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Day of celebration to mark historic lifeboat’s anniversary

Malcolm Cooper treasurer Seaham Heritage Centre

Malcolm Cooper treasurer Seaham Heritage Centre

THE anniversary of a historical boat’s return to its home port will be marked this weekend with a day of celebrations.

The George Elmy Liverpool Class lifeboat was restored by enthusiasts after it was spotted for sale on the auction site eBay.

It made its voyage home from the Tyneside shipyard, where it was returned to its former glory, last June, with thousands lining the coast to watch it head into the harbour.

Now the historians are making the final preparations to the open day which will be hosted by its heritage centre in Seaham’s North Dock.

The George Elmy was involved in a disaster in 1962 as it returned from the rescue of a fishing boat crew.

It capsized, leading to the loss of nine lives.

On Sunday, the marina, which has been created from a section of the former industrial harbour, will play host to the event, with the boat itself will be towed out into the grounds for people to view.

The William Riley, another restored lifeboat based in Whitby, will also be on show, with the Princess Royal from Hartlepool, which was involved in its own disaster, also set to attend.

The No 17 Coffee Pot, which was in service in Seaham and is now in the care of Beamish Museum, will make a visit, along with a black wagon from the 1830s.

The museum’s experts will also be on hand to teach games to youngsters and their families.

Murton Band will perform live music at 2pm.

The day will also give the RNLI a chance to raise funds to keep the organisation running.

Brian Scollen, a member of the history group who was among those to work on the George Elmy’s restoration, said: “This is to commemorate the return of the boat last year and it’s the closest we could get to the day itself.

“We hope for a good day and that people will get behind the RNLI.”

The day will run from 10am to 5pm.

 

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