Historic Hastings lifeboats are badly in need of a spring clean and maintenance

After almost five years of welcoming visitors to the gateway of Hastings Old Town the two historic lifeboats Priscilla Macbean and Cyril and Lilian Bishop are both in need of a spring clean and some essential maintenance.

Tuesday, 2nd April 2019, 2:55 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd April 2019, 3:02 pm

Dee Day White, who helped bring the boats to Hastings, said: “Poor Priscilla lives in the shade of two larger trees and never sees the sun.

“She therefore stays damp and at 98 years old, the damp is getting into her bones and she needs a make-over, namely filler, undercoat, primer and gloss after having a good rub-down.

“The Ghost of Dunkirk (Cyril and Lilian Bishop) stands proudly outside All Saints Church all day with the sun on her starboard side.

“All her planking (she is diagonally built) is beginning to open up, as all wood built boats do, especially at the age of 88.

“Again rubbing down is needed with undercoat, primer and gloss and lots of varnish work.

“This extraordinary back-drop to All Saints Church is used by every married couple for a photo shoot, with her Dunkirk Little Ship status and history.

Both boats have brought television crews to Hastings on several occasions and brought the Old Town the recognition we feel it deserves.

Your boats are responsible for many visits and talks to foreign students and schools from professional guides and members of the Macbean and Bishop Trust.

“This Trust is asking individuals who have some spare time, to help with this face-lift and spring clean project.

“If people could contribute financially or volunteer to sponsor the work with a donation, or if your business would like a sponsor board on site, please contact me on 07812 077008 or Tush Hamilton on 07546 461302

“Watch this space for information of a wonderful fund raising event for these two old ladies of the sea in June. Thank you for supporting your boats.”

The Cyril and Lilian Bishop earned her name The Ghost of Dunkirk, after playing a vital role, in World War 2, rescuing stranded Allied troops from the beaches of Dunkirk.

She went on to save many more lives as the Hastings lifeboat, operating along the coast. The lifeboat finally came back to Hastings after being discovered in France.