A South Shields charity which brings historic wooden boats back to life is struggling to stay water-tight.
The North East Maritime Trust needs help to repair the roof at its Crowell’s Boathouse base
The charity, which is based in Wapping Street, South Shields, took on the building, next door to the workshop, earlier this year.
With a slipway into the Tyne, it’s a useful acquisition for the organisation, which repairs historic wooden boats – but it’s fallen into disrepair over the years.
Jerry Dudman, secretary of the North East Maritime Trust, said: “It’s a council property but we took over the lease.
“It used to belong to a man named Fred Crowell who had it for around 35 years. It’s right next door to our workshop and because it has a slipway, which is something we didn’t already have, it was a fantastic acquisition for us.
“The building is very old though and was in need of some repair.
“We’ve spent a couple of thousand already repairing the cradle and winch and £2,500 putting on a temporary roof.”
Jerry says the Trust members believe the boathouse is the only one of its type between Blyth and Whitby.
He said: “It’s almost unique so it’s a very special thing for us to have.
“Unfortunately the roof is leaking badly and the water was coming streaming through onto electrical machinery
“We’ve put the temporary roof on but we’ll be lucky if it lasts us 18 months.
“We really need a permanent repair, but you’re looking at £28-30,000. We’re a charity and we just don’t have that kind of money.”
Jerry added: “Salt water preserves wooden boats but rain water actually damages it. We’ve got a lot of projects going on at the minute, including building a 12ft motorboat for the first time, and we could really use the boathouse.
“Anything that people can give, or any businesses that could help would make a huge difference.”
To find out more about the Trust, or to make a donation, go to nemaritimetrust.co.uk