Rescue Wooden Boats is a fairly new charitable trust established in 2010 with the aim of restoring and use old wooden craft, and to teach people about their history and the skills involved in their construction, maintenance and use.
The organisation, which has premises at Morston, has acquired three boats:
- Lucy Lavers (pictured above in her heyday, and as work began in December 2011), a single-screw Liverpool-type lifeboat built in 1940 for Aldeburgh Lifeboat Station. Her first service was the Dunkirk evacuation in the early part of World War II. She later served as a relief lifeboat at Wells-next-the-Sea and elsewhere along the East Coast. She was donated to Rescue Wooden Boats by the Dunkirk Little Ships Restoration Trust
- Black Beauty, a North Norfolk crab boat built in 1950 by Emery for Dick Davis. She was donated by Andy Frary, who used her as a crab boat until the mid-1980s
- Bessie, a whelker provided by Trevor Farman. She was built by Johnson in the mid 1930s for the Cox family who whelked with her out of Wells-next-the-Sea for three decades. Squeakie Bishop then bought her and used her for angling parties from Blakeney and then Gorleston, where she continued to be used as a pleasure and fishing boat. She is one of only a few remaining Johnson-built whelkers but is said to be in reasonably good condition
As is the way with these things, the Rescue Wooden Boats folks need members, donations of money, materials and skills. They are currently searching for an original canopy for the Lucy Lavers – if you know about one, please contact them!