Proud local traditions

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The Tyne Lifeboat Society was established in 1789, thirty-five years before the formation of the RNLI. The world’s first purpose-designed lifeboat, built by Henry Greathead, was stationed in South Shields. However, many lives continued to be lost when ships were wrecked near the shore and could not be reached by lifeboat. South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade was formed in January, 1866, to specialise in shore to ship rescues. Adopting the its famous town motto “Always Ready”, the South Shields Brigade was the first in the world to use the breeches buoy in April 1866, saving seven people from the schooner “Tenterden” which had foundered on the south pier. Next year, 2016, marks the 150th Anniversary of the Brigade and the Materialistics are delighted to have been asked to contribute to the celebrations.
Sue McBride is currently creating a new gansey pattern for brigade members - we hope to knit as many as possible so volunteers are welcome! The South Shields “lifeboat” crest is being replicated in a “hooky” mat and plans have been drawn up for yarn-bombing around the historic Watch House where the Brigade is based.

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