South Shields Volunteer Life Brigade held a year-long programme of community events and activities to mark its 150th anniversary.

“The HLF award allowed us to celebrate this landmark anniversary, make the Brigade even more resilient and secure a sustainable future.”Honorary Secretary, Tom Fennelly

Just like those who attended the first drill in 1866, the current Brigade, from its historic Watch House headquarters on the South Pier of Tyne Harbour, continues to provide a 24-hour coastal search and rescue service under the motto 'Always Ready'. Working in partnership with Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums and South Tyneside Council, the Brigade’s displays were improved, and its collections were digitised and made available online.

A friends group was set up to encourage new volunteers and to support a range of community events including demonstrations, open days, talks and visits and a major exhibition at South Shields Museum.  As well as attracting new recruits the project has developed the skills of existing and new volunteers to ensure the Brigade remains a key part of the coast rescue story.


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