Previous names

  • 1941 - 1966 Jose Neville
  • 1966 - 1994 Concord
Certificate no 2851
Status Archived


Function Service Vessel
Subfunction Lifeboat
Location Aldeburgh
Vessel type Liverpool Class Lifeboat
Archive reason More information required
Current use Private use
Available to hire No
Available for excursions No
Info required No


Builder Groves & Gutteridge Ltd, Cowes
Built in 1941
Hull material Wood
Rig Bermudan Ketch
Number of decks 1
Number of masts 2
Propulsion Motor
Number of engines 1
Primary engine type Diesel
Boiler type None
Boilermaker None


Length: Overall
35.50 feet (10.82 m)
Breadth: Beam
10.00 feet (3.05 m)
Tonnage: Gross
3.00 feet (0.91 m)
Air Draft
26.00 feet (7.92 m)



The vessel was the last to be built of the single-screw Liverpool Class lifeboats (yard no. 265) by Groves & Gutteridge of Cowes in 1941.  She was fitted with a Weyburn AE6 35hp petrol engine. She was the first lifeboat to take part in a rescue involving a helicopter as the 'Jose Neville' (ON834) at Caister. 

As the 'Jose Neville' she was launched 107 times and saved 75 lives, first under coxswain James Brown (1941-56) and then Jack Plummer (1956-66).  Plummer was awarded an RNLI Bronze Medal for the rescue of the Loch Lorgan by the Jose Neville in December 1963.  In 1966 the Jose Neville was sold out of service and converted to fishing vessel 'Concord' of Southwold. 

As fishing vessel 'Concord', the vessel had its original engine, masts and centre plate removed.  After running aground off Southwold in 1981 she was rescued by the Inshore Lifeboat 'Solebay' and escorted under tow to Lowestoft - the helmsman of the Solebay was awarded a bronze medal for the rescue.  A print of this event by Trevor Parkin hangs in the Sailors’ Reading room in Southwold.

In the early 1990s the vessel was sold and a double-diagonal fir, epoxy-coated cabin (echoing the form of the original engine canopy) was fitted, along with replacement masts.  During this period she was also fitted with a new engine and navigational equipment, and renamed VALAS.  Ongoing repairs and maintenance are carried out annually by the owner to keep the boat seaworthy and maintain or improve her condition.

VALAS is currently in full working order as a private leisure craft and has sailed as far as the French coast and up the Thames from Aldeburgh.

Key dates

  • 1941

    Built by Groves & Gutteridge at Cowes and became Caister lifeboat JOSE NEVILLE

  • 1964

    Downgraded to reserve lifeboat at Caister

  • 1966

    Sold by RNLI, became a fishing vessel and renamed CONCORD

  • 1981

    Rescued by the Inshore lifeboat SOLEBAY and escorted under tow to Lowestoft

  • 1990s

    Bought as an empty hull for restoration and renamed VALAS

  • 2015

    In private use operating from Aldeburgh Suffolk

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