The Friendly Forester arrives back in Flamborough

Dave Freeman with Graham Lount, who was part of the launching crew, and Bill McPhee, site manager at Thornwick Bay
Dave Freeman with Graham Lount, who was part of the launching crew, and Bill McPhee, site manager at Thornwick Bay

Back home where it belongs - Flamborough’s former lifeboat has returned to the village after 34 years.

Residents sprang into action when The Friendly Forester was facing the scrapheap, and the owners of one of the area’s biggest holiday park stepped in to bring the boat back to the Yorkshire Coast.

The lifebaot served Flamborough between 1953 and 1983

The lifebaot served Flamborough between 1953 and 1983

It arrived at Haven’s Thornwick Bay camp on Tuesday, and there to greet it was David Freeman, one of the crew who served on the Liverpool-class vessel until it reached the end of its service in 1983.

“It has been gone a long time and it is nice to see it back and in reasonable condition. It just needs some TLC,” said David, who is now Flamborough lifeboat’s operations manager.

“I haven’t seen it for 34 years. We are all glad to see it back here for people to enjoy, rather than being scrapped, which was on the cards.”

After being taken out of service, the Friendly Forester was on display at the Blackgang Chine amusement park on the Isle of Wight.

Former crew member Dave Freeman inspects the Friendly Forester

Former crew member Dave Freeman inspects the Friendly Forester

But the park’s owners announced on social media earlier this year that the lifeboat needed a new home.

Leo Gunn, general manager at Thornwick Bay, said: “One of our caravan owners first made me aware of it by email. We saw all the comments and the depth of feeling that there was locally, and so many of the people around the park had family connections to the lifeboat.

“There were a lot of groups with good intentions trying to bring it back but we knew they might have struggled with the cost, and with us being so close to North landing where it used to launch, it felt like the right thing to do.”

Haven has spent a five-figure sum on bringing the boat to Flamborough and will pay more to restore it. A new path linking the park with the headland is being created and the Friendly Forester will be located at the side of it.

The boat is winched into place at Thornwick Bay

The boat is winched into place at Thornwick Bay

It was arrived after a nine-hour road trip and was offloaded in terrible conditions on Tuesday, but David said the weather was nothing compared to its final call-out on active service.

“Its last job was escorting fishing boats back into bridlington Harbour. It was dark, very wet and the coastguards said the winds were gusting at up to 100mph.”

The boat is lowered into place

The boat is lowered into place