Friday, 15 May 2009

Happy Return

Mike Streeter (keen supporter of Swanage Lifeboat) recently sent me this photo taken (he thinks) on the day of the naming ceremony of our current boat the Robert Charles Brown. In the background circles the J.Reginald Corah but also the fishing vessel Britannia lies to her mooring. The Britannia was owned at the time by Pete Barrett who remains a local fisherman, all be it in a much smaller vessel.

Shortly after this photo was taken she was decommissioned by MAF. Ownership was then handed over by MAFF to the North East Lincolnshire Borough Council for the National Fishing Heritage Centre in Grimsby. She was identified as a vessel of heritage and historic importance to be matched by the Centre with an organisation interested in it's preservation. The National Fishing Heritage Centre in Grimsby subsequently hand the responsibility for Britannia over to the Mounts Bay Luggers Association. Subsequently she was restored both to her original name, Happy Return and her original configuration as a sailing lugger. You can read the full history here and I'm confident that you'll find it a worthwhile half hour!

There is a further lifeboat link here. The Happy Return was built in 1904 in Porthleven using money paid by subscription by the townsfolk of Folkestone to replace the lugger Good Intent. She had been wrecked in a storm which involved a heroic lifeboat rescue by the crew of the Folkestone Lifeboat. Read about it here.


Anonymous said...

Hi John

I don't think it would have been the naming ceremony. The Rother would have been long gone by the time the naming ceremony came round. At the naming ceremony the boat was dressed with code flags too, I'll email you some pics. I reckon this was one of the early launches to test the newly adapted slipway and boathouse. Probably before she even went on service.


Anonymous said...

I have to agree with DT. This was definitely taken on the day the RCB arrived on station. This event was covered by the local BBC News team, and the chap on the right of the Cox is holding up the boom mic.