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Fancy joining maritime heritage crew?

SHIPSHAPE ... members of the North East Maritime Trust and the historic lifeboat Tyne which they restored.
SHIPSHAPE ... members of the North East Maritime Trust and the historic lifeboat Tyne which they restored.

VOLUNTEERS who work to conserve the Tyne’s historic working boat heritage are inviting others to join the crew.

The North East Maritime Trust (NEMT), based in Wapping Street in South Shields, is now recognised, nationally, as a leading restorer of some of the North East’s most iconic in-shore working craft, among them cobles, foy boats and wooden fishing boats.

It was the NEMT that restored the world’s second-oldest surviving lifeboat, Tyne, seen here with members just before she was restored to her home at the Pier Head in the town.

But they’d like to boost their numbers.

No particular skills are needed; enthusiasm for conserving the maritime heritage of the Tyne is more important, although anyone with expertise in woodworking, engineering, painting, plumbing or any trade would be more than welcome.

And women can get on board too – it’s not just men.

The Trust is currrently restoring the Tyne lifeboat Henry Frederick Swan, which dates from 1917.

Several of its boats are on the National Historic Ships Register and all members are given opportunities to take part in short trips after suitable training, if they wish to.

At the moment the boatyard/workshop is open from 9.30am to 4pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and from 9.30am to 1pm on Saturdays. Volunteers, who are welcome as Trust members, can attend during hours to suit themselves.

Says the Trust: “South Shields is the hub for all our activities that are growing in importance and placing the borough centrally for this type of visitor attraction.

“As a charitable trust there is always also the need to raise funds, so anyone who would like to assist in that area would also be welcomed.”

Interested? If so, drop in to see them at Wapping Street, or call either 0191 4478814 or 07968 342808 for further information.

Members of the Trust are also happy to go out and give talks.