Feature, Freight News, Sea

Lifeboat saved for posterity

[ April 15, 2019   //   ]

Lifeboat saved for posterity

Historic lifeboat Bedford has been moved to the North East Maritime Trust’s yard to begin restoration, after spending almost two years in secure storage at the Port of Tyne.

The1886-built  vessel was brought back to Tyneside in 2017 by a band of local businesses including the Port of Tyne, Barbour Foundation, JML, M I Dickson, South Tyneside Council, Ward Hadaway and Tyne Lifeboat Society who clubbed together to cover the cost.

Originally stationed at the coble landing in South Shields, the 133 year-old, 10 metre long boat left the town in 1968 initially to a museum in Devon, before moving to Suffolk and then to Scotland.

The North East Maritime Trust estimates that the Bedford will need two years of restoration work and will work with South Tyneside Council to find a permanent home for the lifeboat which was launched more than 55 times and saved 50 lives.

She was named by Miss Bedford, who bequeathed £1,000 (around £468,900 in today’s money) to the Lifeboat Society Trustees for a lifeboat to be named in memory of her brother Benjamin who was an engineer with the Tyne Improvement Commission, predecessors of the Port of Tyne.