Sunday, 3 July 2016

Dunkirk Hero: Lifeboat returns to Hastings

I mentioned the Cyril and Lilian Bishop when I wrote a blog about Hastings Fishermen's Museum and Dunkirk on 24th May last year (link), and now that lifeboat is back in Hastings, thanks to the tireless Dee-Day White and Tush Hamilton, and, no doubt, many other of their families, friends and acquaintances, arriving during the morning of Friday 1st July 2016, following their campaign to return The Ghost of Dunkirk. It is now situated within the East Hastings Sea Angling Association complex by the RNLI Lifeboat Station.

The Cyril and Lilian Bishop was the first Hastings' lifeboat built with an engine and took part in the evacuation of troops from Dunkirk in 1940. She was built by J Samuel White & Company in Cowes, Isle of Wight, and came into service at Hastings RNLI in 1931, until she was sold as a fishing vessel to a Scottish buyer in 1950. 

Model in Hastings Museum

More history can be found at the Association of Dunkirk Little Ships (ADLS) website She was re-named “Lindy Lou” in 1976, and, near the end of the millennium, following her rescue by the ADLS, acquired by Simon Evans, who collects and restores old lifeboats, and taken to his rented boatyard in Sens, France; having since moved to his personal boatyard at Migennes, where she remained until she returned to Hastings this week. 

As you can see above, there is still plenty of work to be carried out on the restoration of the Cyril and Lilian Bishop, go to her facebook page for developments. I shall blog regular updates, including photographs, in the coming months.

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