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Our mission is to re-open seafarers’ bar

OVER TO YOU ... retired South Tyneside College lecturer John Perry hands a cheque to Dianne Erskine from the Mission to Seafarers. Below, the winning boat race team.

OVER TO YOU ... retired South Tyneside College lecturer John Perry hands a cheque to Dianne Erskine from the Mission to Seafarers. Below, the winning boat race team.

A SEAFARING charity in South Tyneside is hoping they won’t be on ‘dry’ land for too much longer – thanks to a welcome cash boost.

The Mission to Seafarers in Mill Dam, South Shields, will be using a sponsorship windfall from South Tyneside College Marine School to keep plans to re-open the bar at their premises afloat.

The organisation was one of the beneficiaries of the annual South Shields Marine School Challenge Cup boat race, which has pulled in thousands of pounds for good causes since its launch in 2010.

The Mission picked up £186 from the marine school, with its own fundraising efforts lifting the total beyond £300.

The boat race – held last month – saw nine crews complete eight nautical miles from the Tyne Bridge downstream to the finishing line in South Shields.

The race is the brainchild of Tommy Proctor, 68, a former tugmaster and retired marine lecturer at South Tyneside College, which operates the marine school, and John Perry, 69, also a former marine lecturer and ex-BP master mariner, and is run in conjunction with the college.

Dianne Erskine, welfare officer and club manager of the Mission, said: “It is lovely that they thought of us.

“There are so many charities to choose from.

“The money is going towards getting our licence back to open the bar at the club and to restock.

“We haven’t had a bar licence for about five years, since the time when it looked like we were going to close.”

The Mission provides support and practical help to merchant navy sailors from across the globe, as well as retired seafarers.

Twitter@shieldsgazchris

 

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