The First Base
With the lifeboat now at its temporary base, the volunteer team could begin with remedial work of removing all redundant structures fitted since its withdrawal from the RNLI. Before this could begin, part of the process work was to make the former lifeboat a safe place to work on.
Not all the jobs were clean, even though quite a bit of work was done before the lifeboat was recovered there was still a substantial amount of oily waste to be cleaned out. Ray Pennock offered his services and he was soon in the thick of it'. Mike could then begin the arduous work of removing wooden ably assisted by Tim Hicking, always keen to get in removing redundant wood.
With the supports removed Roy Weatherill, and other volunteers could begin the task of removing the many brass screws used in securing the raised wooden structures. The screws were screwed well into the wood and then covered over. It was a long task having to first locate the screws then dig out the wood in order to gain access to the screws themselves.
The screws were fitted many years ago, but with the wood covering them they had survived the time quite well and were almost as secure as the day they were fitted. With the screws out, the first part of the redundant wood could be eased out finally revealing the original lines of the former lifeboat.
The next phase in the restoration project was to prepare the lifeboat for a move to another barn on the same site which is to be a more permanent base. The entrance to the next barn was smaller and in order to get it through the doorway it was necessary to remove the front fairlead. Looking at it, it seemed an easy task, however, the nuts and bolts used were completely rusted. The height of the lifeboat was an added problem Mike had to balance on a ladder to grind off the bolt heads.
The wooden planked whalebacks were covered with cheap hardboard and needed removing. Once again Tim was more than ready for the job and even though access was difficult he was soon ripping away the unneeded wood. The height of the lifeboat meant that he had to remove the wood whilst squeezed between the boat and the barn roof.
Copyright © Colin Brittain 1999 - 2022