Safe haven for historic vessel

The Samuel Fletcher Lifeboat, being stored at the sea cadets base in Bispham, which has fallen into a state of disrepair.

The Samuel Fletcher Lifeboat, being stored at the sea cadets base in Bispham, which has fallen into a state of disrepair.

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A HISTORIC lifeboat is to go into council storage in a bid to save it.

The condition of the Samuel Fletcher lifeboat has been steadily declining over the past three years.

Volunteers, who are campaigning to save it, have now erected a waterproof canopy over the top of the boat which is currently being stored in the car park of Blackpool Sea Cadets base in Bispham.

But the boat, whose crew saved 28 lives during the vessel’s service history, is due to be transferred to Blackpool Council’s Illuminations Depot on Blackpool Business Park, off Squires Gate Lane.

Although the council has no money to put towards restoration, the move will enable the vessel to be protected while campaigners explore possible funding sources.

A steering group of around 25 people has now been formed.

Bruce Allen, of Mereside Tenants and Residents Association, said: “We have put a canopy over the boat for now, and we are pleased it is going to be safely stored by the council.

“We now have a number of people on board as part of the steering group, and our first task is to contact a boat restorer.

“I am still interested in hearing from more people who may wish to help us, and would love to hear from the families involved with the early lifeboats.”

Anyone who would like to join the steering groups can contact Mr Allen on (01253) 766056.

The Samuel Fletcher was stationed in Blackpool from 1896 to 1930.

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