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All the latest news and developments will now be here the latest will appear at the top

Please donate to the George Elmy Restoration Fund

(East-Durham Heritage Group)

Your help would be greatly appreciated

Wednesday 13th april 2011

The George Elmy Heritage Project backed by the Heritage Lottery Fund

The George Elmy Heritage Project has been awarded £50,000 from The Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for an exciting heritage project based in East Durham it was announced today.

The project, led by the East Durham Heritage Group, will explore the rich maritime, social and industrial history of East Durham, focussing particularly on the George Elmy lifeboat. Built in 1949, the boat has a long history. In November 1962, the boat was involved in a terrible accident that had a huge impact on the local community; the boat still remains of huge importance today.

The vessel will be fully restored to its original state and will be used as an interactive learning tool for the surrounding community in the run up to the 50th anniversary of the George Elmy disaster in 2012. It will form the basis of a Heritage Learning Programme which aims to encourage local people, including school children and community groups, to learn more about this fascinating part of their local heritage. A series of workshops, activities and educational sessions will be put in place, exploring in detail the boats history and the effect it had on the people living and working in the area at the time.

The East Durham Heritage Group is run by 12 local dedicated volunteers who want to share their passion for the vessel with as many people as possible. They will engage new volunteers to assist with all parts of the project.

Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund in the North East, Ivor Crowther, said;

"People are at the heart of all HLF projects and this one demonstrates that perfectly. Run by volunteers who really care about their heritage and who want to involve as many people as possible. The George Elmy Lifeboat is of huge local significance and deserves to be restored and used as an educational tool for the community. We are delighted to be able to support this project and the people who have worked so hard to make it happen."

A spokesman for The East Durham Heritage Group, said;

"This is very welcome news; knowing that our application has been approved means that we are a significant step closer towards bringing The George Elmy back to Seaham to complete the journey that it started on the afternoon of the 17th of November 1962 and which was so tragically terminated within sight of safety. Completion of the restoration forms only a part of our plans to bring heritage knowledge to people and visitors of the area." 

We must thank all those that have helped us reach this point in the project, while there are those that might be said to be the public face of our organisation there are many more who work tirelessly and unseen. Our thanks also must go to the ASDA Foundation, The Sir James Knott Trust, Durham Heritage Coast, The County Durham Foundation, The Co-operative Community Fund, Murton Heritage Society and Parish Council, Seaham Town Council, the Chairman of Durham County Council, Councillor Mr. Mac Williams and those within Durham County Council, Department of Regeneration and Economic Development based in Easington Village especially Lynsey Garraghan and Libby Mahoney and their colleagues without whose help, we would not have succeeded. We must thank the adults and children of Timesteps Dance Group who have fund raised so vigorously on our behalf and we must not forget to thank those within the Heritage Lottery Fund for their advice and encouragement. Lastly but not least a great vote of thanks must go to the people of Seaham and the descendants of those lost in the tragedy for their unstinting support and donations for the project, without their help our project would not have reached this stage."

For more information on The East Durham Heritage Group and The George Elmy Heritage Project please visit our website www.seahamlifeboats.oneuk.com or come along to our Centre at 10 Church Street, Seaham,



Saturday 7th August 2010

The George Elmy Lifeboat has been stripped cleaned and made ready for the forthcoming professional rebuild

Picture Showing the Rear end

Inside front end

2 engines have been purchased and will be fitted when the lifeboat  is rebuilt.

The Engines have been fitted digitally just to give view as to what they will sit like in the engine bay.

More Photographs can be seen on our forum  taken by the people doing the work



News Update for January 2010

Saturday 16th January
The coffee Morning at Seaton Community Center was very successful even though the weather was atrocious. A big thank you goes to the people of Seaton who attended and altogether a total of £160 was raised towards the George Elmy Restoration Fund.It was so successful that over the next year it will be repeated and dates and times will be posted




From Monday 11th January 2010 to Friday 15th January 2010 the George Elmy Photograph Display will be exhibited in Seaham Library.
The 13th January 2010 marks the 60th Anniversary of the Lifeboat's arrival in Seaham.

On Saturday the 16th of January there will be a Coffee Morning held in Seaton Community Centre from 10 am until 12 noon and the Photographs will be on display
Week ending January 16th 2010




George Elmy December 2009 Update

The George Elmy was today moved to Unit 11 Partnership Court Seaham Grange Ind.Est. The unit will be open from 10am- 2pm Saturday 123th and 19th December 2009, for viewing. The move went off very well, no problems. We thank ASHTENNE for their help with the unit. We also would like to give a MASSIVE vote of thanks to SEAHAM DOCK COMPANY MANAGEMENT and STAFF for their help and support since May.


The George Elmy Can be seen at
Unit 11 Partnership Court Seaham Grange Ind.Est.


George Elmy November 2009 Update

Today 28th November 2009

The group were on duty at Byron Place. We were all set up for 0945hrs. The photographic display being a little larger than previous times, the collection grows.

The group had been busy making key rings, fridge Magnets etc. the public were very supportive both with donations and our petition. At 1400hrs we ended our display and to our delight a grand total of £230 had been donated.



Another MASSIVE THANK YOU to the people of Seaham and the surrounding area.

This brings our total in hand and at bank to £11,105, keep up the good work and we will reach our target.

