A SPECIAL blessing ceremony to mark the renovation of the Tyne lifeboat will take place in South Shields on Friday.
The second oldest in existence, the Grade II-listed boat, built by J. Oliver from South Shields in 1833, served the town for more than 60 years and saved 1,028 lives.
It was recently returned to its display canopy in Pier Parade after a six-month restoration project which helped return it to its former glory.
The ceremony, which takes place from 11.30am, will see the Tyne be blessed by Reverend Philip Bullock, the Priest-in-Charge at St Stephen’s Church.
It was placed on public display at South Shields seafront in 1894 as a permanent reminder of the skill and bravery of the men of the Tyne Lifeboat Institution.
The renovation work was carried out by a team of 30 volunteers from the North East Maritime Trust, with help from South Tyneside Council’s Riverside Community Area Forum (CAF).
The ceremony will also be attended by local dignitaries and maritime representatives from across the region.
Coun Audrey McMillan, vice-chairman of the council’s foreshore steering group, said: “We are very proud of our rich heritage in South Shields, in particular The Tyne Lifeboat.
“That is why the renovation programme was such an important project to make a reality.
“The commitment and hard work by the council and the North East Maritime Trust has reinvigorated a symbolic regional and international piece of maritime heritage.
“The investment of time, research and craftsmanship will be enjoyed by residents and visitors to South Shields for many years to come, and beautifully complements all of the regeneration work being delivered across the town.”