An SOS has gone out for help to build a shelter for Fishguard’s historic Charterhouse lifeboat so conservation work can be carried out and visitors can see the historic vessel whatever the weather.
The Charterhouse moved to a new home in January – the West Wales Maritime Heritage Museum in Pembroke Dock - 110 years after the ground-breaking lifeboat was first launched and a decade after she was brought back to her home port.
The Charterhouse Returns Trust – a group of local volunteers responsible for the boat’s care – continue to care for the vessel in her new home, and are now calling for help from local people.
Chair of the Trust, Jackie Stokes, explained: "Charterhouse is now at the West Wales Maritime Heritage Museum in Pembroke, on land not in the water.
"We desperately need to erect a permanent structure over it. This is to enable preservation work to continue and for visitors to see her regardless of weather. The cost of the structure is approximately £14,000.
"We have started fundraising and have set up a JustGiving campaign."
The fundraising page states: "Help us display the historic Charterhouse lifeboat at the West Wales Maritime History Museum at Pembroke Dock.
"100 years ago, Charterhouse and her crew were taken to London to be presented with medals by the Prince of Wales. They had performed a daring and arduous rescue near Fishguard. In fact, this was just one of many heroic rescues performed by Charterhouse and by the lifeboat service, which continues to save many lives each year.
"The boat had an advanced design for its time. It had a petrol engine, buoyancy tanks, and a hull designed to withstand a battering on the rocks.
"Sails and oars were provided as a backup for the engine - just as well, for in the heavy seas and hurricane winds of the award-winning rescue, the engine gave out, the sails were ripped to shreds, and the crew had to row for many hours to make safe harbour.
"Charterhouse has now found a home on the quayside at the West Wales Maritime Heritage Museum.
"We plan to make the boat a permanent exhibit, to show visitors how it looked when ready for a shout. We’ll need paint, preservatives and materials to restore the fixtures and fittings - as well as display panels, a cover and a rostrum to let people look inside.
"Your donation will help us tell the story of the lifeboat, to commemorate the bravery of the crew, and to tell about the work of lifeboats everywhere."
To donate to the appeal, go to www.justgiving.com/campaign/charterhouselifeboat
Find out more about The Charterhouse Trust, one of our Shipshape Network Wales Projects here.