West Wirral Area Forum – 29th June 2011 – Part 5 – Video (Lifeboat Musuem)

The video started with a shot of Government Road, Hoylake where John Parr had been born in the 1950s. There had been green woodlands then and coastguard cottages as well as a lighthouse and lifeboat station. He had been collected by a retired lifeboat man, who opened up the lifeboat station which meant John had had the run of Hoylake Lifeboat Station.

In 1833 a second station had been added on Hilbre Island. Those present were shown photos of old lifeboats which had been restored. He had also discovered the last lifeboat to serve there. It was a 35ft mahogany boat, 110 years old of the Liverpool type design. It was on the Register of National Historic Vessels. However when he had found it there was a tree growing inside on the bank of the River Ribble. He father had said “great idea son, but why not forget it”? The lost Hilbre lifeboat had been restored using twelve trainees at the Laird Foundation. This provided training opportunities for young people. It had been seventy-two years since it had sailed away. Following the restoration of the Chapman he had been asked to help restore the Thomas Corbett, which following a talk with the owner the owner had been happy for them to take over the boat.

However it was in Waterford and had to be shipped to the Wirral which had been a lot of work to do. It was in good condition as it had been one of the last to be built. It had a twin engine and provided training opportunities in ship preservation.

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Author: John Brace

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