Boost on the cards for lifeboat station

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A LIFESAVING organisation is hoping a festive windfall is on the cards to enable it to keep up its good work.

Cullercoats lifeboat station has produced its annual fundraising Christmas card.

The design shows the village’s lifeboat as it looked in the mid-19th century as crew members prepare to row to the rescue of a stricken sailing vessel.

The painting, by Whitley Bay artist Michael Smith, is his interpretation of an etching in an 1872 copy of the Illustrated London News, itself a reproduction of an earlier painting.

The scene shown is believed to depict the Cullercoats lifeboat going to the rescue of the crew of the collier brig Lovely Nellie after it ran aground half a mile off the coast at Whitley Bay in January 1861.

The brig had been blown northwards for 100 miles and was unable to make it safely into harbour because of severe gales.

The boat was on its way to deliver coal to London at the time of its mishap.

All the adult members of the Lovely Nellie’s crew were saved, but its cabin boy, Tommy Thompson, was swept away and could not be rescued.

The card, priced £4 for ten, is available at the post office and library in Cullercoats, the tourist information offices at Whitley Bay and Royal Quays in North Shields, Nicholson’s the Butchers and the Cake Dec Centre in Whitley Bay, the Crescent Club and Peaches ‘n’ Cream in Cullercoats and Whitley Bay Golf Club.