William Riley


2008 Round Up

Presentation Day

After the completion of the restoration and the official unveiling the trust moved onto its first true fund raising venture and perhaps one of the biggest challenges the trust may face for many years to come. The fundraising row from Tynemouth to Whitby was staged over a number of legs alternating support rowers, backed by a group of charity fundraiser's, the Ales Angels. It's arrival back in its true home port in July was a pleasing addition to the lifeboat weekend activities check my fundraising page for more specific information.

On the 27th July the boat almost received a notable royal visitor during the development of the Newbiggin maritime heritage centre. The Oakley class lifeboat "Mary Joicey" often mentioned in the newsletter Rubie, was going on display and as a restored boat the William Riley proved an ideal stable mate. The Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward was due to visit the town, however the timing did not fit in with getting the William Riley into place in time.

The Coast Team

Shortly afterwards the boat and its band of supporters were heading towards Cullercoats. The BBC were filming an episode of its hits series Coast recreating an overland launch, hauled by women to the wreck of the "Lovely Nellie".

Lead Presenter Neil oliver

Changes to the topography of the area meant the boat could not be taken down to the sea to be launched, it was also inadvisable to pull the boat up the steep slope from the boathouse. The chosen option was to utilise the links, and a spreader bar was made to make pulling the William Riley easier. Although a cold day three local female rugby teams and two shire horses played their own role in the making of the episode. Coast returned to our screens in July at its usual slot of 8.00pm on BBC2, the episode featuring the William Riley was broadcast on the 1st September.

The Boat Paraded Through Dunbar

The boat was then taken into the Magnay & Yates workshop for the gunwale to be repainted and re varnished in time for the Dunbar bi-centenary on the 29th August. The serving was accompanied by the "Reaper" a popular visitor to Whitby. The William Riley, her crew with shipped oar's was an important part of a parade along the high street, and was admired by all those who had the opportunity to inspect her. The chairman of Dunbar's lifeboat branch travelled to Whitby to collect the lifeboat for the celebration which lasted two days.

Th following page holds information about the boats activities during 2009.

Copyright © Colin Brittain 1999 - 2014