crew of the steamer, Camlough, and in 1937 when on Reserve duty at Aberdeen in saving the surviving crew of the trawler, Roslin.

Her most gallant service at Berwick came in January 1950 when, in a strong gale, driving snow and treacherous seas, she stood by the m.v. Rask, ashore at Scremerston, until the crew of 17 were rescued by breeches buoy by the Coastguard.

The project always welcomes new volunteers and no special skills or experience are required. Anyone interested can contact Bernard Shaw on 01289 308005.