First anniversary for vintage boat group

Volunteers with the Anne Letitia Ruseell.
Volunteers with the Anne Letitia Ruseell.

A Fleetwood group which is restoring a vintage lifeboat is celebrating the first anniversary of bringing it back to its home port.

The 41ft vessel Ann Letitia Russell, which helped save 157 lives with Fleetwood RNLI from 1939 to 1976, had been rotting away at Lowestoft marina for years.

But a group of Fleetwood volunteers formed the Ann Letitia Rescue Group and brought the boat back to Fleetwood last August, to renovate and restore.

Now the Ann Letitia Rescue Group is marking the year-long milestone by hosting an event at the Kings Own Old Comrades Club on Adelaide Street, Fleetwood, on Friday August 19 from 7pm. The group will be joined by the Old Boys Band who will be performing at 8pm. There will also be a raffle and disco.

The group have made some solid progress in recent weeks, with some rare finds helping to boost the project.

Ex-crewmember Vic Crosthwaite has donated a searchlight which the group believes to be the original light from the boat. They have also have found a bilge pump to replace the missing one.

After a little research it was discovered that this pump was found in a yard in Barry, Wales, where the Ann Letitia Russell had some conversion work done when being turned into a houseboat. It means this could be an original part too.

Group historian Rob Baines said: “It’s great that we are able to source all these original parts. The old girl is really coming together. We had loads of interest following Tram Sunday where we had a stall, the people of Fleetwood are starting to get behind this project”.

If anyone wants to see the boat, members of the group are at Fleetwood Marina every Saturday morning from 10am until noon. Details are also on Facebook page “Ann Letitia Russell Lifeboat”.