ASHTENNE approached the Group with reference to renting a unit on their Seaham Grange Industrial Site. The terms look very good so it looks like the George Elmy will be moving up there soon.

Hopefully local T.V. and Press will cover the move. Please watch out for this news.

Brian Scollen






George Elmy  Update 1st October 2009.

Last night at the New Seaham Cons. Club we held our latest fundraiser. The event was well attended. Mr Ron Harker of Redcar brought along his model of the George Elmy, This attracted much interest from all parties. A grand total of £1126 was generated. More events will be held in and around Seaham.

This bring our total in the bank to over £8000 Thank you one and all for your magnificent effort.

Brian Scollen





George Elmy update September 26th  2009.

This week we had the official launch of our project. This was held at New Seaham Conservative Club, Station Road.  The event was well attended and included members of local emergency services, youth groups, schools and local parish councils.  Mr D. Glover read a message from our Hon President Lord Londonderry. Speakers being the Mayor of Seaham Mrs J. Bell, Mr D. Guy, Hon. Vice President of the project, Mr B. Myers Chairman Durham County Council, Mr J. Cummins MP, Mr. P. Maddison of the City Of Adelaide group Sunderland. Mr F Crowell boat builder and Mr. B. Scollen of the group.

We have this week received a full General Arrangement Drawing of the boat; this will greatly assist the boat builder and us. We have also had donated the plaque which was on the whale back of the George Elmy before the disaster. A full condition report from Mr. Fred Crowell with costing for the restoration.

  •  Donations this week,

    • An anonymous donation by a local businessman £4,500,

    • The Chairman of Murton Parish council Mrs J. Maitland £100

    • a member of City of Adelaide Group £200,

    • Mr. Bob Williams of Blackhall £250

    • Tracy Unwin £10

    • Jean Armfield £20.

Thank you one and all.


George Elmy update  September 5th 2009

Update for George Elmy Restoration Project

I am delighted to inform you that Lord Londonderry, the 9th Marquis of Londonderry has agreed to be our Hon. President. While being unable to attend all meetings I am sure he will be with us in mind. He remembers the naming ceremony by his mother very well. He has also sent a very generous donation for which we are grateful.
Mr. David Guy, President of the Durham Miners Association has also agreed to be one of our Hon. Vice Presidents.

All of the primary  schools in Seaham have been  visited, they have been asked to back our project, all have given their full support. The interest shown at all schools confirms the need for this project.

The running total of names for our petition of support are well in excess of 500.
The running total for monies, excluding the purchase price of the boat now stands at over £2000, this means that since the 15th May 2009 we have raised over £4000. Many thanks to all who have donated.

On Tuesday 22nd September 2009 at New Seaham Cons. Club, we will have the launch of the George Elmy Restoration Project. Representatives of all local emergency service will be in attendance also members of County and Local Councils.

This event starts at 7-30pm, where there will be displays of images of lifeboats, also memorabilia from past boats.

Brian Scollen




George Elmy Update August 2009

A long time since last update for which we apologise.
There has now been two condition surveys completed, we await the report on the last one. Hopefully we will have good news shortly. The coverings that we have been using seem to be doing the trick, not much water in the boat at the last visit.
Fund raising is still ongoing recently we had a donation of five hundred pounds by a local business. A donation of thirty-five pounds from the Oddfellows in Church Street. Forty-five pounds through our on-line donation button at East-Durham.co.uk these donations from K.Duffy, J. Anderson and M.Fraser. This takes our running total up to over one thousand four hundred pounds. Well done the people of Seaham.
Thank you Brian Scollen



George Elmy Update July 2009

George Elmy update for weekending 18th July 2009
This week we have been out and about raising funds and asking people to sig our Petition of Support. As in past weeks the people of Seaham have not let us down.At the Petition Signing in Byron Place on Thursday 11am-1pm, the response was fantastic over 250 signatures and as a bonus £70 donations.

The fundraiser at Mitchells@Westlea on Friday night was well supported. Over fifty signatures and the Fantastic amount of £303 raised. All who attended had a very good night.

This week we have had donations from,
Seaham Environmental Ass.
Lucy Taylor
Robert Emmerson
How can we forget the shoppers at Byron Place.
Mitchells at Westlea
Total donations this week £473

The group will be represented at Seaham Carnival on Sunday 26th July come along and see us and offer your support for the project. We are sharing with the Coast Guards.

Brian Scollen for East Durham Heritage Grou


Last week we made good progress with the boat on two fronts.
The team at Seaham removed all rubbish from the deck and also removed the wheelhouse which had been added, the steel rudder along with four bungs and so drained out the water. It is now starting to look like a lifeboat, well done the Seaham team. This work is shown in the photographs.

We also had some good luck in finding a sister lifeboat on the Isle of Skye. after checking with friends on Skye to see if there were any parts we could use on the George Elmy, photographs were sent down to us and we decided that it was worth a trip up there, one to see our friends and two to strip off parts to use in Seaham. Our thanks go to Graham and Margaret and John and Effie Ann without whose help we would not have managed. We did have a good time both at the boat and the pub as can be seen in photographs. THANK YOU SKYE.

In the coming week we have a fundraiser at MITCHELLS at Westlea (Friday 17th July at 8pm, entry £1) and hope for a good turn out. Also we hope to be in Byron Place Shopping Centre on Thursday collecting names for our Petition of Support from the people of Seaham, please help.
Brian Scollen







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