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Solar Solve Marine, the South Shields based manufacturer of the world’s leading brands of Type Approved roller sunscreens and roller window blinds for ships windows, has helped out with a plea from The North East Maritime Trust (NEMT) which restores traditional boats and rebuilds heritage skills.

In the March edition of the NEMT quarterly newsletter John Lightfoot, MBE, Chairman of Solar Solve Marine read how the slipway gates were damaged beyond repair after severe weather.  The gates were already on their last legs, but the bad weather had left both of the slipway gates hanging off their hinges, leaving them dangling precariously. Welding work temporarily fixed them but they were beyond permanent repair.  Just to make matters worse the slipway roller shutter door was kaput as well. The money to replace the gates and the roller shutter door was not available and created another headache for their fund-raising team, as the trust depends entirely on volunteers and donations.

Solar Solve Marine is a local company which makes SOLASOLV® roller sunscreens to protect ships’ personnel from solar heat, glare and uv light on the navigation bridge to create a safer and more comfortable working environment.  John explained, “As a marine engineer by profession, and someone who still works in the marine industry, I decided that my company should help the NEMT by donating the money required for the new gates and a roller shutter door. The NEMT is a local charity just down the road from my factory in South Shields, which educates the public in the UK’s maritime heritage and encourages and facilitates the conservation, restoration and public display of historic vessels and maritime craft and artefacts.  A very worthwhile cause”.

The coast of the North East of England from Berwick in the north to Whitby and beyond in the south, has an extremely rich maritime, historic and cultural heritage. From the age of sail and right up to the 1980′s it was one of the principal shipbuilding areas in the UK, a main source of employment for seafarers and fishermen and a way of life for communities steeped in every type of maritime craft and enterprise.

Jerry Dudman, Secretary for the North East Maritime Trust said, ”Membership of the trust is open to anyone interested in the aims of the trust for a small annual subscription. As well as receiving a quarterly newsletter, membership allows people to work with the NEMT on projects and be involved in numerous social events and outings during the year. Some members have particular maritime skills or experience but this isn’t essential, and anyone concerned with the heritage of the North East is most welcome to become a member.  The NEMT is located in Wapping Street and we are in the last few months of a long-term restoration project on the former Tynemouth lifeboat ‘Henry Frederick Swan’ which is over 100 years old.  We also have several other projects in the pipeline”.  North East Maritime Trust Donation

Top & Above Image – (from left to right) Trust’s secretary Jerry Dubman and Dave Parker with Solar Solve’s Ian Ratcliffe and MD Julie Lightfoot MBE.

Images courtesy of South Shields Gazette