ENTHUSIASTIC volunteer boatbuilders have been put forward for a Pride of South Tyneside award.
The North East Maritime Trust is nominated for Community Group of the Year.
It was put forward for the accolade, sponsored by South Tyneside Homes, by Margaret Hamilton, a friend of the trust.
She said: “The North East Maritime Trust is a mostly male voluntary group who are determined to maintain the skills and knowledge base required to repair wooden sailing vessels.
“Most volunteer groups are geared towards the needs of women and children. The trust, however, encourages men from all backgrounds to come and share their skills in boatbuilding and repair. They meet three times a week, provide mutual support to all members and fund raise.”
The group, based at Wapping Street, South Shields, was founded in 2005 and recently carried out the restoration of the Tyne lifeboat which stands in Pier Parade.
Director and treasurer Tim West said: “It was started after the Henry Frederick Swan lifeboat was found on some land in Lemington.
“She was an ex-Tynemouth lifeboat and the directors were very interested in her preservation.
“We had it shipped to Tyne Dock in 2006 and we’ve been working on it ever since.”
He added: “We started off with 12 members but now we have 182 people on the books, not just from South Tyneside, but all over the world, including California.
“The interest is in the preservation of the boats and the woodworking skills, learning new skills and learning to restore the boats, and everyone has chipped in in their own special way.
“Being nominated for this award is a total surprise – I never expected it.
“It’s something you always hear about happening to other people.”
Entries are now closed.
The awards ceremony will be held at the Quality Hotel in Witney Way, Boldon Colliery, on the evening of Thursday, June 12.
Young Performer nominees will be invited to take part in a talent showcase at the Customs House on Thursday, May 8, to help the judges make their decision.