Sorry for the lack of updates lately but there hasn't really been much to see and post about. A lot of work has been going on in the ground getting things to the correct level, sorting out drainage, underpinning walls and generally preparing the site. However things are now starting to be built.
This will eventually become the sea wall outside the front doors of the lifeboat station.
This is the area where the boathouse used to be. The ground level still needs to be reduced a little before the new floor slab is cast.
This is the area that was behind the boathouse. A lot of work has been done here (and still some to do) stabilising the walls so that the footings for the new boathouse can be dug.
This is the view down where the steps used to be to the back of the boathouse. They've been removed and will be replaced in due course. Ducts have been laid underneath ready for water pipes, electricity cables etc. The wall on the right hand-side will be renewed as it was in poor condition.
Look out for more updates as more things start to come out of the ground.
A little while ago our Chairman, Peter Foster and our LOM, Neil Hardy recorded a radio interview with BBC Radio Solent. The interview is about all the work going on at the station and some of the stories behind the fundraising and the legacies that helped to pay for it. It will be broadcast at around 07:50am tomorrow, Tuesday 7th April on 103.8 FM so tune in and have a listen.
Earlier this week our old ALB winch was collected by its new owner, a fisherman from Hastings. The RNLI took the decision some time ago not to reuse it in the new boathouse to save space and save on ongoing maintenance costs over the next 50 years. The new owner has bought it to pull his fishing boat up the beach at Hastings and we hope it works as well for him as it has for us.
With the winch and its engine now offsite the builders are able to start breaking up the concrete slab of the boathouse floor and start work on the footings for the new building.
A few weeks ago some of our crew were in Lymington to take a lifeboat back to RNLI HQ in Poole after some repairs. The repairs were being done at Berthon Boat Company which just happens to be where our new boat is being built. The temptation was too great so they popped in to have a look at how things are progressing.
The wheelhouse and the hull are fitted out separately before they are joined together towards the end of the build. This allows the workforce easy access to all the spaces and means that more people can work on the boat at once.
This is the engine room
The jet space.
The jets are already in place in the transom.
Under these covers are our two 650hp Scania diesel engines.
The main wheelhouse, looking forward.
The wheelhouse, looking aft towards the rear door.
The upper steering position.
The boat is in the first stage of construction but it was great to see how she's coming on. We'll have an official look round in a few months time when she's been painted. This is the last Shannon that the RNLI are having built by Berthon Boat Co. before construction is moved to the All Weather Lifeboat Centre at RNLI HQ.
The demolition of our slipway is finished but the concrete 'toe' has been left in place as it will hopefully be modified and reused. At high tide it is just covered by the sea but along with other bits of debris it could cause a hazard to small boats, swimmers etc. The area has now been buoyed off and we'd ask everyone to keep outside the area please.
Once all the building work is done rest assured that all debris will be removed.
The volunteer lifeboat crew at Swanage RNLI are celebrating after receiving a massive donation of £250,000 towards the cost of their new lifeboat station. The donation was made by Mr Gronow Davis who owns the 7,500 acre Rushmore Estate. Mr Davis specified the donation to go towards the cost of the crew’s new training room, kit and training.
Since becoming a supporter of the RNLI in 2011 Mr Gronow Davis has become committed to supporting the work of the charity. Earlier in 2014 Mr Gronow Davis ran an annual golf day in aid of the Swanage Lifeboat Station Appeal, raising a staggering £25,000 and proving to be just the start of Mr Gronow Davis’ support for Swanage RNLI.
Following a recent visit to current station to meet the volunteer crew and to see the all-weather lifeboat in action, Mr Gronow Davis pledged to donate £250,000 to fund the cost of building a fully equipped training room, the crew’s comprehensive training and all their essential kit to keep them safe and warm at sea.
Mr Gronow Davis owns the 7,500 acre Rushmore Estate which incorporates The Larmer Tree Gardens, Rushmore Golf Club and Tollard Park Equestrian Centre. Rushmore is contained within the Cranborne Chase an ancient deer forest where King John came to hunt.
Much of the present day character of the Estate was shaped by Lt. General Pitt Rivers who inherited the Estate in 1880. He created a deer park and ornamental parkland where today the Rushmore Park Golf Course is located, and carried out a wide variety of landscape planting including what are now spectacular beech avenues and belts. He went on to create the Larmer Tree Pleasure Gardens for the entertainment and enlightenment of the local people.
The preservation and restoration of the Estates heritage is largely due to the enthusiasm of the General's great-grandson Michael Pitt Rivers who was owner of Rushmore from the 1950's until 1999. During this time there has been steady renovation of estate farms and domestic dwellings and a programme of restoration to re-vitalise the landscape and re-create the species rich grassland formerly associated with the Park. The Larmer Tree Gardens were restored and re-opened to the public; the golf course was designed and built. Mr Gronow Davies is endeavouring to continue his work.
The Swanage lifeboat crew and fundraisers are honoured to receive such a significant donation. Swanage RNLI Lifeboat Station Appeal Chairperson Peter Foster said
‘After working closely with Mr Gronow Davis to organise the RNLI Golf Day back in July 2014 I became aware of his tremendous support for the charity. This additional donation he made is a remarkable show of his support and it is fitting that his donation will fund the crew room that will be the heart of the future lifeboat station.’
The new lifeboat station, which is currently under construction, will house the new Shannon class lifeboat due in Swanage in Spring 2016.
The demolition of the main structure of the boathouse is now complete. There have been some hold ups along the way such as having to get some asbestos removed that wasn't found on the pre-demoltion survey. But the demolition sub contractors are just about finished. All that remains is for the ALB winch to be removed, this is being sold by the RNLI as there is a new electric winch going in the new building to save space.