Alfred Corry

Norfolk and Suffolk Class built 1893 by Beeching Brothers, Great Yarmouth.

Ensign House flag


National Historic Fleet

Service Vessel


Norfolk and Suffolk Class


Museum: indoors

Museum: indoors





Web site








To be confirmed

13.00 feet (3.96 metres)

44.07 feet (13.44 metres)

4.82 feet (1.47 metres)



Built in 1893 by Beeching as the ALFRED CORRY, this is a 44ft Norfolk & Suffolk Sailing and Pulling Lifeboat. She is the first of the improved clinker built class. Stationed at Southwold from 1893 to 1919, ALFRED CORRY needed a crew of 18 and was launched from the beach until 1908 when a slipway was built in the harbour. She was on service 41 times and saved 47 lives under her three Coxswains, John Craigie, Sam May and Charles Jarvis. Coxswain John Craigie received three silver medals for gallantry from the RNLI, the first in 1859, his second on 11 July 1895, "in recognition of his long and gallant services during the period, about 48 years, in which he has been connected with the boats, firstly as one of the crew, afterwards as Second Coxswain and ultimately as Coxswain, a post John Craigie assumed in 1879. During this period, there were services to the barque NORDENHAVET (1887), the brigantine VECTA (1890), the fishing boat MARY ANN (1892) the barque ALPHA (1893), the barque NINA (1894) and the brig JAMES AND ELEANOR (1895)." On 10 March 1898 he was awarded his third silver medal, "awarded on Mr Craigie's retirement from the post of Coxswain after many years in the boat. Only one service was rendered after his previous medal, that of assisting the ketch ELIZA AND ALICE (1896)." In 1912, ALFRED CORRY rescued the crew of the Dutch schooner VOORWARTS which had gone ashore in a SE gale near Minsmere. In 1919, after much hard work during World War I, ALFRED CORRY was in need of considerable repair and was sold out of service. She was converted to a ketch rigged yacht at Lowestoft and renamed ALBA. She was fitted with an engine and was owned and registered in Cowes. In 1939, she was laid up in a mud berth at West Mersea, Essex where she remained for the duration of World War II. A change of ownership and refitting saw her as a well found yacht again and she is reputed to have been the first British yacht to enter Ostend after the war. In 1949, she was renamed THORFINN and, by 1976, she was derelict as a houseboat in Maldon where she was found and bought by Captain John Cragie, the great grandson of the first Coxswain. Restored by Ian Brown of Rowhedge, she re-emerged as a fully seaworthy yacht bearing her original name ALFRED CORRY. In 1991, after several more years of cruising, a charitable trust was set up to restore her to her original form as a lifeboat and return her to Southwold. This work was undertaken by the Boatbuilding Training Centre at Lowestoft and a permanent home in Southwold was provided by the former Cromer lifeboat shed which was towed to its new position in 1998. This wooden shed was the first of its type to be built by the RNLI and has a history of its own, second to none in the United Kingdom. Source; George Hogg, Advisory Committee, December 2008.


This vessel is a good example of how a lifeboat of this type was built for the particular use and conditions it would have to face on the Norfolk and Suffolk coast. There are strong links to one of the best known Coxswains from Southwold, John Craigie, who received three silver medals - the third when he retired as coxswain of the ALFRED CORRY in 1898. There are no physical traces left of her time as a yacht from 1919 to 1991.

Previous names

  1. 1918 – 1949Alba
  2. 1949 – 1977Thorfinn

Key dates

  1. 1893 Built in Great Yarmouth
  2. 1893-1918 In service as Southwold NO1 Lifeboat
  3. 1913 Model made and placed in Sothwold Church
  4. 1918 Sold out of service to J Chambers Yard, Lowestoft and stripped
  5. 1919 Sold to Lord Albermarle, converted to a yacht and renamed Alba
  6. 1921 Engine fitted Sold to succession of owners
  7. 1939-1945 Laid up in West Mercia fior the war. New owner First British yacht to enter Ostend after the war
  8. 1950 Renamed THORFINN and used as a houseboat
  9. 1976 Bought by John Craigie for retsoration
  10. 1980 Restored and re-named ALFRED CORRY
  11. 1994 Returned to Southwold by road for further restoration
  12. 1998 Installed as the centre piece of the ALFRED CORRY Museum


  1. unknown Southwold and District Guide - Barrat Jenkins, A
  2. 1985 A Photographic Collection of Bygones and Local Characters of Southwold - Barrett Jenkins, A
  3. 1993 Old Gaffer's Association Member's Handbook and Boat Archive
  4. 1993 International Register of Historic Ships - Brouwer, Norman J
If you are the owner of the vessel and would like to provide more details or updated information please contact

keel bar:

metal bar forming the keel of a metal vessel